Do Hedgehogs Hibernate?

Do Hedgehogs Hibernate

Hedgehogs are beloved for their cute, spiky exterior and inquisitive personalities. But do you know if hedgehogs hibernate? In this article, we’ll explore the answer to this question and provide some insight on what a hedgehog’s winter habits look like. We’ll discuss how hedgehog hibernation works, the environmental conditions that trigger it, and what other animals go through similar processes of seasonal sleep. Read on to learn more about these fascinating creatures!

Do Hedgehogs Hibernate?

Yes, hedgehogs do hibernate. In the winter months, hedgehogs will enter a state of torpor, which is similar to hibernation in other animals. During this time, their body temperature and metabolic rate decrease significantly and they become less active.

How Does Hedgehog Hibernation Work?

When temperatures drop below 10 °C (50 °F), hedgehogs will begin preparing for hibernation by eating as much as possible to build up fat reserves. They then find a safe spot such as an underground burrow or nest to curl up into a tight ball with their spines facing outward for protection. This helps them conserve energy during their long sleep.

Once they are in the hibernation state, hedgehogs can remain dormant for several weeks or even months depending on the weather conditions and availability of food sources. To wake up from hibernation, warmer temperatures must be present so that the animal is able to awaken and start searching for food again.

What Other Animals Hibernate?

  • Bears: Bears typically enter a deep sleep-like state called “denning”. During denning bears slow down their heart rate and breathing while also reducing their body temperature.
  • Ground squirrels: Ground squirrels are known to hibernate through cold winters when food is scarce in order to survive until more favorable conditions return.
  • Wood frogs: Wood frogs have evolved special adaptations that allow them to freeze solid during colder months. Amazingly, they can thaw out once spring arrives without any negative effects!

Understanding Hedgehog Hibernation Habits as a Pet Owner

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals that naturally hibernate during the winter months. As pet owners, it is important to understand how this behavior will affect your pet hedgehog and how you can ensure their safety and well-being when they enter a period of hibernation.

Signs of Hibernation in Hedgehogs

Before entering into hibernation, hedgehogs may display certain signs such as decrease in activity or appetite. They may also become less social and start sleeping more than usual. These behaviors usually occur within one to two weeks before they fully enter a state of hibernation.

Preparing for Hibernation

As pet owners, there are steps we can take to help our pets get ready for hibernation:

  • Provide extra nutrition: We should increase the amount of food our hedgehog eats during the weeks leading up to hibernation so that they have enough energy stored up for the colder months ahead.
  • Create an ideal environment: We should adjust the temperature and humidity in our hedgehog’s habitat so that it mimics natural conditions found outdoors where hedgies would normally begin to enter a state of dormancy.
  • Monitor closely: During the first few weeks of winter, we should monitor our pet closely by checking on them daily to make sure everything is going smoothly.

Safety during Hibernation

It is important to keep our pets safe while they are in a state of dormancy. To do this, we can take several precautionary measures such as providing plenty of bedding material like hay or shredded paper towels so that they stay warm and comfortable. We should also make sure their habitat stays at optimal temperatures between 55°F – 65°F (12°C – 18°C) and has adequate ventilation.

Waking Up from Hibernation

When warmer weather approaches, our pets will slowly wake up from their period of dormancy. At this time, we should provide them with plenty of food and water so that they can regain strength after being asleep all season long. Additionally, we should monitor them closely over the next few days until their regular routines return back to normal.

Signs of Hibernation in Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are small mammals that typically hibernate during the cold winter months. As temperatures drop, hedgehogs will enter a state of dormancy known as hibernation.

It is important to recognize the signs of hibernation in your pet hedgehog so you can provide them with the best possible care during this time. Here are some common signs that your hedgehog is entering into their winter sleep:

Decreased Activity

As temperatures start to drop and days become shorter, you may notice your hedgehog becoming less active. This decrease in activity is one of the first signs that they are starting to prepare for hibernation. You may also see that their appetite decreases as well.

Weight Gain

Another sign of impending hibernation is weight gain. Before going into a deep sleep, hedgehogs must consume extra food and store it as fat in preparation for the long winter ahead. Make sure to feed your pets plenty of high-calorie foods like nuts and seeds before they begin their slumber.

Sleepier Than Usual

Hedgehogs naturally tend to be sleepy animals, but when they’re getting ready for their winter nap they will seem even more lethargic than usual. They may curl up and go into a deeper sleep earlier than normal or simply appear exhausted all the time.

Building Nests

In anticipation for their long period of rest, many hedgehogs will instinctively build nests out of leaves and other materials found around them. If you notice piles of leaves or shredded material near where your pet usually sleeps, it could be an indication that they’re preparing themselves for wintertime.

Ideal Temperature Range for Hedgehog Hibernation

Hedgehogs are unique animals that require special care to ensure their health and safety. One important consideration when caring for a hedgehog is providing the right temperature range during hibernation.

Hedgehogs typically enter a period of deep sleep, referred to as hibernation, during the colder months of fall and winter. During this time, hedgehogs must be provided with an ideal temperature range in order to remain healthy and safe.

Required Temperature Ranges:

  • Minimum Temperature: The recommended minimum temperature for hedgehog hibernation is 10°C (50°F). This temperature should be maintained throughout the duration of hibernation.
  • Maximum Temperature: The recommended maximum temperature for hedgehog hibernation is 20°C (68°F). If temperatures exceed this level it can be dangerous for the animal’s health.
  • Relative Humidity: In addition to maintaining proper temperatures, relative humidity levels should also be monitored during hibernation. Ideal relative humidity levels should stay between 40-60%.

It is important to note that these temperature ranges may vary depending on the type of habitat being used. For example, captive or laboratory settings may have different requirements than natural habitats.

By providing your pet with an ideal temperature range during its period of deep sleep you can help keep them safe and comfortable year round!


In conclusion, hedgehogs do indeed hibernate during the winter months in order to conserve energy and survive. While this process can vary depending on their environment and climate, they typically enter a state of dormancy due to colder temperatures, reduced food availability and shorter days. In order to ensure a successful hibernation period for your pet hedgehog, it is important to provide them with a safe space that is draft-free and away from predators or disturbances. With the right care and attention, you can help your pet hedgehog enjoy a peaceful winter slumber!


  • 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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