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How Much Do Hedgehogs Run at Night?

How Much Do Hedgehogs Run at Night?

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Got a pet hedgehog, or thinking of getting one? Then you sure do have some questions. One must be if they make noise at night moving around and running or not. If so, then how much do hedgehogs run at night?

Hedgehogs are such a different choice for a pet. You should know that they’re nocturnal animals, so their activity’s mostly at night. They especially like to run around at night. (If you’re worried about a good night’s sleep, read on for tips on how to handle a hedgehog at night.)

So, Why Do Hedgehogs Run Around?

Hedgehogs are animals with unique behaviors. They can run around for hours and be completely fine.

If your hedgehog’s running a lot, don’t worry. It’s a sign of good health.

Still, this behavior can be due to other reasons like stress or to signal the mating season. It could also be connected to certain illnesses.


Hedgehog owners have noticed changes in the pet’s environment or can cause it stress. This could also happen with unfamiliar faces and causes the animal to run around in circles.

Another reason is that other large animals trigger their defense mechanism. This mechanism is the quills that become prickly and could be quite sharp. These animals could be large dogs, cats, or other animals that prey on hedgehogs in the wild like badgers.

One more reason could be if the hedgehog’s cage’s too tiny. That’s because, in the wild, they have all the space they need to run all over the place. That’s why you need to make sure you have a cage that’s big enough to simulate the animal’s original environment.


Experts believe that hedgehogs run around in groups constructing a dance to court the females. Yet, this rarely happens in single pet hedgehogs.

Brain Problems and Infections

A healthy hedgehog runs clockwise or counterclockwise and keeps changing direction. Still, if your hedgehog’s running involuntarily in one direction and stays like that for some time, then there could be some problem.

Brain or head injuries happen most frequently due to cancers or tumors, which are common in hedgehogs over three years of age. These can also occur because of falling or mishandling.

A hedgehog can suffer from ear infections that could extend to its brain. This could lead to brain issues like seizures causing it to run around in circles.

A hedgehog could also have other kinds of infections like on its back. This will also cause it to run in circles trying to reach the irritated part.

So, How Much Do Hedgehogs Run at Night?

The short answer is a lot! Some people install odometers on their hedgehogs’ wheels to keep track of how much they would run. It has been noticed that a hedgehog can run up to 12 miles a night which is about 20 km. That’s quite the distance!

Still, it’s pretty normal for a hedgehog to cover such a huge distance in one night for exercise reasons. So don’t be alarmed. There’s nothing wrong with your pet!

But if you’re worried all the movement’s going to disturb your sleep, then there’s a couple of things you can do:

  1. Make sure the wheel in the cage is the silent running type like this one.
  2. Get a well-made fleece bedding in the cage with good padding. This will muffle the sound of the hedgehog’s footsteps.
  3. ensure that the cage’s big enough so that the hedgehog’s less stressed and so is less active.
  4. Inevitably, a hedgehog will be noisy at night when it’s eating its treats. That’s why my number one recommendation for you is to have the hedgehog’s cage in a different room than the one you’re sleeping in.

Should I Let My Hedgehog Free-Roam?

Some people let their hedgehogs run around the house, but they ensure that it’s safe first. This is good for your pet as it gives it more space to run around and exercise since hedgehogs are prone to obesity. You could also limit this free-roaming to one room dedicated to this. This will allow you to have more control over the hedgehog.

Some Fun Facts about Hedgehogs

  • Hedgehogs live for 4-7 years.
  • Hedgehogs are exotic animals. That’s why they need exotic vets who are more expensive than regular ones.
  • Hedgehogs are solitary animals and less social than other pets. So don’t expect a cuddly animal to play with all day long.
  • Hedgehogs can hibernate which means they stay in a dormant state in winter.
  • Baby hedgehogs are called “hoglets.”
  • Hedgehogs have poor eyesight. Instead, they depend on their heightened senses of smell and hearing.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hedgehogs

Can hedgehogs hurt you?

Handling a calm hedgehog is relatively safe as its quills would be relaxed around its body. Dealing with an angry hedgehog is another story, though. A hedgehog has 5,000-7,000 quills on its back and can curl up in a ball to turn them all outwards as if it’s being attacked. That’s why holding your hedgehog with a towel or a glove, for example, would be a good idea to avoid getting poked.

Hedgehogs can also bite you, but that’s very rare and could happen when they’re young. Even then, their bite’s not that strong, so you should be fine. If a hedgehog, adult or young, ever bites you, you should definitely get a tetanus shot if you’re not up to date with that.

Hedgehogs also carry a lot of things that humans may catch, like ticks and worms. That’s why you need to be careful when handling a wild or even your pet hedgehog. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

Are hedgehogs expensive to buy?

Hedgehogs are definitely more expensive than other more common pets. This is besides extra costs like its cage, wheel, food, etc., not to mention vet care expenses. So if you have money burning a hole in your pocket, then you should certainly get one.

What should you feed your hedgehog?

A hedgehog in the wild feeds on caterpillars, slugs, and worms. At home, you can feed it meat-based wet dog or cat food as this is high in protein. There’s also dedicated dry and wet hedgehog kibble available at most pet stores.

Just note that hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, so don’t put out milk for it; water will suffice.

Final Thoughts

A hedgehog for a pet is an exciting idea. But there are some considerations to think about before getting one.

So how much do hedgehogs run at night? It could be quite a marathon for your little hedgehog. But you ought to have some peace of mind that there’s nothing wrong with your pet. It’s just doing what it’s supposed to do and enjoying it in the process.

Yet, if you notice any different behavior, it’s always best to consult an expert to be on the safe side. Don’t forget our top tips for keeping a hedgehog’s noise to a minimum at night and for letting your pet free-roam.

Don’t forget to also check out the FAQs section for all the info you need about keeping a pet hedgehog.

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