There usually aren’t many commercial hedgehog litter options out there. Very few litters are advertised as being for hedgehogs, as these pets are relatively rare. Therefore, you typically have to utilize cat or rabbit litter. However, not all cat litters are safe for hedgehogs.
Unless you know exactly what you’re looking for, it can be nearly impossible to choose a hedgehog litter that is both effective and safe. This article will lay out some reviews and easy options for choosing a hedgehog litter, and explain what makes a litter safe.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2022
The 9 Best Hedgehog Litters
1 . Feline Pine Original Wood Cat Litter – Best Overall
Feline Pine Original Wood Cat Litter is completely organic and chemical-free. It is a great natural option for those who have trouble with less gentle options. It features pine fibers, which are extremely absorbent. Furthermore, pine has a gentle fragrance but is also safe for hedgehogs. Therefore, this option is a bit more user-friendly simply because it is good at odor control.
Because there is no clay in this formula, it is completely dust-free. It is much gentler on respiratory problems than other options out there, plus, this formula is designed to absorb much more liquid than other wood formulas. It also absorbs them faster so that they aren’t around for as long to smell and grow bacteria.
We love that there are completely no synthetic perfumes, chemicals, or additives in this formula.
2. Okocat Mini Pellets Unscented Wood Cat Litter – Best Value
The Okocat Mini Pellets Unscented Wood Cat Litter features natural wood pellets that naturally prevent odors and make cleaning a breeze. It prevents enzymes from bonding with liquid and waste, which stops the ammonia odor before it begins. Plus, this litter absorbs liquids on contact and creates solid clumps that are much easier to clean up. We found it quite a bit easier than other options on the market.
It is almost completely dust-free, which makes it gentle on your cat’s respiratory system. The wood fibers are de-dusted and screened before they are utilized to make this cat litter.
These fibers are completely free from artificial fragrances, chemicals, and dyes. Therefore, we also found them to be quite safe for your hedgehog. This formula seems to be a lot gentler than other options out there.
Plus, this litter is completely biodegradable and can be flushed without much of a problem. With all these benefits, this is easily the best hedgehog litter for the money.
3. Next Gen Pet Products Green Tea Wood Litter – Premium Choice
Out of all the products on the market, there is only one that is made out of green tea wood: Next Gen Pet Products Green Tea Wood Litter. It includes all-natural green tea leaves, which help suppress odors and prevent the growth of bacteria. Catechin is found inside this formula, too, which further helps prevent odors and works as an antibacterial agent.
Furthermore, this wooden cat litter is economically friendly. It yields over 300 clumps, so it can be used for a long time with a hedgehog. Despite the fact that it costs more, it is very efficient, which may save you more money in the long run.
We like that this litter does not include any chemicals or artificial fragrances. It does not contain any silica dust, which can injure your lungs, and is great for the sensitive respiratory system of the hedgehog.
4. World’s Best Unscented Corn Cat Litter
Made of all-natural corn, World’s Best Unscented Corn Cat Litter is one of the better options out there for those that are looking for corn litter. It is clumping, which may not work for all hedgehogs. However, it does clump very quickly, which is always a plus if that’s what you’re looking for.
We loved that this formula is completely lightweight and with very little dust. If you’re worried about respiratory problems and air quality, then this formula should work for you.
It is completely free from harsh chemicals and artificial perfumes. Therefore, it is completely safe for most hedgehogs and is a solid option for beginner hedgehog owners.
5. Frisco Pine Pellet Wood Cat Litter
Pine is a solid option for many hedgehogs since it is much safer than cedar and other types of wood. However, pine is lightly scented, which helps somewhat with odor control. The Frisco Pine Pellet Wood Cat Litter is made with 100% pine, which allows it to remain safe and fight odors. It does not include any chemicals or added fragrances, making it safer for hedgehogs.
These pellets absorb much of their weight in liquid, so they do swell quite a bit. Therefore, it is not recommended for hedgehogs that tend to eat their litter, as the pellets may cause an intestinal blockage.
Of course, because it is pine, there is little-to-no dust. You don’t have to worry about air quality, especially around your sensitive hedgehog.
6. Nature’s Logic All-Natural Pine Litter
Nature’s Logic All-Natural Pine Litter is another pine litter that we would recommend for hedgehogs. It costs about the same as the other pine litters we have reviewed and functions very similarly as well. It is made of 100% natural pine and is completely silicone-free, which is exactly what you want to look for in a hedgehog litter.
We found this pine litter to be virtually dust-free. It doesn’t create poofs of dust when you pour it and shouldn’t negatively affect the air quality of your home. Therefore, it is perfectly fine for animals that have more sensitive respiratory systems, like hedgehogs.
This is one of the few litters that is rated as being good for “other mammals” and not primarily designed for cats. However, this doesn’t seem to mean much from a practical standpoint.
Because it is pine, this formula does feature some natural odor control. It naturally smells like pine because that’s exactly what it is.
7. World’s Best Picky Cat Corn Cat Litter
We took a look at the World’s Best Picky Cat Corn Cat Litter because the needs of “picky cats” are very similar to the needs of hedgehogs. The granules of this corn cat litter are also quite large, which is better for hedgehogs. Smaller pieces can get stuck on the hedgehog, which can cause all sorts of problems (like UTIs for instance).
This formula is designed to provide long-lasting odor control. However, it is also completely free from chemicals and artificial perfumes and therefore still very safe for your hedgehog. The quick clumping feature is nice for cleanup, but it isn’t necessarily a good option for all hedgehogs. Clumping litter can be a bit tricky, especially if your pet tries to eat them!
We liked that this formula is flushable, which makes cleanup even easier. It is also very lightweight and dust-free. Therefore, it is safe for a hedgehog’s respiratory system as well.
8. Fresh News Paper Cat Litter
Generally, we recommend paper litters where possible, as they are extremely safe. Fresh News Paper Cat Litter is one such litter. It is completely unscented and non-clumping, making it as safe as can be for your hedgehog. It does include baking soda for odor control, though. While this isn’t always a problem, hedgehogs tend to be very sensitive creatures. Therefore, you may want to keep an eye on yours when you start using this formula.
The soft pellets are very inviting and safe. They are quite absorbent, which allows them to control odors and makes clean-up easy. We particularly like that this formula is made with completely recycled paper. You can’t get much more environmentally friendly than that.
Of course, this formula is completely dust-free and non-allergenic. Therefore, it is one of the gentler formulas out there.
9. Frisco Unscented Recycled Paper Litter
Like most paper litters, Frisco Unscented Recycled Paper Litter is made from recycled paper. It is one of the more environmentally-friendly options out there, made without chemicals and added fragrances, making it an extremely safe option for your hedgehog. Plus, it is also non-clumping, so you don’t have any of those issues to worry about.
These paper pellets are extremely absorbable. They quickly soak up any wastes, which prevent bacteria from growing and lingering in your hedgehog’s cage. You do need to scoop it out daily, though, as it is very absorbent. You may have to purchase more for this reason as well.
This formula is completely dust-free. As we’ll discuss, this is very important for hedgehogs, as they tend to have sensitive respiratory systems.
Baking soda is added to this formula. This is good for odor control, but some hedgehogs may be a bit sensitive to it.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Hedgehog Litter
Because there are few commercially available hedgehog litters, choosing a litter that will work for your hedgie is a bit complicated. You can use cat litters, as we’ve stated above. However, not all cat litters are safe, so the type of litter you choose really matters.
Let’s take a look at some of the safest hedgehog litter options and go over some that should never be used for a hedgehog.
Corn pellets are about as environmentally-friendly as they come. Plus, they are extremely safe for your hedgehog, who could technically eat some of the litter without much of a problem. Cleaning up and using these litters is pretty easy too.
However, these products usually do not have good odor control, though this does depend somewhat on the brand. You may have to try a few different brands before you settle on something that you like.
Wood pellets are one of the easier options to use, as they have great absorbency and decent odor control. You can also find a variety of wood pellets commercially, which makes them more convenient. There are quite a few cat litters that are made out of wood, for instance.
Cleaning these pellets up is pretty easy as well. Some of them do turn to mush, though, so be careful to choose only the best product out there.
The major disadvantage of this litter type is that the bags tend to be quite heavy. They often come in smaller sizes for this reason. Furthermore, because wood products can carry mites, you’ll need to freeze the litter for at least 24 hours.
Because bags are usually too large for the average fridge, you will need to do this in batches.
There are a few different cat litters that are made with paper, making them one of the most accessible options on this list. We’ve included several in our reviews above, so we recommend heading up there for specific recommendations.
This type of cat litter is absorbent and environmentally friendly. Usually, these products use some sort of recycled material, like newspaper. Furthermore, because the paper is virtually dust-free, it generally doesn’t cause very many respiratory issues.
While this type tends to be rather absorbent, it doesn’t have much in the way of odor control. They tend to get rather smelly after a few days. You’ll probably have to change them more often, sometimes even daily.
Often, these bags are quite heavy and can be expensive, especially with how much you need to change them. Because these pellets swell when they are wet, they can seriously harm your hedgie if they are eaten. If your hedgehog is prone to consuming things that are not food, we do not recommend getting these paper pellets.
What About Clay Litter?
Clay litter is all over the place, as it tends to be the most convenient option to grab. There are a few different options for you to choose from. Most clay litters are very absorbent and come with a decent amount of odor control.
However, this medium is quite dangerous for hedgehogs. It seems to be a little too good at absorbing moisture. Therefore, it may absorb moisture through your hedgehog’s skin, especially if the hedgehog decides to lay down in the litter pan.
Clay can also pose huge issues if your hedgehog eats it. It is toxic in some cases, making it more dangerous than other options out there.
What About Cedar Litter?
While we did list wood pellets as an option for hedgehogs, we recommend that you avoid cedar litter. Cedar has very aromatic properties, which give it a boost in odor control. Cedar litter also contains plicatic acid, which can be toxic to hedgehogs.
Cedar shavings can also end up in the private parts of your hedgehogs, which can cause all sorts of problems. Really, this medium just isn’t the best choice.
The Problem with Scented Litter
On top of avoiding clay and cedar litter, you should also avoid any synthetically scented cat litter. While this isn’t necessarily a deadly choice in all cases, synthetic fragrances can cause cancer. Hedgehogs seem to be more prone to some types of cancer than humans, so it is best to avoid synthetic fragrances where possible.
However, it isn’t always possible to avoid all synthetic scents. We simply recommend that you avoid them as much as possible.
Can I Use Fleece?
For one reason or another, fleece has become the “holy grail” for hedgehogs. Many online sources will tell you to use fleece, as it is quite safe and widely available. Furthermore, you can wash and reuse fleece, which makes it inexpensive (though the initial cost can be high).
However, this litter is actually the least environmentally-friendly option you can choose. It is covered in microplastics, which harm the environment and your hedgehog. These will come off into the soil and water supply when you wash them, and more will be deposited into your hedgehog’s cage when they use the litter.
Plus, this option simply has no odor control. Urine also tends to sink below the fleece, which causes bacteria and odors to flourish—not the cleanest option by far.
While this fleece is commonly utilized in hedgehog environments, it is not nearly the best option out there. In fact, we would recommend avoiding it. There are many better options out there. There is no reason to risk it with microplastics (and deal with the smell).
We hope that this article helped you sort through what litter is safe and which ones are not. Hedgehogs are a bit complicated when it comes to litter since they are negatively affected by all sorts of things. For instance, they cannot use cedar, as it contains chemicals that can be harmful. Silica clay is also a big no-no.
For most hedgehogs, we recommend a paper fiber like Feline Pine Original Wood Cat Litter since it is completely organic and chemical-free. It is a great natural option for those who have trouble with less gentle options.
For those on a budget, Okocat Mini Pellets Unscented Wood Cat Litter is a great option. This litter is completely unscented and includes no artificial chemicals that may harm your hedgehog. While it isn’t as environmentally friendly as paper, it is biodegradable, which is always a plus. It is also clumping, which may be a good or a bad thing depending on your hedgehog.
If you’re looking for a premium option, you may want to consider the Next Gen Pet Products Green Tea Wood Litter. It features real green tea leaves to help with odor control and prevent the growth of bacteria. The wood itself is biodegradable, which makes it more environmentally friendly than most options. It also includes no artificial fragrances or chemicals, making it safe for most hedgehogs.
Featured Image Credit: WildSnap, Shutterstock