Finacard, Papelit and Sofnest – A Great trio for hedgehogs
African Pygmy Hedgehogs are an exotic pet animal with specific needs and a major part of maintaining their health is to ensure that they are provided with the right set-up. Accommodation needs to be roomy and well ventilated without any access to bars to climb or to get stuck between. A major factor involved in housing is what substrate to use. The original Finacard is a dust free shredded cardboard substrate which is shredded into strips instead of squares meaning that it is softer without any hard edges to scratch or damage hedgehog’s delicate, protruding eyes. Its dust free qualities mean that it is effective in minimising the risk of respiratory diseases which even other substrates such as sawdust can cause and unlike sawdust, there has been no incidence whereby Finacard has gotten trapped in the sheath of a male hedgehog which resulted in irritation (as with the case of sawdust on several occasions.)
The nature of using Finacard as a substrate for African Pygmy Hedgehogs enables and encourages natural behaviours in the species to dig and forage and to enable owners to use it to create play areas such as housing food items, i.e. mealworms, as a method of providing stimulation and exercise. Finacard is also excellent as a nesting material, particularly for expectant mums, as they like to gather up the pieces in their mouth and make nests with it to rival Fort Knox!!
To assist African Pygmy Hedgehogs with litter training (which is possible with hedgehogs albeit not always!!) Finacard have developed a fragrance free compacted paper pellet litter which is ideal for soaking up urine. It is important to use different substrates to help your hedgehog differentiate between the litter tray and the rest of the cage. Papelit pellets are ideal for litter tray. They are made from 100% paper with no chemical additives. They are highly absorbent and mask odour well.
Some hedgehog owners like to use fleece liners – particularly if their hedgehog is exceptionally neat and tidy – but use Papelit as their litter tray substrate, again to differentiate between the rest of the cage but also because of its absorbent nature.
A third really great addition for the comfort of your hedgehogs is Sofnest Nesting Material, soft shredded bedding made from natural fibres and perfect hedgehogs to nestle and sleep in. Sofnest Nesting Material comes in three variants – Sofnest Standard, Sofnest Flakes and Sofnest Paper Flakes. For hedgehogs Sofnest Tissue Flakes work the best. The pictures of products shows Sofnest Standard and not Sofnest Tissue Flakes.
Finacard first came to light as a suitable substrate for African Pygmy Hedgehogs after a committee member of The UK National Exotic Hedgehog Rescue and Information Service discovered it during an internet search whilst looking for appropriate alternatives that offered better value for money than other substrates on the market. Other committee members started using it with approval and since then word has spread throughout the hedgehog community resulting in many owners, including breeders, using and recommending Finacard products.