How Big Does A Hedgehog Get?

Small animal species known as hedgehogs can be found in these regions as well as Asia, Europe, New Zealand, and Africa. They can adapt to different environments, from arid wasteland to a humid rain forest.

Their distinctive quill-covered bodies and long, narrow faces make hedgies instantly recognised. The keratin in hedgehog quills is the same protein found in human hair and nails. Hedgie spines are not venomous and hence cannot be “launched” in self-defense.

Hedgehogs are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night and sleep during the day (for up to 18 hours!). More than two kilometres away from their burrows, they have been seen foraging for food.

How Big Does A Hedgehog Get?

Hedgies, while living in the wild, are obligate foragers. They eat a wide variety of things, including carrion (dead animals), frogs, bird eggs, insects, snakes, and fruit. According to the African Wildlife Foundation, hedgies have ravenous appetites and can eat up to one-third of their body weight in a single feeding session (AWF).

Like honey badgers, mongooses, and opossums, hedgehogs have a specific protein in their blood that can help neutralise harmful snake venom, making hedgehogs immune to many venomous snakes.

Hedgehogs are able to hunt upon snakes without fear of becoming a meal themselves thanks to a partial immunity to the poison they produce.

Subfamily of Hedgehogs

There are seventeen recognised species of hedgies, and they are dispersed all across the world. Those things are:

Small African Hedgehogs Known as Pygmy Hedgehogs (Four-Toed Hedgehog)

Most people who keep hedgehogs as pets are interested in African pygmy hedgehogs, which are native to Africa and may be found in places like Mozambique, Somalia, Senegal, and The Gambia. Grassy habitats or savannahs are the best places for these hedgies to be.

Because most other species of hedgehog have five toes on each foot, the four-toed kind got their name from the fact that they only have four on their hind feet. African pygmy hedgehogs have a greyish coat with dark grey or brown spines (quills) that are tipped with white.

Typically, African pygmy hedgies enjoy eating spiders, snails, grubs, as well as other insects and occasionally some foliage.

Hedgehogs in Europe (Common Hedgehog)

The European hedgehog is native to Europe and is the second most popular pet hedgehog species overall. These hedgies have adapted to city life despite their natural preference for grasslands and thick forests.

Hedgehogs are typically brown in colour and feed on a variety of foods, including slugs, earthworms, beetles, fruits, vegetables, cat food, caterpillars, and even dog food.

Hedgehog, North African

Algeria, Malta, Tunisia, Spain, Morocco, and Libya are the original homes of the North African hedgehog, also known as the Algerian hedgehog. Hedgies like these prefer forest habitats to grassy plains.

Its quills are white, its body is brown, its ears are large, and its head and legs are brown in an Algerian hedgehog. They are omnivores who feast on everything from worms to insects to small birds to mollusks to nuts to fruits.

Hog-Tailed Jackal of the Southern African Continent

Yes, you guessed it: South Africa is home to the Southern African hedgehog. Botswana, Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and other places in South Africa are good places to spot these animals. In the grasslands where they are most at home, these hedgies dig burrows or hunker down in leaf heaps.

The Southern African hedgehog is easily recognisable by the white stripe of fur that runs over its shoulders, front legs, and forehead. Roots and leaves are among their favourite foods, as are grasshoppers, slugs, worms, small birds, berries, leaves, and mollusks.

Hedgehogs in Somalia

Hedgehogs native to Somalia, where they are found exclusively in open grasslands. Their quills are a dark tint, and they have a brown furry tail.

Amur hippopotamus

The range of the Amur hedgehog includes mainland China, Russia, and the Korean Peninsula. Hedgies like these can be found both in grassy regions and on the outskirts of forests.

They look a lot like their European counterparts and feast on mice, snails, frogs, earthworms, and centipedes. Hedgehog with a white chest and white fur that lives in the south.

Hedgehogs with white bellies or chests are the Southern white-breasted kind, which are native to Southwest Asia. Instead of digging burrows, these hedgies construct grass and leaf nests, which they use as sleeping quarters.

Hedgehogs, Northern White-Breasted

The range of the Northern white-breasted hedgehog spans much of Northern Europe, from Poland and Austria to the southernmost Greek Islands. These hedgies are omnivores, devouring anything from scavenged greens to pet food.

Hedgehog with Long Ears

Long-eared hedgehogs are native to Central Asia and thrive in the region’s rather temperate climate. Their preferred dwelling is a tunnel beneath some plants.

To differentiate themselves from their relatives, these chubby fellows possess a singular trait. Attempt to speculate on what it could be. What sets them apart are their prodigious ears. The long-eared hedgehog is not only one of the swiftest of the hedgehog species, but it also has shorter quills than its cousins.

Long-Eared Indian Hedgehog

North Indian and Pakistani regions are home to the Indian long-eared hedgehog. These little hedgies are able to withstand extremes of both summer heat and winter cold.

As its name suggests, the Indian long-eared hedgehog is often a dark hue with long ears. Water and insects are two of these hedgies’ favourite things in life.

Hedgehog From the Daurian Region

Typical habitat for the Daurian hedgehog is rocky, grassy terrain in northern Mongolia and Russia. They like to eat chickens, mice, ants, and other insects.

Hedgehog, or Hugh’s

The Hugh’s hedgehog can be found in Manchuria and Central China, where it favours grassy areas over wooded areas. Hugh’s hedgehog is very different from other hedgehogs in that it is active during the day and hunts for insects, while most hedgehogs are nocturnal.

Hedgehogs of the Gaoligong Forest

The Gaoligong Forest Hedgehog is endemic to the Gaoligongshan Nature Reserve on the slopes of Mt. Gaoligong. Only recently discovered (in 2018), this hedgie is well-known for the striking colour patterns that run along its spine.

Camel-Tailed Hyena

Some nations in the Middle East and parts of North Africa are home to Desert hedgehogs, one of the smallest species of hedgehog. The scorpion is a favourite food, but they will also eat frogs, snakes, bird eggs, and other insects if given the chance.

The Hedgehog of Brandt

Brandt’s hedgehog, so called after the guy who first spotted it, Johann Friedrich von Brandt, lives in arid regions of Central Asia and the Middle East.

Hedgehog in India

The Indian hedgehog is endemic to India and does best in dry, sandy deserts, however it may adapt to a variety of environments. In appearance, they are quite distinctive, with dark, speckled faces that are reminiscent of raccoons.

Hedgehog with No Belly Hair

The bare-bellied hedgehog is the last of our hedgehog species, and it may be found in southeastern India. Due to its rarity, a lot of information about bare-bellied hedgehogs is lacking.

Now that you’re familiar with the seventeen species of hedgehogs, it’s time to learn more about their reproduction, development, and ecology.

Procreation and Newborn Care of Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are solitary creatures that only get together to mate. Males will engage in drawn-out courtship rituals that include rhythmic snorting, puffing, and circling in an effort to woo cooperative females.

Once the female hedgie becomes pregnant, she will give birth to anywhere from four to seven piglets. Hoglets are born weighing around a third of an ounce and looking like fat grub worms. Porcine infants survive on their mother’s milk for the first three to four weeks of life.

The hoglets’ eyes open, fur grows, and the first quills emerge between weeks 3 and 4. (the replacement of old quills with new ones). Hoglets wean off their mother’s milk at about this time. Hedgehog mothers start evicting their young into the wild when they are between six and eight weeks old.

When Fully Grown, How Quickly do Hedgehogs Mature?

Piglets in the wild typically wean themselves from their mothers after six to eight weeks. Although species differences exist, most hedgehogs mature at around six months of age.

Hedgehog males can become fertile as early as eight weeks of life, whereas females don’t reach sexual maturity until after two years.

How Big Do Hedgehogs Get as Pets?

Hedgehogs are generally small animals. In the pet trade, the African Pygmy hedgehog is the most commonly found species. These little critters usually reach a length of 7-9 inches (about 17-22 cm) and weigh between 350 and 700 grams. So yes, they’re quite small and easy to handle.

Hedgehog Size in Centimeters

To give you an even clearer picture, the African Pygmy hedgehog generally measures between 17 to 22 centimeters in length. Its petite size makes it suitable for apartment living and easy transportation. Some people have even been known to carry their hedgehogs around in a specially designed pouch or pocket!

Do Hedgehogs Make Good Pets?

Absolutely, provided you know what you’re getting into. Hedgehogs are solitary animals by nature, which means they are quite content being alone and may not crave human interaction as a dog or cat might. That said, they can become accustomed to their owners and even form bonds.


Hedgehogs are usually non-aggressive and easygoing, making them suitable for families, singles, and seniors alike. While they may take some time to warm up to you, most hedgehogs will eventually let you hold them without any issues.

Care Requirements

Caring for a hedgehog isn’t particularly demanding, but it’s not as simple as caring for some other small mammals. They require a balanced diet, a clean habitat, and regular veterinary check-ups to ensure they’re in good health.

Exercise and Enrichment

A wheel in their cage for nighttime exercise is a must, as hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures. Additionally, they love to explore and burrow, so adding some toys and tunnels to their habitat will help keep them mentally stimulated.

Allergies and Sensitivities

People who are allergic to cats or dogs will be relieved to know that hedgehogs are less likely to trigger allergies. Their quills are not like fur and don’t hold onto dander in the same way.

Final Thoughts

In summary, hedgehogs make fascinating and manageable pets for the right person or family. They are small in size, measuring 17-22 cm for the most common species in the pet trade, and have a relatively straightforward care routine.

So if you’re looking for a pet that’s a bit different from your average cat or dog but still just as endearing, a hedgehog might be perfect for you.

Hopefully, this comprehensive guide has answered your queries about how big hedgehogs get as pets and their suitability for your home.