African Pygmy Hedgehog Facts

Interesting Facts

  • The African pygmy hedgehog is a hybrid of the four toed hedgehog and the Algerian hedgehog, and is the most popular species of domesticated hedgehog in the world, it is illegal to keep a British hedgehog as a pet.
  • African Pygmy Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures. It means they are active during the night. However they require 12 hour of light per day.
  • Hedgehogs rely mostly on their sense of smell. They sniff constantly; they can also smell humans from meters away. Hedgehog’s nose might be actually described as his eyes. In older age hedgehogs usually go blind but it seems it doesn’t make big difference to them.
  • Hogs have also taste buds but they are able to eat anything at all – but remember do not serve banned food. And it doesn’t mean if they can eat anything, they won’t be picky!
  • APH are not rodents, so do not have continually growing teeth.
  • Second important sense for hogs is hearing. Its cover high frequencies so animal can pick up even sounds emitted by insects.
  • APH’s sense of sight is very basic. They are short-sighted and have limited field of view. Hogs see in shades brown and cream.
  • They love to run and they can do distance of 3km per night.
  • Hogs are also quite good climbers – so watch if you have wire cage.
  • Self-anointing is another hedgehog’s trademark. When animal smells or tastes something new or tasty, as result will produce large quantities of frothy saliva. Then hog spreads the foam over own spines by flicking it with its tongue.


  • When thinking about Hedgehog Housing, bear in mind that hedgehogs should be housed individually.
  • They don’t enjoy socialising with other animals and when housed with them, fights can break out.
  • There needs to be a lot of space in your Hedgehog House (ideally at least 4 square feet cage floor space) to explore but you shouldn’t let them run loose in your home without supervision.
  • They can climb well and are escape artists. If they live in a wire cage or have a wire exercise wheel, they can really injure or break their little feet.
  • Hedgehogs need plenty of ventilation but to be kept out of drafts and direct sunlight.
  • The best home for your little guy is a Vivarium or Zoozone2


  • Pelleted bedding is great for hedgehogs as does highly absorbent, many people use Finacard which is a shredded card.
  • Fleece liners are the preferred choice for most owners they are soft and nice to walk on and can be removed and cleaned regularly, always good to have at least 3 liners.
  • Hedgehogs have sensitive skin, when they have contact with moist or soiled bedding they can get dermatitis and infections.
  • You need to clean your hog’s environment at least once a week and spot clean soiled areas daily.
  • Don’t use sawdust as it can lead to infections, respiratory problems and blindness.


  • A Hedgehog’s staple diet should be mostly dry cat biscuits.
  • You can buy hedgehog foods in some pet shops and supermarkets but this type of food is not suitable for African Pygmy Hedgehogs, it is for wild hedgehogs, and because of this it is high in fat.
  • Many hedgehog owners buy high protein cat kibble food and mix 5 different types together.
  • When you’re choosing food for your hog you should firstly ask the breeder what they have been feeding. It’s a big change for a hedgehog to move away from its family and environment, so when it comes to you it is a good idea to give it the food it knows to try and keep a little normality in its life and reduce stress.
  • Once you know your hog is happy and comfortable around you, you can then start looking at other types of biscuits to feed it.
  • As hedgehogs are insectivores and require both biscuit and insects daily, hog will be delighted to be treated with mealworms and crickets.
  • If you do make a little meal for your pet, don’t leave it out long enough for it to go off and give your pet to get food poisoning.


  • Your hedgehog is originally from Africa and requires additional heating, they will be happy living in temperatures of 24-29C, this temperature is too hot for us but perfect for hog’s.
  • They are very sensitive to temperature extremes and high humidity.
  • Don’t put your hog’s home near a fireplace, heater or direct sunlight.
  • Or in a drafty area.
  • Don’t let it hibernate, ever! They are not physically equipped to deal with this and it can be fatal.


  • Hedgehogs are not a good choice of pet for young children, by nature, hogs are most active in the evening and middle of the night.
  • Most young children are in bed before the average hog is thinking of getting up and come morning when the child is getting up your hog has already gone to bed.
  • Some hedgehog’s can be woken up during the day for short periods of time but are often grumpy.
  • Hedgehogs are quiet shy little animals that startle easily. Young children just by being their exuberant active selves don’t usually have the patience required to enjoy a hedgehog as a pet.
  • Hedgehogs do make wonderful entertaining pets, but you have to put the time and patients in to achieve this.
  • It is a wonderful feeling being able to pick your once grumpy hog out of its bed and cuddle it without him or her balling up and huffing at you.
  • They can be very entertaining pets, but like everything else, you only get out what you put in and the same is true for hedgehogs.

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Category: African Pygmy Hedgehogs


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