Many people like to use fabric cage liners as they are easy to change, reusable after a trip through the washing machine, soft, less expensive, and less messy. The main drawback of using a fabric liner is that your hedgehog’s bodily functions are more obvious (a plus for some people who use this as a method to monitor health) and that one’s hedgehog cannot burrow and make tunnels. Some people fix this problem by cutting fleece fabric into strips (which allows for digging) and placing them in a box in the cage. Do not be alarmed if you find your hedgehog likes to burrow under the liner. This is normal. If you really want to discourage this behavior place double-sided carpet tape on the underside of the liner. This should keep the liner stuck down, yet still be easy to remove when it comes time to clean.
You will want anywhere from two to four liners depending on how often you want to do laundry and how messy your hedgehog is. Choose black if you do not want to be able to see urine stains and white if you do (good for monitoring health and litter box training status.)
Note: Fleece must be prepped before use or it will not be absorbent. See Chapter 6 for more information.
Some people really like vellux for cage liners and hedgiebags due to its warmth and that it can be cut to size without fraying or shrinking. The main downside of this material is that hedgehogs can eat it and become dangerously ill.
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Other people prefer to use traditional types of bedding like wood shavings (avoid pine and cedar as they toxic to most small animals.) The main benefit of this method is that your hedgehog can easily burrow through this material and the signs of bodily functions are less obvious (a drawback for some.) However, traditional loose bedding is messier, can harbor mites and cause respiratory problems, is more expensive, migrates outside the cage and can be messy.
Warning: Terry cloth towels are note safe for use as hedgehogs can get their toes caught in the loops leading to serious injury.
Puppy pads have also been known to be shredded by hedgehog quills leading to messy clean up.