Are African Pygmy Hedgehogs Noisy At Night? 5 noises to check


Cute pygmy hedgehog

We found out African Pygmy Hedgehogs are nocturnal so they come out at night and it’s at this time they could become noisy. So my daughter did some investigations into the noises they could make at night.

Are African Pygmy Hedgehogs noisy at night? African Pygmy Hedgehogs are noisy at night as they explore their cages and when they exercise on their running wheels, especially if the wheels are not silent running varieties. They are noisy when they eat, as the dry cat biscuits are hard and need to be broken down by chomping on them.

Let’s take a look in detail at each of the noises they can make, in the following parts of the article.

1. Exercise noises

Hedgehogs need to exercise when they are kept as pets otherwise they could become obese and one of the best forms of exercise is through using a running wheel.

This is probably one of the best investments you can make to keep your hedgehog healthy but we warned, the wheels do make a noise when they are used. The type of noise made can depend on the quality of the running wheel used.

Our running wheel makes a low humming type of sound and more often than not it’s not always a consistent sound as the hedgehog speeds up, slows down and then stops for a while. After while the hedgehog will get off their running wheel go eat and drink some water and then return back to their running wheel.

Cheaper running wheels may make different sounds and could end up making a more irritating scraping sound if they’ve been made from cheaper components.

Long runs

The hedgehogs can run on their running wheels for long periods of time during the night hours, just as they would cover large distances relative to their body size in the wild. I’ve come downstairs in winter as I’m getting ready to go to work at around 5 am and I’ve seen our hedgehog running on his running wheel.

So he’s been running on and off for several hours and in the warmer months, I’ll be lucky to see him at all so early in the morning as it’s getting lighter earlier.

Nail noises

If your hedgehog’s nails haven’t been clipped you may also hear the noise of the nails hitting the running wheel floor as the hedgehog runs.

When we’re watching TV late in the evening and our hedgehog wakes up in the next room, he’ll tend to eat first and then after a short while, he’ll jump on to his wheel and start running.

We’ll hear the noise of the wheel and while it’s not distracting, if his cage has been placed upstairs in one of the bedrooms then this could have been more disrupting to our sleep. 

Wheel placement

We made the mistake of once leaving the running wheel too close to the side of the cage on slightly heavier bedding and when our hedgehog went onto his wheel and started running, the wheel would bang against the side of the cage.

I could hear a slight banging noise from downstairs as we were getting ready to go to bed, so when I came to investigate, it was funny to hear this cage banging away. I simply moved the cage into the correct position and voila, the banging noise disappeared.

Bedding

It’s highly advisable to make sure the bedding isn’t too bouncy and the running wheel is positioned correctly otherwise the running wheel will move and potentially bang into other things in the cage and the sidewalls of the cage.

When we’re watching TV in the early evening we know when our hedgehog is eating as we can hear him crunching away on his dry cat biscuits. This is then interrupted by the sound of him on the running wheel then followed by a period of time eating again. This is repeated throughout the night.

2. Eating noises

We feed our hedgehog on dry cat biscuits and when our hedgehog eats these, the noise is quite loud. These dry biscuits are quite hard and our hedgehog really has to chomp hard on these dry biscuits to break them into small pieces to eat. Even the smaller pieces when eaten make a lot of noise as they are broken further down into easily digestible pieces.

It’s advisable therefore to keep hedgehogs in a room which doesn’t affect your sleep. We bring our hedgehog upstairs into one of our spare bedrooms if we have guests who come and stay late into the night. It’s easier to do this than try to leave him downstairs where the noise and light might scare him into not coming out to eat and exercise until later when the noise and light have all but gone.

The only problem with bringing his cage upstairs is that when we do eventually retire to bed, you can hear him eating and also hear the sound of humming when he’s running on his wheel. When we first brought him upstairs in the summer, with all the bedroom doors open, you could hear him eating and the sound of the running wheel.

Subsequent times when we’ve bought him up in the not so warmer months, we’ve closed the door to the bedroom we’ve put him in, so the noise has been abated by the closed door.

Food like mealworms and other insects don’t make much noise when eaten but these should never be left overnight in their cage. Firstly they need to have only a very limited amount of these as anything more than in moderation can affect their health.

Secondly leaving live mealworms that can crawl away from the hedgehog’s food bowl will only lead to the hedgehog frantically trying to find where the mealworm has gone once the hedgehog picks up their scent.

I’ve seen our hedgehog crawl under the bedding frantically, knocking over his food and water as he frantically tries to get hold of the mealworm. It’s best to give them a limited number of mealworms under supervision only and not to leave the mealworms in their food to crawl out of.

3. Sleeping noises

During the day when our hedgehog is asleep, he doesn’t make much noise but occasionally we hear this tapping noise coming from his cage. It can be quite loud and definitely makes you notice.  When my daughter was much younger she believed our hedgehog would make these tapping noises as he was dreaming and running in his dreams, with the tapping noise a consequence of him trying to walk whilst he’s asleep.

It’s a funny thought and why not, hedgehogs need to dream too. Maybe they have nightmares too? Whilst we’ve not noticed any noise we would associate with having a nightmare such as shrieking, it is possible I suppose for them to get scared when they are asleep.

We also have to contend with the barking from a neighbours dog so this could be good grounds for our hedgehog to think he’s subconsciously under attack whilst he’s asleep. 

It’s important to appreciate if you’re hedgehog is making a lot of painful sounding noises at night then there could be something wrong and further investigation from a vet will be required.

4. Heating noises

The heat mat we use can sometimes make a noise now and again, as it regulates temperature. It’s like an occasional click sound and we’ve got used to it and so as our hedgehog, as it’s made this sound when he’s been awake and I’ve not noticed him flinch.

5. Cage noises

During the night, like any hedgehog, our hedgehog likes to explore, in search of food and trying to check out his cage. As he’s exploring he invariably bumps into things like his wheel, the food dish and drinking bowl causing a noise.

Sometimes he’ll try to burrow underneath the cage bedding, so anything on top moves and bang into other objects, the running wheel will bang against the cage wheels when he’s trying to burrow. You can occasionally hear his nails against the bottom of the cage as he’s trying to scurry around.

We also have a little ball for him to play with which every time he bumps into it makes a tingling sound like a faint bell. 

A few months ago we added an additional supply of water based on a hanging plastic water drip bottle and this has become a new source of noise as he tends to bump into this quite frequently at night. As it’s hanging it will swing into the side of the cage and make a bump noise.

My plan is to eventually get this to fit tightly into the side of the cage so there will be no chance of this banging against the side of the cage. Rest assured this is on my to-do list.

You generally won’t hear any hissing noises from the cage at night unless of course there’s a change in the light like a shadow from something outside which might scare the hedgehog. Again I’ve sometimes startled our hedgehog early in the morning when I’ve sneaked into his room to get something and my shadow as caused him to hiss.

We used to have a small bit of plastic tubing in the cage for our hedgehog to crawl through and you could hear him crawling around this tube at night but we removed it for two reasons. Firstly it took up a lot of space especially after we added a running wheel and it was very difficult to clean when the poop dried in between the ridges.

Conclusion

There are noises from African Pygmy Hedgehogs at night especially when they eat. They themselves tend to not make loud noises, only hissing when they are scared, occasional chirping but if screaming is heard then they are in pain and this needs to be investigated immediately.

As African Pygmy Hedgehogs are nocturnal, it is during this time in the night they are the most active as they explore and look for food. It’s expected during this time you will hear most of the noises the hedgehog makes including the noises of the things around the hedgehog in their cage which they inadvertently bump into.

They do make noises in the daytime like tapping noises and some other movement noises but these aren’t as noisy as the noises during the night.

Related Questions

What noises do African Pygmy Hedgehogs make? Generally, pygmy hedgehogs are quiet unless they feel threatened then they hiss. When they are seriously in distress they can scream and this requires urgent attention.

How much noise does a African Pygmy Hedgehog make eating? You can definitely hear the hedgehog crunching if they are eating dry cat biscuits, as they have to break the biscuits down to make them easier to eat.

Pygmy hedgehog noises

Bal Kang

Hi I'm Bal together with my daughter Jinnee, we've created this website about African Pygmy Hedgehogs. We've learnt a lot looking after our hedgehog Hynee and share our knowledge, tips and tricks.

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