Wild hedgehogs live a solitary life and only meet to mate, though pet hedgehogs are becoming more common each year.1 Hedgehogs are curious, shy, and cautious of people and other predators. They spend most of their time foraging, hiding, and learning.
Hedgies like to explore, burrow, sleep, hide, and investigate. Toys that allow your hedgie’s natural instincts to come alive are the best for them. In this article, you’ll learn what toys are ideal for your hedgehog buddy.
The 10 Toy Ideas Hedgehogs Will Love
1. Hideouts and Burrows
Hideouts and burrows help make your hedgehog feel safe and comfortable. When searching for the perfect hideout, ensure it’s big enough for your hedgie to spin around and that it has two exit holes.
In your hedgehog’s enclosure, place the hideout on top of bedding, where your hedgehog can dig and cover themselves within their home. Sleeping bags are a good option for your quilly friend, as they’ll feel safe and warm the further they explore.
2. Shoe Boxes and Cardboard
Hedgehogs can play in cardboard boxes or DIY houses made from cardboard. You’ll see as they flip, dig, hide, and bury their cardboard toy, which is beneficial to tap into their wild instincts.
If you provide your hedgie with a tissue box, ensure there are no plastic parts, as plastic will cause intestinal issues.
3. Plastic Balls and Cat Toys
Toys that roll are super fun. Cat toys like feather chasers and balls with bells are things your hedgie will be entertained with for hours. You can play with your hedgehog with feather chasers while watching them run towards and catch the string or feathers.
If you allow your hedgehog to play with balls, they’ll try burying it in their home or chase it around your living room. In the wild, hedgehogs chase bugs and other small invertebrates, so a ball is like prey for them.
4. Cars and Toys With Wheels
Speaking of toys that roll, children’s cars and trucks work too. Whether it’s a small car or a dump truck they can push around or ride in, your hedgie will find cars very exciting. Just make sure there are no small parts that could come off, causing a choking hazard.
5. Small Teddy Bears
Hedgehogs are friendly if you bond with them, but upon bringing them home, you may consider getting your hedgie a stuffed animal. Hedgehogs like to cuddle and will feel safe with a furry friend by their side.
However, if the teddy is too big, they may become afraid. Aim for something smaller or equal to the size of your hedgehog.
6. Exercise Wheels
Exercise wheels and balls are fun toys to help keep your hedgehog active. If your hedgehog is cooped up in their enclosure for too long, they might become lonely and depressed.
Ensure that your exercise wheel or ball is tough enough that it won’t break and is made from non-toxic plastic or materials.
Since hedgehogs are curious, some DIY toys, which you can make from cardboard, are mazes and obstacle courses. Mazes keep your hedgehog’s brain alert while they explore, forage, and find hidden items throughout it.
You’ll be surprised at how fast they reach the end. Each time you make a maze, try to aim for more complex tasks and reward them at the end.
Tunnels are an excellent way for your hedgehogs to explore and play. The most affordable tunnels are ones you can make from home using cardboard. Place it in your hedgehog’s enclosure. If your hedgie runs through it, it must be big enough to stay in place.
9. Rubber Duckies
If you have children, your hedgehog will love old toys that your kids don’t play with anymore. Rubber duckies are an excellent example of toys your children may have outgrown. If your rubber ducky squeaks, your hedgehog will get more satisfaction, though it’s unnecessary.
10. Kong Forager and Foraging Toys
Foraging toys, such as Kongs or slow feeders, are an excellent source of brain activity for your hedgie. Try placing your hedgie’s favorite snack inside a Kong and place it in a maze or enclosure. Watch as your hedgie buries, rolls, or tips it to get what’s inside.
Hedgehogs are sweet and shy animals that need experienced owners to bond with. Hedgies don’t need a cage mate. However, without a cage mate, they’ll need entertainment. Maintaining a healthy hedgehog means adapting to their needs. Since hedgehogs are exploratory animals, they will benefit from toys that keep their body and mind active. The toys mentioned in this article are sufficient enough to keep your hedgehog happy and healthy throughout their life.
- You Might Also Be Interested In: DIY Hedgehog Cage Plans
Featured Image Credit: Best dog photo, Shutterstock