Do Hedgehogs Eat Their Babies?

Do Hedgehogs Eat Their Babies

Hedgehogs are one of the most beloved and unique members of the animal kingdom. These prickly little creatures have been kept as pets for centuries, their sweet and gentle personalities making them popular companions. But while they may look cute on the outside, there is still a lot we don’t know about these animals – including whether or not they eat their young.

In this article, we will explore the answer to this question: do hedgehogs actually devour their babies? We’ll discuss what experts think about this behavior, look at some common myths surrounding it, and share tips on how to keep your pet hedgehog safe from harm.

Do Hedgehogs Eat Their Babies?

The short answer to this question is no, hedgehogs do not eat their babies. While they are known to be solitary animals and can sometimes appear aggressive towards other hedgehogs, mother hedgehogs generally take excellent care of their young and provide them with the protection they need. In fact, some studies have found that when a mother hedgehog senses danger her first instinct is to cover her babies with her body in order to protect them.

It’s important to note, however, that there are some rare cases in which mothers may abandon or even kill their young if food resources become scarce. This behavior is usually observed among wild hedgehogs living in captivity or areas where food sources are limited. While it’s an uncommon occurrence, it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Common Myths about Baby-Eating Hedgehogs

There are several myths about baby-eating hedgehogs circulating online, but none of these stories has been scientifically confirmed. One popular myth suggests that pregnant female hedgehogs will devour all of their unborn offspring before giving birth – something experts say could never happen as the gestation period for this species lasts around 35 days (longer than a full term pregnancy). Other myths suggest that baby-eating behaviour occurs during mating season – again something experts have failed to observe in the wild.

  • Myth 1: Pregnant female hedgehogs will devour all of their unborn offspring before giving birth.
  • Myth 2: Baby-eating behaviour occurs during mating season.
  • Myth 3: Hedgehog mothers will attack and eat any newborn they see as competition for resources.

Tips To Keep Your Pet Hedgehog Safe From Harm

  • Provide your pet with a safe environment free from predators such as cats and dogs.
  • Make sure your pet has plenty of toys and hiding places so they feel secure at all times.
  • Keep an eye on your pet’s diet; make sure they have access to sufficient nutrition so they don’t resort to eating their own young out of desperation.
  • Always supervise playtime between multiple pets; fights can break out quickly over territory or resources and result in injury or death for one of the animals involved.

The Bond Between Mother and Baby Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are small animals that live in burrows and feed on insects, fruits, and plants. They are solitary creatures who typically come together only to mate or raise their young. This bond between mother hedgehog and baby is a unique one, as it’s based almost entirely on instinct.

Nurturing Instincts

Mother hedgehogs have a strong nurturing instinct for their kits, called “kits.” This instinct helps them provide for the kits’ basic needs such as food, warmth, protection from predators, and teaching them how to survive in the wild. The mother will also lick her kits clean to remove dirt or parasites from their fur.


Mother hedgehogs communicate with their kits through various physical signals such as grunts, snorts, chirps, growls and hisses. These sounds help keep the family group together by warning of danger or providing directions during times of stress. In addition to these vocalizations mothers may also use body language such as arching her back when approaching her kits as a sign of reassurance.

Bonding Through Touch

A mother hedgehog bonds with its babies through touch; she will often groom them with her tongue while they sleep or rest after feeding. She may even curl up around the kits while sleeping to keep them warm at night! This gentle contact is an important part of forming a close relationship between mother and offspring.

Do Hedgehogs Eat Their Young?

Hedgehogs are solitary, nocturnal animals that have been around since the age of dinosaurs. They have an interesting diet consisting of insects, worms, and other small animals. But do they eat their own young? The answer to this question is both yes and no.


It is true that hedgehogs will sometimes eat their own young if they are starving or feel threatened by predators. This behavior is known as “cannibalism” and it can occur among other species too. It is a last resort for hedgehogs in desperate situations.


Most of the time, however, hedgehogs will not eat their young. The mother provides nourishment for her babies until they reach adulthood and become independent. If she does not feel threatened or in danger of starvation, she should be able to care for her offspring without resorting to cannibalism.

Reasons Why Hedgehog Mothers Do Not Eat Their Young:

  • Food availability – If the mother has access to enough food sources then she won’t need to turn on her offspring.
  • Protection – The mother provides safety and protection from predators while her babies are still dependent on her.

Caring for Baby Hedgehogs

Baby hedgehogs require special care and attention, as they are prone to illnesses. With the right environment and diet, you can ensure your baby hedgehog will stay healthy and happy.


Baby hedgehogs should be kept in a secure cage with plenty of space to run around and explore. The cage should also have some hiding places such as tunnels or boxes for the baby to retreat into when it gets scared or needs privacy. A variety of substrates can be used on the bottom of the cage: shredded newspaper, wood chips, paper towels, etc.


A baby hedgehog’s diet consists mostly of insects such as mealworms, crickets, wax worms, snails, etc., but they will also eat fruits and vegetables like applesauce and squash. If you choose to feed your baby live insects make sure they are free from pesticides.

Temperature & Humidity

The ideal temperature range for hedgehog babies is between 75-85°F (24-29°C). It is important that the humidity level stays below 70%, as too high levels can cause respiratory problems.


It is important for your baby’s health that it has access to an exercise wheel every day so it can exercise its muscles properly. Make sure to pick a wheel with a solid surface without any gaps so your pet doesn’t get hurt.

Health Care

  • Vaccinations: Your vet may recommend vaccinating your hedgehog against certain diseases.
  • Parasite Prevention: Internal parasites are common among young hedgies; regular deworming by a veterinarian helps prevent this issue.


In conclusion, it is safe to say that hedgehogs do not eat their babies. It appears that they have a strong bond with their young and would never intentionally harm them in any way. In fact, hedgehogs are known for being fiercely protective of their offspring. While cannibalism may occur in certain cases of extreme hunger or overcrowding, this behavior is rare among these animals. Therefore, the answer to the question “Do Hedgehogs Eat Their Babies?” is almost certainly no.


  • Frederick

    Frederick Faunce is an experienced and passionate hedgehog writer, blogger, and researcher. He has dedicated his life to understanding the conservation and care of hedgehogs, and is committed to educating and inspiring others to do the same.

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