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she-mayor of Whoville
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello! I recently got a "like new" Critter Nation (1 level) from a girl on CraigsList. It is in excellent condition!

For those of you who have or have had a CN or a FN, I would like your help and input in how I can make it the very best it can be for my hedgehog, Izzie.

Hedgehogs do not climb, or at least, not very well. So the ramp is a concern for me. But, it came with a fleece cover.. do you think this is sufficient?

I need to line both the main floor and the upper half/level floor with fleece. I was wondering if anyone could give me tips about making my own out of store bought fleece. I would also like to secure them to the bars, and how to accomplish this without creating a threat for my hedgehog would be great.

I may also want to make a large fleece cover for the entire cage. Has anyone ever done this and what would a good sewing pattern be for it?


Offer anything!! I'd like as much input as possible :)

Here is the pic of it:



 

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You could just buy blankets for dogs at the dollar store put it over the lever and underneath the level tie it off with small clothes hangers making it easier to remove and change as needed you could also just use the clips on the side instead of underneath
 

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is a little "special"
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What a lucky hedgie!!


I've never had a FN or CN, but when Smudge had a cage I covered the shelves with fleece, because the slipperiness of the plastic scared him. What I did was cut 2 pieces of fleece so that they were about 2 inches wider than the shelf all the way around, and cut strips and tied them to secure it. Its basically like making a tie blanket, but it has a shelf in the middle! No sewing required, and it is easy to take them off to clean.


Here is was Smudge's shelves looked like:




He had a matching hammock and everything too. :p
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! I sort of stole both ideas! For now I have 2 fleece blankets folded and put on both levels. I also realized that Izzie knows how to use the ramp! I lowered it, and put her up top.. after she got bored up there she happily went down the ramp with no incident. I'll still be looking for a good way to enclose it, but for now, it's safe cuz it's lower.

SHe's in there already until my package comes. I got a woman to make me really nice fleece liners with cotton in the middle.. I'll have to figure out a way to secure them, but she's made many for CN's and FN's and her customers are always happy :) I got dark purple :) :)
 

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Zoo Keeper
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a lot of people use binder clips
I have the same fleece covers I think they are great :) they totally support my 1.5 lb apollo even

To make shelf liners I just cut the fleece 3 inches too big all around then fold it and binder clip it. If she doesnt pull it up you dont even have to clip it,

If you are really worried about the ramp just bring the shelf down :)
 

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Zoo Keeper
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You can just cut the fleece too big and fold it under. you can also binder clip it unless she is trying too pull it up.

The ramp cover will be fine it even supports my MASSIVE boy apollo.

As for the level just bring it down :) and I would look into how people make C&C second levels and take some of those ideas :)
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I already lowered it lol it's perfect
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
SHe LOVES IT. She knows the ramp and stuff so she ate her dinner last night and had water. Even in the dark with a blanket draped over her cage she was able to navigate up and down the ramp safely. I'll still need to figure out how to enclose it better, and how to wall off the top level, but so far, so good (and safe).

She's also running on her wheel and subsequently relieving herself.. .so I know she's doing well in that regard. I can't wait until my custom liners and hood come! The liners will sit on both the pans (replacing the blankets I am using for now) and then the Hood will sit ontop of the entire Critter Nation, keeping it dark and warm with a front flap that will allow me access to the front cage doors when I want :) Her cage theme so far is purple except her water dish..

But she is getting a free snuggle blanket with the extra cloth used for the pan liners.. and she's also got her log in there, some balls... I'm going to get a light plastic car that she can push around too.

Need help with ideas for better toys tho, because she's very picky. either she'll be inlove with something, or avoid it for months before I take it out.
 

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is a little "special"
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For her toys, have you ever tried a slim cat ball? They seem to be a HUGE favorite for rabbits, and Smudge is obsessed with his. It's a good way to feed them, keep them entertained, and give them exercise at the same time.


Or maybe give her a fun place to find her treats? You could fill a little bin with bedding or something, and throw in some mealworms or other yummy treats for her to forage for.
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For her toys, have you ever tried a slim cat ball? They seem to be a HUGE favorite for rabbits, and Smudge is obsessed with his. It's a good way to feed them, keep them entertained, and give them exercise at the same time.


Or maybe give her a fun place to find her treats? You could fill a little bin with bedding or something, and throw in some mealworms or other yummy treats for her to forage for.
THis is actually a really great idea!!! Hhogs love to roll around balls, so, maybe this'll keep her occupied!

OMG you guys. I used to think my hhog wasn't social and never wanted to come out to investigate me or the world.. When I'd take her out she'd be huffy then flea from me. Even in her cage, if she was up, she would hide from me when she knew I was coming to get her.

In her Critter Nation tho, her behavior is changed incredibly! TOnight and last night around 8 pm she got up to eat and play. I took her out tonight and she explored my apartment floor as she used to. But then I put her back in her CN when she was done..

Instead of running to hide, she kinda.. hung around. Sitting on the ground, my head is about level with the bottom level where her wheel and hidey log are at. She kinda went for the far dark corner, but then turned around, and inched closer toward me.. she was not huffy at all, very perky-eyed and interested, I was able to offer her my hand near the edge of the cage, and she CAME RIGHT FOR IT! She then sniffed my hand and started wandering about, occasionally looking back at me as if to say "it's okay that you're there, I like you :) "

I then said outloud "Doody want some Worms??" because in the past I always announced her worm-treats in the same voice the same way. So she perked up.. and then i got up and got some worms, she still hung around the edge of the cage looking at me, and i offered her mealworms.. she came right up, she TOOK THEM OUT OF MY FINGERS!!

She never once huffed or balled up. she was completely relaxed and calm. She is SO HAPPY IN HER NEW HOUSE!!!!!

I have never bonded with her like this in the year and change that I've had her.. but now that she's in her CN .. she's like an entirely new hog. SHe is so interested and happy and playful!

She is still incredibly good with her ramp even though I haven't enclosed it. I don't think I will need to. I really like how open it is. Plus, when her liners come, they are padded with 4 layers of fleece and a cottony pad thing in the middle. She goes to the end of the ramp before turning off, and before she went half way down, and then sort of hopped off. But now she knows to go all the way down.

Oh gosh I am sooooo gleeful about how AWESOME her new house is (Thank you for the push, Elliriyanna :p) and about her INCREDIBLE change in behavior.

:bubbles:
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·


Here she comes to me for worms!

 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks guys! I'm excited, my pan liners are finished and will be put in the mail tomorrow! I hope to get them early next week! Also, I'm going to have the woman make me a custom hood for my critter nation.. with a front flap of sorts so that i can open it without disturbing the entire cover!
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, well with a little guidance from the hedgehog forum, I am dropping the idea of getting a cover for her cage. I didn't know this, but to help her keep on her natural nocturnal schedule, I need to keep the cage uncovered during the day, and perhaps even cover it a bit at night to keep lamp light out. So, no more hood.

I'm stealing Jess' idea about tying fleece to make the loft enclosed. Still working on the best way to enclose the ramp.
 

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Zoo Keeper
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1,367 Posts
yes I was thinking about that thats what I am concerned with as well.

Hmm ... if she is using the ramp really well do you need to enclose it?

If so i would just make a coroplast ramp and zip tie it to her current ramp.
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Well I was reading the "hedgehog cage set up examples" section of HHC and a lot of members got flack for not enclosing their ramps or walling off the loft. So better safe than sorry :)

Even though I think my hedgehog is smart about it (because her first cage with me had a ramp and a loft and she never fell), the last thing I would want is to find her injured from falling on accident. She might get excited or slip, or try to turn around mid ramp..

I guess falling from INCHES can cause internal bleeding for hedgehogs, especially if they fall in such a way that they cannot ball up.

So, someone said dryer vent to enclose the ramp, another said ferret tunnel (the cool expandable kind), some people are handy enough to build an actual rail (I see problems with a rail tho)... can you link me a picture of what you mean with the chloroplast zip-tie?

Any other ideas? I really like the ramp itself, so I would want to keep it somehow. I duno.

Also, Just figured out why no one has the same wheel that I do, because there are a couple potential dangers such as toenail snagging or the wheel falling over (after unscrewing itself????)

Anyway, I am looking into either a DIY bucket wheel or buying the "gold standard" known as the CSW (Carolina Storm Wheel) for her. The cool thing about the CSW is it comes with a litter pan underneath for easy cleaning! I just got paid so I'm budgeting $50 on the new wheel (that would be the high end if I were to order the wheel from the site with shipping, whereas a DIY wheel might be $20, $30 at most)
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here are her new pan liners and her new wheel! I had to rearrange because the wheel is so darned big!

Still in the mail is her ferret tunnel to make her ramp more safe. Last thing to do then is to put fleece up as a wall for the loft.



 
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