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Can Hedgehogs Climb?

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We all recognize that one blue hedgehog on TV that could run almost at the speed of sound. Chances are if you have kids, they know you’re talking about Sonic.

But contrary to popular belief, hedgehogs don’t run that fast. They can, however, swim and jump. But, can they climb?

Hedgehogs love to climb in and around objects in their natural environment. They can’t, however, climb straight up or steep inclines. This floor dwelling mammal is a pro at climbing over low obstacles in its path.

two hedgehog sniffing the tree

How Hedgehogs Move And Climb

Hedgehogs move close to the ground on their small feet. Given their poor eyesight, hedgehogs primarily use their sense of smell and hearing when they move, run, or even climb on any structure.

Although their spiky body is oval-shaped with a low center of gravity, hedgehogs possess the ability to climb higher places. The only problem when they climb up a higher place is that they might face a problem climbing down.

Some pet owners of these exotic animals have faced an issue when their hedgehog fell from a higher place, causing fractured limbs and leaving an internal injury to their beloved pet.

This is because their body weight is unevenly distributed, and coupled with the fact that their feet are short to absorb the momentum of the fall.

Hedgehogs possess tiny toes, which could make it harder for them to grip on any surface. When they fall, hedgehogs do not land on their feet.

In some cases, their spiny bodies act as a protective layer when they roll into a ball, preventing some injury when they fall from higher place.

Being so small, they are fragile and its best to only let your hedgehogs climb when you are there to watch them and help them avoid dangerous falls.

Wild hedgehogs are able to climb fences, stairs, and any structure around the house when they roam at night for food.

They sometimes travel up to one mile from their nest. Insects, snails, and slugs would be their main types of food as they are being categorized as omnivores.

Hedgehogs Can Also Climb Trees

Unlike porcupines, hedgehogs do not possess well-built limbs to climb most trees. But their small body gives them the flexibility to climb some trees.

The easiest trees for a hedgehog to climb are ones that have grown at an angle and have bark with lots of texture to give their feet a place to grab on.

On the other hand, if the surface of those trees is slippery and slightly vertical, a hedgehog would have a hard time climbing them.

The hedgehog’s grip doesn’t have enough strength to support their body weight. This makes climbing vertically very difficult for them.

Hedgehogs Can Squeeze Through Gaps

With their squishy body, hedgehogs are able to squeeze through gaps. Any gaps or holes with an approximate size of 5.5 inches square would be easy access for most hedgehogs to squeeze through.

The spines or quills on hedgehogs are quite elastic and they do not detach from their body, making it easier for them to fit through any small spaces.

Soft structure with gaps such as wire mesh and plastic nets pose a danger to hedgehogs because their feet and quills can get stuck and entangled inside those nets.

Dealing With Climbing Hedgehog Pet

Active hedgehogs have been known to climb fences that were 3 feet tall. Because of this, as a pet owner, you’ll want to ensure your hedgehog’s cage has a roof or lid.

The best hedgehog cages have smooth sides to prevent your hedgie from trying to squeeze out. Wire cages are OK too as long as you ensure that the space between the wires is less than 2 inches (and ideally no more than 1″).

Three children seated in a row, each with a small pet on their lap

Preserving Wild Hedgehogs Around Your House

If your house is close to any habitats or wild hedgehogs that love to roam freely at night, it is best to keep your lawn clean from any trash bags that would attract hedgehogs to scramble inside of them for food.

The worst-case scenario that could happen is that they could get stuck inside those bags and die due to asphyxiation and breathing difficulty.

Leaving some small holes or escape ramps around the fence of your lawn or garden could also help the hedgehogs to pass through. In certain cases, some old wooden fences are full of blisters that could injure them when they try to squeeze their body through.

Having wild hedgehogs around your lawn is one of the best ways to eradicate any pests. This is because hedgehogs act as one of the natural pest controllers. They eat insects and bugs that destroy plants or flowers.

One to thing remember is that, when having wild hedgehogs as pest controllers, you should always make sure not to use any slug pellets. These pellets could kill the hedgehogs due to their toxicity and chemical compositions.

Although hedgehogs can swim, it is also advisable to keep any garden pond or pool around your house closed off. This is because when they fall into it, it is not the water that would kill them, but their inability to climb back up.

Alternatively, build in natural looking animal ramps at various locations so that any animal that falls in can find a way out.