Litter Training

Litter Training

Similar to rabbits and cats hedgehogs may train to use a litter tray. As a hybrid of wild species bred for domestic pets they retain some of their instincts. One instinct is to get away from their excrement. The optimal position for the tray relating to this instinct is beneath their wheel. This allows the urine and feeces to be caught by the litter tray and encourages further use of this area for toileting.

Setup of a litter tray is varied. Ideally the tray is bigger than the wheel with less than 1/2 inch sides to enable the hog to easily access the area (kitten tray or small roasting pan).

Substrate material for the litter can be sheets of kitchen roll, puppy training pad, paper pellets, carefresh, or fincard. The litter material is best different than your lining to the setup (if you have carefresh base then litter tray should not be carefresh). Some tips if using kitchen roll or puppy pads are to use bulldog clips to secure these and inhibit diving.

Begin training your pet with the ideal setup as soon and young as possible. In the litter tray place feeces that you find when spot cleaning. If you wake your hog place them in their tray allowing them to use it before play time. Cleaning the wheel daily will benefit the process and minimizes poo boots. Keeping the remainder of the cage clean will allow your hog to learn the best place to toilet. Clean the tray regularly to avoid health issues and maintain hygiene.

Not all hogs will litter train and some will take longer than others to get the idea. It has been reported that after two years a hedgehog litter trained happily. There’s no reason to the formula for litter training but with patience and encouragement it can happen.

A foot bath before handling your hog can also encourage toileting and removes poop boots. Just a shallow sink of warm water and five minutes letting your hog paddle will relax them and wash away unwanted leftovers.

It is a literal crap shoot teaching your exotic pet to use the litter tray. Hopefully these tips and ideas provide extra luck in your process.

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Category: Caring for Hedgehogs

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