Types of enclosures

In the Netherlands, the guideline is to have a residence of at least 100 centimeters wide and 40 centimeters deep. The height does not matter so much, as long as a running wheel in the past and the heat lamp can be hung high enough that it does not burn the hedgehog. A bigger stay is of course always better! In Germany it is even stated by law that a stay must be at least 150 centimeters wide and 50 centimeters deep, which is stated in the housing law for companion animals. Since White-bellied Cones are very active and can go up to 4 kilometers in a night, it is really better to have as large an enclosure as possible.

Photo: © Rianne Reuver.


The most obvious option that people think of is an aquarium. They are available in many sizes, including very large standard sizes. They are quite expensive and come with stuff you don't need for a hedgehog. Second-hand is therefore a good option, you can often purchase these cheaper and often come without the unnecessary filter pumps and accessories. Aquariums do not provide a lot of ventilation and therefore it is necessary to adjust the lid to safely accommodate a White-bellied Cone. For example, by replacing the lid with a homemade lid made of mesh, in which a heat lamp can hang or be placed on top. Or a completely open top is also possible, then a clamp fixture is recommended for the heat lamp.


  • In used state often fairly cheap to purchase
  • Lots of view of the hedgehog through the glass
  • Easy to clean & disinfect


  • New very pricey
  • Not enough ventilation without adjustments

Photo: © Noami Vodegel.


Glass terrariums are easily available and can be used immediately for a White-bellied Cone, you just need to install the technology and set up the enclosure! For many people the easiest option for a stay. They are fairly easily available in larger sizes, but above 120 centimeters wide it is a challenge to find. Terrariums are a bit cheaper than aquariums and come without the technology intended for reptiles. They are often cheap to buy second hand. However, some terrariums do not have enough ventilation, so attention must be paid to the placement and the amount of ventilation grilles present.


  • Cheap to buy, new and second-hand
  • Mostly built-in ventilation grilles present
  • Available in many sizes
  • Easy to clean & disinfect
  • Lots of view of the hedgehog through the glass


  • Comes without the tech like heat lamps & thermostat
  • Not always sufficient ventilation, pay attention when purchasing
  • Larger sizes more difficult to obtain

Photo: © Victoria Rodgers.

Plastic rodent cages

The well-known rodent cages are often an attractive option for many novice keepers, they are widely available in the form of guinea pig cages and are fairly inexpensive to purchase. They have a lot of ventilation, but therefore do not retain heat. This is necessary for White-bellied Cones and that is why these accommodations are often not suitable. The plastic also scratches faster than glass, making proper cleaning and disinfection more difficult in the long run. The stays also last less than glass stays. Wire cages are not suitable in advance; the legs can get caught between the bars, resulting in serious displacement. Not all accommodations are suitable for installing a heat lamp, the plastic can melt and the bars can get quite hot.


  • Cheap to buy
  • Available in much larger sizes
  • Lots of ventilation


  • Wire cages can be dangerous, resulting in serious injury
  • Does not retain heat
  • Plastic can melt and bars can become hot due to the heat lamp
  • Lasts less, wears out quickly
  • Not easy to clean & disinfect in the long term

Photo: © Judith Duinkerken.

Wooden DIY vivarium

Wooden or concrete plywood shelters are often custom-made or you can build yourself if you are good at odd jobs. As a result, these accommodations can be made as large as desired and there are many options for properly regulating ventilation and heat. You can easily build in ventilation grilles and even mount fittings right where heat lamps should be placed. You can make the doors lightweight from Plexiglas or sturdy from glass. As a result, there are few drawbacks to a self-build residence. Depending on the type of wood used, wear may be faster. However, you can also use trespa, a rock-hard sheet of paper pulp that is pressed under great pressure and feels like plastic (HPL). This material is very wear-resistant and durable and can also withstand higher temperatures, in contrast to plastic. It takes a lot of work to build a residence if you do it yourself.


  • All control in your hands, you make your own design
  • Very creative and always a unique result
  • Can be built in very large sizes
  • Able to properly regulate ventilation and heat
  • Easy to paint over, depending on the material


  • A lot of work, especially if you build the accommodation yourself
  • Maintenance-sensitive