Are Hedgehogs Smart: Everything You Should Know

Whether you’re thinking about introducing an adorable little African Pygmy hedgehog into your home, or you’re simply interested in learning about the personality and intelligence levels of hedgehogs, you’re in the right place!

Hedgehogs are gentle and mild-tempered by nature, and will hardly ever display signs of aggression or distress, especially towards humans. However, despite their mellow personalities, hedgehogs are characterized by having a surprising level of intelligence that often shocks their new owners.

Hedgehogs love to be around people, especially when given the opportunity to build a bond with their owners.

Over time, you’ll begin to see the unique personality of your cute little hedgehog, and quickly learn that no two hedgehogs are the same! With the ability to be able to recognize their owners, hedgehogs often display signs of joy and happiness as soon as their owners come around them, 

When in a comfortable environment, some hedgehogs can even be very playful and can reveal a mischievous side that they only bring out around their most trusted companions.

As an example of this playfulness, as well as their smartness, some hedgehog owners have noted the way that their hedgehog pet likes to play games with their owners, and can even be trained to play interactive games that require mental focus, such as fetch! 

In addition to interactive games, hedgehogs also love to play games that provide them with plenty of mental stimulation.

Besides helping to contribute to overall feelings of wellbeing and happiness in a hedgehog, mentally challenging games and exercises such as a maze can keep a hedgehog entertained for hours, as hedgehogs are naturally inquisitive, and a maze is a perfect way to allow them to explore their surroundings while also problem-solving.

Are hedgehogs clever?

Though hedgehogs might not be as clever as other types of animals, that doesn’t mean that they’re not clever in their own way.

Sure, though they may not be as analytical as a fox, or as sharp as a cat, hedgehogs have the profound ability to be able to build and maintain connections with other hedgehogs, as well as having the intelligence to be able to identify and recognize their owners. 

Once a trusting relationship has been established, hedgehogs will often run up to their owners for playtime or snuggles, and even like to be kissed on the nose by their owners.

In addition to cuddles, hedgehogs love to play and are known for enjoying both solo and interactive play, including ball games with their owners. If you plan on owning a hedgehog, then you’ll also likely notice the way that hedgehogs tidy and organize their cages and are known for enjoying the routine.

So much so, that many owners notice the way that their hedgehog likes to structure their time in a similar way each day. 

Plus, as first and foremost a wild animal, it should also go without saying that hedgehogs have natural instincts and the ability to understand how to take care of themselves, as well as how to stay protected and hidden from potential predators.

For that reason alone, it would be unfair to say that hedgehogs are not clever, because they clearly possess basic intelligence to be able to survive in the wild. 

Are hedgehogs intelligent?

As we’re sure you might already know, hedgehogs certainly aren’t the most intelligent out of all species of animals, though they do display certain intelligence levels that often come as a surprise to hedgehog owners, especially if it is their first time experiencing a hedgehog as a pet. 

Just like other types of animals, hedgehogs are sentient creatures that each come with their very own individual personalities and quirks.

Some hedgehogs are very playful and love to be sociable and interact with their owners, while other hedgehogs are more reserved in nature and prefer to keep to themselves and sleep. 

This notion of “individuality” ties in closely with intelligence, as just because they might not be known as being the most clever of animals, hedgehogs have feelings, emotions, and the ability to build emotional connections with other hedgehogs and humans that often last throughout the entirety of their lives.

Like we have said above, hedgehogs are very mellow and relaxed by nature, and often love nothing more than curling up into a ball and having a snooze.

Once a connection and bond has been built between a hedgehog and its owner, hedgehogs are well known for forming a trusting attachment to their owners, and they love nothing more than to spend time in their owner’s company!

So much so, that domesticated hedgehogs love to snuggle up to their owners and have a cuddle while they sleep, and even love to be placed on their backs so that they can have belly tickles.