All small animals need the opportunity to hide. Many of the small animals in our animal centres are a prey species and so they may feel threatened or startled by any unfamiliar sound or person. They need to be provided with a safe place where they can retreat.
Hiding places might also be seen as bathrooms; therefore clean these areas more frequently. Examples of hiding places to place in a cage include, but are not limited to:
- Plastic igloo
- Small cardboard boxes
- Tunnels (PVC piping, dryer piping, toilet paper rolls)
- Paper bags
Aside from bedding, nesting material should be provided for the small animal to build a nest or resting place for themselves. This will provide physical and mental stimulation, and occupy their time as well.
Examples for nesting material include:
- Cotton balls
- Pieces of fleece
- Shredded newspaper
- Toilet paper
Many small animals find enjoyment in climbing. This will provide opportunities for exploration and exercise.
- Multiple levels, perches, shelves
- Plastic tubes that connect
- Pull string through toilet paper tubes and hang them across the cage
- Braid fleece to make a rope to hang across the cage