Do Hedgehogs Roll?

Do Hedgehogs Roll

Hedgehogs are one of the cutest and cuddliest animals that many people love to keep as pets. From their small size, prickly exterior, and funny personalities, hedgehogs have quickly become a popular animal companion for many households. But do you know if hedgehogs roll? In this article, we will discuss whether or not hedgehogs roll and what other behaviors these fascinating creatures exhibit.

Do Hedgehogs Roll?

The answer is yes, hedgehogs do roll! This peculiar behavior can be seen in the wild and in captivity. Hedgehog rolling is a form of self-defense that they use to protect themselves from predators. Rolling up into a ball makes them less vulnerable as their spiny quills provide a protective barrier.

Why Do Hedgehogs Roll?

Hedgehogs roll for several reasons, such as:

  • Protection: As mentioned above, hedgehogs will roll up into a ball to protect themselves from potential predators.
  • Communication: Rolling is also used to communicate with other hedgehogs. If two hedgehogs are playing together, one may start rolling which signals an invitation for the other to join in the fun.
  • Relaxation: Rolling can also be a sign of relaxation or contentment. A pet owner may notice their hedgehog rolling around when it’s time for bed or after eating its favorite treat.

The Remarkable Speed of a Hedgehog Roll

Hedgehogs are small mammals known for their spiny coats and curious personalities. But did you know these animals can also roll into tight balls to protect themselves from potential predators? This defensive maneuver is called the “hedgehog roll” – and it is surprisingly fast!

How Fast Can a Hedgehog Roll?

When threatened, hedgehogs will curl up into tight balls with their prickly spines facing outwards. This defense strategy allows them to protect vital organs while making it difficult for predators to get hold of them. The hedgehog can move incredibly quickly when rolling – reaching speeds of up to 12 mph (19 km/hr)!

What Impacts the Speed of a Hedgehog Roll?

  • Surface: The surface on which the hedgehog rolls impacts its speed. For example, soft grass or sand offers more traction than hard concrete.
  • Size: The size of the hedgehog also affects how quickly it can roll away from danger. Smaller-sized hedgehogs have an advantage as they can generate more torque to propel themselves with greater force.

“It’s amazing how much power such a small animal has!”

Though tiny in size, hedgehogs possess remarkable speed when rolling into tight balls! Their impressive agility serves as an effective defense mechanism against predators in nature.

How Do Hedgehogs Use Rolling on Their Backs?

Hedgehogs are often seen rolling around on their backs, which can be a confusing behavior to observe. But this behavior is actually very common among hedgehogs and serves several different functions.

Why Do Hedgehog’s Roll?

The most common reason why hedgehogs roll around on their back is for protection and defense. When a hedgehog feels threatened, it will usually curl up into a tight ball, with its spines sticking outward in all directions. This is done to protect the head and belly from potential predators. By rolling onto its back, the hedgehog can quickly put itself into this defensive position.

Hedgehog’s may also roll around as part of their daily grooming routine. The rough surface of the ground helps them remove dirt and debris that has become stuck in their fur or between the spines.

Other Reasons Why Hedgehog’s Roll

  • Marking Territory: Hedgehogs have scent glands located near their spine quills. When they roll over an area they are releasing pheromones that let other animals know who has been there before them.
  • Exploring: Rolling around allows hedgehogs to explore new areas without having to walk through unfamiliar terrain. It also gives them access to hidden food sources such as bugs and worms under rocks or logs.
  • Entertainment: Hedgehogs enjoy playing just like any other animal, so sometimes they will just roll around for fun!

Signs of Stress in a Hedgehog

Stress can be a major factor in the health and wellbeing of any pet, including hedgehogs. It is important to recognize signs of stress in your hedgehog so that you can take steps to reduce it as soon as possible.

Behavioral Signs

  • Hiding: If your hedgehog is frequently hiding or appears fearful when approached, this could be an indication of stress.
  • Aggression: Sudden changes in behavior such as increased aggression may also be caused by stress.
  • Overgrooming/Self-mutilation: Excessive grooming, licking or biting its own fur or skin can be a sign of distress.
  • Lack Of Appetite: A loss of appetite or refusal to eat could indicate your hedgehog is feeling stressed out.

Physiological Signs

Weight Loss: Weight loss can occur due to a lack of appetite caused by stress. Monitor your hedgehog’s weight regularly and make sure they’re staying within healthy ranges for their size.


In conclusion, hedgehogs do have the ability to roll into a ball when frightened. This behavior is instinctive for them and helps protect them from potential predators. While their spines can be uncomfortable to touch and may not provide much protection from larger animals, rolling up into a tight ball acts as an effective defense mechanism. With proper care and socialization, hedgehogs can make wonderful pets that bring joy and companionship to their owners.


  • 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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