Are Hedgehogs Messy?


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Truth be told, yes, hedgehogs can be a bit messy. This is due to their tendency to leave droppings around at random, much like a rabbit. If any droppings or urine aren’t taken care of promptly, hedgehogs may step in them and get things (and themselves) dirtier! 

When all is said and done, hedgehogs need a bit of help to stay clean (this includes regular cage cleaning and foot baths). Learn more below!

Do Hedgehogs Poop Everywhere?

Unfortunately, hedgehogs do often poop anywhere and everywhere.

More fortunately, they are not always pooping. If you pay attention, you can often learn your hedgehog’s poop schedule (and make sure not to hold them when they lift their tail). 

Why do hedgehogs poop with such abandon?

Because they’re wild critters, used to their dropping being quickly washed away by wind and weather! 

Hedgehogs also have very fast metabolisms, which means that they digest and create poop quickly.

Finally, hedgehogs are quite active little critters, and this stimulates their bowels.

They are actually much more likely to leave droppings while on the move, especially on their exercise wheel!

Can You Toilet Train a Hedgehog?

hedgehog home

Some hedgehogs can be trained to use a litter box, while others will be too stubborn or simply won’t understand.

For the best chance of success, the younger you start training them, the better! 

So, how do you litter-train a hedgehog? With patience, and positive reinforcement.

Negative reinforcement will merely frighten a timid hedgehog, and will not work.

Here is the process:

  • First, create a small, hedgehog-sized litter box. Because hedgehogs often poop while using their exercise wheel, this is the best place for the litter box.
  • When your hedgehog lifts their tail, gently but quickly put them in the box. Also, place droppings they leave elsewhere in the box. If your hedgehog is cooperative, this should do the trick!

Do Hedgehogs Pee Everywhere? 

Just as hedgehogs tend to leave droppings frequently, they pee frequently as well.

When interacting with your hedgehog, you’ll likely want a few cleanup wipes available for any mess leftover!

Are Hedgehogs Clean?

Hedgehogs are not naturally dirty animals, but they are not the cleanest, either!

This is due to their tendency to leave droppings at random – often, this includes their exercise wheel or food bowl. As a result, the droppings can get spread around.

Watch Out: Hedgehogs are also known to get pretty dirty feet. Luckily, this can be taken care of with a quick and easy foot bath – read how below!

Are Hedgehogs Messy?

Are hedgehogs really messy
Are hedgehogs messy

Hedgehogs don’t go out of their way to be messy, but they certainly can be anyway.

As pets, in a contained space and indoors, hedgehogs need help staying clean.

This involves food cleanup, case tidying, a foot bath, and frequently changed water!

Should You Bathe Your Hedgehog?

You can indeed bathe your hedgehog, and it is advisable.

This is because these short-legged little guys tend to get messy feet. Just make sure not to douse your hedgehog’s entire body.

Only their feet should get wet.

Along With This: Avoid using soap unless it’s specifically hedgehog safe – their skin is quite sensitive, and ordinary soap can easily cause it to dry out and crack!

Beware of the Spitball

You may be shocked the first time you see a hedgehog make a spitball.

This is a really unique behavior that hedgehogs have.

Specifically, if they smell something too unusual or threatening, they may inhale the scent, combine it with spit, and then spit it onto their back.

The idea is to mask themselves in the scent, therefore protecting themselves from danger!

How to Keep Your Hedgehog Cage Tidy 

How to clean hedgehog cage
Cleaning hedgehog cage
  1. Food cleanup: When it comes to feeding your hedgehog, it’s super-important that you clean up after every meal. Otherwise, whatever vegetables or wet food can easily rot. This will not only create an unpleasant smell but can also easily make your hedgehog sick!
  1. Do dropping cleanup daily: A reality about having a hedgehog is that you’ll probably want to do dropping clean up just about every day. After all, if you leave droppings, they’re just going to get tracked around (and on your hedgehog), making for a bigger cleanup task later! 
  1. Deep-clean the cage twice a week: Along with tidying droppings daily, you’ll need to give the cage a deep clean once to twice a week. This involves using a gentle sanitizer (like vinegar) on the cage walls, floor, and exercise wheel. You’ll also want to wash the bowls for food and water!
  1. Keep the litter box well away from their food and water: To keep your hedgehog nice and hygienic, be sure to place their litter box away from their food and water. Otherwise, some droppings will inevitably spill over! 

Final Thoughts

So, if you were wondering, ‘are hedgehogs messy?’ there’s your answer.

While they don’t mean to be, they certainly can be.

It’s important that you clean up their droppings, replace their bedding, and generally keep any mess in check!

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