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African Pygmy hedgehogs make interesting pets.They are certainly NOT cuddly as their coat is covered with approximately three thousand quills. They are nocturnal, therefore spend most of the day curled up asleep. Night-time is their time to play. Hedgehogs are great escape artists and love to play hide-and-seek, however be prepared that you will be the one doing the seeking. If you have a hedgy as a pet, it is best to have a large cage for him. You can supply a wheel for exercise and a little ‘house’ where he can curl up and snooze. When you let him out to play, keep him confined to a small area and make sure doors are closed to the basement and other areas where he could get lost. Hedgehogs can climb up stairs, but are more apt to tumble down them. They have a habit of crawling under furniture, then taking a nap. You have the choice of waiting them out, or tackling the job of moving heavy furniture to retrieve them. The best solution is to keep a close eye on them and ‘fence off’ areas that could be a problem.

Hedgehogs love meal worms. These are available at bait shops and pet stores. Don’t give him too many as they are high in calories and he may get too fat. Special dry hedgehog food is available at most pet stores. If you have a cat, you may find your hedgie raiding the cat’s dish. This won’t hurt him and in fact, cat food may be substituted for the hedgehog food if you run out of his favourite brand. Although hedgehogs love milk, it is harmful to them as it causes diarrhea. Keep a supply of fresh water next to his food dish. Spend time with your pet and get to know him. Supply fresh wood shavings daily and be sure to clean up after him. For further information on African Pygmy hedgehogs, or for stories you wish to share about your own pet, please e-mail:


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