Hedgehogs tend to burrow when searching for heat, especially during the cold seasons. This ability is an innate survival tactic to help them live through harsh winters even without hibernation. However, if it gets too cold for your hedgehog, they are likely to slip into false hibernation, a process from which some never recover.
So, can I put a blanket over my hedgehog’s cage? You can have a blanket cover over a hedgehogs cage if it gets too cold. A thick blanket will make their cage cozy and insulate it to prevent heat loss to the environment. Similarly, a blanket over the enclosure will block light to create darkness where the hedgehogs will feel safe. The blanket should only be applied at night to ensure natural light can still get into the cage during the daytime as to not upset the hedgehog’s nocturnal body clock.
Whilst hedgehogs are nocturnal and come out at night to exercise and feed, having a blanket cover during this time doesn’t cause any problems. Removing the blanket during the daylight will help maintain the hedgehogs internal body clock, as keeping their cage dark all the time could become confusing.
This article will enlighten you on how you can protect your hedgehogs from excess cold. We will also uncover how and why to use a blanket cover and how to keep their cages insulated. Read on as we give you these and more details.
Can You Cover a Hedgehog’s Cage?
As an experienced or first-time hedgehog keeper, you know the essence of your pet’s proper care and maintenance. First, you need to ensure that your buddies’ enclosure is at the right temperature. This way, they have the best environment to grow and reproduce.
So, can you cover a hedgehog’s cage? Covering your hedgehog’s cage is a practical and workable idea, and there are materials, such as blankets, that you can use. Provided that the material is thick enough, you are confident that it will keep the enclosure warm and dark for your animals. If the cage is small, you only need one blanket, but otherwise, you can consider adding more to cover all the sides.
Hedgehogs naturally prefer living in dark habitats due to security matters. When they live in the open, they feel vulnerable to predatory attacks; therefore, they opt to stay out of sight. It also helps that the creatures are nocturnal; thus, they can remain awake and active during the night.
Hedgehogs are also light-sensitive. They can recognize it when a light streak enters their cage. Therefore, by covering up their cages using a thick blanket but still leaving gaps, you can help them distinguish night from day.
Apart from obstructing excess light, the thick blanket also helps in keeping your pets warm. If your heat source is faulty or unreliable, the best alternative is a thick cover. The blanket will retain heat within the tank, and the hedgehog will remain warm during the cold weather. By trying to keep your pets warm during harsh winters, you will succeed in preventing them from slipping into forced hibernation.
When this happens, there are chances of your pet not recovering from the state. You can use a thermometer to register temperature changes and take the necessary action. The blanket cover will also help in protecting the hedgehogs from other pets in the room. If your pet is timid, you need to help them avoid the stress obtained from having more giant animals in their vicinity.
However, you may wonder, are there downsides to using a blanket to cover a hedgehog’s cage? Although there are advantages of covering their tanks with a thick blanket, it is advisable not to do it all the time since it may severely affect your pet. For one, if the cage is always dark, you will ruin your pet’s sleep routine. It is easy for the hedgehogs to associate the darkness with nightfall, and as a result, they will continue being active, given that they are nocturnal creatures. The pet will then stay busy and sleepless, a state which is detrimental to their health.
How Do You Insulate a Hedgehog Cage?
A warm cage is imperative for the hedgehog’s body metabolism and general health. If the temperatures drop below 70°F, they may hibernate, which is a risky process for hedgehogs in captivity. Thus, even before you consider adopting one, you need to think about how you will provide a means of insulation and temperature control.
So, how do you insulate a hedgehog’s cage? You can insulate a hedgehog’s cage by placing a warm thick blanket inside the cage and pin them on the cage’s walls using glue or pins. You can also insulate the enclosure by providing fabrics that don’t release heat into the environment but retain it to warm the hedgehog.
Besides fabric liners, one may also use cardboards, hay, and stone pads to help during the winter. Fabric liners are the best bedding materials since, unlike paper, they can withstand water spillage; therefore, you don’t need to worry about your hedge getting wet in the process.
Another natural alternative is hay and grass, which are viable options since most wild animals use them as beddings and nesting materials. Similarly, you can insulate your pet using a layer of thick fabrics on the cage’s floor. A fleece lining is one way to conserve the tank’s heat, and if the enclosure is lying on the floor, a thick Styrofoam will suffice. Always remember that the better the bedding material, the drier the cage will be.
Best Ways To Keep Your Hedgehog Warm
There are other ways to keep your hedgie warm other than through heating the room. Some methods are better to use, especially since the summers are generally hot. During this season, the temperatures are high; therefore, you don’t need extra heat in the house or the pet’s cage. However, there may be temperature fluctuations during the day, and this is where the thermometer comes in handy. It will help you monitor any temperature changes to help you take necessary action.
First, you can use a central heating method. It is an effective thermostat regulated insulation mechanism but is quite expensive unless you use it sparingly. We also have a space heater, which helps heat rooms such as pet enclosures.
Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, so it would be best to consider the wattage you will use, the cage’s size and whether you will comfortably shoulder the expenses.
When it comes to the bedding choice, you need to consider the quality and effectiveness. The best option is one that serves as an insulator and absorbs any wetness in the cage. Some keepers prefer using fabric liners and not the conventional newspapers or straws, which need regular replacing.
Lastly, you can acquire a heating pad to help warm your pets in the cage. However, it would be best to be careful in your purchasing since there are so many counterfeits in the market. The wise thing to do is get expert help to find the best heat pad for your pet; the best people to ask are expert breeders and vets. Otherwise, you may buy faulty equipment that may be hazardous to your pet.
Covering the cage helps the hedgie feel safe in the darkness. It also acts as a means of insulating the cage to conserve the heat required by the hedgehog. The best insulation materials are fabrics, wood, or plastics that don’t allow heat to escape from the cage. The act is beneficial, but there are some downsides.
Continued use of a thick covering may cause the hedgie to lose a sense of day and night, impacting the animal’s behavior. The creatures are nocturnal; hence, they get active during the night. Therefore, if they stay for a long time in darkness, believing it is still time to remain active, it will interfere with their sleep patterns. Not getting enough sleep will have severe consequences on your pet’s health.