*Hedgehogs are not for everyone! Be sure to read the care sheet and make sure you can provide all of the necessary care before purchasing a hedgehog.*
Hedgehogs need well ventilated cages. Aquariums DO NOT make good cages for hedgies!!!!
In my opinion, the best housing is a 105-115 (or larger) plastic tote. Plastic totes are cheap, have a solid bottom, easy to clean and safe! If you are going to use the lid on the plastic tote, you will need to alter the lid to provide proper ventilation.
Other cage options are available like C&C cages and cages with plastic solid bottoms. Make sure that they have at least 4 square feet of floor space.
Cedar shavings are TOXIC! DO NOT USE CEDAR.
I personally use kiln dried pine pellets and a thick layer of Carefresh over the pellets.
fleece and aspen are also a popular choices.
Hedgehogs MUST have a constant heat source. Without a heat source hedgehogs will attempt to hibernate, which can be fatal.
They must be kept at an ambient temperature of 75-80 degrees.
Heat pads ARE NOT SAFE! Heat pads will not raise the ambient temperature enough and could cause severe burns to your hedgie.
I personally heat one room in my house for the hedgies. I use an electric heater with a thermostat set to 77 degrees. The heater that I use is similar to the one in the link (https://www.amazon.com/VonHaus-Element-Portable-Infrared-Control/dp/B00ZINISG2/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1487708000&sr=8-8&keywords=infrared+heater+with+thermostat).
If an electric heater isn't an option for you or you prefer an alternative heat source, you can also use a ceramic heat emitter. CHE's DO NOT EMIT LIGHT, only heat. Other heat lamps emit light and will interrupt the hedgehog's natural sleep cycle. (https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Ceramic-Infrared-Emitter/dp/B001F9CV7K/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1487705915&sr=8-5&keywords=ceramic+heat+emitter). CHE's screw into a ceramic lamp dome like a light bulb (https://www.amazon.com/Zilla-Reptile-Terrarium-Habitat-Lighting/dp/B005OCWP1Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1487705994&sr=8-2&keywords=ceramic+dome+lamp).
If heating with a CHE you will also need a probe thermometer or other DIGITAL thermometer to keep track of the temperature inside the hedgehogs cage (https://www.amazon.com/Zilla-Reptile-Terrarium-Habitat-Lighting/dp/B005OCWP1Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1487705994&sr=8-2&keywords=ceramic+dome+lamp).
You don't want to fry your hedgie, to control temperature you'll need a thermostat. Your Ceramic dome lamp will plug into the thermostat. The thermostat will turn your lamp on and off as needed to maintain the correct temperature..
INSIDE THE CAGE
You will need a place for your hedgie to hide and sleep. Plastic igloos make great hides. You can also make or purchase fleece snuggle sacks for your hedgie, www.etsy.com has a great selection.
You will also need a wheel! Hedgehogs run ALL night! Without a wheel they will get very bored, destructive and overweight.
Wire and mesh wheels are NOT acceptable. They are known to cause injuries! The wheels MUST be solid bottom!
Popular wheel choices can be purchased at:
Carolina storm- http://www.carolinastormhedgehogs.com/the-carolina-storm-wheel.html
Kaytee comfort wheel (Must be the Giant 12" size)- https://www.amazon.com/Kaytee-Giant-Comfort-Exercise-Wheel/dp/B0010OR008/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487707328&sr=8-1&keywords=kaytee+giant+wheel.
Another thing you will need are shallow dishes for food and water. I use heavy ceramic cat dishes for both food and water (https://www.amazon.com/Ethical-5-Inch-Stoneware-Crock-Dish/dp/B00025YU3Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487706773&sr=8-1&keywords=ceramic+crock+dish+small).
Hedgehogs love to tip over their water dish! Water bottles are also acceptable but I personally don't use them.
TOYS! TOYS! TOYS! Hedgehogs love toys and clutter! Cardboard or PVC Tunnels, stuffed toy balls, crinkle balls, small stuffies, rubber duckies.
Petstages mint sticks are also popular (https://www.amazon.com/Petstages-335-Fresh-Breath-Freshening/dp/B003V6Z43I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487706915&sr=8-1&keywords=cat+mint+stick), etc.
Litter pans are also something that can make cleaning a little easier. They are shallow pans that are placed under the wheel. I personally use wood pellets under the area of the wheel since that's where they do their business! I can easily scoop it out as needed.
Corner litter pans for ferrets and other small animals are pretty much useless for a hedgie.
DO NOT USE CAT LITTER!! Use bedding from the list of safe beddings above.
I don't recommend commercial hedgehog diets. Hedgehog diets are usually poor quality junk food. Cat food is a much healthier choice. There are many suitable dry cat foods available. Look at the ingredients! Dry cat food should be under 34% protein and under 15% fat.
Hedgehogs also like bugs. Meal worms, super worms, roaches, or crickets are popular choices.
They can also eat pieces of fruits and veggies, hard boiled egg, cooked bits of chicken and cooked hamburg, chicken baby food, canned cat food, etc. as treats.
For their main diet I recommend these dry cat foods:
4Health, Indoor Health, 14% fat/32% protein
Diamond Naturals, Indoor Cat, 14% fat/32% protein
Goodlife, Indoor, 12.5% fat/31% protein
Natural Balance, Green Pea and Duck, 12% fat/30% protein
Natural Balance, Green Pea and Chicken, 12% fat 30% protein
There are more acceptable dry cat foods, be sure to check the ingredients and fat/protein percentages.
BRINGING BABY HOME
Handle your hedgies often. www.etsy.com, has adorable hedgie bags and scarfs to carry your baby around in. Confident handling with bare hands (NO GLOVES) is key to a friendly hedgehog.
You can bathe your hedgehog with aveeno baby wash (or other baby wash without fragrance).
Not too often! Hedgehogs are known for dry skin.
Nails will need to be clipped! I use small cat clippers from the dollar store.
If you don't like wheel cleaning (which needs to be done often!), www.etsy.com has fleece liners for Carolina storm and Kaytee comfort wheels.
I offer LIFETIME breeder support. I'm always here to answer any questions you may have. If you ever decide that you can no longer care for your hedgehog, I will ALWAYS take them back! :)