Hedgehog climbing

Hedgehog climbing DEFAULT

Hedgehog is a small spiny mammal that might look dangerous but isn’t. It is a friendly and warm living thing that curls up and uses its spiny and prickly body to deter most of its predators. Other than this, hedgehogs are harmless.

A lot of hedgehog owners question, how a hedgehog reaches the top of a hedge or a wall, can they climb?

Yes, hedgehogs can climb high walls and hedges. In fact, they are adept climbers. With their heavy round bodies and short legs, they can reach things lying at a height. Climbing up isn’t an issue for them but climbing down is because of their body weight and small size.

Many consider them as useful pets because they prey on the garden pests like snails, centipedes, worms, insects, snakes, mice, etc that can harm your garden plants. 

The name Hedgehog is given to this creature for a reason. This small animal roots through hedges and shrubs in search of food which comprises various insects, frogs, snails, etc. They are famous for their peculiar foraging methods.

As the hedgehog roams around in the hedges picking the food for itself, it takes out pig-like grunts, hence the name Hedgehog.



Can Hedgehogs climb all kinds of fences?

Hedgehogs can be your garden saviors. Welcoming them in your garden can be highly beneficial for you. They look for their own food, but all they want is a shelter to keep them safe and a large area for them to roam around. If you wish to befriend a Hedgehog, make sure you have a hedgehog friendly fence put up in your garden.

Not all garden fences allow Hedgehogs a clear and easy pass. Hedgehogs have a habit of roaming around in the night in search of food. They can move around for good 1 to 2 miles in the entire night. The things that can restrict their food search movement are fences and walls that act as complicated obstacles to climb.

The main feed of hedgehogs comes from the gardens. Gardens serve as the safest place for food, shelter and save them from being run over by cars or being eaten up by the foxes.

Hedgehogs have a unique habit of foraging many gardens in one night. They eat all those insects that have entered your garden to destroy it by consuming your flowers, vegetables, plants, etc.

In an ideal situation, Hedgehogs love to forage from one garden to the other consuming snails and slugs. Fences can block their usual activity and make them deviate some considerable distance from their main path. This blockage might land them on the road and get them killed by a car or a predator lurking around.

For Hedgehogs to visit your garden, you need a fence made of log piles, dry stones or even planks, but all should have tailor-made gaps that allow Hedgehogs to pass through and enter and exit your garden. The gaps in the fence also let many other creatures (mostly the ones on Hedgehog’s menu) inside your garden.

If you have a wooden/ concrete fence in your garden and don’t see hedgehogs visit you often, then don’t worry, there is a solution to this.


Hedgehog friendly fence

At the bottom end of the fence, cut out a hole that is 15cm in diameter. Now dig a channel underneath the panel of the fence or a wall, in this channel put a drainage pipe or a brick that forms a tunnel which would serve as an ideal passage for wildlife to come and grace your garden’s beauty.

This type of passage can also be used to link your garden to your neighbor’s to encourage and safeguard the decreasing population of the Hedgehogs.

Here is a video showing hedgehogs friendly fence.


Can Hedgehogs climb out of the cages?

Hedgehogs can climb out of the cages but only if there are plastic panels and not wired ones. The cages with wire can make climbing difficult for the Hedgehogs and can also injure them. Their little feet can get caught in the metal wires and make climbing and walking inside the cage extremely difficult.

Here is a video showing a pet hedgehog trying to climb out of a wired cage that makes it super difficult for this cute little pet.


The kind of cage pet hedgehogs cannot climb

Choosing just the right cage for your pet Hedgehog can be a daunting task. For a Hedgehog you need a cage that keeps it safe and also gives it the freedom to roam around and have adequate space to itself. Climbing inside the cage can be quite painful for a hedgehog.

They can tangle their small feet within the gaps of the cages and injure themselves. To keep them safe, you need cages they cannot climb. The environment and the home taking care of the Hedgehog are the keys that determine the longevity, health, and quality of life of your pet.

Hedgehogs can make adorable pets but they are better off when left in the wild. When Hedgehogs get plenty of space and room for themselves, they are much healthier and happier as they get to explore and exercise.

If you are convinced to keep a hedgehog in a cage, the cage should be at least four square feet or 24” x 24” big. There should be enough room in the cage for a sleeping bag, eating area, wheel, and a litter box. This cage should be very well ventilated and should be easy to clean. Additionally, there should be space to accommodate a heat source if required.

Let us know more about the cages suitable for your pet Hedgehog:-

• Pans

For a Hedgehog being kept as a pet, you need pans that are deeper than six inches. Shallow pans are not preferred. The deep pans have many advantages, first, they have bedding within the cage and secondly, Hedgehogs cannot climb this kind of a cage and hurt themselves.

There are two kinds of pans, one is made up of metal and the other one is made up of plastic. The plastic one is any day better than the metal one as it is cleaner and would stay intact for a longer period of time, whereas a metal one might rust. Also, wire floors are not recommended for Hedgehogs because of their small feet.


How can you help Hedgehogs thrive?

A tidy, well-mowed garden can recoil Hedgehogs. For Hedgehogs to flourish and increase their population, you would need to keep your garden untidy. You would have to leave your grass long and piles of grass lying all here and there.

This will provide a conducive environment and habitat for a variety of species. If you are too fussy about an untidy garden then leave a portion of your garden with long grass and with paths cut into it so as to give it a more Hedgehog friendly look.

Make a well-positioned pond that is not too deep for a Hedgehog. Provide a ramp for an easy escape, in case it mistakenly falls into the pond.



The decreasing population of Hedgehogs isn’t a surprise for many. Hedgehogs love to hang around in the hedges and seek their prey. However, this activity is effectively barred from many potential hunting grounds by fences and walls.

The sad state of Hedgehogs now is that they are dying out of hunger. Even if you allow hedgehogs in your garden, your task doesn’t end there. You have to make efforts to encourage these very valuable pest controllers to take up residence in your garden.


Related Questions

Do hedgehogs like to climb?

Climbing is just a compulsion for Hedgehogs. They will only climb if it’s a necessity. To reach gardens they have no choice but to climb fences and walls. Even though climbing is not Hedgehog’s hobby, it is quite skilled at climbing. Once it climbs, the descend is in itself a task. Their body mass is not proportioned to climb or descend from a height.


Can Hedgehog cages have multi-levels?

Multi-level cages are not recommended for Hedgehogs. Though multilevel cages are a good idea, as they provide ample space to move around; but due to Hedgehog’s poor eyesight, they might just bang into the cage walls often.

If you have a multilevel cage for your Hedgehog, make sure that the ramps are enclosed with large PVC pipes, coroplast, wire, etc.


Can Hedgehogs climb trees?

Hedgehogs can climb trees but you won’t find them on trees often. You might see them digging burrows near the trunk of the trees for the purpose of hibernation. Even though they are primarily terrestrial, they can swim and climb quite adroitly.

To come down they simply fall and do not attempt to climb down. They use their spine quite effectively during the fall to cushion the shock caused by landing on the hard ground.


Can Hedgehogs climb ramps?

Hedgehogs can climb ramps but it can be quite dangerous for them because of their round body, tiny feet, and body weight. They can tumble down the ramp while climbing, hence extra precautions should be taken when using ramps in cages by securing them with PVC pipes, wires, etc.


Can Hedgehogs Swim?

Cute and Funny Hedgehog Names

What Does Hedgehog Poop Look Like?

Sours: https://animalhype.com/mammals/can-hedgehogs-climb/

Some surprising facts about hedgehogs

For a familiar sort of wild animal, hedgehogs are full of surprises. In the past few months, I've found a lot of things out about them. One is the popular belief that the first thing you should do if you see a hedgehog is weigh it. A hedgehog that weighs under 600g – which will usually be one that has been born late, in June or July – might not survive the winter, and needs to be rehabilitated before being released back into the wild.

Sadly, when I saw a hedgehog sitting companionably in my garden with my cat Ralph last summer, I didn't weigh it. Instead, I tried to make friends with it. Weighing just isn't the first thing on my mind when I see a wild animal. I don't spot, say, a skinny muntjac deer and think, "RIGHT! Time to get the scales out." What I tend to think is, "Maybe this one won't be like all the others and, instead of running away, will come and live permanently in my garden and let me call it Ron or Clive."

My particular method of attempting to befriend this hedgehog was to head inside and fetch it a saucer of milk. By the time I'd returned, however, it had gone. And a good job too, since – as I soon found out – hedgehogs are dangerously lactose intolerant. It turns out that "It's good to feed hedgehogs milk" is one of those misguided bits of folk wisdom I was told as a child in the 1980s, along with "Cats on the continent prefer to be stroked backwards" and "Girls like you more if you use hair gel". Milk could in fact be considered one of hedgehogs' main enemies, alongside slug pellets, badgers and cars.

I was intrigued by the hedgehog's relationship with Ralph who, if I'm honest, has been a bit bereft since 2002 when his soulmate and brother, Brewer, was run over and killed outside my house. Ralph, kind of like Waiting for the Sun-era Jim Morrison, is a paradoxical combination of beauty and questionable personal hygiene. He's the kind of cat who, were he left outside to fend for himself, would probably be followed everywhere by a squad of opportunistic flies, in much the same way that seagulls follow ships. I wondered if, in the form of the hedgehog, he'd finally found a companion who could love him not just for his majestic tabby sideburns and tail but for the collection of leeches, slugs, tics and other random crap he often gets stuck to them. I felt bad about the possibility that I might have frightened it off, and this led me to want to find out more about hedgehogs.

Here are a couple of other surprising things I found out about hedgehogs: it's illegal to drive them through the state of Pennsylvania, and David Bellamy sometimes eats them, often accompanied by herbs. I learned the latter in the section about hedgehogs as roadkill delicacy in Hugh Warwick's definitive hedgehog memoir-cum-bible, A Prickly Affair. Warwick also taught me that hedgehogs have been known to scale walls and turn up in people's first-floor bedrooms. Julie, a friend of a friend in Suffolk who can be found fostering a dozen hedgehogs at any one time, also told me that they can travel up to 12 miles in one night. Warwick puts it at more like 4km. Whatever the case, they move more swiftly than a lot of us give them credit for.

Last month I visited Shepreth Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire, which hosts East Anglia's biggest hedgehog hospital. With her hardworking hedgehog team, curator Rebecca Willers is researching better ways to care for and understand hedgehogs, including looking at the possibility of fitting hedgehogs with GPS tracking systems. Underweight or injured hogs – one, tragically, had been the victim of a garden strimmer – are usually brought to Shepreth by thoughtful members of the public. "One hedgehog arrived here alone in a taxi," Rebecca told me. "The driver said the fare was already covered. It had come 40 miles, all the way from Watford."

Hedgehog carers such as Rebecca and Julie are adamant that people should not attempt to turn wild hedgehogs into pets. Julie's daughter, Jessica – who got the idea for looking after hedgehogs after overhearing a conversation in a local pet shop involving a lady who said she had "a load of poorly birds and hedgehogs flying and running around her front room" – loves looking after the hogs but, when they've recovered and reached a healthy weight, they go back into the wild. The one exception is George, the hedgehog who lives in Julie's garden. George could go elsewhere if he liked, but seems to prefer to stick around.

Julie and Jessica told me they named George after a local vet who is particularly sympathetic to the hedgehog cause (not all vets are, sadly). I immediately knew who they were referring to, as he is also the vet whose quick-thinking kindness saved my cat Shipley's life in 2011, and who got very confused when, last year, I called "GeeeORGE" at him in a soppy voice. I didn't actually know he was called George at the time, my girlfriend and I were simply trying out potential names for a feral cat we'd caught and brought in to be neutered. In the circumstances, I think the vet responded very politely to my overfamiliarity.

When I head out into Julie's garden with her brother-in-law, Phil, George the hedgehog is nowhere to be seen. There is a creature in one of the small, doorless wooden hutches where George likes to sleep, but it's definitely not him. It's bigger than any hedgehog I've ever seen, hasn't got spines, and is, it transpires, to all intents and purposes, dead.

Phil's reaction to this surprises me, largely due to the fact it doesn't involve him screaming: "Sodding hell! What the buggery is that? I'm calling a top local zoologist this instant." I ask him if they often get rats that big in their garden. "Oh, yeah," he replies, calmly poking it with a gloved hand to confirm its crusty deceasedness. "They're often a lot bigger than that."

Thankfully, we find George in his other favourite hutch, curled up safely for the winter. I look at him and say "Aah" and he stirs slightly but, in the end, there's not a lot else to do. He's a hedgehog, and, for all the quirks of his species, in this somnolent state he looks a lot like other hedgehogs. We head back indoors and leave him to what appears to be a blissful sleep, safely away from Pennsylvania, main roads, David Bellamy, and the kind of fool who might feed him milk or try to cajole him into a lasting friendship with a large, unkempt, emotional cat.

Find out more about hedgehogs on the British Hedgehog Preservation Society website.

Read more animal stories in Tom Cox's latest book, Talk to the Tail. Follow him on Twitter @cox_tom.

This article was amended on 4 January 2013. We originally stated that milk was a chief reason for the falling numbers of hedgehogs in Britain.

Sours: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/jan/04/surprising-facts-hedghogs
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Climbing, Agility, and Grace

May 27, 2013 byMillermeade Farms

Climbing, Agility, and Grace
  • Hedgehogs will attempt to climb and are often quite adept at climbing. However, once they are up, they cannot easily climb down.
  • Their body mass is not proportioned for climbing. For example, squirrels, monkeys, and other animals that climb tend to have long, narrow bodies, rather than short, round bodies like hedgehogs.
  • Hedgehog limbs do not have the strength to support their round body mass when climbing, so gravity naturally works against them.
  • Imagine a sumo wrestler mountain climbing. His weight would be out of proportion, making his climb both difficult and potentially dangerous.
  • Hedgehogs have four feet instead of hands and feet like other animals that climb. Hedgehogs simply don’t have the strength in their front feet to grasp and hold on, as do animals with  hands.

Agility and Grace

  • Animals considered agile move quickly and lightly. Again, the shape of the hedgehog’s body keeps it from climbing with the agility that it needs to be safe.
  • Hedgehogs, therefore, cannot be considered light-footed; rather, their attempts to climb are awkward and clumsy.
  • While hedgehogs have the ability to climb, they do not have the ability to jump from one level or point to another.
  • Hedgehogs will not see a spot in the distance and attempt to jump, since they lack the ability to jump. They might simply walk off of your hands, a table, or a bed, but they will not “jump” off.
  • Ladders, branches, and perches in hedgehog cages are dangerous for these ground-dwelling creatures, due to their lack of agility and grace.

The Descent

  • As described earlier, hedgehog paws are designed for walking, similar to our feet, and are not built for grasping or holding on to things like our hands can.  Therefore, hedgehogs do not climb down. Instead, they simply fall from any elevated surface they have climbed to.
  • Hedgehogs have little depth perception, so they can walk off of heights.
  • Hedgehogs will typically roll into a ball when falling from any height.
  • Their spines absorb much of the shock from the fall, and using the tuck-and-roll technique, most hedgehogs will escape a fall without injury.

Preventing Injury and Escape

  • Hedgehogs do get hurt. Kids jump off of swings  frequently without any problems, but it only takes one wrong move to break an arm or worse. Hedgehogs may fall a number of times without doing damage, but it takes only a second for an injury to occur.
  • If they fall too far, their spines can injure them internally.
  • Hedgehogs that climb bars of their cages may get a foot or a leg stuck in the wires of the cage. This can cause serious injury including broken bones.
  • To prevent climbing injuries, breeders suggest a deep plastic pan or other type of cage bottom that will keep the hedgehog from attempting to climb.
  • Hedgehogs will often use cage accessories to boost themselves up the side of the cage, so you may need to move accessories toward the center of the cage.
  • Lexan, plexiglass, heavy vinyl (from a fabric store), or Coroplast can be cut to line the insides of wire cages, should your hedgehog decide to take up climbing on a regular basis.
  • Cardboard can be cut to fit along the insides of a cage in an emergency or as a temporary solution to prevent climbing.
  • Breeders also suggest a cage with a secure lid and a side-door lock to prevent escape.
  • Even large plastic tubs are not escape-proof. Low ventilation holes or interior cage attachments, such as a water bottle or the accessories described above, can give your hedgehog just enough of a boost to climb up and out of the tub.

Primary Author: Gail Miller, Millermeade Farm’s Critter Connection



Sours: http://blog.critterconnection.cc/climbing-agility-and-grace/
Hedgehog sniffs food on stairs, and climbs there to get it

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Hedgehogs are small, cute animals commonly kept as pets around the globe. These solitary creatures are named due to the way they eat. They’re usually found beneath hedges and shrubs, making snorting noises while searching for food.

Hedgehogs often feed on insects, snails, worms, centipedes, amongst others. They are known for their foraging methods.

Many hedgehog owners have asked if hedgehogs can jump and climb. While some owners assume they can, others are not sure if hedgehogs can jump or climb. Guess you’re in doubt too.

While hedgehogs have good ability to climb, they can’t jump from one point to the other. These small mammals are quite adept at climbing up, however, they experience difficulty in climbing down. Most of the cases they fall, rather climbing down.

This is due to their short round bodies, which do not entirely support climbing, unlike the long, narrow bodies of squirrels and monkeys. Being light footed, hedgehogs’ attempt at climbing is awkward and clumsy.

How High Can Hedgehogs Jump?

Typically, hedgehogs don’t jump, but when needed, they do so as a defense mechanism. It’s common for hedgies to hiss and jump at things that make them feel uncomfortable, especially if they’re in a scary new environment.

Hedgehogs can jump 12-15 inches vertically and about 20 inches horizontally, when they feel agitated or frightened. They usually releases a clicking noise before jumping.

From How High Can Hedgehogs Fall Safely?

Wild hedgehogs can climb trees as high as thirty feet, looking for food. While they sometimes fall by accident, they fall on purpose to evade a predator on a few occasions.

Momentarily, the burrowing animals fall because it’s a lot faster than climbing down.

Can Hedgehogs Climb on Trees?

Yes, the ground-dwelling creatures climb trees, but you’ll seldom find them on trees. Tree barks seem easier for them to grip on. Trees with slight slopes make climbing easy for them; however, they won’t go too high as they have poor vision and can stumble.

Hedgehogs are often seen burrowing near tree trunks for hibernation reasons. Although they’re mainly terrestrial, the small beings can swim and climb quite well. Climbing down is an arduous task for the spiny mammals.

They fall, using their spine as a cushion against the hard ground. This reduces damage and injury to their internal organs. Due to hedgehogs’ lack of agility and grace, ladders, branches, and perches in hedgehog cages are quite dangerous for these active animals.

Can Hedgehogs Climb on Fences?

Hedgehogs can climb virtually any fence. They have a unique habit of walking about 1 to 2 miles in the night, searching for food. You might have seen them roaming in your garden.

Gardens are one of the safest places for them to get food and shelter from unfavorable conditions like being chased by a predator or run over by a car.

Hedgehogs are like your garden saviors who help get rid of insects that destroy your plants. They also feed on snails and slugs. Fences may hinder the movement of these mammals in your garden.

Since they’re beneficial to you, you should erect a hedgehog friendly fence that will allow for easy passage. Build your fence with log piles, dry stones, or planks with tailor-made gaps for the small animals to pass through.

Why is My Hedgehog Jumping?

If you tried handling your pet and it jumps out of your grasp, then it might be one of the following:

  • It’s not familiar with the new environment.
  • Hedgehog might be the anxious type.
  • Your pet may be sensitive to noise and disturbances.
  • The female hedgehog may be pregnant hence its irritable behavior.
  • After birth, the motherly instinct might kick in, causing them to jump and watch over their little ones.
  • They may be unwell due to sickness or disease

So, because hedgehogs usually jump when they feel threatened or uncomfortable, you’re probably thinking of ways to make your hedgehog feel safe and relaxed.

Below are a few ways to create a calm and serene environment for hedgehogs:

– Use Food to Draw Their Attention

Pick up your hedgie with a towel. When they’re flipped over, use a small plastic spoon or tweezers to put food in the small opening, similar to the mouth. D

oing this will entice the pet and make them feel comfy. There’s a wide variety of treats used to entice hedgehogs.

– Change the Environment to Stimulate their Interest

Earlier on, we stated that your hedgehog could be jumpy if it’s not comfortable in its environment. In changing their environment, scoop them up in your hand with their bedding (either wood or paper shavings) or towel.

Tilt their head slightly down to incite their interest in the new area they’re taken to. This might stimulate their exploring mood, making them ready to settle in their new place.

When close to the destination, allow them to put their front feet down to feel their environment. Once they feel safe, they’ll let down their hind legs as well.

– Bathing and Grooming

Another way to make your pet hedgehog feel comfortable is to give them a warm bath. It makes them feel relaxed and happy. Make sure you fill up the sink with warm water and allow them to walk and play happily in it.

Ensure the water is shallow. Using a cup or small bowl, gently pour warm water over them. Be sure you don’t pour water over their face, so they don’t inhale it.

A soft scrubbing brush can also be used to scrub their feet and quills. This method is beneficial because it helps in bonding hedgehog and handler.

With the above-listed methods, the probability of your hedgehog jumping is minimal. Never forget, in handling hedgehogs, you’ll need time and practice for them to get used to you.

Can Hedgehogs Climb Up Steps?

Since hedgehogs are adept at climbing rough surfaces and ledges, steps are an easy obstacle course. So a hedgehog can easily walk upstairs in your home.

Wrapping Up

Hedgehogs are more agile than they look. They’re athletic and can run many miles at night. Not only have they been sighted climbing walls, fences, and high elevations, they’re also good swimmers.

While hedgehogs are good climbers, they can’t climb vertical or slippery surfaces. Now you know the jumping and climbing actions of hedgehogs. Have fun bonding with your hedgie!

Sours: https://vivopets.com/hedgehogs-jump-climb/

Climbing hedgehog

Can Hedgehogs Climb?

Some studies estimate that around 10% of hedgehogs die in ponds and swimming pools. Not because they can’t swim, but because once they are in, they can’t climb out. Then we have reports like this one of a hedgehog climbing to the first floor of a house, jumping into a bed, and biting someone’s toe! So what’s the deal with hedgehogs and climbing? Can hedgehogs climb or not? Let’s take a look.

It looks like the answer to the question is “Yes, but . “.

Not an Athletic Build?

The hedgehog looks like a little fat round person, trudging around the place. Not the sort you would imagine scaling cliffs.

But appearances can be deceptive.

Most of the roundness to the hedgehog isn’t body fat. You have long, soft hair underneath, long spines on the top and the side. And under all that a thick, loose, baggy skin. 

Under all that, the hedgehog’s body is quite light and slender.

On the other hand, hedgehogs have quite weak claws, which aren’t very sharp. They have four “feet” rather than 2 feet at the back and 2 “hands” at the front, that you see on monkeys and other animals that climb.

And they can’t turn their feet in the way that pine martens or squirrels can.

And of course, they come with a little, stubby tail—no use at all for balancing or holding on to things.

So What Can They Climb?

Rough surfaces and plenty of ledges to hang on to seem to be what a hedgehog needs to be able to climb.

So stairs are no problem.

Stone walls and steps are an easy obstacle course.

(Source: Wicklow Workbook)

They have even been filmed trying to climb trees.

Pat Morris reports hedgehog regularly stealing cat food left out on the top of a garden wall.

He also reports that they can climb wire fencing and scale ivy. There have been reports of hedgehogs found in attics and even nesting on a thatched roof.

Another favourite hedgehog climbing method is what rock climbers call “chimneying”. This is where the hedgehog wedges himself into a narrow vertical gap and uses the sides to push himself up. You can imagine how the spines would help to stop him from falling in this situation.

It’s this method that is thought to lead to hedgehogs ending up at the top of drain pipes or on roofs.

What Goes Up

What goes up must come down. And this is where hedgehogs get into trouble. They seem to manage to climb up things despite not being built for climbing. But when they try to get down their lack of proper equipment becomes a problem.

No “hands” and weak claws mean they can’t grip. They cannot also turn their feet in the way that squirrels and pine martens do. So when the hedgehog tries to climb down, gravity tends to take over and he ends up simply falling.

Why Would You Want To?

We’ve seen that hedgehogs can climb – sort of – if they put their minds to it.

But why would they want to?

This seems to be a mystery. Hedgehogs don’t need to climb for food. And having seen the speed they go at they surely can’t be climbing to escape predators. 

It looks like they climb from the same natural curiosity that gets them into all sorts of trouble. 

What Hedgehogs Can’t Climb

Hedgehogs can’t climb vertical or slippery surfaces. This is why garden ponds, especially those with hard plastic liners, are such a problem.

Hedgehogs will get in for a drink. They are quite good swimmers They can cross rivers if need be. So being in the water doesn’t alarm them. 

But the steep, slippery surface of a pond liner, especially the hard plastic ones, offers no toe-hold of a hedgehog. 

They can’t climb out, and so they drown.

Cattle grids present the same problem. The hedgehog wanders across and falls in, then is presented with smooth vertical walls and can’t climb out. Many hedgehogs used to starve to death at the bottom of cattle grids.

Luckily now the fitting of a wildlife ramp is part of the standard specifications for cattle grids. So hedgehogs and other small creatures can escape.

Make Your Pond Hedgehog Safe

Though hedgehogs can do some climbing, it’s clear that one of the things they definitely can’t climb is the steep bank of a man-made pond. Some experts estimate that around 10% of all hedgehog deaths are caused by drowning in ponds and swimming pools.

So be sure your pond is hedgehog safe.

There are several ways of doing this. 

Make a beach. If you are planning a new pond, you can build it with wildlife in mind. Create a shallow, gently sloping beach at one end and cover it with pebbles. This way, hedgehogs and any other creatures can easily climb out.

Add some rocks. If your pond has a rigid pond liner, the easiest way to provide an escape route for hedgehogs is to put in some rocks. Add a rock pile at the side of the pond, with the top rock poking out above the surface of the water. This will allow hedgehogs and other creatures to climb out easily.

Provide an escape ramp. Add a ramp to the pond. Either buy a ready-made escape ramp. Or make your own by wrapping some chicken wire around a short plank of wood.

Or a scramble-net. If you are going for a DIY solution the chicken wire on its own can work well, just anchor it under a rock on the edge of the pond and hogs will scramble up it. Remember to fold in any sharp edges.

Provide a life raft. As a last resort, a piece of lightweight wood left floating on the pond will give hogs and any other distressed wildlife something to hang on to when they are too tired to swim. Then you check the pond and rescue them in the morning. If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool in the garden, afloat left in the water will do the same job.

Conclusion: Hedgehogs Can Climb Sometimes, But It Can Get Them Into Trouble.

We have seen that the hedgehog does have some climbing ability, but he’s not going to win any mountaineering prizes. 

There seems to be no good reason for a hedgehog to climb, but still, they do it. And although they can climb upwards, going back down is much more difficult. Which may be why they are found stuck on roofs, in drainpipes and attics. 

Hedgehogs can’t climb sheer or slippery surfaces at all. This is why man-made ponds are such a hazard for them and need to be made safe. 

We hope you’ve found this article interesting. If you have questions or hedgehog climbing stories, we would love to hear them.

And if you would like to read more about the wonderful world of hedgehogs head over to our hedgehog library here.

Sours: https://homeandroost.co.uk/blog/can-hedgehogs-climb/
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Shopping Guide | Cage Options | Bedding Choices | Accessories | Toys

Cage Options

Cage Requirements

  • Choosing a cage is one of the important decisions you will have to make for your pet.  Your hedgehog’s home and environment are one of the keys in determining the quality of life and longevity of your pet.
  • In the wild hedgehogs are reported to travel 4-7 miles per night so it is best to provide the largest space possible for your new pet.  Hedgehogs with plenty of room tend to be healthier and happier because they can exercise and explore.
  • Hedgehogs need plenty of room to move about and play.  The minimum size recommended by most hedgehog enthusiasts is 24” x 24” or four square feet.  Your cage should have enough room for a wheel, litter box, and sleeping bag or nest box, and eating area.
  • Smaller cages have been recommended over the years but they are certainly not the ideal and will not accommodate the recommended accessories.
  • There are many options for types of enclosures for hedgehogs.  The cage should provide sufficient room, be well ventilated, easily cleaned, and be able to accommodate additional heat sources if necessary.
  • Some enclosures have an open top.  An adventurous hedgehog may try to escape. We believe it is easier and safer to prevent an escape than to locate a missing hedgehog.

Our personal favorite and what we offer in our cage combination packages:

Wire cages

  • Wire cages with a solid bottom and a deep pan are often used as hedgehog cages. 
  • They are well ventilated and easy and safe to heat with a ceramic heat emitter.
  • One advantage of wire cages that are specially designed for ground dwelling animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits, and hedgehogs is that there is more floor space than in an aquarium, birdcage and some modified cages.
  • Cages of this type are strong enough to adequately house hedgehogs and most are able to protect them from other pets and small children.  There is however, a huge difference in quality and some brands are easily damaged in daily maintenance. 


    • Pans that are six inches deep or deeper are preferred to more shallow pans.  Deep pans not only contain the bedding within the cage but they also prevent the hedgehog from climbing.
    • Plastic pans are generally preferred over metal pans. Both are light weight but plastic will not rust and plastic will maintain it integrity over time.  Metal that has begun to rust is harder to clean and disinfect than plastic.  Metal will also conduct heat much differently which may be a problem when trying to provide additional heat sources for your pet.
    • Wire floors are NOT acceptable for hedgehogs.  Their tiny feet can get caught in the wire and it is very difficult for the hedgehog to walk.

Wire Sides

    • Some hedgehogs are tempted to climb the sides if the pan is not deep enough. This is dangerous because the hedgehog can tangle his/her foot or fall from the top.
    • Should you notice that your hedgehog climbs the wire of the cage you will need to line the bottom edge of the cage with a smooth material that discourages climbing.
      • Lexan is a clear material found at most home improvement super stores.  It can be easily cut with tin snips and shape and molded to fit your cage.
      • Plexiglas and acrylic are very durable but fairly difficult to cut and relatively expensive.
      • Chloroplast is a sign making material found next to the poster board in most stores.  It is cheap and easy to cut however it is solid and can inhibit hedgie visibility. 
    • Some breeders recommend ½” wire spacing to prevent the hedgehog from getting their head stuck between the wires of the cage and to prevent babies from escaping.
    • The deep pans on our cages tend to prevent climbing and general head poking so the wire on our cages does appear to be adequate even though the bar spacing is farther apart.
  • We sell three different sizes of this style cage.  Our cage combination packages are very popular with our hedgehog customers.

  • Why are our cages more expensive than some brands? 
    • Our certainly are neither the cheapest cage nor the most expensive cage option on the market.
    • We have tried countless cage options over the years and have been remarkably impressed with this style of Marchiaro cages.
    • The pans and wire top are strong and durable. 
    • Many brands of similar cages have pans that are made of thinner and more brittle plastic.  Hedgehogs are typically hard on the cages but we certainly want something that will withstand cleaning and transporting.
    • The wire top is not easily bent and each top corner is held together with a two part connector and the bottom corners are held together with a corner bracket.  My children have climbed on the cages, sat on the cages, and played inside the cages.  Your hedgehog is not be as rough as my children, but a tough a durable cage will last longer and be an overall better value for your dollar.
    • Another impressive feature of this cage are the door locks, brackets that hold the top to the pan, handles, and braces that hold join the top and sides.  Again, these features set this cage apart from other options.

Plastic Storage Containers  

  • This style of cage is popular with many breeders.
  • Advantages 
  • Clear plastic tubs can be purchased relatively cheap. 
  • They are lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Storage containers can be easily cleaned and disinfected.
  • Lids can be left on, drilled or cut in the middle for ventilation
  • Disadvantages

  • One problem with plastic tubs is finding one large enough and tall enough to accommodate the wheel and other accessories without customizing your cage.
  • Some hedgehog owners connect several tubs together to create a habitat large enough for their pet.  This option works well if you have creativity and plenty of space. 
  • You can purchase “clear” cages but even the clear style does inhibit easy viewing of your new pet.  Many of our customers enjoy watching their hedgehogs, which is difficult to do with this style of housing unless you are standing directly over the cage.
  • Solid color storage tubs are often larger and sturdier than the plastic tubs but we recommend against them because they have practically no visibility for your hedgehog.  One must also take into consideration the hedgehog’s need for environmental stimulation when choosing housing for your pet.
  • Cautions
  • You must be careful when using additional heat sources with these cages. 
    • Under-tank heaters can melt the bottom plastic.
    • Heat emitters or heat lamps may cause problems with the top of the cage.
    • The tall sides may block heat from a nearby space heater.
  • Lids can be left off if you know the hedgehog cannot escape but solid hiding places or hanging water bottles can be used to give your hedgie a boost up and over the top.  

Glass aquariums

  • Large aquariums can be used to house hedgehogs. 
  • We recommend at minimum of a 20-gallon long size but the larger sizes are much better.  A 20-gallon aquarium will not accommodate an appropriate sized wheel. 
  • The main drawback of using a glass aquarium is that most aquariums are narrow and tall in order to best display fish or reptiles.  Hedgehogs need lots of floor space and in order to have the floor space you will need a large aquarium.
  • The larger the aquarium the more costly, heavier, cumbersome, and difficult it is to clean.  For this reason they are not ideal unless you already have a large aquarium in your possession.
  • It is important to use a screen or wire top and NOT the glass covering used for fish. This will allow better ventilation into the aquarium.

Wading Pools

  • Children’s wading pools can be ideal housing if you have plenty of space and take a few precautions to prevent escapes.
  • These pools have plenty or room for hedgie play and some people use these pools as a supervised play area.
  • You must make sure there are no accessories that can be used as ladders to boost your hedgehog up and over the top of the pool.  One way to make the sides taller is to cut out the bottom of a second pool and invert it over the top of the first one.  The edges can be riveted, stapled, or screwed together.
  • The disadvantages of this style of housing are that they are cumbersome and that they will block the view of your pet.

Climbing Objects and Multi-Level Cages

  • We feel that multi-level ferret or rabbit cages, climbing branches, ramps, and ladders are only a good idea for your hedgehog only if you take several precautions. 
  • We recommend avoiding the above situations because providing more floor space with accessories or toys is a much safer alternative.
  • Hedgehogs are quite capable of climbing up, but they are not so graceful in the descent.
    • Their toes are fairly short and are not made for grasping and hanging on.
    • Their legs are relatively small in comparison to their body mass.  They simply do not have the strength to resist the pull of gravity. 
    • Their eyesight is very poor and so they have very little depth perception.
  • The most natural way for hedgehogs to get down from a high place is to curl themselves into a ball and free-fall.
  • Many claim that hedgehogs have naturally built in “shock absorbers” and that their spines will protect them in a fall. However, hedgehogs may still bruise him self or break a bone from an ill-fated fall.
  • It has also been reported that spines can actually puncture backward into the animal.
  • In order to provide a safe climbing experience some hedgehog owners use multi-level ferret or rabbit cages and line the ramps with plastic mesh or cover with an all-purpose carpet.  This keeps little feet from being injured but might be quite messy if the hedgehog is not litter trained.
  • The bottom pan of multi-level cages should be padded with several inches of shock absorbing bedding.
  • Most hedgehog experts would agree that tree branches and ladders are NOT a good idea.
  • Try think of ideas that encourage your hedgehog to burrow or tunnel instead of climbing. New material, sand (clean and disinfected such as what is used for reptiles) in the corner, or other ideas would stimulate burrowing.

Cage Placement and Temperature

  • Cages should be placed in a warm, comfortable room in an area that is free from drafts and should not be placed in direct sunlight.  Normal sunlight in a room is fine but temperatures in direct sunlight can be much higher than in the rest of the room.
  • Millermeade Farms and our customers have found that hedgehogs seem to prefer the warmer end of the temperature range and are most comfortable between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Some references indicate that hedgehogs can tolerate temperatures as low as 65 degrees Fahrenheit but it is our experience that temperatures this low can be dangerous for your pet.  A chilled hedgehog will attempt a false hibernation and that can be deadly.  Lower temperatures can be an environmental stress for your hedgehog which will affect the overall health of your pet.  
  • We have found hedgehogs tend to be healthier, more active, and eat better in warmer temperatures.
  • Refer to our Keeping Your Hedgehog Warm guide for more information on this subject.

Cage Cleaning

  • We do not caution when using perfumes or deodorizers because they can encourage us to be more lax in cage cleaning. 
  • Dirty cages and resulting build up of bacteria can cause or increase the risk of respiratory and skin infections. 
  • Our rule of thumb is that if the cage smells bad to use it probably smells really bad to our hedgies!
  • The average hedgehog cage needs thoroughly cleaned once a week but spot cleaning may extend the life of the bedding.
  • Different types of bedding have different absorbency levels so your cage may need cleaned more of less frequently depending on the size and general messiness of your hedgehog.
  • Refer to our Bedding Guide for more information on types of bedding available.
  • Pelleted beddings may allow you to sift the good bedding from the soiled bedding to be reused after the bottom has been cleaned.
  • It is a good idea to thoroughly wash or soak the plastic bottom when doing a complete bedding change.  Plastic can absorb odor and a good disinfection will help to eliminate lingering odors.

Cleaning Products

  • Almost every cleaning product should be thoroughly rinsed from your cage before putting your hedgehog back into the cage.
  • Nolvasan is a popular cleaning product used by veterinarians and breeders of various kinds of animals.  It can be purchased online or through your veterinarian.
  • A two step cleaning process with hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar is reported to kill more bacteria and is much safer than bleach.  It is non-toxic and effective at eliminating odors.  The hydrogen peroxide must be stored in the original dark container and should not be premixed with the vinegar.  Either the hydrogen peroxide or the bleach can be sprayed or wiped on with a rag and then the other product applied when the first is still wet.

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