I saw this photo of some baby African pygmy hedgehogs in a teacup and they were so lovely I did a bit of research to find out a bit more. They look like pretty ideal pets as they are very gentle, don’t need much room, are quite cheap to look after and above all are a little bit different. With only a few hundred in the UK it would certainly be something a bit different.
Here are some key facts:
- They can cost around £190 in the UK. That’s around $250 US. Many breeders have long waiting lists.
- Pygmy hedgehogs are around a quarter the size of standard hedgehogs
- They love being handled
- They are far more common in the US than the UK where they were first bred around 25 years ago
- Chocolate brown is the most common colour but it’s also possible to get albino varieties
- They live for about three to five years
- A hedgehog’s body is covered in around 6,000 spikes (also called quills)
- In some areas in the US you need a license to have a pet hedgehog but check with your local authorities
- In the UK you don’t need a license for these domesticated hedgehogs but of course you can’t have a normal hedgehog as a pet. These are wild and endangered
The scientific name of the genus to which African Pygmy Hedgehog belongs is Atelerix which means ineffective fighter.
There’s a lot more information about Domesticated Hedgehogs at Wikipedia.
Here’s a very cute video of a kitten meeting a pet hedgehog for the first time.