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A hedgehog is a mammal belonging to the Erinaceinae family. Seventeen species of hedgehog exist, and here at Pet World we sell the domesticated African Pygmy hedgehog. Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures. Interestingly enough, hedgehogs are not related to porcupines, despite the similarity of their spiny appearance. Baby hedgehogs are called hoglets. A hedgehog weighs between 0.5 – 1.25 pounds on average and is typically 6 – 8 inches long. Approximately 35% of the body weight of a hedgehog consists of its spines. Hedgehogs have between 36 and 44 teeth in their adorable little snout, and unlike rodents, hedgehog teeth do not grow continuously and so they do not have the same habits of chewing on toys or wood to grind them down. Beneath all of those prickly spines, hedgehogs also have soft white fur. Additionally, on the underside of its chin, a hedgehog commonly will have a chin mole. This is sometimes referred to as a cutie mark and is quite normal. Hedgehogs do not have a scent gland and therefore do not omit a foul scent. Hedgehogs will typically live between 5 and 7 years when living in captivity. Hedgehogs in the wild live an average of 2 years due to living amongst predators.

Hedgehogs do not have very good eyesight, but they make up for it with their other senses. A hedgehog has excellent hearing and smell. With proportionately large ears, a hedgehog is able to hear an enormous amount. This may lead to a defensive reaction as a hedgehogs gets used to new sounds within a household. Another capability of hedgehogs is motion detection. Hedgehogs have an exceptional sense of motion and even when they are rolled up, they can still notice movement. It is important not to wake up a hedgehog or poke one if it is curled up into a ball. Hedgehogs can be somewhat defensive and might be easily startled in these situations resulting in the hedgehog raising its spines and puffing itself up.

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