Why Do Hedgehogs Hiss? Top 5 reasons!

Hedgehog is an adorable animal to pet. Like every other pet, your hedgehog might make different kinds of sounds. And each has a different meaning. Often they hiss like snakes.

So, you might be wondering why do hedgehogs hiss? 

Hedgehogs usually hiss when they are nervous. It can happen when they feel threatened or scared too. They also hiss if they are upset, angry, or uneasy. All together, if a hedgehog hisses it means it’s not in a good mood.

Now, this is a brief explanation. Let’s get you more familiar with the reasons behind your hedgehogs hissing. And let’s get to know what things you can do to calm it down. 

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Why Do Hedgehogs Hiss?

Why Do Hedgehogs Hiss

A hedgehog might hiss for several reasons. Well, none of it will indicate anything good. If your hedgehog is hissing for a day or less, it’s nothing serious. It could indicate normal reasons like being angry, hungry or upset.

But if it has been hissing for more than a day or week, you should really take the matter seriously. It might be for any reason, try finding it out to calm them. Or else, they might cause some harm.  

So, let’s get to know the reasons behind hedgehogs hissing- 

New Environment

When you bring your hedgehog first time, you’ll notice some changed behaviors. This is because the whole new environment is making them anxious or stressed.

Hedgehogs take time to adjust to new places. The new smell, cage, surroundings everything will make them very nervous and stress them out. 

They might react to this new situation by hissing at you to protect themselves. But once they know you and trust you, they will stop hissing. So, it’s better to give them time to adjust. 

However, you can try out one thing-

Try to take them out and make them familiar with the environment to help them settle down. 

Seeing Another Hedgehog

It might sound funny, but it is true. One hedgehog might start hissing by the presence of another hedgehog.

The reason behind this is- hedgehogs prefer to stay alone. They only mix during mating. And when the females are taking care of their offspring for about 5-7 weeks.

Apart from that, they prefer being alone. So, if you keep two of them together, they might hiss at each other. The male hedgehogs might even act aggressive. Because they hate feeling inferior.

So, try to keep hedgehogs separately until they are comfortable with each other. 

Threatened by Another Animal

Hedgehogs are that kind of animal which doesn’t like sharing their space. They quite easily feel threatened if any other animal comes near. 

It disturbs them by thinking that their personal space is being invaded. So, they start hissing when they are encountered with another animal. It’s a way of expressing their discomfort.

Often people cage their hedgehogs and guinea pigs together. But this might be a huge problem. As the hedgehogs will start hissing all day and might even hurt the other animal.

So, always cage them separately. 

Losing Quills

Around the age of 2-6 months, the hedgehogs start losing their quills. This creates a discomfort for them. As a result, they act angry and anxious. They aren’t easy to control at that time.

Hissing is a sign of their discomfort. They also lose appetite during this time. So, they might also hiss due to severe hunger. 

It is suggested to keep an eye on your hedgehog during this period. Help them to be comfortable.

Injured or Unwell

Animals can’t speak. Their only language to us are the sounds they make. A hedgehog makes different sounds. Hissing is one of them.

So, apart from the reason explained above, a hedgehog can hiss to express their pain. When injured, a hedgehog is in pain. To get rid of it, they will start hissing at you.

Often unwell animals act aggressive or grumpy. It’s the same for hedgehogs too. Check their health or if they are injured or not.

Apart from these, there are several other reasons behind a hedgehog hissing. They are 

  • Handled when they are sleeping. Simply put, they don’t like being disturbed while they are resting.
  • Handled by someone new. Every pet feels comfortable with someone that has been around them for a long time. So, a new smell from a new person can tense them up.
  • Loud music or sound. Like every other pet, hedgehogs feel distressed when there’s loud music going on.
  • Extreme light. Hedgehogs like moderate lighting. So, extreme light will just make them uncomfortable and they will hiss due to that.

So, now you know why your hedgehog is hissing at you. 

Things to Do When a Hedgehogs Hiss

Things to Do When a Hedgehogs Hiss

You just cannot ignore if they are hissing continuously. Even if you ignore them, they will react more aggressively. This could be harmful. You can take control of the situation and make them stop hissing at you. 

In order to do that, you can do the following things with your hedgehogs-

  • As mentioned earlier, hedgehogs love being alone. So, first thing first, give them proper space. Don’t force them to be comfortable. Give some time to adjust.
  • Don’t try to handle them while they are hissing. They might unintentionally hurt you. 
  • Try to interact with them to know the actual reason behind their hissing. Act accordingly to help them settle down. 
  • You can also try pampering your hedgehog. This will bring trust in them towards you.
  • Don’t try to stop them forcefully. This way they’ll just hiss more.

So, just let them hiss. The moment they settle in or feel protected, they will stop on their own.


Is it unhealthy for a hedgehog to hiss?

No, it’s not unhealthy for a hedgehog to hiss. But if they hiss for a long time, try to know the cause and fix it as soon as possible.

How to calm a scared hedgehog?

The best way to calm a scared hedgehog is to slowly take them to your lap. Try to make a bond. You can try playing with it or watch a movie. 

Do hedgehogs make other sounds?

Yes! Your hedgehog can make a variety of sounds. They can make sounds like sneezing, quaking, snoring, grunting, etc. 


So now you know why hedgehogs hiss? 

To sum up, hissing is a defensive manner. Hedgehogs are solitary animals. So, anything that brings discomfort, stress, or anxiety will make them hiss. 

That’s all for today! Hope, this article has helped you. Stay safe!

Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan

Ryan Dugan is a dedicated pet care professional who offers top-notch services for a variety of pet species. He has a soft spot for my own feline companion, Sophie. He is passionate about animals He shares his knowledge and experience on his blog to help other pet owners understand and care for their own beloved companions. Whether you need a pet-sitting service or advice on pet care, He is the go-to expert.

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