Roslyn Morell

Written by Roslyn Morell

Modified & Updated: 02 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Hedgehogs are fascinating creatures that have captured the hearts of animal lovers around the world. With their adorable spiky coats and petite size, hedgehogs have become a popular choice for exotic pet enthusiasts. However, there is much more to these captivating little mammals than meets the eye.

In this article, we present 14 fascinating facts about hedgehogs that will not only increase your knowledge about them but also deepen your appreciation for their uniqueness. From their diet and natural habitat to their remarkable defense mechanism, we delve into the intriguing world of hedgehogs and uncover some surprising information along the way.

So, get ready to dive into the world of hedgehogs and discover some of the most interesting and awe-inspiring facts about these spiny creatures!

Key Takeaways:

  • Hedgehogs are nocturnal insectivores with excellent hearing and poor eyesight. They hibernate in winter, can swim, and live for 3-7 years. They communicate through vocalizations and are not related to porcupines.
  • Hedgehogs have a unique defense mechanism, rolling into a tight ball when threatened. They are solitary animals, love igloos, and can run surprisingly fast. Found in Europe, Asia, and Africa, they are fascinating creatures of the animal kingdom.
Table of Contents

Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures

Hedgehogs are primarily active during the night, using their keen sense of smell and hearing to search for food.

Hedgehogs have a unique defense mechanism

When threatened, a hedgehog will roll into a tight ball, covering its vulnerable body with sharp spines.

Hedgehogs are insectivores

These small mammals mainly feed on insects, such as beetles, earthworms, and slugs, making them beneficial for gardeners.

Hedgehogs are found in Europe, Asia, and Africa

While hedgehogs are most commonly associated with Europe, they can also be found in parts of Asia and Africa.

Hedgehogs have excellent hearing abilities

With their large ears, hedgehogs can detect the slightest sounds, enabling them to react quickly to potential dangers.

Hedgehogs have poor eyesight

Although their hearing and sense of smell are highly developed, hedgehogs have limited vision, especially in bright light.

Hedgehogs are solitary animals

Unlike some other mammals, hedgehogs prefer to live alone and only come together for mating purposes.

Hedgehogs hibernate during winter

In colder regions, hedgehogs will hibernate during the winter months to conserve their energy and survive the harsh conditions.

Hedgehogs can swim

Despite their spiky appearance, hedgehogs are surprisingly good swimmers and can cross small bodies of water when necessary.

Hedgehogs have a lifespan of 3-7 years

On average, hedgehogs live for around 3-7 years in the wild, although some have been known to live longer in captivity.

Hedgehogs communicate through a variety of vocalizations

Hedgehogs use different sounds, such as snorting, chirping, and snuffling, to communicate with each other.

Hedgehogs can run surprisingly fast

Despite their small size, hedgehogs can reach speeds of up to 5 mph when they need to make a quick escape.

Hedgehogs are known for their love of igloos

These adorable creatures often seek shelter in cozy, hidden spots like piles of leaves, bushes, or even makeshift igloos.

Hedgehogs are not related to porcupines

Although they share a similar defensive mechanism with porcupines, hedgehogs and porcupines are not closely related.

These 14 facts about hedgehogs demonstrate just how fascinating these little creatures are. From their unique defense mechanism to their diverse vocalizations, hedgehogs have earned their place in the animal kingdom. So, the next time you come across a hedgehog, take a moment to appreciate the wonders of nature’s prickly companions.


In conclusion, hedgehogs are fascinating creatures with a unique set of characteristics. From their adorable appearance to their prickly spines and quirky habits, there’s no denying the appeal of these little mammals. Whether you’re considering getting a hedgehog as a pet or simply interested in learning more about them, these 14 facts have provided a glimpse into their world. Remember, hedgehogs require special care and attention, so if you’re thinking of having one as a pet, be sure to do thorough research and consult with experts to ensure their well-being. With their small size and charming nature, hedgehogs have undoubtedly earned their place in the hearts of animal enthusiasts worldwide.


1. Are hedgehogs good pets?

Yes, hedgehogs can make great pets for the right owners. However, they require specific care and attention, so make sure to do your research before deciding to get one.

2. Do hedgehogs get along with other pets?

Hedgehogs are solitary animals and may not get along well with other pets. It’s important to introduce them carefully and ensure their safety and well-being.

3. What do hedgehogs eat?

In the wild, hedgehogs primarily eat insects, small vertebrates, and plant matter. As pets, they require a balanced diet of specially formulated hedgehog food, insects, and occasional fruits and vegetables.

4. Can hedgehogs be litter trained?

Yes, hedgehogs can be litter trained. Providing a suitable litter box and using a safe, absorbent litter material can help encourage good litter habits.

5. Are hedgehogs prone to any health issues?

While hedgehogs are generally resilient animals, they can still be susceptible to health issues such as obesity, dental problems, and respiratory infections. Regular veterinary check-ups are important to ensure their well-being.

6. How do hedgehogs defend themselves?

Hedgehogs have a unique defense mechanism where they curl up into a ball, exposing their spiky exterior. This acts as a deterrent to predators and protects their vulnerable underbelly.

7. Are hedgehogs active during the day or night?

Hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active during the night and sleep during the day. However, pet hedgehogs can adjust their schedule to some extent.

8. Are hedgehogs easy to care for?

Hedgehogs require specific care and attention, so they may not be suitable for everyone. They need a suitable habitat, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and mental stimulation to thrive.

9. How long do hedgehogs live?

In captivity, hedgehogs typically live between 4 to 7 years. However, with proper care, some may live up to 10 years or even longer.

10. What are some common hedgehog breeds?

The most common hedgehog breeds kept as pets are the African pygmy hedgehog and the European hedgehog. These breeds have distinct characteristics and care requirements.

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