My friends know I own a pet site, so one of them was having a problem, and he asked me whether a hedgehog would be a good idea. He was concerned about the smell and whether he has to clean the poop all the time. Therefore, I thought – why not answer his questions right on my blog? I went straight online and searched for as long as I could. Then I wrote this post.
Do Hedgehogs Poop a lot? The answer would be an emphatic, yes. Hedgehogs poop a lot. They poop all the time. Young hedgies are quite fond of pooping while doing their chores like while roaming around or playing on their wheel. But, as they grow older, they tend to hold much better and can be trained to litter in the right areas. There are also ways to avoid hedgehog poop from getting on your body or face. Read the article in detail to understand all the aspects of this situation.
Nevertheless, pooping in hedgehogs is a problematic situation, and there are several questions you need to understand both if you want to own a hedgehog or already have one. We have discussed all of them in this article. So, read the post completely to get a grasp of it.
Why do hedgehogs poop?
Video by Reddit user u/LoganGrimshart
Pooping is normal for hedgehogs as they are prey animals and get frightened easily. When you take them out, they’re going to poop, and you have to understand that. Hedgehogs have a fast metabolism, so they poop quite often, and unlike other animals, they do not smell the place to poop. They shit anywhere they want. Also, moving around creates a trigger in their body to push out the waste materials. And, that’s why they poop while moving.
You must be wondering if so much poop will be in your home, near your resting place, how would it feel?
Does their poop smell? Do hedgehogs smell?
Their poop stinks a lot. As their best pastime is to walk on the wheel pooping and pissing, the poop gets stuck in their quills. They get the poop on them, and that’s why they are smelly.
How to get rid of the hedgehog smell?
Posted by Reddit user u/gulaschgel
- Clean them every day to make sure the stink is not bad enough. Some people recommend that it could be done in a week, but that is not a good idea because the stench would become nastier and it is also not suitable for their skin either. So clean up their cage every day. It would take around 10 to 15 minutes, not more than that. One tip is to use vinegar while cleaning stuff.
- Place their dwellings in properly ventilated areas, so the smell gets a proper passage and does not get stuck in your surroundings.
- You should have bedding in your cage. Try finding long-lasting beddings that capture smell. Then, you can change the pads bi-weekly and clean the fleece often. You can use bleach to remove the urine stink.
- Give the hedgehog a foot bath every day to keep him clean and use a soft toothbrush to remove excess gunk from the feet. Do not use soapy water so that the skin doesn’t get dry and only use regular water. Dry the hedgehog using a soft, warm towel.
- Wheels and eating plates need to be cleaned every day. The rest could be left for other days, but the wheel is quite crucial since hedgehogs like to poop and pee when they run on it.
- Sometimes the wheel may seem clean, but the wheel is filled up with urine as the hedgy would have likely urinated on it.
- Try to clean the wheel during the daytime. If you do that during the night, they may get bored and try to play on the wheel and get themselves hurt. Also, keep a dozen or more wheels so they can be replaced while the others are getting cleaned.
Apart from these, you could adopt some tips to avoid getting Hedgy shit on your clothes.
How to avoid getting poop all over your body?
It is usual for baby hedgies to poop more than for adults. What you can do is to stimulate their pee and poop by giving them a shallow footbath and thereby that will signal them to get everything out of the system. The babies could still have some poop left in the system, but most adults would be cleaned after that. You should also take a look at their diet. If you provide them food with lots of fillers (low-quality food), they will likely poop more. Provide high-quality foods like these.
The quantity is also essential. Make sure to keep it at 1.5 tablespoons and not more than that if you give them more food, they are likely to poop more.
How to solve the problem of pooping by hedgehogs?
There is no simple solution. You can try to potty train them, but that would not change their behavior regarding pooping and peeing on the wheel. Still, something is better than nothing. So let’s see how you can do that.
How to potty train a hedgehog
Now is the time to potty train your hedgehog. This is quite interesting because there are several steps involved, and I’m going to walk you through each one of them.
1. So the first step would be not to give your hedgehog his wheel because, in this step, we are trying to understand your hedgehog’s potty patterns. And if you found those patterns, it will be much easier to potty train him.
2. There are some prerequisites for this step. You first have to get a litter box. You can either buy one or make yourself from any available cardboard box of reasonable size. Buy some pet litter. Any brand would do. So buy a big bag because it will be quite helpful later in the long run.
3. Now in the preparation, you have to make sure not to put extra litter in the box because putting extra litter would be unhelpful to us. We are trying to make sure that the hedgehog gets into the box and smells his already pooped potty.
4. You have to put the potty inside the litter box so that he can understand that you want him to poop in that area. Remove one sidewall of the box to create an entry so the hedgehog can easily get in. Also, in this fourth step, you should put his box near his wheel because hedgehogs like to play and poop on the wheel. If you put the box nearby the wheel it would be much easier for him to walk to his bathroom.
5. Now the time comes for nudging. Whenever the Hedgehog is Trying to poop or pee, you can just put him right into his box, and that will help him to get trained.
Now there are some tips.
- Not every hedgehog can be potty trained, so some can be quite frustrating. And so don’t worry about that. You have to understand that hedgehogs are not going to use their box all the time. They could poop on the wheel, they could poop on your hands sometimes, but most of your problems would subside if you potty train a hedgehog
- If you do not get success in a few days, keep trying. Because it could take a lot more time with some hedgehogs.
- Keep your litter box away from the food and water bowls because nobody wants to get poop near his eating area.
- You can speed up the things by putting crickets in the litter box as a reward.
How to avoid hedgehog poop on your hand or cloths?
Potty training hedgehogs is not that hard, and they could be trained in some time. Before letting the hedgehog walk around, give them a warm-up so they could poop. A 10 or 15 minutes warm-up would be okay. And after that, you can take them in your hand and do whatever with them that you please. They will not likely poop.
Wheel vs. saucer? Which is better?
Having a wheel is much better than a saucer because saucers can really increase your task of cleaning up. Poop from wheels falls right below and more comfortable to clean, unlike with saucers.
My hedgehog poop is brown. Should I be worried?
No! Don’t worry about poop color if it is green. The brown color is not problematic.
How to understand when hedgy wants to poop?
When a hedgehog starts to take up his tail, that is likely a signal that he wants to poop, when that happens, put him down in his litter box and let him do his thing before picking him up again.
Do hedgehogs eat their own poop/crap?
They do. I have written a detailed post about it here. Do check it out.
Yes, hedgehogs do poop a lot. The poop smells as well. They are animals, and they do not understand the problems of living in human society. You can potty train them and make them understand while also giving them rewards for doing what they naturally do.
Lastly, if you have any questions or problems regarding this post, you can write to us using our contact us page. We will be waiting for your questions and queries.