One of the most important things you can do as a hedgehog owner is to provide your hedgehog with the correct sized cage to meet their requirements.
But how big do hedgehog cages have to be? and is it harmful to their health if I don’t provide the correct sized cage?
In this post, we answer these questions and much more by looking at the advice from both leading vet sources and hedgehog authorities such as the hedgehog welfare society.
So how big do hedgehog cages have to be? The minimum cage size requirements for a hedgehog is 3ft x 2ft according to multiple experts. There is, however, a big difference between the minimum and recommended cage size. Most experts recommend a cage size of 4ft x 2ft or larger as this will provide many additional benefits to your hedgehog.
Read on to learn…
How Big Do Hedgehog Cages Need to Be (More Info)
The minimum recommended size for a hedgehog cage really can vary a lot depending on the source that you get your information from.
When we conducted our research for this post, we made sure we took information from the leading sources such as highly respected veterinary sites or wildlife trusts.
Even when we only used such authoritative sites we still found that both the minimum and recommended cage sizes differed from site to site.
One thing that was consistent was the fact that no site recommended a minimum cage size below 2ft x 2ft.
Looking at the evidence from the sources we researched, it’s safe to say that you should never house a hedgie in a cage that is under this size.
This doesn’t however, mean that 2ft x 2ft is a good sized cage and will meet all of your hedgehog’s living needs and requirements.
We have to say that we suggest that you opt for a cage size of 3ft x 2ft as a minimum rather than 2ft x2ft as floor space is vital for hedgehogs for many reasons, which we will cover shortly.
But just because 3ft x 2ft is our recommended minimum cage size, is this an ideal cage size? And is this cage size really going to help you care for a happy and healthy hedgehog?
Let’s now take a look at our recommended cage size for hedgehogs rather than just the minimum size…
What Is The Best Size For a Hedgehog Cage?
Even though the minimum recommended cage size can vary from 2ft x 2ft and 3ft x 2ft, there isn’t much argument that bigger is better when it comes to cage size.
This means that you shouldn’t simply pick the smallest cage you can based on these numbers and assume your hedgie will be happy living in it.
We understand that space can sometimes be at a premium depending on your housing arrangements but we think it’s best to work with the mindset that you will get the biggest cage you have room for in your home.
Many experts recommend that a good, spacious cage size that allows your hedgehog to move around freely is 4ft x 2ft. Source:
We also agree with this kind of size and would also add that if you can go a little bigger at around 5ft x 2ft than that’s great too.
Some owners might also consider bringing home a second hedgie and housing both hedgehogs together in one large cage, but is this ever a good option?
We’ve actually just released a post that shares if hedgehogs can be housed together? Or even in the same room?
Now that we’ve looked at the recommended cage size for hedgehogs, let’s take a deeper look at why it’s actually vital to their health and happiness…
Why Do Hedgehog Cages Need to Be Big?
When the experts and vets are saying that hedgehogs need a large cage, it’s not just for show.
There are actually some really important reasons why hedgies need large floor space.
In fact, there are 2 main reasons why hedgehogs need a large cage and we will break down each of those reasons below…
Getting enough exercise is a major issue for hedgehogs in captivity. It’s well documented that a large portion of domesticated hedgehogs become obese due to a lack of exercise.
Vetstreet openly talks about this in a recent article they posted about hedgehogs.
Wild hedgehogs are reported to travel miles per night and this helps to maintain a healthy and balanced weight.
In captivity, it can be difficult for hedgehogs to get the same amount of exercise, although using an exercise wheel such as the silent runner we talk about here is a great option and one we highly recommend.
What’s just as important as an exercise wheel is the amount of floor space your hedgie is provided with.
Natural behaviours such as foraging, burrowing and exploring all help to burn calories when not using their wheel and a large amount of floor space will keep your hedgehog interested and active for longer.
A smaller cage hinders your hedgies ability to stay active and is a major reason why a large cage is needed.
In the wild, hedgehogs spend their time foraging for food and looking for mates. The Wild Life Trust state that hedgehogs cover distances of up to 2km per night while on their travels.
We thought it would be cool to show the distances that hedgehogs travel each night by comparing how long it would take them to travel across some of the world’s most famous landmarks, attractions and cities!
Check out the table below and be amazed! Enjoy…
How Long Would It Take a Hedgehog to Travel Around Famous Landmarks?
|Famous Place||How Long to....||Distance||How Long?|
|Rome Colosseum||Walk around the famous tourist attraction in Rome||545 Metres Circumference||4 times per/night|
|Mount Everest||Climb to top of the highest mountain in the world||8848 Metres High||8 1/2 days|
|New York||Walk from one side of NY to the other||33.6 Miles||27 days|
|River Nile||Walk the entire length of the famous river Nile||81.84 Miles||66 days|
|Orient Express||Follow to the exact journey of the legendary train||1890 Miles||4Y, 4M, 14D|
Providing your hedgehog with a large cage is vital for their mental stimulation.
Again, going back to now active hedgies are in the wild. They are constantly foraging, looking for mates or escaping the clutches of predators.
These three activities provide hedgehogs with more than enough mental stimulation.
The problem is that in captivity, hedgehogs don’t have to find their own food, be on the lookout for predators or go looking for mates either.
While it’s great that they are fed daily and safe, the captive lifestyle also doesn’t offer much natural mental stimulation and as such can get a little boring.
This is why it’s important to do all the things you can as an owner to provide the stimulation your hedgie needs.
This includes giving them a large floor space to roam and explore. When your hedgie has a large amount of space it keeps them interested and active and is one of the most fundamental things you can do to give them a good quality of life.
You can also do many other things to supplement this, such as providing your hedgehog with toys and activities.
There are lots of great unique and fun toys out there that hedgies love such as the ones we share in our top yous and activities list.
What Are The Best Hedgehog Cages?
As you know by now, larger cages with more floor space are generally better for your hedgehog for many reasons and most vets and experts recommend a large cage.
The question is, exactly what cages meet both the quality and sizing requirements?
We’ve recently spent a number of hours researching as well as using our own experiences to build a short-list of 3 cages that meet these requirements.
Each cage easily exceeds the recommended cage size we have talked about in this post.
All 3 cages are different and will suit different owners depending on your individual needs.
Right now, we would like to hand you over to our page where we have listed our top 3 recommended cages so you can provide your hedgie with the best living environment possible…