Can You Use Hay for Hedgehogs Bedding?

Perhaps the most important aspect of keeping a pet hedgehog is its bedding. While food is surely essential, where you keep your hedgehog is just as important because it is where the hedgehog spends most of its time. When it comes to bedding for hedgehogs, there are many options. Can you use hay for hedgehogs bedding, you might be wondering?

You can use hay for hedgehogs bedding if it is bought from the store and is dust-free. Don’t just grab hay from a field!

Hedgehogs require a place where they can nest and feel warm. For wild hedgehogs, you can keep normal hay out in the garden. However, when it comes to domesticated hedgehogs, it is best to get dust-free hay.

Hay should not be the main bedding for your hedgehog’s cage, and you can also use other beddings like wood shavings.

Do Hedgehogs Like Hay or Straw?

Hedgehogs like to nest and burrow, and naturally, your pet hedgehog will also look for materials to nest in.

In the wild, leaves and other foliage forms are available, making good materials for the hedgehog to nest. However, for a pet hedgehog, you need to provide it with the materials it can use to nest and stay warm.

When it comes to hedgehog bedding, many people are drawn towards either hay or straw. However, the material needs to be soft as not to harm the hedgehog for a hedgehog’s bedding. Hay is softer than straw and hence, makes a better choice than straw.

On the other hand, straw is hard and brittle that can splinter. Therefore, straw is a risky option for hedgehog bedding and can easily poke your pet in the eye or anywhere else.

What Do You Use for Hedgehog Bedding?

As aforementioned, there are many choices for hedgehog beddings available. Fortunately, you do not have to worry too much as you can easily get most of the hedgehog bedding options.


One great choice for hedgehogs is using paper bedding. Paper bedding has many benefits as it is soft, absorbent and you do not need to deal with dust.

However, each bedding comes with its benefits and disadvantages. For example, paper bedding is soft, but it easily gets stuck in hedgehog quills and may cause discomfort.

Wooden Pellets

Another option for hedgehog bedding is wooden pellets. The wooden pellets are also dust-free and are a cheap option. Moreover, wooden pellets are also absorbent, and you will not have to deal with a wet cage.

On the downside, wooden pellets can stick to things like the hedgehog’s blanket.

Wood Pellets for Hedgehog Bedding


Many pet owners like to make things simple and use cloth for hedgehog bedding. You can use fabrics such as pillowcases, fleece, and towels in your hedgehog’s cage as bedding. The good thing about using these fabrics is that they are absorbent, and you can reuse them.

Moreover, the fabric pieces will help you if you wish to pick your hedgehog and protect you from the spines.

The kind of bedding you should get depends on a lot of factors. For example, if you are looking for reusable bedding, you can go for cloth, or if you want something cheap, corncob bedding is a good choice.

Therefore, it is important to consider all factors before purchasing the right bedding for your hedgehog.

What to Avoid Using for Hedgehog Bedding

Since your hedgehog will spend most of its time in its enclosure, it is important to get the right bedding. However, there are a few materials you should avoid using. Otherwise, they may cause harm to your hedgehog’s health.

Cedarwood Shavings

The material of hedgehog bedding is of utmost importance. A common hedgehog bedding material is wood shavings. However, you should avoid using cedarwood shavings. Cedar has pilcatic acid, which is harmful to the liver and can cause respiratory diseases.

Hence, cedar shavings are toxic to hedgehogs and other pets.


Many people make the mistake of using sawdust. However, it can irritate. Whenever your hedgehog moves in the cage, it will make the sawdust fly. Unfortunately, when the hedgehog inhales sawdust, it is at the risk of contracting lung disease.

In addition, you should also avoid using sand or dirt you may find outside because it is likely to contain bacteria and parasites.


Gravel may seem like a good idea, but for hedgehogs, it is not the ideal choice. When your hedgehog walks on gravel, it will hurt itself, which is why you should avoid it altogether. Hedgehogs have small and sensitive feet, and hence, they can hurt themselves easily.


Hedgehog bedding is important because your pet spends most of its time in its cage. There are many options for hedgehog bedding available, the most common one being hay. In fact, most people use hay for hedgehogs bedding.

Hay is a good option because it is made from grass which is naturally available to hedgehogs. However, when it comes to hay and straw, hay is softer, while straw is hard and can harm your hedgehog.

There are many other bedding options you can explore besides using hay. For example, a great option is to use paper bedding because it is soft and is very absorbent.

You can also use wood shavings as bedding however you must avoid cedar shavings because it is toxic to hedgehogs and other pets.

In addition, using sand or dirt you find from outside is a bad idea because it contains parasites and microbes. Moreover, you should also avoid using sawdust because it flies and can cause allergies. Whichever bedding is good for you depends on factors like your hedgehog’s enclosure and affordability.

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Hey, I'm Brian and I love hedgehogs. They're curious little animals that fascinate me. Over the years, I've become extremely knowledgeable about hedgehogs so have decided to share that knowledge here

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