I found that adopting a hedgehog comes with the need to house my pet safely and comfortably. While a cage is recommended for a hedgehog, it is normal to consider letting it roam in the house like other household pets. I decided to find out whether hedgehogs can freely roam in the house or not, to understand if it was a matter of concern that required my attention.
So, can hedgehogs free roam the house? Hedgehogs can roam freely in the house, but this is acceptable if your house is hedgehog-proof. This way, your pet will not get lost or injured while roaming. Allowing your hedgehog to roam in the house freely is beneficial since hedgehogs are prone to obesity.
I quickly found with my hedgehog, Hynee that when he was cageless, that is not in his cage, he was more likely to be active than when he was in his cage and he seemed to express his personality more, enabling me to understand him better.
If you want to know how to handle your hedgehog outside its cage, this is the guide for you. We will help you know where a hedgehog would hide in your house, how to hedgehog proof a room, and how far a hedgehog can run in one night. Read through for all the must-know info.
Hedgehogs are solitary yet explorative pets; therefore, given the freedom to roam, a hedgehog will find a hiding spot and stay there, not caring if you are searching for it. When this happens, do not panic as your hedgehog may not go very far but instead hide in its favorite spots, making it easier for you to trace it.
Your hedgehog will hide in the warm and dark places in your house. This includes spaces behind appliances and refrigerators, couches, cabinets, bookcases, dressers, and other storage units. Your pet may also squeeze through holes in your walls or the drains in your home. If you have sleeping bags lying around, they may attract your pet, and they will hide in them.
Hedgehogs may also go outside to search for insects, and you will likely find them along your home’s outside wall. Depending on whether the door was open or closed by the time your pet went out of sight, you may need to search for your pet in one room or the whole compound.
Since hedgehogs are nocturnal, the best time to find your hiding pet would be at night when they are active. You can use a flashlight to search for them and explore the area on your knees and hands. While searching for your hedgehog, avoid moving your heavy furniture, as your pet could hide behind them, causing you to smash it.
If you cannot find your pet after a few hours of searching, you should check your house temperatures to ensure they are suitable for your pet in their hiding spot. Increasing the temperatures ensures your pet’s survival before you find it by preventing attempted hibernation, which can cause your pet to waste and die.
You can also try luring your pet from its hiding space by placing a mat and sprinkling it with its favorite treat. This way, you will hear your pet’s movement when it comes out to eat the food. You can also add some floor on the newspaper around the food to trace your pet’s footsteps.
How Do You Hedgehog Proof a Room?
Due to their small size, hedgehogs can squeeze through small spaces and get lost or injure themselves. Thus, if you consider a free-roaming hedgehog, you should hedgehog proof the room to ensure its safety.
To hedgehog proof a room, start by choosing one with fewer doors, gaps, cracks, or areas that your hedgehog can squeeze through or hide. If there are existing gaps, you can fill them up with socks or pieces of clothes.
Secondly, check the room to ensure that there are no hazards, dangerous substances, or chemicals that could harm your pet if ingested. These include loosely hanging wires and food substances on the floor, or anything unfriendly to your pet.
Due to their small size, hedgehogs are much more sensitive, and ingesting small amounts of dangerous chemicals can be fatal. You should also avoid using chemicals to clean the floor or carpet where your hedgehog spends most of its time. This is because hedgehogs are sensitive to smell and may lick or chew on these substances to anoint themselves.
If you still doubt the safety of your pet, you can use a playpen to restrain your pet in one area during play. The room you place this piece should have ideal temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and free from draught. Its floor should also be warm to prevent attempted hibernation. Finally, the rooms should be easy to clean because hedgehogs can be messy when anointing or playing.
How Far Can a Hedgehog Run in One Night?
In the wild, hedgehogs run long distances to stay fit. You can ensure a healthy hedgehog by constructing a sizeable enclosure and installing a wheel for exercise in captivity.
According to informal surveys, a hedgehog can run between three and twenty miles per night since they are nocturnal pets. To track the distance your pet covers, you can install an odometer on its wheel.
Being a quadrupedal mammal, its walking pace stride is up to 1.25 times the acetabular distance, the length from its hip to shoulder. The acetabular distance varies between 5cm and 10cm. Dividing the total distance your hedgehog covers in a night by their stride length gives you the number of footsteps per night.
In captivity, running prevents obesity, which is common in hedgehogs. The wheel should be solid to prevent injury to your pet’s feet. Ideally, it should have a diameter of between eleven to twelve inches.
As a hedgehog owner, you can allow your pet to roam freely in the house, but this should be under supervision. This is because hedgehogs can squeeze through small spaces and get lost or hide. If your pet hides, you can find it by locating it in its favorite hide spots, such as behind appliances and cabinets. If you cannot locate your pet after a few hours of searching, you should adjust your house temperatures to prevent it from attempting hibernation.
Hedgehog proofing your house when playing with your hedgehogs is necessary to prevent loss. To do this, cover all the cracks and spaces in the room your pet can squeeze through. You should also ensure no hazards in the form of loosely hanging cables, chemicals, or substances, which if ingested, could harm your pet.
Finally, hedgehogs are nocturnal; hence, active at night. To ensure your pet remains in shape in captivity, you should provide a wheel for exercise. Installing an odometer will enable you to know how much distance your pet covers, which could be up to 20 miles per night.