Hedgehogs are adorable pets. However, because they are rarer than other pets, finding toys suitable for this species can be challenging. Meeting your hedgehog’s stimulation needs can be difficult for this reason.
Luckily, there are a few commercial toys that are suitable for hedgehogs, as well as quite a few you can make yourself. We’ll take a look at these toys in this article and provide more information on how to choose the perfect toy for your hedgehog.
Best Hedgehog Toy Ideas
1. Fleece Forest Puzzle Toy
We’ve all seen the puzzle toys for dogs and cats. Usually, these toys involve hiding food, which the pet then has to find. They’re mentally stimulating and keep animals from getting bored. Well, this is a puzzle toy for your hedgehog.
Hedgehog puzzle toys are difficult to do, mostly because hedgehogs are so small. They can’t exactly lift anything, so having puzzle toys that involve lifting isn’t possible.
However, this hedgehog toy includes many small fleece balls, which small hedgehogs can do quite easily. You can make this puzzle toy quite easily with some craft supplies and a plastic container. The idea is that you sprinkle some of the hedgehog’s favorite foods around in it. Then, the hedgehog has to nose around in the small balls to find it.
Because everything is made of fleece, it is super safe for your hedgehog.
2. Running Wheels
Hedgehogs also like running wheels, though not necessarily as much as hamsters. Most hamster wheels are a bit too small for hedgehogs. They need to be a bit wider to fit a hedgehog correctly. You can try out a few commercial running wheels in an attempt to find the perfect fit for your hedgehog, or you can make one.
This is easy and requires little to no tools or skills. You need very simple parts to do this, as well.
3. Toilet Paper Roll Toys
Everyone has toilet paper rolls, which is one reason why they make such good toys. You can make several options with your toilet paper roll, ranging from balls to hanging toys. Of course, some hedgehogs will like certain toys better than some. Luckily, because toilet paper is so inexpensive and these toys are easy to make, you can quickly put together many toys for your hedgehog to try.
4. Digging Box
Hedgehogs love to dig. It’s what they do. In captivity, they don’t have many opportunities to dig. For this reason, it is typically best to make them a dedicated digging box, where they can dig as much as they want. You can also hide and bury food throughout this digging box, making it much like a puzzle toy.
Digging boxes are relatively easy to make. All you need is something for the hedgehog to dig with. Small rocks fit nicely. Just ensure that the rocks are big enough to avoid being a choking hazard. You can also use fleece strips, which mirror dirt but don’t make such a big mess.
5. Fleece Pouch
While this may not look like a toy on the outside, many hedgehogs love hiding in fleece pouches. They roll around in them and dig – as if they were digging in the dirt. They’re relatively easy to make as well. All you need is some large piece of fleece. You can even make them without sewing at all, which is always an excellent addition.
These are extremely easy to make and adored by most hedgehogs, so we highly recommend giving them a shot.
6. Cardboard Houses
Hedgehogs love to hide. Some commercial hiding holes you can purchase, but cardboard houses are often just as comfortable and practical. They’re relatively easy to make, especially since they only require cardboard.
You can give your cardboard house to your hedgehog as-is, or you can fill it with fleece and other things so that your hedgehog can “dig.”
You can make your house however you like. They’re reasonably easy to make and design, so feel free to have fun with this project.
What Toys Do Hedgehogs Like?
Hedgehogs typically like toys that allow them to behave naturally. In the wild, hedgehogs do a lot of foraging and digging. Therefore, they will like toys that allow them to do these things. This is why hedgehogs like dig boxes so much. They’re about as close to their natural behavior as you can get.
Hedgehogs typically like anything that lets them feel safe and hidden. Fleece pouches are very suitable for this reason. Most hedgehogs love hiding in fleece pouches and rolling around in them. Cardboard houses and similar toys fill this niche as well.
Many hiding houses can also be filled with bits of fleece, which allows your hedgehog to “dig” around while also hiding. These are likely the best toys, as they provide hedgehogs to do their two favorite things.
Where Can You Buy Hedgehog Toys?
Sadly, there aren’t many commercial hedgehog toys available. These exotic pets are still relatively rare, so no major toy manufacturer currently makes toys for them. For this reason, most of the toys have to be made, though you can find some on websites like ETSY.
Luckily, most DIY hedgehog toys are reasonably straightforward. In most cases, you’ll be making stuff out of fleece and cardboard. Sometimes, you’ll need Tupperware containers as well, though cardboard can usually be used in its place.
How Do I Keep My Hedgehog Entertained?
Luckily, it’s quite simple to keep your hedgehog entertained. You’ll need to create some DIY toys. Most of these are relatively simple and don’t require any fancy craft supplies. You can make most with bits of fleece and some cardboard.
Particular hedgehogs like certain toys better than others. You’ll probably do a lot of experimentation before you find a toy that your hedgehog loves. However, because these toys are easy and straightforward to make, it usually isn’t that big of a deal to make multiple toys for your hedgehog.
Can Hedgehogs Have Toys?
Even though there are no commercially available toys, hedgehogs benefit from having toys. These pets need mental and physical exercise. Toys help them get stay healthy and entertained. In the wild, they would be spending all their time finding food, which would involve a lot of foraging and digging.
They don’t have to worry about this in captivity, which leads to a lot of pent-up energy. You don’t want your hedgehog to get bored and possibly put on some extra weight, so it is essential to provide toys for them to play with. They are curious creatures and typically love toys of all sorts.
Can You Use Small Pet Toys for Hedgehogs?
Sadly, most “small pet toys” chew toys. This is because most small pets are rodents and need to chew to wear their teeth down. Hedgehogs do not fit into this category. Therefore, most toys marketed towards small pets will not be appropriate. Your hedgehog really shouldn’t be chewing on anything.
However, many hedgehogs do seem to like cat toys, especially the small balls with bells inside. These are perfect for hedgehogs, as most will enjoy pushing something around. If you’re looking to purchase a few toys for your hedgehog, head over to the cat aisle – not the small pet one.
Featured image credit: Best dog photo, Shutterstock