Hedgehogs as pets are cute on the outside, but it takes a lot of work to care for them. Ideally, you should change their excrement twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. They are also nocturnal and can get used to people.
Hedgehogs are wild animals by nature, therefore they could urinate and poop whenever they eat, sleep and wake up, it is a process you should be prepared for, they could also do it in situations that cause them stress.
- 1 Understanding the digestive process of the hedgehog
- 2 What does hedgehog poop look like?
- 3 Milk can cause diarrhea in the hedgehog
- 4 Does the hedgehog poop when it feels stressed?
- 5 Do hedgehogs eat their own poop?
- 6 Causes of soft feces in Hedgehogs
- 7 Hedgehog droppings have an intense odor
- 8 Flat distribution instead of piles
- 9 Commercial hardwood carpets, the best for urine and hedgehog poop
- 10 Tips to prevent the hedgehog from pooping on you
Understanding the digestive process of the hedgehog
Adult hedgehogs are 22 to 30 cm long with a short tail of 2 cm. Their digestive system is simple in structure and remarkably short compared to their body length.
As an insect eater, the processing of the food for a hedgehog is associated with significantly less effort than with herbivores. The small mammal therefore gets by with a short, straight gastrointestinal tract.
The round, sack-shaped stomach opens into a short small intestine, which merges almost seamlessly into a tubular large intestine. While the small intestine still has bulges, these villi are absent in the large intestine. From this follows the characteristic shape of hedgehog droppings:
- Age-dependent length from 2 to 5 cm
- Firm and pencil-thick
- Mostly tapering at the end
Compared to other mammals, the entire digestive process in the hedgehog is completed within 8 to a maximum of 20 hours. Due to this short processing time, indigestible components quickly pass through the digestive tract and often cause unmistakable indentations in the feces of adult hedgehogs.
In young hedgehogs that are still suckled by their mother, these indentations are mostly missing.
What does hedgehog poop look like?
Hedgehog excrement is 2 to 5 cm long, tapered, and as thick as a pencil. The color varies from black-brown to light-brown or cream, depending on the food consumed, accompanied by a more or less intense odor. Since hedgehogs poop while walking, their solution is spread out and does not form piles.
Milk can cause diarrhea in the hedgehog
The opinion that milk is the ideal food for hedgehogs persists. In fact, the animals are lactose intolerant. Milk is drunk, but cannot be broken down in the body.
In the worst case, milk consumption is fatal to the hedgehog and can cause diarrhea. Dry, non-perishable dog food next to a bowl of freshwater is more suitable for supplemental feeding.
Does the hedgehog poop when it feels stressed?
Making the hedgehog feel stressed could create situations for them to poop, for example, if they are exposed directly to a lot of light, or if they are touched too much.
Poop is very important to know the condition of the hedgehog. That’s because hedgehogs make green poop when they feel stressed. If they look too cute and touch it too much, they can have a green poop the next day.
This green color is called the “intestinal wall” and is the mucous membrane inside the intestine. If it is overloaded, it will come off the intestines and come out with the poop.
Hedgehogs are very vulnerable to stress, so situations, where green poops continue, should be avoided at all.
Do hedgehogs eat their own poop?
Hedgehogs eating their poop is not something that happens often really, but there may be some cases, these are some of the possible causes for this behavior:
The hedgehog’s intestines are not very long, so some food can leave without being digested. Change the food to one that is easy to eat, or give it a softer diet, or review the method of feeding.
It is also important to feed it in small portions.
Stress due to changes in the environment
The change of environment could be a very stressful situation for the hedgehog which could lead to some strange behaviors in the hedgehog, especially with regard to feeding.
Not enough food
Hedgehogs are gourmet creatures, so if they don’t like the food they’re served, or if the same thing is repeated too much, they can end up with an unbalanced diet and even fast for days.
Causes of soft feces in Hedgehogs
Hedgehog droppings are usually the first to be kept and produce a surprising amount of droppings, which usually harden when dried.
Therefore, there is some reason why hedgehog droppings are soft and low.
the hedgehog’s gastrointestinal tract, is quite simple and does not have a very complex metabolic function, so in a short period of time can digest food, pet food is not familiar with it, can cause indigestion, vegetables and fruits could cause diarrhea and softening of the stool.
Also, the food of hedgehogs can be over moistened, resulting in a high water content and soft stools.
Hedgehogs can also eat vegetables and fruits, so these natural ingredients originally contain water, so the condition of the hedgehog’s feces must be carefully observed and a feeding method designed if necessary.
Hedgehogs are extremely delicate animals, so even temperature differences, the smell of cigarettes and perfumes, and strong light can cause stress, softening of feces, and diarrhea.
Hedgehog droppings have an intense odor
The excrement of a healthy hedgehog gives off an intense, but not unpleasant odor. This depends on the previously consumed food. If mainly insects were on the menu, the excrement exudes a milder smell. If a hedgehog acted as a nest robber or used dog or cat food, the human nose perceives a stronger scent.
Flat distribution instead of piles
In addition to shape, consistency, color and smell, the distribution of excrement provides an indication of how to identify hedgehog droppings. A hedgehog poop while continuing to move. Therefore, his slogans are always spread out and do not form piles. although this characteristic is not a unique selling point.
Commercial hardwood carpets, the best for urine and hedgehog poop
Hedgehogs that excrete a lot do not smell so much, but if a large amount is left unattended, they will still smell. At such times, this flooring material exerts great power.
This hardwood mat absorbs urine well and surprisingly suppresses odors. As for feces, the material wraps around and dries immediately, so cleaning is easy.
And when the flooring is replaced with a new one, the hedgehog will be very happy to dive and play or behave like a sand bath. I think it depends on the hedgehog, but I think that the hardwood mat is the most pleasing of all the flooring materials.
Tips to prevent the hedgehog from pooping on you
Hedgehog pooping on you, unfortunately, is a risk that is taken when handling animals, including hedgehogs, sometimes pee and poop on you while handling them.
There are a couple of things you can do to help decrease the risk of that and one thing is to keep in mind that hedgehogs often eat, fall asleep, wake up and need to do their physiological needs.
So depending on the time of day you may find that your hedgehog is more or less likely to urinate or poop on you, something else you can do is to allow your hedgehog to walk through a safe area of hedges, for example on a table, so sometimes over time people realize that within the first two minutes their hedgehog will urinate or poop.
I have seen cases of people so attuned to their hedgehog that they realize that their hedgehog would pee twelve times, two minutes after their hedgehog woke up, literally in this case what they were doing was holding their hedgehog over a trash can while it peed
It is recommended that you pay attention to your hedgehog’s routine, so pay attention to their daily habits and routines and the next thing you can do if you want to hold your hedgehog right away is to have a wool blanket or something to cover yourself with to protect you and not get dirty with piss or hedgehog poop.