13 Telltale Signs That Your Pet Hedgehog Is Pregnant


When we invite a pet into our lives, they become a part of our family. We want to understand them, especially regarding their health and well-being.

Knowing the signs that a hedgehog is pregnant becomes essential if you’re a hedgehog parent.

With their prickly charm and inquisitive nature, hedgehogs have become increasingly popular as pets. And like any other pet, understanding their breeding and pregnancy is vital for their care.

Whether you’re suspecting your pet hedgehog is pregnant or you’re just curious, we’ll guide you through the 13 most reliable signs of hedgehog pregnancy.

Quick Answer: Key Signs of a Pregnant Hedgehog

If you’re looking for a quick rundown on how to tell if your hedgehog is pregnant, here are the top signs to watch for:

  • Weight Gain: Pregnant hedgehogs often experience significant weight gain due to the growing hoglets.
  • Changes in Appetite: You might notice your hedgehog eating more than usual.
  • Nesting Behavior: If your hedgehog starts collecting bedding material and building a cozy nest, it could be a sign of pregnancy.
  • Increased Aggression or Anxiety: Behavioral changes, such as increased aggression or anxiety, can be a sign too.
  • Swelling Belly: A noticeable swollen belly is a classic sign of pregnancy in most animals, including hedgehogs.

Understanding Hedgehog Pregnancy

Why It’s Important to Know

Knowing whether your hedgehog is pregnant is crucial for multiple reasons. Pregnant hedgehogs require special care and attention, and their diet and environment may need to be adjusted for their comfort and health.

Timely detection of pregnancy can also help prevent any complications and ensure the safe delivery of the hoglets.

The Gestation Period of Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs have a relatively short gestation period, typically between 35 to 58 days. As such, recognizing the signs of pregnancy early on can help you prepare for the arrival of the little ones and provide the necessary care for the mother.

How many months is a hedgehog pregnant?

Given the gestation period, a hedgehog is pregnant for approximately 1 to 2 months. That’s a lot shorter than many other mammals!

What Are The Signs Of A Pregnant Hedgehog?

Here are the seven (7) signs you can tell;

Sign 1. Weight Gain

A noticeable increase in weight is often one of the first signs of pregnancy in hedgehogs. As the hoglets grow, the mother hedgehog’s body needs to accommodate them, leading to a visible weight gain.

This gain could be significant, considering that a typical hedgehog’s weight ranges from 0.5 to 1.2 pounds (227 to 544 grams). It’s a good practice to weigh your hedgehog to monitor its health regularly.

Please note that while weight gain is an indication, it isn’t definitive proof of pregnancy. Other factors such as changes in diet or lack of exercise could also cause weight gain.

For instance, feeding your hedgehog too many treats, like apples, bananas, or strawberries, could increase weight.

On the flip side, a balanced diet including eggs and the right amount of fruits can contribute to their overall well-being.

Sign 2. Changes in Appetite

An increased appetite is another potential sign of pregnancy in hedgehogs. Just like humans, hedgehogs also need extra nutrition during pregnancy for the growth of their offspring. This can often lead to a noticeable increase in their food intake.

However, you should be careful not to confuse this with overfeeding. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which is detrimental to your hedgehog’s health.

So, while it’s necessary to meet the increased nutritional needs of a pregnant hedgehog, it’s equally important to ensure that the food given is balanced and healthy.

Be careful with treats that are high in sugar, even if they are fruits like bananas or strawberries.

Sign 3. Nesting Behavior

Observing your hedgehog’s behavior can also provide signs of potential pregnancy. One of the most distinct behaviors is nesting. When preparing for the birth of her hoglets, a female hedgehog will start to collect bedding and other materials to build a nest.

Do hedgehogs nest when pregnant? Absolutely, and this behavior is often a strong indicator of pregnancy.

The nesting process can be quite intricate as your hedgehog may become very particular about the location and materials for her nest. This could involve moving around bedding, burrowing, and creating a secluded spot in her enclosure.

Sign 4. Increased Aggression or Anxiety

Behavioral changes are often a tell-tale sign of a pregnant hedgehog. During pregnancy, hedgehogs may become more aggressive or anxious.

If your typically docile and friendly hedgehog starts showing signs of irritability, reluctance to be handled, or increased aggression, she might be expecting hoglets.

This behavioral change is largely due to the hormonal shifts occurring in the hedgehog’s body during pregnancy.

It’s essential to respect her space during this time and limit handling to prevent undue stress. Stress can be harmful to both the mother and the unborn hoglets.

Sign 5. Swelling Belly

Another tell-tale sign of pregnancy in hedgehogs is a visibly swollen belly. As the pregnancy progresses and the hoglets grow, the mother’s belly expands.

It’s typically more noticeable when the hedgehog is relaxed or during the latter part of the pregnancy.

Sign 6. Decreased Activity

Pregnant hedgehogs may show a decrease in their usual activity levels. This is due to the increased energy demand of carrying and developing hoglets.

Your energetic nocturnal friend might start to slow down, sleeping more and playing less.

Sign 7. Frequent Urination

Pregnant hedgehogs might urinate more frequently than usual. As the hoglets grow, they put more pressure on the mother’s bladder, leading to more frequent trips to relieve herself.

This sign can be tricky, especially if your hedgehog is potty trained or tends to urinate in a designated area. However, if you observe closely, you might notice this change.

Sign 8. Enlarged Nipples

As your hedgehog gets closer to her due date, you might notice that her nipples become more prominent. This is the body’s natural way of preparing for the arrival of the hoglets and the following nursing period.

It’s important to note that this sign is typically only noticeable in the later stages of pregnancy. If you’re unfamiliar with what your hedgehog’s nipples usually look like, this could be a hard sign to spot.

Sign 9. Self-Isolation

Hedgehogs are generally solitary animals, but pregnant hedgehogs tend to become even more reclusive.

If your hedgehog starts spending more time alone, avoiding interaction, and staying in her nest, it could be a sign she’s preparing for the birth of her hoglets.

Self-isolation helps the mother hedgehog prepare for birthing in a quiet, safe, and undisturbed environment. This behavior is especially noticeable in the later stages of pregnancy.

Sign 10. Body Temperature Fluctuation

A change in body temperature can sometimes indicate pregnancy in hedgehogs. While this sign might not be as noticeable as others, an attentive owner might spot the subtle change.

During pregnancy, a hedgehog’s body works overtime to support the growing hoglets, which can result in a slightly increased body temperature.

However, keep in mind that temperature fluctuation can also be a sign of illness, so it’s always best to seek veterinary advice if you notice anything unusual.

Sign 11. Weight Gain

As the pregnancy progresses, your hedgehog will naturally gain weight. This weight gain is due to the growing hoglets inside her.

A significant increase in your hedgehog’s weight over a short period could strongly indicate that she’s pregnant.

However, weight gain should be monitored closely. Excessive weight gain could lead to health problems like obesity. So while a pregnant hedgehog needs additional nutrition, it’s crucial to provide a balanced diet to avoid overfeeding.

Sign 12. Lack of Estrus Cycle

Female hedgehogs usually have an estrus cycle (heat cycle) lasting about 40-44 days. During this cycle, they will be receptive to mating.

If your hedgehog has stopped showing signs of being in heat, it could indicate she’s pregnant.

Sign 13. Confirmation from a Veterinarian

The most reliable sign that your hedgehog is pregnant is a confirmation from a veterinarian. A vet can usually determine if a hedgehog is pregnant through a physical examination or ultrasound.

This method is the most accurate and ensures that your hedgehog receives the necessary health checks during her pregnancy. A vet can advise how to care for your pregnant hedgehog and what to expect during the birthing process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. How many months is a hedgehog pregnant?

A hedgehog’s gestation period typically lasts between 35 to 58 days, averaging around 45 days. So, a hedgehog is pregnant for a little over a month to almost two months.

Q2. Can I handle my hedgehog when she’s pregnant?

It’s advisable to limit handling a pregnant hedgehog, especially in the later stages of pregnancy, to prevent causing stress or harm to her and the hoglets. If handling is necessary, do so gently and carefully.

Q3. What should I feed my pregnant hedgehog?

Pregnant hedgehogs require a balanced diet rich in protein. Providing a high-quality hedgehog food or cat food supplemented with fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats can be beneficial. Always provide fresh water.

Q4. How many babies do hedgehogs usually have?

Hedgehogs typically have litters of 3-4 babies, but this can vary. Some hedgehogs may have larger litters, while others may only have one or two hoglets.

Q5. Do hedgehogs nest when pregnant?

Yes, pregnant hedgehogs often build nests in preparation for the birth of their hoglets. They may start collecting bedding materials and creating a cozy space for their forthcoming babies.

Q6. What should I do if I think my hedgehog is pregnant?

If you think your hedgehog is pregnant, it’s best to consult a vet for confirmation and advice on caring for her during pregnancy. Ensure she eats a balanced diet, provides a comfortable nesting space, and avoids unnecessary stress.


Identifying a pregnant hedgehog can be a bit of a challenge, especially for first-time owners.

But by observing the signs we discussed – from weight gain and changes in appetite to behavior shifts and physical changes – you may be able to get a good indication of whether your spiky friend is expecting some tiny additions.

Remember, it’s always best to consult a vet if you think your hedgehog might be pregnant. They can provide the most accurate diagnosis and guidance on how to care for your pregnant pet.

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