Hedgehogs aren’t very popular pets. But there’s no denying that they are adorable. So, if you’re contemplating adopting one or want to understand your pet hedgie better, you have to get acquainted with hedgehog lingo.
No, hedgies don’t talk literally, but these clever little buggers have ways to let you know precisely how they’re feeling.
Do hedgehogs squeak? Hedgehogs can squeak, huff, puff, pop, hiss, and sing. All of these sounds are audible by human standards and are done to convey their mood. Squeaking or chirping is a sound made by young hoglets when they are hungry, males hoping to find a mate, or mothers protecting their young.
Before we explain in depth what each little sound means, let’s take a look at the different sounds hedgehogs can make.
Short Guideline to Hedgehog Noises
Before we get into the reasons why hedgehogs may make various noises and how to respond to them, you should have a small guide that’s easy to access so that you can quickly reference it to understand your prickly pet better.
Here are the noises hedgehogs make and what they mean:
- Chirping or Squeaking – Made by hungry hoglets, males seeking a mate, or females protecting their young
- Grunting or Snuffling – Looking for food
- Huffing and Puffing – You’re too close, get back
- Chuffing- Mating season or heat
- Screaming – Pain or extreme fear
- Purring or Grunting – Contentment
- Hissing – Aggressive/defensive
- Clicking With a Pop – Challenge to other males, often during mating season
- Clicking With a Kissing Sound – Happy or excited
- Squealing – Made before a fight begins with a challenger
- Wheezing – Likely due to illness
- Singing – Part of the mating ritual
Now that you know that hedgehogs can actually be quite vocal little creatures, let’s dive deeper into the possible reasons your hedgehog squeaks at you.
When Do Hedgehogs Squeak and Why?
Squeaking, also known as chirping, is a fairly common sound you will hear from your hedgie. The reason it’s called chirping is simply that it sounds precisely like the chirping of a bird. If you ever hear a hoglet chirp, you’ll think it’s coming from a baby bird.
Now, you have to understand that chirping isn’t a sound made to draw human attention. There are generally three circumstances where you’ll hear chirping from your hedgehog.
- Hungry hoglets – Baby hedgehogs call out of their nest to attract their mother’s attention.
- Males looking for mates – Males attract a passing female’s attention with their beautiful voices.
- Protective mothers – Mother hedgehogs chirp when they’re protecting their young. It’s not a happy sound.
Now, when you do hear chirping, it’s best to avoid physical contact as much as possible. If you want to help, you can offer the female hedgehog food for the babies. You can even provide her with a nesting box where she may keep her babies safe and away from prying eyes.
And, in the case of the male looking for a mate, well, it’s just best to step away from your prickly friend and let him take care of his business.
Are Hedgehogs Noisy?
Many hedgehog lovers shy away from adopting hedgehogs as there is a rumor that these creatures are boisterous. The worst part of the rumor is that hedgehogs are loud enough to keep you awake all night.
Contrary to popular belief, hedgehogs are quiet animals. They don’t like to attract much attention to themselves. Even the sounds they do make are at such a low volume that it’s hardly enough to disturb anyone.
Most hedgie parents love to hear their hedgehogs make sounds, as they find the faint sounds quite cute. And, as far as keeping you awake all night goes, hedgehogs are nocturnal animals. Hence, they do become active at night.
But, there is no reason to believe that your hedgie will keep you up at all hours. Not if you’ve taken care to feed it and clean up its cage. And, especially not if your pet hedgie has company or toys of its own.
There are many queries new hedgie parents have concerning their hedgehog’s chin wag. Let’s take a look.
Do Hedgehogs Cry?
It may sound unbelievable, but hedgehogs can cry and wail just like babies. Under extreme stress, in unfamiliar surroundings, or in the hands of total strangers, your hedgehog is going to lose its calm and wail away. And, no, it’s not soft and cute to the ears.
Hedgehogs are loud enough to attract child welfare services when it is crying its heart out. Moreover, if your hedgie is hurt, in severe pain, or feels trapped, then too, it will turn into a wailing banshee.
Why Is My Hedgehog Hissing at Me?
Hissing from hedgehogs is a defensive behavior, implying that it is afraid. It is not aggressive behavior that would mean that it is preparing to attack. So, the best thing to do in such circumstances is to give your little friend some space.
Allow your hedgie to get used to your presence as well as your touch. It isn’t right to think that your hedgie is opposed to you because it isn’t. Hedgehogs take their time getting friendly around humans. But, lots of care and perseverance will solve your problems.
Up Next: Do Hedgehogs Like Water?