Hedgehogs For Sale

Hedgehog for sale

Hedgehogs are often referred to the group of ‘pocket pets’ or small mammals, there is the generically-named African hedgehog, which has become relatively popular for an exotic pet. It is often stated that these prickly insectivores are actually a hybrid species between the four-toed or white-bellied hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris) and the North African or Algerian hedgehog (Atelerix algirus), however this remains just a popular theory. It is much more probable that the so-called African pygmy hedgehog, of which the name was coined by American breeders, is a domesticated white-bellied hedgehog that could possibly be crossed with a subspecies, as true hybrids tend to have reduced fertility.

  • In captivity there are 92 recognized hedgehog variations.
  • Hedgehog average lifespan is 3.5-5 years, maximum 9 years.
  • Hedgehogs are in the subfamily Erinaceinae, in the eulipotyphlan family Erinaceidae - share distant ancestry with shrews
  • Not related to porcupines, tenrecs, or rodents.
  • Hedgehogs (and porcupines) cannot shoot their quills.
  • Hedgehogs became popular ‘fad pets’ in the 80’s with large numbers imported.

No Hedgehogs currently listed for placement

Are hedgehogs wild animals?

Hedgehogs are often described as exotic pets simply because they are less common than dogs and cats and they are even referred to as wild animals. If a domesticated animal is understood to be a species selectively-bred under human-controlled conditions for generations to meet human needs, a hedgehog can and should be considered as such. There might not be obvious differences between hedgehogs existing in the wild and the mass produced domestic pets that we know, but given that hedgehogs have been bred in captivity for many generations, it’s likely that they have enhanced adaptability to the domestic environment because hedgehogs that are nervous around humans won’t tend to breed as well as those that do. African pygmy hedgehogs are also exposed to humans from a young age likely making them tamer than a true wild animal.

Hedgehog legality

Despite being wildly available and not even ‘wild’, hedgehogs are not legal in some counties, cities, and states. Hedgehogs are not legal in Hawaii, which has stringent laws against nearly all exotic pets and even strict quarantine requirements for incoming dogs and cats.
Hedgehogs are illegal in:

  • Hawaii
  • California
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington D.C.v
  • Maine
  • Arizona
  • Georgia (there are currently efforts to overturn the ban in some of these states) without special permits, which has no logical basis.

Environmentalists worried about hedgehogs escaping into the ecosystem and doing damage need look no further than their neighboring states where the pets are legal and the complete absence of any problems. As for any so-called health risks such as Salmonella, they are the same risks we accept with the ownership of ‘common’ pets, petting zoos, food preparation, and many other unquestioned practices. Unfortunately, exotic pet owners face a form of discrimination due to the lesser popularity (compared to dogs and cats) of their animals.

“Harinezumi_01” by Yuki Hirano is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hedgehogs as pets

Hedgehogs are unique and interesting because of their quills, a feature most mammals do not possess. These attributes may intimidate some people but unlike with porcupines, these short spines are mostly harmless and hedgehogs can be handled taking into consideration their temperament. Hedgehogs will roll into a ball when scared and can attempt to prick you when being defensive, but properly tamed pets will be inquisitive and friendly. Like many other small pets, hedgehogs are nocturnal so they might not make the best pet for a child. They are solitary and prefer to live alone.

The best hedgehog enclosure

The standard recommendation for the minimum size enclosure for a hedgehog is a two by four feet long cage designed for small mammals. When choosing an enclosure, keep in the mind that hedgehogs are relatively active small animals and will be spending most of their lives in the cage. Since most people don’t allow their pet hedgehogs to free roam for periods of time, try and accommodate a larger space for them. Unfortunately, not all hedgehogs run on wheels, so this will factor into their space requirements as well. Be sure to give your hedgehog the option of a wheel anyway; the wheel will also need to have the proper width to suit a wider girth and should be at least 12” in diameter. Some wheels are offered with holes because hedgehogs tend to use the bathroom while wheel-running which can get very messy.

  • Choosing a wire cage will provide adequate ventilation.
  • A deep pan will contain the substrate better and prevent the hedgehog from attempting to climb the sides which could lead to injury.
  • ½” wire spacing is recommended.
  • Homemade C&C cages with coroplast are a good option for hedgehogs, just be sure the sides are high enough.
  • Another option is converting the Ikea Detolf shelf into a large cage, which requires minimal DIY.

Hedgehog Cage Accessories

Pick a soft substrate to use in the hedgehog’s enclosure such as Carefresh or soft aspen bedding. Avoid sharper-textured bedding that can be potentially injurious. Also avoid pine bedding that is not kiln-dried and cedar bedding because some research has shown it to have a toxic affect with long term use in some small animals.

A good bowl to choose for a hedgehog would be a heavy ceramic bowl that the animal cannot tip over. It is not recommended to use hamster-type water bottles that attach to the side of the cage for hedgehogs as owners report that they drink less, likely due to the fact that drinking in an elevated position is unnatural for them. Some owners have also reported broken teeth and tongues getting stuck in these types of water bottles.

There are many options to provide a hiding spot for hedgehogs, and this is important so that your pet can be secure. Anything from wood to fleece can be acceptable. Hedgehogs appreciate something soft to sleep on as well and can be provided with a blanket or soft type of bedding (avoid ‘fluffy’ type bedding material that has been known to wrap around the legs of small animals and cause serious injury).

Doctor_Q (CC BY-SA 2.0) Via Flickr

Hedgehog toys and enrichment

Enrichment is an extremely important part to successfully raising a healthy pet. Since hedgehogs are not rodents, many small animal toys that are designed for gnawing will not be suitable for them. Hedgehogs are known to ‘play’ with toys by pushing or tossing them around. Items that can provide this stimulation include small balls and pine cones. Of course, there are many other options.

One of the best ways to provide enrichment for any animal is to make them work for their food. High-valued food items can be placed in various treat-dispensing apparatuses so that your hedgehog can forge or ‘hunt’ for it like it would do in the wild. Food can be hidden in dog and cat toys designed for this purpose, or homemade in cheap items like toilet paper rolls.

Hedgehogs also appreciate something to climb under. Provide tunnels like PVC piping or some of the many options available on the small pet market.

Feeding your hedgehog

There are several commercial diets designed for hedgehogs on the market. Hedgehogs are insectivores but may also consume some plant material. High protein cat food is another option owners use with their hedgehogs. This diet can be supplemented with canned, freeze-dried or live feeder insects. Some other treats that can be used are boiled chicken or turkey, fruits and vegetables, and cooked eggs. Be sure to keep an eye on your hedgehog’s weight as they can be prone to obesity, and ration the portions accordingly.

Taming a hedgehog

Depending on the age that you acquire your hedgehog, it might need time to adjust to handling and require socialization. It’s best to use slow movements when taming and handling and this should be attempted a few times a day, but not for too long at a time as to avoid causing too much stress. It is important to make the handling experience positive for the hedgehog; be sure to reward it with a small piece of a favored food item when the animal has behaved in a desirable fashion. Scoop the hedgehog from underneath its soft belly and reward when the animal uncurls itself to explore without defensive actions. Doing this consistently should allow your pet to accept interaction with a conscientious handler. Remember that hedgehogs are small prey animals, so they will always have a level of weariness with being handled.

Hands Optek (CC BY-ND 2.0) Via Flickr

Health Concerns

It is extremely important to locate a board certified exotic pet vet for hedgehogs. Signs of illness in hedgehogs and other exotic pets can be subtle and hard for owners to notice until they become obvious, which is generally when the illness is too advanced to treat successfully. If a board-certified (in exotic mammal medicine) veterinarian is not located in your area, try to find a vet with extensive experience with non-traditional animals. As hedgehogs can be very difficult to examine due to their balling up habit, they will likely require light sedation, so you will certainly want a vet experienced with anesthetizing smaller animals.

Unfortunately, cancer is a uniquely prevalent problem in hedgehogs. Tumors are most often reported in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract, but they can occur anywhere in the body. The chance of finding a tumor increases as your pet ages; this typically starts around 3 years old. Other symptoms can include weight loss, lethargy, and anorexia. While treatment can be attempted, the cancer is typically incurable at this stage.

In addition to tumors of the mouth, hedgehogs can get dental disease which can lead to or exasperate other health problems. Periodontal disease, also prevalent in many popular pets like dogs and cats, is caused by buildup of plaque underneath the gum line, and over time, this can be a window for bacteria to enter the body and cause more severe problems like heart disorders.

Other common health problems

  • Diarrhea. If your hedgehog has diarrhea it can be a symptom of many different illness such as bacterial or parasitic infection. It is not a good Idea to try and diagnose the animal yourself with Google so it is essential to visit a vet if abnormal stool is observed.
  • Obesity. If your hedgehog balls up and you can still see its face, ears, or feet, it has a weight problem. Obesity is a common problem in hedgehogs when the diet is not managed properly. Always monitor the diet and do not free feed. If your pet becomes overweight, adjust the portions accordingly.
  • Eye problems. Hedgehogs are prone to eye problems and corneal ulcers. Treatment options are limited but the condition can be managed and the animals can still do well with reduced eye sight.
  • Respiratory Infection. If a hedgehog develops discharge around the front half of its body or has cracking and wheezing sounds while breathing, it might have a respiratory infection, which is highly treatable with antibiotics but serious, so be sure to visit the vet quickly.

Where to buy a hedgehog

There are many places to acquire a hedgehog since they are relatively popular for an exotic pet. This means that they are sometimes available in pet stores. As is the case with most animals, it is always best to purchase from a reputable breeder, especially considering that hedgehogs are prone to health problems that are likely exasperated by ‘bad’ breeding practices.  In uncommon cases, some hedgehogs may even be available for adoption, so be sure to check small animal rescues or sites like Petfinder.com. Hedgehogs come in different colorations which will cause them to vary in price. This can range from around $70 for a ‘normal’ color or up to $300 for more unique colorations.

Hedgehogs Diet

The diet for your hog will be a commercial hedgehog food or a high protein, low fat cat food with supplements of insects, cooked unseasoned meat, veggies and fruits that can be used as treats. Be careful to not over feed your hog. Obesity is a health hazard and can lead to liver issues.

Housing a hedgehog is not elaborate. They do best in a wire cage that has a top. The bigger the cage, the better. For 1 hog, a 20 inch by 14 inch cage will do well if you take him/her out for exercise time. In the wild a hedgehog may travel miles in search of food so the more exercise time or larger cage the happier hedgehog you will have. You can also include an exercise wheel in the cage that many but not all hedgehogs will utilize it. Just make sure that you get a solid wheel and not one with a wire run surface. The floor of the cage needs to be solid so that they will not get their little toes caught or any foot issues. You can have a multilevel cage but make sure all ramps are solid and that the levels are not high up. A hedgehog has poor eyesight and may fall from wired ramps. A comfortable environment temperature will be from 70 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Now a hedgehog is not an animal that will go into hibernation naturally. So if the body temperature is dropped it can be fatal to the hog. If you are worried about the temperature being too cold then purchase a reptile heat source to keep your hog warm. Hogs do like dark spaces to sleep in. You can purchase a hedgehog tent, blanket or a house for them to sleep in. Another item you may want to include in the cage is a litter box. Some hedgehogs will train to using the litter box, but there are ones that will decide to use another area of the cage.

Hedgehog Health

Hedgehogs are generally hardy healthy animals. But there are a few health issues that you should be aware for to watch out for. These would be low body temperature, diarrhea and vomiting, respiratory illness, shock, mange, ringworm, fleas, ticks and maggots. If you suspect your hog having any of these, please contact a veterinary that has knowledge in hedgehogs.


  • Reese on December 13
    Would this be good for a 11yr old? They are so cute!💕
  • Yana Spuhler on April 16
    I am a 12 year old, so are they good pets for kids?
  • Brenda on December 12
    These are cool. If I could get one I totally would!