Why Are Hedgehogs Illegal?

Why Are Hedgehogs Illegal

Hedgehogs are an adorable, spiny mammal that has become a popular pet in many places around the world. Their popularity is understandable; they’re cute, quiet and low-maintenance. However, not everyone can own one as hedgehogs are illegal in some states or countries. This article will explore why exactly hedgehogs are illegal and what it takes to own one legally. We’ll look at the legal implications of owning a hedgehog, whether there are any exceptions to these laws, and how potential owners can ensure their pet is properly cared for.

Why Are Hedgehogs Illegal?

Hedgehogs are illegal in some states or countries because they are considered to be exotic animals, and their presence can pose a potential threat to native species. In the United States, different states have laws that define what kinds of exotic animals may or may not be kept as pets. Some states prohibit ownership of any wild animal while others allow certain species with specific conditions. Similarly, many foreign countries also have restrictions on the types of exotic animals allowed.

Possible Reasons for Banning Hedgehog Ownership

There are several reasons why hedgehog ownership is prohibited in some places:

  • Invasive Species Risk: Hedgehogs are not native to most areas and could potentially disrupt local ecosystems if released into the wild. This could cause problems with other wildlife populations due to competition for resources.
  • Spread Of Disease: Exotic pets can carry diseases that can spread to other animals—and even humans—if not properly cared for. This is especially true when it comes to hedgehogs, as they require special diets that must be monitored carefully.
  • Animal Welfare Concerns: The inadvertent release of an exotically bred pet into the environment can lead to suffering due to lack of acclimatization and environmental stressors.

The Pros and Cons of Owning a Hedgehog


  • Hedgehogs are generally low-maintenance animals, making them an ideal pet for busy owners.
  • Hedgehogs are relatively quiet animals that don’t require much space. They make great apartment pets!
  • Hedgehogs are friendly and can be easily trained with patience and consistency.
  • These cute little critters have a wide range of personality traits, from outgoing to shy, so you’ll always have something new to explore in your pet.


  • Hedgehogs require special care due to their sensitive skin – they must be kept warm in an appropriate environment and need regular baths with special shampoos.
  • Their diet is also very specific – they need high-quality cat food supplemented with insects such as crickets or mealworms.
  • They may become aggressive if scared or threatened, which can lead to biting or scratching.
  • Due to the fact that hedgehogs are nocturnal by nature, they may be more active during the night hours when most people are asleep. This could cause disruption in some households.

Are Hedgehogs a Threat to Humans?

Hedgehogs are generally not considered to be a threat to humans. They are small and relatively harmless animals, but they can still cause some issues if they become too comfortable around people.

Potential Issues with Hedgehogs Around Humans:

  • Spread of Disease: Hedgehogs can carry bacteria and other pathogens that can be spread to humans through contact or through the ingestion of contaminated food or water.
  • Biting: Although hedgehog bites are rare, it is possible for them to bite in self-defense or if they feel threatened. This can result in minor skin wounds that may need medical attention.
  • Allergies: Some people may be allergic to hedgehog saliva and fur, which could lead to sneezing, wheezing, itching, and difficulty breathing if exposed.
  • Noise Pollution: Hedgehogs make noise at night when searching for food. This can disturb neighbours who live nearby and lead to complaints about noise pollution.

The Legality of Keeping a Hedgehog as a Pet in India

Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly popular pets, but is it legal to keep one in India? The answer is yes – hedgehogs can legally be kept as pets in India with the proper permits from the state and local government. Here’s what pet owners need to know about owning a hedgehog in India.

Permits Required for Owning a Hedgehog as a Pet

In order to legally own a hedgehog as a pet in India, you must obtain permission from both your state government and your local municipality. This typically involves submitting an application outlining why you would like to keep the animal as well as providing proof of adequate housing and care for the animal.

It’s important to note that some states may have additional restrictions on keeping certain animals, including hedgehogs. For example, some states may require special licenses or permits for exotic animals such as hedgehogs. Additionally, some cities may have ordinances prohibiting the ownership of certain types of animals within their jurisdiction.

Caring for Your Hedgehog

Once you’ve obtained all necessary permits and paperwork, it’s important to provide your pet with quality care. Hedgehogs require special diets and environments that should be discussed with your veterinarian before bringing home your new pet.

  • Provide Adequate Housing: Hedgehogs need plenty of space to explore so make sure they have an enclosure large enough for them to move around comfortably. It should also include items such as hiding spots, toys, water dishes, litter boxes (if using), etc.
  • Provide Proper Diet: A healthy diet is essential for any pet’s health and longevity. Make sure you are feeding your hedgehog food specifically designed for their dietary needs which includes fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to other foods formulated specifically for them.
  • Regular Vet Checks: Just like any other pet, regular vet checks are important when owning a hedgehog. These visits will help ensure that your pet stays healthy by detecting potential issues early on before they become more serious problems down the road.


In conclusion, hedgehogs are illegal in many states due to their potentially dangerous nature, as well as the fact that they can be difficult to keep healthy and thriving. Although some people may want to own one of these exotic pets, it is important for them to research the laws in their area before doing so. By understanding laws and considering the risks associated with owning a hedgehog, potential owners can ensure that both themselves and their pet will remain safe and happy.


  • 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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