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The African Pygmy Hedgehogs Pet Craze

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The new pet craze at the moment is the African pygmy hedgehog. Although it was first bred in captivity 10 years ago, they are proving to be this year's must have pet. They cost about £150 and there is such a high demand for them that the waiting list is over a year long.

african pygmy hedgehog

Wild hedgehogs need a lot of space and freedom whereas a pygmy hedgehog is a quarter of the size of a normal hedgehog. Wild hedgehogs carry fleas but African pygmy hedgehogs do not.

Keeping a wild hedgehog as a pet in the UK is illegal.

Here are a few things to consider before buying an african pygmy hedgehog

  • They can live between 4-6 years.
  • On average a pygmy hedgehog weighs between 12-18 ounces.
  • Hedgehogs prefer to be on their own, females can get along with each other but males will fight.
  • Although they don't hibernate like the hedgehogs in the wild, they need to be kept warm; if it gets too cold they might try to hibernate. They will also need 12 hours daylight a day whether artificial or real.
  • Hedgies diet consists mainly of cat food but they eat all meat. They also eat mink and ferret food, cooked poultry and cooked eggs. For treats they like insects, fruits and vegetables.
  • They must never have cow's milk; only goat milk as they have an intolerance to dairy products.
  • They sleep mostly during the day and will come out to play in the evening.
  • Like hamsters, they enjoy playing on the wheel; they can run for hours without stopping, you will then find the wheel covered in poo.
  • Make sure they have enough toys to keep them busy as they enjoy playing with empty loo rolls and cat toys.
  • They can easily be litter trained. When you first get your hedgie and he does a poo, scoop it up and put it in his litter tray and they will find out that this is the right place to do a poo.
  • Pygmy hedgehogs are prone to getting cancer so check them often to make sure they don't have any new lumps or bumps or blood in their poo.

Feel free to share your experience if you have one of these cute pets :)

gices Published 19 May 2009
I'm a Software Developer and the founder of Clever Dodo. I encourage people to practice MAM (Movement/Arts/Meditation) for a well-balanced and happy life. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.


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nikki2329 29 Sep 2011
These comments are amazing, especially:

'ever since my hedgehog came into my life I've never had so much fun, if you are thinking of getting one you need to have lots of time on your hands because they need lots of love and care. I love taking pictures of her and then painting her or sketching her.'

hahahaha brilliant!
Nickiraw 28 Sep 2011
Iv had my hedgehog (albert) for almost a year now n he's so much fun but his spikes have started to fall out and he looks alittle dry is this normal ???
sue_3 08 Jul 2011
If your hedgie has dry skin which is very common get some oats and put them in a.sock out in warm water and swish round until water is milky colour pour over the back but not on the face or ears so soothing my little daisy loves it
ali 06 May 2011
You should not buy from shops, they need to be handled every day to remain friendly. They are lovely pets. Make sure the cage you have is safe and that the hedgie will not strangulate itself. About £150 is a good price. Look on the official forum for breeders. Lovely pets, def read up on them majorly so you treat them right
XxMarissaXx 08 Apr 2011
I'm gettin one on the 20th April and I'm really excited, but I dunno wat kind of cage I should get for it? I know it's a hamster one but can it have tunnels or will it get stuck? Thnx x
becksy 05 Mar 2011
hi we had a big fire at our house - really want a pygmy hedgehog - but worried about leaving heater on him all the time .. can you advise best way to keep pygmy hedgehog warm and what to use - thanx x
megoneyo 09 Jan 2011
i really want one, just 3 questions i want to ask if anyone can answer them...... could you take them to other houses in a travel box? ...... if they got cancer how long would they live for?...... and where can i get one ? thank you :)
jessica_1 30 Dec 2010
ever since my hedgehog came into my life I've never had so much fun, if you are thinking of getting one you need to have lots of time on your hands because they need lots of love and care. I love taking pictures of her and then painting her or sketching her.
xxalicexxx 07 Dec 2010
If you are planning to breed do NOT stress the mum or she may eat her babies !!!!!! I'm a hedgehog breeder but has not (luckly) incountered it, if you want to prevent this then handle at around 3 months old and try to handle as much as possible to make them tame good luck alice x
jojo_1 19 Nov 2010
i have a pet hedgehog and am wondering what are some safe home made toys
seth 04 Oct 2010
how long does african pygmy hedgehogs pregnancy last
rita_2 02 Sep 2010
my pygmy hedgehog hasnt been to the toilet properly for 2 days ,he normaly gets his wheel covered in poo but there is only a little amount for the last 2 friend looked after him whilst i was on holiday.what can i do to help him.
Brooke 18 Aug 2010
I am Getting a nice large 4ft indoor hutch for mine today. and Im picking my hedgie up sat. She'l be six weeks. But i was wondering what is the best litter for her to use? Because i know some can be toxic! Help please.
sam_9 06 May 2010
what substrate do hedgehogs need? if we toilet train a hedgehog, what cat litter is preferable?
JurajValach 21 Oct 2009
Its possible to get one out of britain ???? Because I am living in Slovak Republic its like 2hours flight from Slovakia to London.How much they cost it doesnt matter but I really want one.thanks
Millie_2 20 Oct 2009
Does any one know where in australia they can be bought? Or anywhere that will send them to australia??
Kitty 10 Oct 2009
Hi my partners mother is getting her first pygmy hedgehog but we cannot understand when they have to have their 12 hours of daylight is it when are sleeping or awake at night? Thank you.
LindaMchendry 02 Jun 2009
I am about to get my first hedgehog, i would like to know what people consider to be the best type of bedding,should they have an area to forage in? could you use a moss based flooring. Obviously i want him to be really happy and content and kept in the most natural enviroment possible.
XxMinxy_MooxX 16 May 2009
I am Getting my 1st African Pygmy Hedgehog tomorrow and i just cant wait!!!! :-)
anonimouse 22 Apr 2009
also which wasnt mentioned in this african pygmy hedgehogs should also have no grapes as this brings on liver failure
anonimouse 22 Apr 2009
iv got a cinnacot one back in october 2008,there great pets and extremely easy to keep and cost hardly anything to feed.The problem is,is getting hold of one lucky for me i phoned my local pet shop and they had just got a litter in and i got one.
Anon_5 19 Mar 2009
Important things to note that this article does not tell you - * Cat food is fine, but no fish based products, as is potentially deadly for hedgehogs. * The wheel should not be a substitute for foraging; provide an area where the hedgehog can snuffle and dig around for food, which should be scattered and not placed in a bowl.
kayla 29 Jan 2009
There is a shop called "breed above" in redcar they sell them at £160 which is around average for these loveable little animals.
connormason 29 Nov 2008
I'm getting one 4 crimbo can't waiittt!!!
jamesgillick 18 Oct 2008
What is the average cost of them?
JenniferSearle 21 Sep 2008
I am finding it really hard to find breeders so didn't know if anyone can help. I have read all about them and got a big cage ready to go, just can't seem to find one in my area. :-( Can anyone help me please? I'm able to put on a deposit. Thanks. Jenny, Essex.