Hedgehogs are small and adorable pets. Furthermore, unlike dogs or cats, hedgehogs neither require you to always play with them nor beg for food in the middle of the night!
Therefore, for those who are not too rich in time but still want their daily life to be more enjoyable, petting a hedgehog is very suitable.
However, there’s the fact that hedgehogs are still creatures in the wild. Hence, if you do not pay attention to give them proper care, they will not be able to grow as healthily as dogs or cats in captivity.
Besides, you also need to determine how old do hedgehogs live to provide him with the right daily diet and care.
That is what you will be guided in this article along with the helpful FAQs related to “How long do hedgehogs live?” and “How long do hedgehogs live domestic?”
Let’s explore now!
- 1 Fast Facts about Hedgehogs
- 2 How Long is Hedgehog Life Expectancy?
- 3 Factors Affecting a Hedgehog’s Lifespan
- 4 Common Hedgehog Diseases
- 5 Best Products Enhancing Your Hedgehog’s Life
- 5.1 Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation
- 5.2 Living World Deluxe Habitat
- 5.3 Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner
- 5.4 Taste of the Wild Dry Cat Food
- 5.5 Natural Balance Dry Cat Food
- 5.6 Tasty Worms Nutrition Freeze-Dried Mealworms
- 5.7 Fluker’s Freeze-Dried Mealworms
- 5.8 Carefresh Small Pet Bedding
- 5.9 Kaytee All Natural Aspen Bedding
- 5.10 Kaytee White Small Animal Bedding
- 6 FAQs about Hedgehog Health
- 6.1 Do hedgehogs live alone?
- 6.2 Do hedgehogs need a heat lamp?
- 6.3 Can hedgehogs lose their eyes?
- 6.4 Do hedgehogs like to cuddle?
- 6.5 Do hedgehogs smell?
- 6.6 How old is my hedgehog in human years?
- 6.7 What temperature is too cold for hedgehogs? What happens if a hedgehog gets too cold?
- 6.8 Do hedgehogs have periods?
- 6.9 What human food can hedgehogs eat?
- 6.10 What time do hedgehogs go to bed? How long do hedgehogs sleep?
- 6.11 How many babies do hedgehogs have?
- 6.12 Who is the oldest hedgehog?
- 6.13 What happens to hedgehogs as they get older?
- 7 Bottom line
Fast Facts about Hedgehogs
- Hedgehogs have over 16 species.
- The currently popular hedgehog pets are native to Africa.
- They have a small and pointed mouth, short legs, ruffled feathers, and are quite slow.
- Hedgehogs are very gentle and not dangerous to owners.
- Hedgehogs are omnivores.
- They have a habit of living at night and sleeping during the day.
- Some hedgehogs have hibernation behavior.
- Their sense of smell and hearing are very good, in contrast to their eyesight.
- Hedgehogs run quite fast with a speed of over 6 feet per second.
How Long is Hedgehog Life Expectancy?
How long do hedgehogs live?
In captivity, hedgehogs can live for 3-7 years. In rare cases, they can reach 8-10 years of age. It is amazing when a small hedgehog can live as long as a dog, right?
However, how long do hedgehogs live in the wild?
In the harsh natural environment with many lurking dangers, hedgehogs can only live for about 2-3 years. They also have difficulty living with the lack of food, water, and their living environment is also increasingly shrinking.
These are some of the best examples that reveal the difference between hedgehogs living in the wild and captive environments. They are also a few factors that affect “How long do hedgehogs live for?”
In the next section, you will have a more comprehensive view of the remaining elements. From there, you can help your pet lead a healthier and safer life.
Factors Affecting a Hedgehog’s Lifespan
There is an apparent difference between the answers to “How long do African pygmy hedgehogs live?”
That is, in captivity, a healthy and happy hedgehog can reach 7-8 years of life. Meanwhile, those in the wild only live for 2-3 years.
Want to know the reason?
It is due to other predators. Being killed is the leading cause that hedgehogs cannot live long in the wild rather than other reasons like lack of food or diseases.
Therefore, this species works at night to be able to find food and hide from predators. They also live in caves or bushes where their enemies cannot see them.
How long do hedgehogs live as pets? When you raise hedgehogs in a cage, they will be protected and live long.
This is, of course, one of the most critical factors affecting the health of a hedgehog because everyone needs to eat to live.
Providing hedgehogs with a diet full of essential nutrients will help them stay healthy and happy. Thus, they will live longer and longer.
Choosing food for hedgehogs is not too complicated. You just need to make sure they have enough protein, fatty acids in meat, insects, and vitamins, minerals in vegetables. About these foods, we will list specifically in the FAQ section for you.
Besides, cat food is also considered suitable and provides balanced nutrients for hedgehogs. They are soft and small enough for the pet to chew and digest. You can refer to some products in the next sections.
Temperature and lightning
Hedgehogs are not ordinary, like many other pets, but they are nocturnal, and some also hibernate.
Therefore, ensuring stability in temperature, as well as lighting, will help them work normally and not be stressed about the living environment.
Your room temperature should not be below 20 degrees. Besides, you also need to place the pet’s cage where there is not too much sunlight. They need to sleep during the day and will wake up at night.
Preparing a standardized cage as well as cleaning it regularly is essential when you want to raise a hedgehog.
Cages for the species need to be airy, durable, and spacious enough. In the cage, there must be necessary items such as food troughs, hedgehog water bottles, and bedding, etc.
They are the primary conditions to build a perfect home for the pet.
Besides, if their cages are dirty or smelly, hedgehogs will be more susceptible to parasitic, respiratory, and digestive diseases. So make sure you change the water, food, and bedding regularly to keep it clean.
Exercise and stimulation
Hedgehogs will wake up at night to eat and be active in the cage. So, in addition to the items listed above, you should prepare toys to stimulate them to be happy and healthy.
Although hedgehogs are relatively easy to adopt, they can have as many conditions as other pet species. And these diseases can also affect the pet’s lifespan.
The best cure is to prevent diseases. You should always keep the cage of hedgehogs clean, buy high-quality food, and follow the habits of these animals.
Let’s check out the common hedgehog diseases in the next section.
Common Hedgehog Diseases
Oral disease is the most common issue because hedgehogs eat continuously during the time they are awake. Besides, they have 44 teeth to look after.
Can you believe it? 44 teeth! In the tiny mouth of a creature that is smaller than the palm of your hand!
It is extraordinary, right? That is why they can eat everything from vegetables, fruits to meat, insects.
They are omnivores, so keeping their teeth healthy is essential. Otherwise, as they get older, they are more likely to lose or wear teeth. You can use a Q-tip to brush them daily.
If you do not raise hedgehogs for breeding, you can take them to the veterinary clinic to have the ovaries removed from female hedgehogs and neuter male hedgehogs.
This will help prevent uterine cancer, breast cancer in females, and testicular cancer in males.
Besides, after the female hedgehogs give birth, you also need to clean the cage regularly so that they will not get genital infections. That is, contaminants in the cage will easily cause pathogens for them and their hoglets.
Like dogs or cats, hedgehogs can also have mites. When they get sick with parasites, they will have quills shed and dry skin. Besides, you will also notice some signs such as itching and irritation on the pets’ skin.
At this time, you need to take them to see a vet check to have appropriate treatment. In addition, you also need to clean the cage and ensure their daily food hygiene.
This disease is not very common, but it is, sadly, has no cure. When your hedgehogs have this disease, they will not be able to regulate their ability to balance.
As a result, they will not move as normal, always wobble, and fall. If it gets worse, they will have seizures, paralysis, and death.
Urinary Tract Diseases
If you notice that the pet’s urine is brown or bloody, it means she has urinary tract diseases. They will make the animal uncomfortable and do not want to eat or drink water. At this point, you need to take her to see a veterinarian for the best solution.
** It’s never a good idea for hedgehog parents to diagnose and treat the pet at home. Although the signs are obvious, we don’t have the professional knowledge to determine the most appropriate action. So, reading advice is ok but don’t act on yourself.
Best Products Enhancing Your Hedgehog’s Life
Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation
Spacious, sturdy, and comfortable are a few of the adjectives that we could use when describing this hedgehog cage. It can move with four locking wheel casters. Therefore, you will easily adjust it.
Besides, this product has many shelves, very suitable if you have a family of hedgehogs, or want to create a comfortable space for your pet.
Living World Deluxe Habitat
If you’re a fan of neatness, then you won’t want to skip this hedgehog cage. It is made of plastic and stainless steel, but it is very sturdy. Whether your hedgehog is large or small in size, they will be very comfortable to play in their cage.
In fact, rabbit owners also love this ideal space. So why can your hedgehog not live here?
Better yet, it is also affordable because of its simple yet functional structure. Therefore, you will be able to disassemble and clean it easily. The door is also very strong and safe, thanks to the latch.
Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner
Hedgehogs are hyperactive animals who love climbing. In natural environments, they often have to find food and run away from enemies. Therefore, in captivity, if you only give your pet an empty cage, they will be very dull and get sick easily.
Preparing accessories like the Exotic Nutrition wheel not only makes hedgehogs more joyful but also stimulates their muscles and cardiovascular system to function healthily. Besides, it also works very quietly that will not disturb your life or sleep.
Some people worry that some wheels can cause a hedgehog’s paws or fur to get stuck. However, with this product, it will not be a problem because it is very safe for pets.
Taste of the Wild Dry Cat Food
Although hedgehogs are omnivores and prefer insects, preparing insects ensured about their quality for the pets is not easy.
Therefore, you can let your pet try cat food in combination with vegetables. In particular, the dry cat food from the Taste of the Wild brand is one of the best products for hedgehogs.
Not only does it have a delicious taste, but it also provides all kinds of nutrients for the animals with proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Your hedgehog will love this food.
No products found.
Natural Balance Dry Cat Food
If you don’t want your hedgehog to eat fish ingredients, let’s consider this Natural Balance cat food.
It is made from clean duck meat and is very beneficial to the health of pets.
In particular, if your hedgehog has a problem with the digestive tract and produces liquid feces, you will see a noticeable shift after giving him this food.
Moreover, this feed has kibbles of a suitable size for hedgehogs to chew. If you want to add moisture to the food, just soak them with water to soften them.
Tasty Worms Nutrition Freeze-Dried Mealworms
Mealworms are hedgehogs’ favorite food. If you want to give your pet a daily treat, you can buy this freeze-dried product of Tasty Worms Nutrition.
These mealworms are very crispy and delicious. Moreover, although they are dried food, they are guaranteed about quality and no less nutritious than live insects.
To make the daily meals of hedgehogs richer and more attractive, you can mix this food with meats and vegetables. They will love the food, even with the pickiest individuals.
No products found.
Fluker’s Freeze-Dried Mealworms
This is another freeze-dried mealworm product for hedgehogs that we want to recommend to you. It comes in a plastic container, so it is easier to use and store than the previous product.
But, in general, both Fluker’s and Tasty Worms Nutrition are the best dried-worm suppliers on the market. Their products will stimulate your pet to find food and enhance his taste.
Carefresh Small Pet Bedding
Choosing the bedding for hedgehogs is also necessary. If you do not pay attention to this problem, their habitat will be very susceptible to contamination and odor. Thus, the bacteria born will make them sick.
This Carefresh product can control odors for more than a week. As a result, you will not have to spend too much time cleaning the hedgehogs’ cage. Better yet, the litter is dry and dust-free, which will not harm the animal’s respiratory system.
Kaytee All Natural Aspen Bedding
This product will add more comfort to your hedgehog’s habitat. The chips are very soft and do not have sharp pieces. Therefore, they will not hurt the animal when he runs or plays on the bedding.
The origin of the chips is also safe, completely natural, and contains no chemicals. Besides, they have an excellent ability to absorb moisture and odor. Undoubtedly, your pet’s cage will always be dry and clean.
Kaytee White Small Animal Bedding
This may not be the most premium-quality bedding product, yet it is the most affordable one. Above all, it is very clean and soft for pets.
When you open the bag and pour the litters into the cage of hedgehogs, they will expand double or even triple.
Besides, it is all white, so you can easily remove the dirty areas. You can then replace the rest after about a month of use. Thus, you will save a lot of money that you do not have to change the bedding often.
FAQs about Hedgehog Health
Do hedgehogs live alone?
In the wild, hedgehogs live in groups of 5-7 members.
However, they also have instincts that you need to pay attention to when raising them, of which the most important issue is the leader and scrambled territory. This will depend on the gender of the pet to decide.
Specifically, if you have two male hedgehogs or one male + one female, you should separate them in two cages. That’s because, with the males, they will bite each other injured to scramble for territory and food.
And if you let a male hedgehog and a female one stay together, death will surely happen. When the female hedgehog becomes pregnant at a young age, it will die due to insufficient energy to give birth.
Besides, she is also very sensitive at birth. Hedgehog parents can bite their children to death.
Therefore, you should only propagate them when they are 5-6 months old and separate them in two different cages.
In contrast, with female hedgehogs, they can stay together very well without any conflict. You can have more than two individuals in one cage.
Do hedgehogs need a heat lamp?
Hedgehogs are native to Africa and some places, but it does not mean that they live only in the desert. They are also found in places like savannas, forests, scrublands, etc. to search for insects and vegetables.
In particular, hedgehogs live in caves made from plants.
Therefore, it can be said that hedgehogs do not need heating with heat lamps.
In contrast, when you raise a hedgehog, always remember he needs an airy and dry environment.
Can hedgehogs lose their eyes?
Eye disease is one of the common problems of hedgehogs. It is likely to occur during their growth due to the influence of the surrounding environment.
For example, hedgehog bedding products with high dust content will lead to eye inflammation and even blindness. Or, hedgehogs may suffer eye injuries when moving with poor-quality wheels, etc.
Therefore, you need to choose the right accessories with quality assured for your pet.
However, if your hedgehog loses his eyes, don’t worry too much because he will still live very well. This is because a common hedgehog has a superior sense of smell and hearing compared to sight.
Do hedgehogs like to cuddle?
It depends on each individual.
Accordingly, if you have a hedgehog for a long time, but he still tries to move when you hold him, don’t be sad and think he doesn’t like you. That’s simply because he prefers to walk and explore the surroundings rather than cuddling.
On the other hand, hedgehogs differentiate everything around by smell.
What are we trying to talk about here?
That is, if you often change your perfume or have strange smells, hedgehogs cannot recognize their owners and will not want you to be close to them.
So let them get used to your smell for a while, and they will allow you to cuddle them.
Do hedgehogs smell?
An advantage of having a hedgehog over other pets like dogs, cats, or bearded dragons, etc. is that he doesn’t smell.
However, if one day, you notice an unpleasant odor in your hedgehog’s cage, it may be because you haven’t cleaned the cage for him for a long time. Or maybe he’s not showered yet.
Furthermore, the main ingredient in daily meals such as fish can also cause hedgehogs’ stools to smell more than usual.
How old is my hedgehog in human years?
From the age of hedgehogs, you can infer their human years by the following table.
|Hedgehog age||Human years|
|2 months||10 years|
|6 months||20 years|
|14 months||30 years|
|3 years||40 years|
|3 1/2 years||50 years|
|3 3/4 years||60 years|
|4 1/6 years||70 years|
|5 1/3 years||80 years|
|6 1/6 years||90 years|
|7 2/3 years||100 years|
What temperature is too cold for hedgehogs? What happens if a hedgehog gets too cold?
For hedgehogs, the ideal room temperature lies between 73 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (22-27 degrees Celsius). Therefore, hedgehog owners usually leave it stable at 75 degrees Fahrenheit (or 24 degrees Celsius).
Some hedgehogs have a habit of hibernating and moving less when the temperature drops below 70 degrees Fahrenheit (or 21 degrees Celsius). Therefore, if you find your pet less active, but he still eats, sleeps well, and be agile, you do not need to be too worried.
Do hedgehogs have periods?
Female hedgehogs do not menstruate. Usually, after 5-6 months of age, they are ready for breeding. When the pet is in her heat time, you may put two hedgehogs of different genders to mate. The healthy ones are the best.
Hygiene at this time is very important. Pay attention to keeping the cage clean to get ready for the process until they deliver the offspring and after that too.
What human food can hedgehogs eat?
Hedgehogs are omnivores, so in addition to nutritious meals, you can design tasty treat options for them easily from human food.
But not all we eat we can feed the pet. These foods should not be fed too much but only for 3-4 days/week in small amounts.
In particular, the types of meat and fish that they eat include:
And vegetables include:
- Romaine lettuce
- Dandelion greens
- Collard greens
- Sweet potato
- Radish, turnip
- Green pepper
Also, do not forget to add these fruits to the hedgehog diet:
- Cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon
- Squash, Pumpkin
- Strawberries, Cranberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberry (without skin)
It is true that hedgehogs cannot digest dairy products. However, they can eat cheese and yogurt in small amounts.
Boiled eggs will also be an interesting treat for the hedgehogs’ diet variety.
What time do hedgehogs go to bed? How long do hedgehogs sleep?
As you probably know, hedgehogs are nocturnal, and in the winter, some individuals also have a habit of hibernation. Normally, they will spend 17-20 hours a day to sleep, and that period is when the sun is still present, i.e., the daytime.
After the sun sets and it is completely dark, they wake up to eat and be active. Even if your hedgehogs can stay awake during the day, they still do not like the light and will probably hide until the sunlight is gone.
Before sunrise, they will go to sleep.
Ideally, you should not disrupt their timetable. Instead, there are a number of ways that you can do to change hedgehogs’ habits while keeping them stress-free.
You can prepare some objects or toys for them to hide in the cage in the daytime, such as paper bedding and igloo house, etc. Or, you can use cardboard boxes to build a home for them to wander.
In the winter or when hedgehogs feel cold in their abdomen, some individuals will sleep longer than 20 hours a day. It is a normal behavior of this species, so you do not need to worry, as long as they are healthy, drink plenty of water, and are agile.
However, if your hedgehogs sleep a lot but eat less, you should pay attention to improve their diet. That’s because when hibernating, hedgehogs will need more energy from the fat stored in the body. Eating not enough or being underweight, hedgehogs will probably die.
How many babies do hedgehogs have?
From 8 weeks of age, hedgehogs can reproduce. However, the most stable age for giving healthy hoglets and assuring the health for mother hedgehogs is from 5-6 months of age.
Typically, a hedgehog can have 4-5 children/litter. Some will give birth up to 6-7 babies. However, during her reproduce, you need to be extremely careful when taking care of her.
While a female hedgehog is pregnant, you need to provide extra nutrients for her, especially iron, to feed the fetus in the abdomen. Otherwise, at birth, she will die from exhaustion or eat hoglets to replenish energy loss.
In the early days of raising a baby, if the mother hedgehog feels disturbed, she will probably eat her hoglets. Therefore, you need to move the cage to a place with less light, less noise, and fewer people crossing.
Hoglets will live with breast milk until 3-4 weeks of age. At that time, you can separate them into many cages because they can fight and scramble for food in the cage.
Who is the oldest hedgehog?
How long do hedgehogs live in captivity? 5-7 years. But in the world, there are many recorded cases of hedgehogs that can live over 10 years and even 16 years. However, no confirmation of this information has been made.
Anyway, if you give your pet a healthy and happy living environment, they will live with you for 7-8 years. In human years, that is counted as over 100 years old.
What happens to hedgehogs as they get older?
If you’re not raising your pet from the beginning and wondering “How many years does a hedgehog live?”, pay attention to things like his eating and living habits.
Depending on each individual, hedgehogs will have different signs as they get old. However, there are some similarities as following.
That is when the pet’s weight fluctuates more often. In a few weeks, you may see your hedgehog getting fat. However, after only a few days, he gets thinner and keeps repeating.
Besides, an old hedgehog will have weak teeth and cannot normally eat as before. At that time, you will have to grind his food or change it to wet cat food.
You also need to pay attention to his droppings. He will have liquid manure or waste will be less.
Answering “How long do pet hedgehogs live?” as well as related issues will help you find out the more suitable pet care and diet. That is also the puzzle that many people are solving.
So don’t hesitate to like and share these guides with them. If you need further information about other topics like senior dog food, feel free to contact us or visit our website. Thank you!
Last update on 2021-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API