We are very strict with our hedgehog adoptions as we find that people keep them in the wrong conditions which leads to serious injuries, illnesses and death.

Please get all the goods listed below ready before we do the home check.

  • An area of about 2800 square centimeters is required for each tenrec.
  • They are escape artists, you will therefore need to make extra sure that the enclosure you choose is escape-proof. Reptile tanks are ideal for tenrecs. 
  • Plenty of climbing objects and hides should be available for your tenrec to entertain themselves with. Wooden and fleece objects are most recommended.
  • A bowl full of chinchilla sand (NOT DUST) should be left in the enclosure at all times. Tenrecs use the sand to bath themselves with.
  • We also require them to be kept in fleece snuggle sacks with a fleece waterproof cage liner.  We recommend that you buy at least 2 of each in order to have one in the cage and one in the wash.  Below are the fleece goodies Lauren makes for the tenrecs (079 894 3628).  The tenrecs use the large fleece goodies.

  • Hedgies must also have a wheel (silent spinner not less than 30cm big) or a solid steel wheel (no mesh) which you can also buy from most pet shops of Takealot.  If you buy the steel wheel we suggest that you either line it with artificial grass of spray it with a rubber lining to protect your hedgies feet.
  • And lastly, a plastic heat pad (MUST BE PLASTIC, no aluminium will be accepted).  They look like the picture below which you can also buy from most pet shops.

We will not accept any cheap cat food.

  • We recommend the Royal Canine Mom and Baby Cat Stage 1 pellets.
  • Tenrecs require high-quality dry cat food as their main food. Royal Canin Kitten is highly recommended as it contains real meat as its main ingredient instead of unhealthy fillers such as cereal. However, whichever cat food you choose, should have meat as its first ingredient, as well as roundabout 30% protein and 12% fat. Food should not be limited, tenrecs can be free-fed, which means there should be food available for them to eat at all times, and be allowed to eat as much as they need.
  • Healthy treat list:
    – Mealworms
    – Crickets
    – Superworms
    – Boiled egg
    – Watermelon
    – Apple
    – Banana
    – Strawberries
    – Carrot
    – Cucumber
    – Plain yogurt
    – Wet cat food
    – Cat treats
    – Any type of cooked meat with minimal spices and salt (unseasoned mince, boiled chicken, etc.)
    – Purity baby food containing meat
    – Cooked fish but it can make them smell horrible.
  • Treats such as insects and meats should be given at least 3 to 4 times a week to help vary their diets, while other treats such as fruit and veg can be fed at least twice a week. Insects should always be fed live, as it helps to mimic a tenrec’s natural environment. Tenrecs are natural insect hunters, feeding live food helps to fulfill their natural instinct to hunt.

Calcium such as reptile calcium should be given over their food at least every two weeks, as well as a vitamin D3 supplement. Vitamin D3 aids in the absorption of calcium.

  • We also recommend that you get the below water and food bowls from the pet shop as the tenrecs love tipping over their bowls.

You have to bathe your hedgie once a week in water (you have to be able to put your hand in the water for longer than 10 sec without getting burnt).  

  • Please use the F10 Shampoo which you can buy from any vet or pet shop.  You use a toothbrush to clean them.

  • After you have dried your hedgie with a towel, you dip the toothbrush in Organic virgin coconut oil which you can buy from any supermarket and gently rub it all over the quills and you can put a bit on your fingertips to rub on the belly and feet.

Hedgehog vs Tenrec

The title in the image is a bit misleading, as technically a tenrec (even a lesser hedgehog tenrec), is not a hedgehog, but below is some info on how to identify the difference between hedgehogs (indigenous & African Pygmy) and lesser hedgehog tenrecs.

South African hedgehog:

Indigenous to South Africa, these hedgehogs are naturally occurring, have a dark belly and face, a white stripe of fur on their foreheads, and 5 toes on their back feet. South African hedgehogs are illegal to own.

Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec:

This species occurs naturally in Madagascar and can be identified by its pointy face, small eyes, finger-like toes and spiny tail. It also has less hair than hedgehogs. While the tenrec mimics hedgehogs, it is in fact not related to hedgehogs at all.

African Pygmy Hedgehog:

APHs are not naturally occurring in South Africa, and are a domesticated species of hedgehog. It has a white belly, 4 toes on its back feet, and comes in a wide range of colours.

*Info collect from the Tenrec Owner South Africa page. Follow them from advise on how to better care for your tenrec.

Tenrec Safe


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