Do Hedgehogs Need Bedding? [What You Must Know]


Hedgehogs are curious little creatures with a penchant for exploration. They’ve been steadily climbing the charts as popular pets, bringing joy and a touch of wild wonder into many homes.

But with great cuteness comes great responsibility, and one of the most critical aspects of caring for your spiky friend is providing the right environment.

Understanding your hedgehog’s needs, from bedding to toys to temperature, is crucial for their comfort and health.

People often wonder, “Do hedgehogs need bedding?” or “What should I have in my hedgehog cage?

The answer is a resounding yes! Bedding is more than just a soft place for them to lay; it’s a vital part of their habitat.

Quick Answer

Do hedgehogs need bedding? Absolutely! Bedding is essential for hedgehogs, not just for their comfort but also for their health. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Type of Bedding: Hedgehogs need soft, absorbent bedding. Paper-based bedding is often recommended, as it’s gentle on their delicate feet.
  • Amount: How much bedding does a hedgehog need? Enough to cover the cage floor with a thickness of 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm).
  • Maintenance: Regular cleaning and changing of the bedding are vital to prevent odors and maintain hygiene.
  • Avoid Certain Materials: Cedar and some pine shavings can be harmful, so make sure to choose materials that are safe for your hedgehog.

Detailed Guide to Hedgehog Bedding

1. Why Bedding is Essential for Hedgehogs

Bedding is more than just a soft surface for your hedgehog to snooze on. It helps absorb waste, reduce odors, and provide enrichment as they love to burrow.

2. Types of Bedding for Hedgehogs

  • Paper-based Bedding: Soft, absorbent, and widely recommended.
  • Fabric Bedding: Washable and reusable, great for those looking to be eco-friendly.
  • Wood Shavings: Avoid Cedar, but some aspen shavings are acceptable.

What kind of bedding does a hedgehog need? The key is choosing bedding free of harmful chemicals and irritants. It should also be soft enough to prevent injury to your hedgehog’s feet.

3. How to Choose the Right Bedding

Look for bedding that’s:

  • Soft: To protect their sensitive feet.
  • Absorbent: To soak up waste and minimize odors.
  • Free of Dust: To prevent respiratory issues.

4. How Often to Change Hedgehog Bedding

Regular maintenance is essential. It is usually recommended to change the bedding every 3-7 days or whenever it looks soiled.

5. Alternatives and What to Avoid

Feel free to experiment with safe alternatives, but always avoid materials that can cause harm, such as certain wood shavings and those with added fragrances.

6. Additional Tips for Bedding Maintenance

  • Spot Clean Regularly: To keep the cage fresh.
  • Wash Fabric Bedding in Unscented Detergent: If you choose fabric options.

Common Myths and Misconceptions

Hedgehogs are relatively new to the pet world, and a whirlwind of information (and misinformation) is floating around. Let’s break down some of the most common myths related to hedgehog bedding:

  1. Myth: Any Wood Shavings Will Do
    • Fact: Cedar and some pine shavings can be harmful. Choose materials like aspen shavings that are safe for your hedgehog.
  2. Myth: Bedding Isn’t That Important
    • Fact: Quality bedding is essential for hedgehogs’ comfort and well-being, vital in hygiene and their natural burrowing behavior.
  3. Myth: More Bedding is Always Better
    • Fact: While a generous amount of bedding is good, overstuffing the cage might make cleaning and observing your hedgehog more difficult.
  4. Myth: Hedgehogs Only Need Bedding for Sleeping
    • Fact: Bedding also serves as a play area and a space for natural burrowing and exploring activities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: What kind of bedding does a hedgehog need?

A: Paper-based bedding is most commonly recommended. It’s soft, absorbent, and gentle on hedgehogs’ feet. Fabric bedding and aspen shavings are also suitable options, but avoid cedar and certain pine shavings.

Q2: Should hedgehogs have bedding?

A: Absolutely! Bedding is essential for comfort, hygiene, and enabling natural behaviors like burrowing.

Q3: How much bedding does a hedgehog need?

A: Enough to cover the cage floor with a thickness of 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) is usually sufficient.

Q4: What should I have in my hedgehog cage besides bedding?

A: Your hedgehog’s habitat should include a shelter, food and water dishes, toys, and an exercise wheel. Learn more about hedgehog exercise needs at Does Hedgehogs Need Wheel?.

Q5: Can I use regular laundry detergent to wash fabric bedding?

A: Yes, but opt for an unscented or hypoallergenic detergent to avoid irritating your hedgehog’s skin.


Selecting and maintaining the right bedding for your hedgehog is a crucial aspect of their care. From ensuring comfort to promoting hygiene, the bedding you choose is vital to your hedgehog’s overall well-being.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • Choose the Right Material: Opt for soft, absorbent bedding like paper-based products, fabric bedding, or safe wood shavings.
  • Avoid Harmful Substances: Steer clear of cedar, some pine shavings, and scented materials.
  • Maintain Properly: Regular cleaning and replacement will keep your hedgehog’s habitat fresh and healthy.
  • Mind the Myths: Don’t fall for common misconceptions. Bedding isn’t just about sleep; it’s a multifaceted aspect of care.

Remember, a happy hedgehog starts with a comfortable home. So whether you’re a seasoned hedgehog owner or just beginning your journey, understanding the importance of bedding will make all the difference in your prickly friend’s life.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top