How To Keep Hedgehog Cages From Smelling

hedgehog in a cage with wood shavings as owner wonders How To Keep Hedgehog Cages From Smelling

Have you just gotten a pet hedgehog and wondering how to keep its cage scent as refreshing as possible? Well, smelly cages do not only pose problems for you and other members of the household but can also cause severe discomfort for the inhabitant animals.

This article focuses on how to keep hedgehog cages from smelling which can guarantee a comfortable atmosphere for every member of the household. Pleasant-smelling enclosures also protect hedgehogs from various health hazards including respiratory problems. Let’s get started.

How To Keep Hedgehog Cages From Smelling

Thorough cleaning, providing healthy diets, and occasional baths are good ways to keep hedgehog cages from smelling. Cleaning the hedgehog’s exercise wheels, making regular vet appointments, and litter training are additional methods to keep the cages free from terrible smells that can pollute the whole house.

Unlike other pets, hedgehogs do not come off with a naturally bad smell and many of us find their scents pleasant. This essentially means keeping their habitats odor-free is easy as long as you’re willing to practice the highest standards of sanitation.

How To Neutralize Bad Scents in Hedgehog Cages

If you’re serious about eliminating bad odors from the hedgehog’s cages, here are a few ways to get it done without making a fuss.

Clean the Hedgehog Cage

Hedgehogs are relatively neat animals but failure to clean their cages regularly can lead to awkward and unpleasant scents in your quill baby. Cleaning their cages routinely is critical to eliminating those negative odors.

We recommend spot cleaning daily to remove traces of poop and clumps of soaked bedding caused by their pee. Hedgehogs poop a lot and considerable amounts of feces are inevitable immediately after they wake up at night. Spot cleaning early in the morning when they’ve just returned to bed can help maintain pleasant scents in their cages.

If your hedgehog’s scent gets worse by the day, that is an indictment of your parental skills since it is proof of negligence. Take that as a cue to improve the number of times and how deep you clean.

Change The Bedding

A hedgehog’s cage bedding needs to be washed and changed more regularly than most pets. We recommend replacements every 3 days to minimize the buildup of bad odors that can take over the entire cage and surrounding areas of the house.

Odor-neutralizing options like paper-based bedding could be great for lining up the hedgehog’s cage. Pine pellets are also highly recommended due to their odor absorption and reduction properties. But, sawdust and other dusty cage liners should be promptly avoided. (Source)

Regular Baths

hedgehog being bathed

Hedgehogs enjoy regular baths because it provides amazing therapeutic properties. Besides, bathing helps eliminate traces of poop from their bodies which is one of the main sources of odors.

Hedgehogs also typically step on feces during workouts on their exercise wheels since they become uncontrollable poop bags during running. Bathing provides an opportunity to remove all the stuck poop and other unsavory substances they may have been physically exposed to.

However, avoid bathing them more than once or twice a month to prevent their sensitive skins from flaking and drying up. We recommend using mild soaps like oatmeal washes and baby soap for maximum results because of the limited exposure to potentially harsh chemicals.

Clean Their Exercise Wheels

Hedgehogs love running on their exercise wheels and spend a good chunk of their wake times on them. Unfortunately, running stimulates pooping and peeing which can turn the wheels into smelly poopbags that need to be cleaned consistently.

We recommend washing the wheels daily to enhance the hedgehog’s cleanliness and offer protection against the terrible smells. Many hedgehog owners invest in 2 wheels so there’ll always be a fresh one available for running when the other one is taken out of the cage for cleaning.

Provide Healthy Diets

Bad scents are common in hedgehogs fed unbalanced food, especially fish oil, seafood, or fat-based diets. Apart from their “fishy” smelling bodies, failure to provide the right diets can result in terrible smelling poop which may take over the whole cage.

If your hedgehogs are still smelly after doing every other thing right in terms of cage cleaning and hygiene maintenance, it is time to pay attention to their diet. Switching to non-seafood diets often leads to quick improvements in their body scent.

Regular Vet Appointments

redhaired female vet playing with a hedgehog

Hedgehogs may smell terribly when saddled with infections or diseases. This is common in those raised in clean environments with regular access to healthy food and water. Diseases and infections could eliminate their natural scents and replace them with a repulsive smell that can discourage you from making as much physical contact as in the past.

A quick appointment with the vet could help diagnose the underlying illness for the right treatments to be prescribed. The hedgehog often rediscovers its former scent once the health problem is successfully treated.

Litter Training

Unlike many caged animals, litter training is not only possible in hedgehogs but the chances of success can be greater. We recommend litter training when they’re only a few weeks old because it could be relatively harder to get them to change old habits in adulthood.

Litter training ensures that they only pee and poop in designated corner of the cage when nature calls. Litter trays can come in handy for that purpose and it typically involves choosing a specific area of the cage for placement.

The litter tray should be filled with pine pellets or another bedding type with maximum odor absorbing properties. Once the hedgehog learns to pee and poop on the litter tray only, cage cleaning can be as easy as replacing the litter tray daily and removing leftover food particles.

Step By Step Process for Litter Training Hedgehogs

Litter training is critical to warding off bad smells from the hedgehog’s cage and ensuring minimal exposure to pee and poop. Here’s the step-by-step process.

Choose Litter Tray or Box

litter box can help eliminate bad odors from hedgehog cage

The first step to litter training is to choose a litter tray or box. Plastic trays or pans work best due to their tendency for holding litter and absorbing not only odors but bacteria as well. They’re also inexpensive and easy to clean compared to the other options.

Choose Paper Litter

Pine pellets are the best in our opinion but pet-safe paper litter may serve as a good alternative for litter training hedgehogs. Both are dust-free with minimal risk of infections when exposed to your hedgehogs.

Section off Your Preferred Corner of the Cage

Sectioning off a specific corner of the cage for placement of the litter box or tray can be a smart idea. It should be as far away from their food and water bowls as possible.

The spot just under the exercise wheel is recommended for placement of the litter tray because it helps hedgehogs catch the drift of where to ease themselves when nature calls.

Train Your Hedgehog With Scents

Scents can be a powerful method for training hedgehogs on where to pee and poop when they feel the urge. Firstly, move the urine and poop-soaked bedding to the litter tray and allow the strong scents to linger in the cage for a couple of days.

This could point the hedgehog’s mind to the litter tray as the designated bathroom area especially when you keep moving all traces of pee and poop into the tray. Over time, hedgehogs will automatically move to the tray to ease themselves whenever there’s an urge.

Bad Practices For Eliminating Odors From Hedgehog Cages

Your hedgehog may be smelling bad but it is critical not to compromise their health in the bid to eliminate the odors. Here are a few bad practices to avoid.

Sprays and Chemical Scents

air freshener being sprayed into the air

Trying to mask scents emanating from the hedgehog’s body or cage with sprays and chemicals like scented candles can be counterproductive in many ways. These scents may cause breathing difficulties and increased stress levels.

Opening Windows

When the smell in the cage environment gets so bad, you might be tempted to open the windows to promote aeration.

However, this can be a bad move, especially during winter because allowing cold air into the hedgehog’s cage can lower the prevailing temperatures resulting in an increased risk of hypothermia and death.

How Do You Mask a Hedgehog Smell?

Cleaning your hedgehog’s cage with vinegar can mask most smells including rotten food, pee, and poop. However, rinse the cage thoroughly with water several times after cleaning to eliminate traces of the vinegar because you do not want your hedgehogs to make physical contact with it.

What Soap is Safe For Hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs can be safely bathed with unscented hand wash, Aveeno Baby Wash, or Aveeno Oatmeal Wash. It is critical to ensure that only mild soaps are used to prevent side effects like dry and flaky skin.

Conclusion: How To Keep Hedgehog Cages From Smelling

Regular cleaning of the cage, changing of the cage lining or bedding and routine bathing of your hedgehog can neutralize bad odors from its habitat. Litter training, providing balanced diets, and cleaning their exercise wheels daily may also guarantee pleasant-smelling hedgehogs at every point.

Following these tips above can ensure that the hedgehog’s cage stays odor-free with additional benefits like protection from bacterial and fungal infections.

How To Keep Hedgehog Cages From Smelling: We reveal the tried and tested techniques that can keep hedgehog cages smelling pleasantly.

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