When Do Hedgehogs Sleep?


Hedgehogs are generally considered to be nocturnal, which means "awake at night" or crepuscular, which means "awake at dusk and dawn." This does not mean that you will never see your pet hedgehog if you are not a night owl.

Our experience is that our hedgehogs are most active after sundown to around midnight, then many take an extended nap, waking up an hour or three later to stay active until about 6 or 7 in the morning. They will generally wake once or more during the day to get a drink, eat a bite, run a few laps, and then settle back down to sleep.

Most pet hedgehogs will be grouchy at first, when you wake them up during the day. You really can' blame them- I'm pretty grouchy when woken from a dead sleep, too. Once the hedgehog realizes that it is safe, most will calm down and take the opportunity to eat, drink, explore, and then look for a place to sleep after they have had their fill. This is a great time to provide a hedgebag in your lap for some quiet bonding time!

There is one thing I would caution when you wake your hedgehog up during the day. Just like most humans beeline for the bathroom when they wake up, hedgehogs often have to heed nature's call when they first wake up. If you want to avoid a messy oops, let your hedgehog run around in the cage until after it has done its business or watch carefully for signs that it is about to go, so you can avoid getting a very smelly present.

If you would like to increase the chances of your hedgehog being awake at a consistent time during the day, feed and water your hedgehog at the same time every day. Talk to the hedgehog while you are approaching the cage, giving clean water, and giving fresh food. Over time, many hedgehogs will learn to either wake up at the same time each day with the expectation of food or to wake up when they hear your voice. Some hedgehogs will learn to do both!

Can Hedgehogs Climb?

Yes, hedgehogs climb!

In spite of their funny little feet that have no actual toes for grasping, hedgehogs are amazing at figuring out how to climb up and out of cages. We have had hedgehogs escape from cages with solid plastic walls and a lid on top, leading us to seriously wonder if hedgehogs can also teleport.

We have had hedgehogs make it upstairs in our house, in spite of the height of each stair being taller than a hedgehog's reach. We suspect that the carpeting on the stairs helped them to get some sort of purchase to help them climb up.

Hedgehogs can not grasp on to things to climb up like a mouse or squirrel could climb up a rope, but they certainly do have the ability to climb many things.


Hedgehogs As Holiday Gifts: 5 Tips To Make It Successful

Giving a hedgehog as a holiday gift? You will want to make sure that this is a wonderful experience for both the hedgehog and the person receiving the hedgehog. Here are some tips to make sure that your gift is successful!

1) Make sure the person wants a hedgehog! This might sound like a no brainer, but it does happen. If the person doesn't really, really, really want a hedgehog, it isn't fair to the hedgehog or the person. Buying a hedgehog as an impulse gift is almost always a very bad plan.

2) Make sure the person is prepared for the hedgehog. If you aren't also giving the cage and all of the basic supplies make sure that the person already has the cage set up.

3) Don't pick just any hedgehog. Make sure that the hedgehog you are choosing is healthy and has a personality that will be a good match for the person you are buying it for. If you are uncertain,  give a hedgehog collectible to unwrap on the holiday and take the person with you to pick their own favorite hedgehog afterward. 

4) Make sure you are set up to take care of the hedgehog if you aren't giving it right away. It is very important for the hedgehog to stay happy and healthy! They need to stay warm, they need a place to hide to sleep, and they need food and water.

5) Make sure that the person you are giving the hedgehog to knows how to take care of it. Not all of the information on the Internet is equally good. We have 20+ years of experience in caring for hedgehogs and our website at hedgehogvalley.com has information that you can trust. 

If you follow these guidelines, your gift will be appreciated and both the hedgehog and its new human will be off to a happy start! 

Hedgehog Handling: Four Tips to Help Make it Easy

As you can see from the hedgehogs I am handling in the three pictures below, hedgehogs can be easily handled when they are relaxed! Here are a few of my best tips for handling hedgehogs:

1) After you wake your hedgehog up, give it a few minutes to fully wake up before handling. I am cranky if woken up from a dead sleep, and hedgehogs seem to feel the same way!

2) Scoop the hedgehog from underneath. If they don't feel like they can get firm footing, they will not relax very quickly.

3) Be confident! They smell your fear (or confidence). If you are nervous, put on some light gloves so that you can be confident.

4) Remember- the anticipation of getting prickled is generally way worse than any prickling you might get from your hedgehog so relax!


What is quilling?

Hedgehog quills are modified hairs, much like the center part of a feather, minus the fluff. When a hedgehog baby is born, it has no quills....