The Basics

Articles on basic care and considerations for new or prospective owners.

Vet/Health Care

Articles pertaining to health, nutrition, and veterinary care.

Breeding and Development

Articles and pictures about hedgehog breeding, growth, and development.

Advanced Care Issues

Articles for people who already own a hedgehog or want to know more than just the basics.


Learn more about hedgehog colors!

Purchase a Hedgehog

Wondering where to buy a hedgehog? Start here!


Where to purchase hedgehog supplies and collectibles.

Our Herd

Meet the hedgehogs of Hedgehog Valley!

Other Critters

Meet the other critters that call or have called Hedgehog Valley their home!

Is A Hedgehog For Me?

One of the most frequently cited reasons for people who give up a pet is, "It wasn't what I expected." This happens all too often with dogs and cats, and more unusual pets such as hedgehogs are no exception. If people don't know how to care for them properly or don't have a realistic idea of their personalities, they can't make an informed decision about whether or not a hedgehog is going to be a good pet for them. The following list is to help you know what to can expect from a hedgehog:

 You can expect:

- To have to research and then provide a daily source of appropriate, high quality food and clean water.

- To clean the cage once per week, sometimes a little more or less, and that it may or may not litter train. If your hedgehog has a wheel, it will likely poop on the run and the wheel will need to be cleaned one or more times per day. If you choose to use fleece liners in your hedgehog's cage, it will need to be changed and cleaned daily.

- That it will need to stay warm (above about 72F), or else your hedgehog may get sick and die.

- You will get poked. Even the best hedgehogs have off days.

- That there is a strong chance you will need to trim its toenails, even if it gets grumpy and doesn't want you to.

- That it will self-anoint (i.e., spread spit or other things on itself).

- That it will be happier if it has a place to hide and toys for enrichment.

- That a hedgehog who is not friendly to begin with may never become friendly, although they do often show slow improvement over the years.

- That it may bite, though this is unlikely. Anything with teeth may bite. Hedgehogs are more likely to bite a nervous handler.

- That two males generally will not enjoy one another's company and should not be housed together. Males and females also should not be housed together. Two females may be able to house together,  but it isn't guaranteed.

- That a hedgehog's life expectancy is 3 to 6 years. They can and sometimes do live longer (our record is 9), but 3 to 6 is average.

- That it will enjoy toys that it can climb in or on, and items it can manipulate.

- That it may poop on you, especially if it is a baby. Babies don't seem to have much in the way of manners or bowel control. They may also poop and walk through it, especially if they have a wheel. It may not ever litter box train.

- That most babies will go through a period of "quilling" and will be very grumpy for a while. You will need to hold your hedgie baby anyway, if you want to keep it from learning that being grumpy is a good way to get people to leave it alone.

- That it may need at least one trip to the vet in its lifetime.

- That your hedgehog may never actively seek you out for companionship. Some hedgehogs do, but most just think humans are just something cool to climb on.

Antigone Means

Iola, KS

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All information on this web site is copyright of Hedgehog Valley. You may view/print the web pages for your personal use. You may also provide a link to these pages without prior approval. No one is allowed to re-post the information from Hedgehog Valley® Web Site, including pictures, to any other web site, without the approval of Hedgehog Valley. Copyright 2002

Please note that if portions of this article look like the information on the International Hedgehog Association's care page, it is because they are using my writing from an earlier version of this article, but removed my credits.

This page last updated by Tig on  01/18/2020