Where do they come from?  
The breed is a hybrid of the four-toed hedgehog or African white-bellied hedgehog and the Algerian hedgehog. The scientific name is Atelerix albiventris. Its natural habitat is central, eastern and southern Africa.
 
What do they look like?  
An adult African pygmy hedgehog is six to 11 inches long and weighs up to 1 kilo. A relaxed one is generally oval, with a very short tail and short limbs that keep the body close to the ground. When threatened or disturbed, it contracts a series of muscles, rolls into a ball and forces its quills out in all directions. Female hedgehogs are slightly larger than males. The face and underside are covered with a soft, white fur.
 
Do hedgehogs have fleas?  
No. Hedgehogs are born in captivity so just like hamsters etc, they live indoors and do not have fleas.
 
Can they live outside?  
No. They would not survive if kept outside. Like any other small pet they need to be kept indoors in a cage.
 
Do they hibernate?  
No. However, if they get cold they will try to hibernate. They cannot be allowed to do this, it could prove fatal.
 
How long do they live?  
They live approximately 3 – 5 years.
 
How big do they get?  
They grow to about a third of the size of a wild hedgehog.
 
What do they eat?  
Their staple diet is dry cat food. They must not eat any dairy or fish.
 
Are they prickly?  
Hedgehogs are prickly although they only put their spines up when they feel nervous or feel threatened. When your hedgehog is tame his spines will lay flat.
 
Is it better to have a male or female?  
Both are very similar in temperament. A female will grow slightly bigger than a male but this isn’t a hard and fast rule.
 
What sort of cage do they need?  
An indoor guinea pig / rabbit cage with a minimum length of 1m is ideal, they must also have a 12” running wheel for exercise.
 
Can they live in pairs?  
Definitely not. Hedgehogs are solitary animals and will not tolerate a cage mate.
 
Are they nocturnal?  
Yes. They are most active at dusk and dawn and will sleep during the day. However, your hedgehog won’t mind being woken up during the day for a cuddle.

Testimonials

Hazel came to visit our party with a mother hedgehog and four gorgeous hoglets. She taught us so much about them and we had lots of time to hold them and take pictures. A bonus surprise was meeting Peanut the Tenrec, who enjoyed snoozing in the warmth of our palms. I wanted to take him home with me! Thanks Hazel for a special afternoon.
C Bates
28 March 2019

Hi Hazel and Mark, thank you so much for bringing your gorgeous hedgehogs to our Rainbow unit - the adults loved it just as much as the girls! You're brilliant at interacting with the girls and it's obvious the hedgehogs mean a lot to you both. Hope to see you again, I'll definitely keep recommending you. Best wishes, Cecile, 1st Danbury Rainbows Unit
Cecile
28 March 2019

Hazel is so lovely and helpful fell like I've known her for years got our little hedgehog for daughter for Christmas she has settled in already and loves being held and cuddled thank u hazel for making mine and Libby's Christmas love little Hedi so much already xxx
Kelly Thomas
23rd December 2017

Hazel was great at getting me a hedgehog to surprise my wife at the reception of our wedding during the speeches. Safe to say she is over the moon and completely in love with him. Bursting into tears the moment she saw him! Thank you for the help and hog!
Danny Snozzwangers Molloy
24 July 2017

I met hazel and her son tonight when picking up my new pygmy hoglet. Hazel is such a lovely person and fanatical about all her animals. Well done to her son for passing all his exams for the next stage in his career. Holly has settled well and loves her new cage. Thank you hazel. Was lovely meeting you both ;)
Sarah Shelton
6 July 2017

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Essex Pygmy Hedgehogs