How To Keep A Hedgehog Happy? (Deep Research)

✅ Fact Checked
Updated on January 16, 2023
Michael Colt, Bachelor Computer Science Degree & Computer Engineering.
Written by
Michael Colt, Bachelor Veterinary Medicine & Animal Science.
Ella Williams
Fact Checked by
Ella Williams
Dr. Michael Colt is a highly qualified veterinarian and animal scientist. He has extensive knowledge and experience in the care and treatment of animals, and a deep understanding of the latest scientific research in the field. Dr. Colt is dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of animals, and is committed to providing the highest level of care to his patients. Holds a Bachelors Degree in Veterinary Medicine from Middle Tennessee State University.

⭐ Fun Fact ⭐
Did you know that hedgehogs can run up to 6 miles per hour? That’s pretty fast for a small, spiky mammal! These unique creatures have strong legs and sharp claws that help them to quickly escape from danger, making them surprisingly athletic for their size. Whether you’re a fan of hedgehogs or just appreciate a good fun fact, you can’t deny that these creatures are fascinating and have a lot of personality!
Hedgehogs can be wonderful pets, but to keep them healthy and happy, proper care is essential. They have specific needs that must be met to ensure they lead a happy and healthy life. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about caring for your hedgehog, from providing a suitable living space, to encouraging exercise and play, to maintaining a balanced diet, and more. Whether you’re a new hedgehog owner or have been taking care of one for a while, this guide will provide valuable information on how to give your pet the best life possible. So, how do you keep a hedgehog happy? Read on to find out!

1 Understanding Hedgehog Behavior

Hedgehogs are unique and fascinating animals, and understanding their behavior is key to providing a happy and healthy environment for them. In this article, we’ll take a look at hedgehog’s natural habitat and diet, and common behaviors and body language.

Natural habitat and diet: Hedgehogs are native to Africa and parts of Europe, and in the wild, they can be found in a variety of habitats including deserts, forests, and grasslands. They are omnivores and feed on a variety of insects, snails, and other small prey. In captivity, they can be fed a diet of high-quality cat food, supplemented with live insects and other small prey.

Common behaviors and body language: Hedgehogs are solitary animals and do not enjoy being handled. They have a variety of behaviors and body language that they use to communicate with their owners and other hedgehogs. For example, hedgehogs will use their quills to protect themselves when they feel threatened or scared. They will also hiss, growl, or make other noises when they are uncomfortable. Additionally, hedgehogs will often roll into a ball when they feel nervous or scared.

It’s important to understand that hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and are more active at night. They also require a lot of time and space to explore and forage for food, so a large cage and plenty of hiding places are essential. With proper care and understanding of their behavior, hedgehogs can make great pets and bring joy to their owners.

2 Providing a Comfortable Living Space

Providing a comfortable living space for your hedgehog is crucial for its well-being and happiness. In this article, we’ll take a look at the suitable cage size and materials, bedding options, and temperature and humidity requirements for hedgehogs.

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Suitable cage size and materials: Hedgehogs need plenty of space to move around and explore, so it’s important to provide a large enough cage. A cage that is at least 2 feet by 3 feet is recommended, and the height should be at least 18 inches to allow for plenty of vertical space. Glass aquariums or plastic storage containers can make great cages for hedgehogs, but it’s important to ensure that the cage has adequate ventilation. The cage should be lined with newspaper or another type of bedding to keep your hedgehog warm and comfortable.

Bedding options: When it comes to bedding, there are several options to choose from, including paper bedding, aspen shavings, and recycled paper products. It’s important to avoid using cedar or pine shavings, as the fumes from these materials can be harmful to hedgehogs. It’s also important to change the bedding regularly to maintain a clean and healthy environment.

Temperature and humidity requirements: Hedgehogs are native to warm environments and require a consistent temperature between 75°F and 80°F. It’s important to provide a heat source, such as a heat lamp or a heating pad, to ensure that the temperature remains within this range. Additionally, hedgehogs require a humidity level between 30% and 50%, so it’s important to provide adequate ventilation and a source of fresh air to prevent excessive humidity levels.

By providing a comfortable living space for your hedgehog, you can ensure that it remains healthy and happy. Remember to clean the cage regularly and provide plenty of hiding places, toys, and other items for your hedgehog to interact with. With the right setup and care, your hedgehog will thrive in its new home.

3 Encouraging Exercise and Play

Encouraging Exercise and Play

Exercise and play are important components of a hedgehog’s overall health and well-being. Regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight, prevent obesity, and improve overall fitness. Providing a variety of play areas and toys can also stimulate your hedgehog’s mind and keep it entertained.

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Importance of exercise for hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are naturally active animals and require regular physical activity to maintain their health. Without adequate exercise, hedgehogs can become overweight, which can lead to various health problems, including joint and mobility issues, and a reduced lifespan. Regular exercise can also improve a hedgehog’s overall well-being by reducing stress and anxiety.

Providing play areas and toys

To encourage exercise and play, it’s important to provide your hedgehog with plenty of space to roam and explore. A cage that is large enough for your hedgehog to move around freely is essential, as is providing plenty of hiding places, climbing opportunities, and toys to play with. Some popular hedgehog toys include tunnels, balls, and interactive toys that encourage your hedgehog to forage for food.

When choosing toys and play areas, it’s important to keep in mind that hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and will be most active during the night. Providing toys and play areas that are appropriate for this natural activity pattern is essential to keep your hedgehog happy and entertained.

So essentially, providing your hedgehog with plenty of opportunities for exercise and play is essential to its overall health and well-being. By providing a spacious cage, plenty of hiding places, and plenty of toys to play with, you can help keep your hedgehog happy, healthy, and entertained.

4 Maintaining a Healthy Diet

Importance of a balanced diet
A balanced diet is essential for any pet, including hedgehogs, to maintain their health and wellbeing. A diet that is high in fat and low in protein and fiber can lead to obesity and other health problems. Feeding your hedgehog a balanced diet that includes a variety of fresh foods and commercial hedgehog food will ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients they need to live a long and healthy life.

Recommended foods and feeding schedule
Hedgehogs are omnivores and their diet should consist of a variety of foods, including protein-rich foods such as insects and meat, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Commercial hedgehog food is also a great option, as it provides a balanced diet in one convenient package. When feeding your hedgehog, it’s best to offer a variety of foods and to stick to a regular feeding schedule. Feeding your hedgehog once or twice a day, in the morning and evening, is recommended. It’s also important to avoid giving your hedgehog foods that are high in sugar or fat, as these can be harmful to their health.

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By providing your hedgehog with a balanced diet and sticking to a regular feeding schedule, you’ll ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients they need to thrive. And remember, just like with any pet, if you have concerns about your hedgehog’s diet, consult with a veterinarian to ensure they are receiving a balanced and healthy diet.

5 Regular Health Check-ups

Regular Health Check-ups are essential in ensuring that your hedgehog stays healthy and happy. It’s important to know the signs of a healthy hedgehog, such as a shiny coat, clear eyes, and a plump body. Regular visits to the veterinarian can help you monitor your pet’s health and identify any potential issues early on.

The importance of regular visits to the veterinarian cannot be overstated. A professional vet will perform a thorough physical examination, check for any signs of illness, and provide vaccinations if necessary. This can help prevent serious health problems from developing and keep your hedgehog in good health. A professional vet can also advise you on the best diet and exercise regimen for your hedgehog, as well as any other care needs.

In addition to regular check-ups, it’s also important to be vigilant about your hedgehog’s health at home. Look for changes in behavior or appearance, such as a lack of appetite or unusual discharge from the eyes or nose. If you notice any signs of illness, it’s best to take your hedgehog to the vet as soon as possible.

Overall, regular health check-ups are a critical aspect of hedgehog care. They help ensure that your pet stays healthy and happy, and they allow you to identify and address any health issues early on. So don’t neglect your hedgehog’s health – schedule regular check-ups with your vet today!


How can I make my pet hedgehog happy?

Yes, you can make your pet hedgehog happy by providing the following:

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A comfortable and safe living environment, including a spacious cage and soft bedding material.
Adequate exercise and play opportunities, such as offering a wheel, toys, and hiding places.
A balanced and nutritious diet, consisting of high-quality hedgehog food and occasional mealworms or other protein sources.
Regular health check-ups with a veterinarian to ensure that your hedgehog is healthy and to address any potential health concerns.

By following these guidelines, you can provide your pet hedgehog with the care and comfort they need to thrive and be happy.

How can you tell if a hedgehog is happy?

You can tell if a hedgehog is happy by observing its behavior and physical appearance. A happy hedgehog is active, lively, and has a healthy appearance, with a rounded belly and shiny, smooth fur. If it’s relaxed and content, it may engage in activities such as rolling into a ball, grooming, or exploring its environment. On the other hand, a stressed or unhappy hedgehog may display signs such as a dull appearance, reduced activity, or excessive lethargy. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian and providing a comfortable living environment and a balanced diet can help maintain your hedgehog’s happiness and well-being.

How do I bond with my hedgehog?

Bonding with a hedgehog requires patience and consistency. Here are a few steps that can help:

1. Spend time with your hedgehog every day, offering treats and handling them gently. This helps your hedgehog associate you with positive experiences.

2. Provide a comfortable and safe environment for your hedgehog to explore. Offer hiding places, toys, and a wheel for exercise.

3. Offer a healthy diet and provide fresh water daily. Maintaining a healthy diet can improve your hedgehog’s mood and overall well-being.

4. Avoid handling your hedgehog when they are tired or hungry. Let them settle into their new environment and get used to your presence before attempting to handle them.

Remember, every hedgehog is different, so be patient and pay attention to their individual preferences and behaviors. With patience and consistency, you can successfully bond with your hedgehog and build a happy relationship.

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Do hedgehogs like to be held?

Hedgehogs are solitary animals and are generally shy, so they may not enjoy being held like other pets such as dogs or cats. However, with patience and gentle handling, hedgehogs can become comfortable with being held and may even come to enjoy it. To bond with a hedgehog and get them used to being held, it’s important to provide plenty of positive reinforcement in the form of treats and praise, and to handle them gently and frequently. Additionally, it’s important to allow the hedgehog to retreat to its hiding place if it becomes uncomfortable or distressed, and to always supervise young children who are handling the pet. With proper care and handling, it is possible to build a strong bond with a pet hedgehog, and they can make wonderful and affectionate companions.

7 Conclusion

Lastly, keeping a hedgehog happy is a simple yet important task that requires effort and attention. Understanding the natural habitat and behaviors of hedgehogs, providing a comfortable living space, encouraging exercise and play, maintaining a healthy diet, and regular check-ups with a veterinarian are all crucial steps to ensure their well-being and happiness. When done right, hedgehogs can make wonderful pets that bring joy and companionship to their owners. So, let’s take the necessary steps to ensure our hedgehogs are healthy and happy, and enjoy the benefits of this delightful pet.
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