African Pygmy Hedgehog

African Pygmy Hedgehogs

African Pygmy Hedgehog Behaviour

African Pygmy Hedgehogs may ball up if unhappy or startled and can raise spines also when upset. They have a wide range of sounds such as popping, sniffling, huffing with some contented hedgehogs even purring like a cat. Huffing sounds are a sign of distress and so are often accompanied by raising spikes.

Although some African Pygmy Hedgehogs may be content to be sat there are also hedgehogs that will be interested in exploring. They can also like to forage, with some keepers hiding mealworms and other treats in a deep tray full of substrate for digging.


At the age of 4 weeks an African Pygmy Hedgehog has its first quilling - this is where it will lose its quills and replace them with new ones. Other quillings occur at 6, 9 and 12 weeks. The 9 week quilling is where adult colouration comes in and it is from this point that a proper colour identification can be made. The adult quilling may last around 2-6 weeks.

Whilst quilling an African Pygmy Hedgehog may become quite grumpy, huffy or even aggressive. It is important to still handle your African Pygmy Hedgehog during this time, although you may need to take extra care as the quilling process can be quite painful for your hog.

During quilling it can help to give your hedgehog a luke-warm bath with a moisturising oatmeal shampoo. This helps soften the skin, allowing the new quills to break through the skin easier.


If an African Pygmy Hedgehog comes across a new taste or pungent smell it may trigger an odd behaviour known as annointing. This is where they froth at the mouth and then lick this frothy saliva all across their back. Although there is not yet a clear explanation for why they do this, it is a natural behaviour and nothing to be worried about.