There Are Many Positives To Keeping An African Pygmy Hedgehog As A Pet, We Have Listed Them Below!
African Pygmy Hedgehogs are very fast becoming one of the most popular kept exotic pets in the UK.
They don’t take up huge amounts of space and exercise outside the cage.
They are not noisy animals so no fall outs with you neighbours (if you have them),
We have not noticed any distinct smells as long as you keep them clean.
They are not difficult to feed and you can even find hedgehog food from online stores, or cat food from local pet stores, chicken based is best and high quality without fillers.
You do not need to walk them like you do large animals, you can purchase them a hamster wheel they will have hours of fun.
You can find different colours, normal, chocolate and albino, other colours are being worked on by UK breeders.
African Pygmy Hedgehogs Care Sheet
A good healthy hedgehog can live for 3-6yrs. Please see our information guide below on what to buy for your new Baby Hog!!
Your new hedgehog will have to live indoors unless you can arrange heating in a nice shed or outside. The perfect temperature for Hedgehogs 65-80f (18-26c) which is the average house temperature, anything below 45f (7.2c) and it is very risky as they may go into hibernation which is dangerous for them, they can be bought out of hibernation but sadly it might be too late. Your new African Pygmy Hedgehogs will also need on average 12 hours per day of daylight, you can achieve this with either natural day light or using an artificial light.
African Pygmy Hedgehogs can be kept on their own or two females togther can work, never two males they will not get along and a male and female will obviously multiply, they are more than happy on their own.
The perfect housing for an adult African Pygmy Hedgehog is an indoor rabbit cage 36″ by 12″ as they need lots of exercise, being nocturnal they will be up all night. It has been said that African Pygmy Hedgehogs will use their play wheels during the night and some walk upto 10 miles in their wheel.
Litter Training Your African Pygmy Hedgehog
You will need to put a litter try in their cage, if they keep making a mess outside of their litter try keep putting them back in they will pick it up, give them time and patience. You can fill their litter tray with clumping cat litter or sawdust, natural cat litter is the safest.
Housing Materials For your African Pygmy Hedgehog
African Pygmy Hedgehog will need a nesting box, a water bottle (rabbit or hamster bottle etc), feeding bowl and dust free sawdust, if it isn’t dust free it can cause serious problems and clog their bladders, also make sure it is not made out of cedar (the fumes can be highly toxic). Hedgehog feeding
African Pygmy Hedgehogs need a strict diet that is high in protein and low in fat. See our guide to what they can eat.
They can eat chicken cooked throurougly, baby food that is chicken based, and any good quality cat meat that contains high content of chicken. This will aid their digestion.
You can also use a cat biscuit formulated from chicken and some stores will even stock hedgeghog food, it is always worth registering your interest in hedgehog food otherwise there will never be enough demand for the manufacturers to consider making it.
They will eat livefood such as insects that can be bought from pet shops or exotic/reptile shop like mealworms, crickets and wax worms, some of these stores are on the internet too. If you really do not like the idea of feeding live food you can buy htem frozen or dried but we believe fresh is best!
Fruit and vegetables are allowed on occasions, also low fat yogurts and cooked egg. .
A fresh supply of drinking water should be readily available at all times
Do not feed your African Pygmy Hedgehog insects from the garden. They are also thought to be lactose intolerant please do not give them cows milk, if you needed to give a baby hedgehog milk then it should be goats milk.
Do not feed peanuts as they can get trapped in the roof of their mouths.
Offer your baby hedgehog a full bowl of food daily, once you see the amount eaten daily you can give this amount every night, avoiding wastage but also making sure no old food is left in their feeding dish
A typical adult African Pygmy Hedgehog weighs 12-18 ounces.
African Pygmy Hedgehogs Playtime
Toys, like children they love to play with toys. The most important purchase you can make is their wheel, they will spend amazing amounts of time in the wheel and this in turn is fantastic exercise and will stop them becoming bored. Make sure the wheel is plastic and not wire, we don’t like wires as their feet could get caught and damaged. Provide plenty of tunnels, noisy toys and balls etc, you can get hamster toys just make sure the tunnels are big enough, also give them a hiding area where they can sleep and go for peace!
They love to be cuddled by the family, as with all animals the more time you spend handling them the tamer they will be. If you can get them out for time in the evening their spines will go down so you and the family can stroke them like you would other pets.
African Pygmy Hedgehog Behaviour
Hedgehogs are seldom aggressive, in most cases they only ball up because they are scared. They rarely bite through aggression or fright, I have not been bitten yet! If they start licking your fingers there may be something tasty on them so licking is best stopped to avoid an accidental nip
Self anointing is a very common hedgehog act and its very amusing to watch. When they taste something new like food or an object they build up a frothing lather in their mouth then doing the most amazing contortions they spread the lather on their backs.