Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly popular pets to keep at home.
They are quiet, funny, entertaining, and make good companions. However, they do require a lot of care, as they are nocturnal animals and will need feeding, care and attention during the evening rather than the day.
It may surprise you to find that hedgehogs are wriggly, funny and love to explore! This can lead you to wonder what hedgehogs can and won’t do.
For instance, one of the biggest questions that we get asked is if hedgehogs can climb.
These prickly little creatures can be very engaging, and despite their small exterior, they may try to clamber into places they shouldn’t be, and get themselves into trouble.
So, can hedgehogs actually climb? This guide will tell you everything you need to know about whether hedgehogs can climb, how agile they are, and if hedgehogs can climb walls and fences! Read on to find out if your pet hedgehog is an avid climber!
Can hedgehogs climb?
There is a lot of debate around whether hedgehogs can climb or not. Hedgehogs do unfortunately have a high mortality rate, as they often make their way into certain situations that they cannot get out of.
For example, wild hedgehogs have been known to climb into ponds and pools, only to have passed away shortly after. This is not because they have no swimming skills, but because once they have climbed into the pond, they have struggled to climb back out of the water.
On the other hand, some argue that hedgehogs can climb as they have often made their way out of cages, or wild hedgehogs have found their way into someone’s home or even the bedroom! So can hedgehogs climb or not?
Well, upon looking at the shape of a hedgehog, you probably think that they are not avid climbers. Their round, spiky body with tiny little legs does not make for an agile creature.
However, the roundness is deceptive, and definitely is not body fat. Most of the hedgehog is long, sharp spines, with thick, loose and baggy skin underneath. Beneath the prickly, round exterior, a hedgehog is actually a rather slender and small creature.
Although they do have some claws and feet that can make it easier for them to climb, their round nature and stubby tails can make it very difficult to maneuver themselves and balance.
This means that yes, hedgehogs can climb, but it depends on the particular surface.
For example, some surfaces will make it easy for a hedgehog to climb, whereas others can be more difficult, and the hedgehog’s shape does not help it to balance or find its way back down again.
So, what surfaces can a hedgehog climb? For most hedgehogs, it seems that rough surfaces with lots of ledges are the simplest to climb. Surfaces such as stairs, or stone walls with lots of ledges can help hedgehogs reach new heights!
The only problem is that whilst hedgehogs can be very smart little climbers, they do have trouble when it comes to getting back down again.
Despite not being designed or built to climb walls and other surfaces, hedgehogs do it anyway. However, their strange shape and short legs often get them into a sticky situation when it comes to climbing back down again.
The fact that hedgehogs have all feet, and no hands for grip makes it very difficult and unsafe for them to try to climb down from tall heights. This is why most hedgehogs may lose their footing, fall or even die when trying to get down from somewhere. So why do they do it?
It’s unclear why hedgehogs climb, as they move at such a slow pace, it is obvious that it is not a survival tactic to escape predators, nor is it a means of finding food. Therefore, most studies understand that climbing hedgehogs are simply just curious and trying to explore new places!
But, curiosity killed the…hedgehog? They can often get themselves into trouble as hedgehogs cannot climb slippery surfaces due to their lack of grip. This means that surfaces such as pond liner, plastic surfaces and areas that are extremely slippery or vertical can pose a risk to a hedgehog.
Can hedgehogs climb fences?
Despite their small stature, hedgehogs can actually climb high walls and even fences. Wire fences are easy for them to climb, and they can even climb wooden fences over a meter high!
Whilst this may seem a small feat for you, it is a huge feat for a hedgehog. They can be very adept climbers, as long as there is good grip. The only issue will be getting back down again!
Can hedgehogs climb walls?
Yes, hedgehogs are actually very good climbers when they want to be, and some walls will be no task for a hedgehog to scale. However, other types of walls can be a little harder, as smooth surfaces are difficult to climb, so they may need an extra nudge or a push to get up the wall themselves.
Can hedgehogs climb brick walls?
Brick walls are a little easier for hedgehogs to climb because they have little ledges jutting out for the hedgehog to grip onto. Due to the rougher surface of a brick wall, this makes it easier for the hedgehog to latch on and start climbing.
How agile are hedgehogs?
If this guide has taught you anything, it’s that hedgehogs are more agile than they look. They can scale walls, climb branches of small trees and even clamber over some fences!
Hedgehogs can also travel up to 4 km in one night, and are more able than you would think. Despite a round, chunky exterior, hedgehogs are actually much smaller underneath, and able to climb, explore and forage.