The Basics

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

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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!

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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!

Hedgehog Hide-and-Seek

I have often wondered if hide and seek is a hedgehog's favorite game. Hedgehogs are accomplished escape artists and it is really scary to find an empty cage where you expect to see a little bundle of quills snoozing away! Fear not, though… here are a few tricks to help you win the game!

You can reduce potential risk by hedgehog proofing your house before your hedgehog makes a daring first escape. Make sure there is nothing dangerous in the room that your hedgehog may escape into (stoves, recliners) or out of (dryer vents, doggie doors). This can be done by placing foam blocks, cardboard, or wooden barriers across any areas that look like they might be risky. You will want to get in the habit of closing the door to rooms with potential hazards. If your hedgehog cage is in an area that you can close the door and keep it in one room, you minimize how far your hedgehog can roam if it escapes.

If you discover that your hedgehog has escaped, DON’T PANIC! Calmly check areas that might want to use to take a nap. Our first hedgehog was free ranging and we learned from her that laundry piles, closets, and dark areas under upholstered chairs have particular hedge-appeal. Hedgehogs may also hide behind boxes or shelves.

If you check all of the obvious places and you still can not find your hedgehog, the next thing to do is to place a food and water dish near the cage area. Hedgehogs are creatures of habit and will often retrace their steps. If you see that food and water is missing, it’s reassuring to know that your hedgehog is alive and well, just A.W.O.L.

If you have a large house, you can close off each room and place a food and water dish in each, to narrow down where the hedgehog is hiding. Hedgehogs are not particularly shy about people and will eventually waddle right out in front of you! Some people have reported placing paper lunch bags on their side, with food in the back, so that the rustling will alert them when the hedgehog goes in the bag to eat the food.

No article about hedgehog hide-and-seek would be complete without legends of our truly talented hide-and-seek artists. Our first hedgehog, Nanny Ogg, would play this game with me daily since she was free ranging. The funniest places I ever found her were in the bottom of one of my boots, sleeping in a t-shirt belonging to a house guest who had left his clothes next to the couch when he retired for the night (He was sure surprised when he picked it up(, and sleeping in the leg of a pair of sweat pants. I picked up the sweat pants and there were four little flailing legs stuck out of the bottom while her body kept her from falling out!

A hedgehog named Dachande gave me a scare at a very memorable time.  I ran to get a phone call in the middle of cage cleaning and when I returned, I found that I had not latched it well enough and she was gone! I put out food and water but did not find her that night. I was determined to look for her the next night, but then I went into labor and delivered my beautiful baby girl the next night. Two nights later I got home from the hospital to see that Dachande had been eating and drinking the food that was left out for her, but no Dachande. I was starting to worry about how long she had been gone, when the next night I practically stepped on her when walking into the hedgehog room. Boy was I happy to see that wiggly little nose pointed at me!

Our most daring escape distinction goes to Lily-of-the-Valley. She was residing in a sterlite container with a wire panel on the side, which was placed on a shelf that is eye-level to me.  She was due to have babies and when I went to check on her, much to my horror, she was gone! Somehow the lid hadn’t been snapped on entirely tight and she must have shimmied up the wire, pushed up the lid with her nose, leapt to the cages below, and from there to the floor. I decided to check the obvious places before panicking and lo and behold, she had 3 newborns that she’d birthed beneath an unused garbage bag that sat in the center of the room. Mom and babies were returned to the cage and the rest of their childhood went without incident.

Our most clever escape award goes to Miss Gizmo, a 5 year old rescue hedgehog who reportedly never escaped in her life, even though she’d been kept in a cage with sides that most of my hedgehogs would scale in a heartbeat. Within 48 hours of moving to our home, Gizmo was escaping that cage on a nightly basis. I moved her to a blow-up wading pool, figuring that would give her room to roam and that it would be too high to scale. Five months went by without event, then one day she managed to scale the wading pool and was gone! I put her food and water in the bathroom, slightly under the cabinet ledge where I wouldn’t knock it over, and waited. Two nights went by and I couldn’t find her in any of the obvious places, but she was eating, drinking so I knew she had to be there. Much to my surprise, on the third night I was sitting on the floor, next to her food and water, when she suddenly appeared, as if out of thin air! Clever Gizzy had found that there was a gap under the bathroom cabinet (I sure didn’t know it was there) and had been living in the cabinet the whole time!

The wading pool finally met its demise with the hilarious escape of Zinnia. Zinnia was an overweight hedgehog who needed extra room to roam. I figured she was too fat to scale anything. One morning I found that the top ring on the pool was popped and Zinnia was gone! And, for extra measure, she had taken her hedgebag with her! I quickly located her hiding in her hedgebag, behind the chest freezer. I figured it would be okay to shut the door to the room and let her roam the room until I got home that night. When I got home I found Zinnia back in the pool, curled up in her hedgebag, patiently waiting by the now empty food and water dishes!

I have now had several hedgehogs demonstrate their mountaineering skills by making it up our carpeted stairs to the upstairs bedrooms.

In conclusion, hedgehogs do sometimes escape. Planning ahead can prevent tragedies if and when escapes do occur. If you have taken reasonable precautions ahead of time, then it is just a matter of figuring out where the hedgehog is hiding or waiting until he or she decides to show up. Most of all, don’t panic!

Antigone Means

Iola, KS

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This page last updated by Tig on  11/11/18