*I was sent a Cafe Waterer from Petmate in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.


While I absolutely love having a hedgehog, finding products for him can be quite a challenge. Of course, hedgehogs aren’t the most popular pet so they don’t really make food dishes, beds, wheels etc exclusively for hedgehogs (for the most part). So most of the time I have to get creative by seeing what ferret, rabbit, guinea pig or rat products will work for my hedgehog even though they aren’t made with him in mind. After having a hedgehog for over a year and a half now, I had pretty much figured out what worked for him except for when it came to a water dish.


For those of you not familiar, hedgehogs are fairly small – slightly larger than a hamster. So, their faces are not far off of the ground and food and water dishes must be rather shallow. At first, I bought a very small water dish but it was lightweight and my hedgehog would use his nose to push it around his cage and spill all the water out. He did this for his food dish also, but if food spills out, he will eat it on the ground. So while I wish he wouldn’t do that, at least I know he won’t be going hungry if I’m not able to refill the food dish within a few hours. The water gets absorbed though, so I was afraid he wouldn’t get enough to drink. So I purchased a slightly larger (though still very short) water dish that was ceramic, thinking it might work because it was heavy. Well, my hedgehog pushed that around and dumped the water out also!

So, I started researching online and read that some people use waterers that are made for rabbits or hamsters with hedgehogs. I bought one and my hedgehog never licked the ball at the bottom to get water out (I don’t think he realized how it worked) and instead he would chew on the bottom of it, which did occasionally result in him drinking water but because hedgehogs only have one set of teeth, it was dangerous for him to chew on it because if he broke his teeth, he wouldn’t have any more grow in and he could be unable to eat food.

So, that waterer had to go. I went back to the ceramic dish and tried remembering to fill it every few hours so that he’d have water available but it always seemed to be empty and I was concerned that he was spilling the water before drinking any. I was getting ready to throw away an old Scentsy warmer when I realized that the top of the Scentsy warmer was incredibly heavy and low to the ground! So, I started using that. He is able to push it around but it takes a lot more effort so he was spilling it less. However, I would still fill it twice a day and it would always be empty when I checked it so I was still worried about being unable to give him a constant source of water.

petmate Cafe Waterer

So, when I found out that Petmate makes the Cafe Waterer in a variety of sizes. I asked for the smallest size because I knew that it would be small enough to fit inside Henry’s cage. I also thought it would likely be low enough to the ground that he could drink out of it, I had to give it a shot. It’s been absolutely perfect for Henry.

Petmate 1/4 gallon gravity waterergravity waterer for hedgehog


Seems how it holds 1/4 of a gallon of water it’s heavy (compared to other water bowls) and he isn’t able to move it around and spill the water out! Also, because it uses gravity to disperse water, it automatically refills if too much water is drunk or evaporates. For Henry, this container would last him for a week or more but I still change it out everyday and clean the inside just to make sure that his water is fresh and clean. The clear part comes off so and has an opening roughly the same size as a plastic bottle of soda. I use an old toothbrush to swipe the insides of it but I plan to buy an extra bottle brush to clean it with as I think that would work slightly better. It’s nice to know that if we wanted to take a weekend long trip or something that I could have the option of leaving him if we had to. It’s also nice for days when we aren’t home much. I used to feel like I had to refill his bowl at least 2-3 times a day to make sure that he had water available if he got thirsty. Now I can be gone from dawn till dust without worrying about him.

A surprise benefit of using the Cafe Waterer for my hedgehog is that the sides are slightly higher than previous water dishes so he doesn’t walk in/stand in the Cafe Waterer so the water stays cleaner.

The Cafe Waterer comes in larger sizes, too so they can be used with cats or other animals. The 1/4 gallon Cafe Waterer that I was sent is currently listed for $9.15 on Amazon. The other sizes are 3/4 gallon, 1 1/2 gallon and 3 gallon.

Petmate makes lots of feeding and watering solutions for cats and dogs, plus bedding, toys and even gear for pet birds. Petmate products are sold at a variety of pet stores, Amazon.com, walmart, target and more.



This post currently has 10 responses.

  • Jen

    Awe! What a cute little guy! I have seen those water bottles for cats, nut never knew they had ones for little pets too.

  • Sooo cute. I never really thought of having a hedgehog as a pet. Funny how I only every thought of Sonic the Hedgehog. 🙂 Love the water bowl it is really cute.

  • Shelley P

    Henry is adorable! : ) I haven’t seen the small waterer for small pets before. I’m using small heaving dishes for my hedgies right now but have the same worries and issues as you. I’d like to try this out on them : )

    • emmy

      It’s so neat to discover others who have hedgehogs becuase in person, whenever someone finds out that I have a hedgehog they are baffled and most of them have no idea they can even be pets. I love having mine though. It’s funny how he’s so particular though. It took me four or five water bowl options before I found this one that worked and I think seven or eight different “beds” before I found one that he’ll always use. Most people on hedgehog forums use igloos but mine just refused even though I tried several sizes. So finicky! Lol.

  • What a cute little hedgehog!! I haven’t looked at the Petmate water bowls yet. We have a dog and a cat. But I think we could definitely use a water dish like that for our pets, but bigger obviously. I get really tired of filling up the water dish 5 times a day.

  • Oh he is such a cutie! and this bowl looks great!

  • Marc

    Just seen this and order one up for a wild hedgehog that I over wintered but has not left the garden.

  • Amy Welsh

    I bought this based on your review and love it! My only problem is that the bedding /litter gets in it. I use aspen shavings. From the pictures, it looks like you have a pad under the water bowl and your cage isn’t filled with litter/bedding. I’m still a hedgehog newbie and I know you posted this a long time ago, but if you have any suggestions, that would be great!

    • Glad it’s working for you (mostly, anyway!). The photo in this post is when I was using an adult incontinence bed pad. They’re quite similar to puppy pee pads, but I read somewhere back in the day that puppy pee pads may be unsafe as they’re scented with something to make dogs want to pee on the pad, and some hedgehogs will smell that and try to eat the pad which can be harmful. Where the ones marketed for humans to use aren’t scented so hedgehogs aren’t likely to try to eat the pad.

      The disposables worked okay but I wound up switching to lining the cage with fabric later. I made my own, but if you search something like “cage liner” on Etsy you’ll find different sellers offer to make custom pads based on the exact measurements of the cage you have for your hedgie. I made a few so that I could swap them out regularly. I knocked any poo off into the trash and then just washed the pad in the washer/dryer. Just another option. 🙂

  • Jaime B

    Thank you for your post I have been racking my brain on what to use thats even safe for them!!

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