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Can Hedgehogs Run Fast?

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Hedgehogs are interesting animals with their very own habits and lifestyle – which is something we’ll talk about today. We’ll also cover the main question – how fast can hedgehogs run?

Can Hedgehogs Run Fast?

Relative to their size, hedgehogs do run rather fast. On average, they can reach a speed of 4 miles per hour while running – but only in short bursts. That’s definitely impressive for their round body and smaller size. When you see them running, it looks much faster than it actually is due to size and body shape.

hedgehog running on the grass

They have pretty long legs considering how small they are – almost 4 inches long. Most of the time, they are concealed under an animal’s spines. To be precise, you can only really see them when a hedgehog is running.

These interesting animals also have clawed feet with five toes, which helps them to run, climb, or dig when it’s necessary. When they’re in the wild, they can cross up to 8-9 miles. Considering how small they are in general, that’s a pretty long way.

However, hedgehogs are not so fast if you compare them to some other animals. For example, Jack Russel terriers can run up to 25 miles per hour, and we, on average, reach 3-4 miles per hour just while walking. Guinea pigs, on the other hand, go up to 5.5 miles per hour while running.

These animals run around when they’re crossing a distance looking for food. One of the rather unique behavioral traits they have is running in circles.

Maybe you’ve even noticed it; they tend to run in circles for a couple of hours straight without taking any time out, and after they stop, everything goes back to normal.

They do this when they feel stressed out because they got scared of a larger animal or unfamiliar faces. It could be possible that the hedgie is suffering from certain health issues, as well.

hedgehog on the grass

Let’s Talk About Hedgehogs!

Hedgehogs are mammals with a rounded body 5-12 inches long. Their tail, which is around 1-2 inches long, is mostly hidden beneath the spines.

These appealing animals got their name because of their quite specific foraging methods. They pick their way through hedges or root through undergrowth while searching for smaller animals hiding there and as they are looking for food, they produce pig-like grunts.

Hedgehog’s main menu consists of worms, centipedes, insects, snails, mice, frogs, and even snakes. As you can tell from their diet, they’re natural hunters. Some people find them quite useful because they can help you get rid of irritating garden pests.

Most of them are brown, but, depending on the species, they come in some other color variations as well. For example, they can also be albino or blonde.

What Do They Rely On When Hunting?

These little fellas are nocturnal, which means the night is the time when they’re most active.

When looking for prey, they mostly rely on their hearing and sense of smell. They don’t very good vision, especially if you compare it to humans’.

A hedgehog will see outlines of certain objects, like, for example, trees. They won’t be able to see different colors though – their eyesight is limited to shades of cream and brown.

To counteract their lack of sight, they have excellent hearing. Their ears are positioned to catch important sounds from their surrounding. They’re rather sensitive, so hedgehogs can hear pretty high tones as well.

To be precise, the range of frequencies they can hear goes from 250 and 45,000 Hz. For comparison, we hear from 20 to 20,000 Hz.

That helps them detect potential prey or dangerous predators coming after them. Other than hearing, hedgehogs have a pretty well developed sense of smell.

They use their sharp noses to sniff around and catch scents of smaller animals they can go after. That’s how they know if danger or even other hedgehog is nearby.

hedgehog sniffing on the grass

What Else You Need To Know About These Cute Animals?

They will hibernate in cold climates. Similarly, they go through a process of aestivation in deserts – which is sleeping through heat and drought. However, hedgehogs are active during the entire year in locations with more temperate conditions.

These animals are solitary most of the time, which means they come together only when it’s time for mating.

Baby hedgehogs stay with their moms for 4-7 weeks and then they head out on their own. It may seem too early, but with their spines they have a pretty intelligent self-defending mechanism.

The outer parts of their bodies are covered in a coat of stiff spines.

When a hedgehog feels threatened or some predator is attacking it, it will curl into a prickly ball that’s not appetizing for the animal that wants to eat it. They sleep in this position most of the time too which is how they protect themselves from unwanted visitors.

Some Final Words

Hedgehogs are quite interesting animals the internet went crazy about! They’re spiky, but also very cute animals more and more people choose to have as a pet.

They’re nocturnal, which means the night is their time. Hedgehogs tend to sleep up to 18 hours, which is why they’re very active when awake.

They run a lot while looking for food and exploring their surrounding. Even though it looks like they’re running very fast when you’re looking at them, they only go up to 4 miles per hour. That’s not that much, especially when you compare it to some other animals.

Still, it’s quite impressive when you know how small they are.