Do Hedgehogs Poop a Lot? [Care Guide for Pet Owners]


If you’re here, you’ve probably wondered, “Do hedgehogs poop a lot?

Trust me; you’re not alone! Many current and prospective hedgehog owners ask this question, and it’s vital to understanding how to take care of these cute little creatures.

Hedgehogs are known for their adorable spiky exteriors and curious behaviors, but they do have some “less charming” aspects.

Yep, you guessed it – we’re talking about poop, a not-so-pleasant but essential part of pet ownership.

In this post, we’ll cover everything from the basics of the hedgehog’s digestive system, the frequency of their pooping habits, reasons they might poop more than expected, and how you can manage their waste.

Quick Answer: Do Hedgehogs Poop a Lot?

Simply put, yes, hedgehogs do poop a lot, especially when compared to other small pets. Their active digestive systems and diet lead to frequent bowel movements.

However, the exact frequency can depend on various factors, such as their age, diet, and overall health.

Don’t let this discourage you from owning a hedgehog though! While the amount of poop may seem daunting, maintaining a clean environment for your hedgehog is manageable with regular cleaning and toilet training.

Understanding Hedgehog Digestive System

Understanding a hedgehog’s digestive system can explain why they poop frequently. Hedgehogs are insectivores, which means their diet primarily consists of insects. They may also consume small animals, fruits, and vegetables in the wild.

Hedgehogs and their Diet

The high-protein diet that hedgehogs consume gets quickly processed, leading to regular bowel movements. It’s not just their natural diet that can affect their poop frequency. What you feed your pet hedgehog can also make a difference.

High-quality hedgehog food and a mix of insects, fruits, and cooked unseasoned meats make a balanced diet. Make sure to avoid feeding them anything toxic like milk, nuts, and grapes.

How Often Do Hedgehogs Eat?

Hedgehogs are active eaters, often consuming up to one-third of their body weight daily. This high intake of food, coupled with a fast metabolism, results in frequent pooping.

To ensure your hedgehog is on the right track regarding diet, learn more about how fast hedgehogs can run to ensure they’re getting the necessary exercise to balance their high food intake.

Frequency of Hedgehog Pooping: What’s Normal?

Now that we’ve delved into their diet and eating habits, let’s answer another crucial question: how often do hedgehogs poop?

While the frequency can vary, hedgehogs typically poop several times a day. This high frequency can be attributed to their active metabolism and high protein diet.

New or baby hedgehogs might poop more frequently as they are still adjusting to their diet and surroundings.

It’s important to remember that “normal” can vary from hedgehog to hedgehog. However, if your hedgehog is pooping excessively or the poop has a strange color, consistency, or smell, it might be worth consulting a vet.

Understanding the normal frequency of your hedgehog’s bowel movements can also help you identify any changes that could indicate health issues.

Remember, these little critters can’t tell us when they feel unwell, so we must be alert to signs.

Why does my hedgehog poop smell so bad?

Well, it’s not just about the quantity, but also the quality of poop. If the smell is unusually strong, it could be due to diet, stress, or underlying health conditions. For more on that, check out our guide on how to prevent your hedgehog from smelling.

Why Does My Hedgehog Poop So Much?

There might be times when you notice your hedgehog pooping more than usual. Don’t worry! There are a few common reasons for this.

Health Issues

Certain health problems can cause an increase in the frequency of your hedgehog’s poop. Parasites, bacterial infections, or gastrointestinal diseases are just a few examples.

If your hedgehog’s pooping habits change suddenly or drastically, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.

Diet Issues

If you’ve recently changed your hedgehog’s diet or introduced new food, this can increase poop. Their system needs time to adjust to new foods.

However, if the excessive pooping continues, it may indicate that the new diet is unsuitable for them.

Age and Lifestyle Factors

Young hedgehogs or babies, also known as hoglets, usually poop more. This is part of their growth and development process. Additionally, stress can affect your hedgehog’s digestive system and cause an increase in bowel movements.

Changes in environment, loud noises, or introduction to new people or pets can contribute to stress.

Managing Hedgehog Waste: Top Tips

Alright, so we’ve established that hedgehogs do poop a lot, but that doesn’t mean you’re destined for a life of never-ending poop cleaning! Here are some handy tips to manage hedgehog waste effectively.

Regular Cleaning

The key to maintaining a healthy and odor-free environment for your hedgehog is regular cleaning. Spot cleaning should be done daily to remove any feces or urine-soaked bedding.

A full habitat cleaning, with disinfecting of the cage, should be done at least once a week.

Toilet Training Your Hedgehog

Believe it or not, you can toilet-train your hedgehog! By placing a small litter box in their cage, most hedgehogs will start using it for their business.

Make sure to choose a safe litter for hedgehogs, as some litters can cause respiratory or digestive issues if ingested.

Handling Hedgehog Poop

Handling hedgehog waste safely is essential to prevent the spread of potential diseases. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling your hedgehog or cleaning their cage.

Keeping Your Hedgehog Healthy

A healthy hedgehog is less likely to have excessive or smelly poop issues. Regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, and plenty of exercise can keep your hedgehog in tip-top shape.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Now that we’ve covered the nitty-gritty of hedgehog poop, let’s tackle some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic.

Q1. How long can a hedgehog go without pooping?

Hedgehogs typically poop several times a day, given their active metabolism and diet.

However, if you notice that your hedgehog hasn’t pooped in more than 48 hours, this could be a sign of constipation or other health issues, and you should consult a vet immediately.

Q2. Is it normal for a hedgehog to poop while running on its wheel?

Yes, it is. Hedgehogs often poop while running on their wheels. This is a normal behavior known as ‘poop boots.’ To manage this, you can place a litter tray beneath the wheel for easy cleanup or clean the wheel daily.

Q3. What color should a healthy hedgehog’s poop be?

Healthy hedgehog poop is typically dark brown in color and has a firm but not too hard consistency. Changes in color or consistency could indicate dietary changes or potential health issues.

Q4. Is my hedgehog pooping too much?

While hedgehogs do poop frequently, excessive pooping can be a sign of health issues, dietary problems, or stress. If you notice a drastic change in your hedgehog’s pooping habits, it’s best to consult a vet.

Q5. Can hedgehog poop make you sick?

While it’s unlikely, handling any animal waste improperly can potentially make you sick. Always wash your hands after cleaning your hedgehog’s cage or handling their waste.


Pooping habits in hedgehogs might not be the most glamorous part of pet ownership, but it’s an essential aspect of maintaining their health and happiness.

Hedgehogs do poop quite a lot, thanks to their high metabolism and protein-rich diet. However, noticing changes in their poop’s frequency, color, smell, or consistency could indicate underlying health issues.

Staying observant and proactive in managing your hedgehog’s waste and seeking vet care when needed is important. Remember, regular cleaning, a balanced diet, and a stress-free environment can go a long way in ensuring your hedgehog’s well-being.

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