While they may be small and can seem pretty timid, hedgehogs love making an array of noises to let their owner know something.
Whether they’re angry, sad, happy or it’s their mating season, hedgehogs have been known to create noises ranging from high to low pitch.
Just like ducks and frogs however, hedgehogs don’t let off these noises too often and are not very loud either, so it’s always important for an owner to know exactly what their hedgehogs are trying to get across.
A deep growling noise is one of these noises with a few meanings.
We usually associate growling as an aggressive response usually made by dogs when they don’t receive their favorite treat right away or are close to getting in a scuffle with another dog.
For hedgehogs however growling can mean a few things depending on the tone, the hogs personality and what exactly they’re doing at the time, so to make sure you can easily recognize exactly what your hedgehog is trying to say when they snarl at you, keep reading as we have listed everything you need to know below
Is Growling Normal For Hedgehogs?
If you find that your miniature spiky companion has let off a growl at you, there is no need to fear that they have suddenly started hating you.
Growling is actually the most common noise made by most hedgehogs and is actually the reason for the ‘Hog’ in their name since it makes them sound a lot like a snuffling pig.
Hedgehogs have been known to let out quick growls if they have been disturbed or startled, they often make the noise if you put your hand in their cage for example or if you disturb them from running in their wheel to their heart’s content.
This could also be because you accidentally startle the hog by waking them up unexpectedly or picking them up when they may want to be alone.
These are very common responses by hedgehogs when surprised or that just want some alone time, but don’t worry if you hear the occasional growl, they won’t hold a grudge.
While baby hedgehogs are born silent, they also occasionally snuffle and grunt, this is completely normal however and is the sign of a healthy baby hoglets.
The only time you should be worried about hedgehog grunting is if it is done constantly and accompanied by a big attitude change, if this is seen it is worth taking your hedgehog to the vet just to make sure they’re feeling okay.
Other Reasons For Growling
There are some other noises hedgehogs make that can sound similar to growling, however don’t be alarmed as neither of these are a case for panic.
If the growl sounds like the hedgehog is chuffing like a steam train, and it’s around the time of May and June, then it’s probably mating season.
As part of a mating dance, both hedgehogs will make a light growling noise to let them know what they think of each other while the male circles the female.
Because hedgehogs are nocturnal this often always takes place at night, so if you find in the middle of the night you hear some strange timid growling from the back garden there is no need to fear, just expect some more hog residence on the way.
On rare occasions hedgehogs can growl at each other as a show of strength which usually also resembles a slight hissing sound.
Usually the victor is the hedgehog who growls the loudest with no real physical contact so there is no need to worry, however if you hear it in your cage with two hogs inside it can be worth going to intervene.
Other Noises And What They Mean
It is also very useful for every owner to know the other peculiar noises hedgehogs make from time to time.
If your hedgehog is letting off a dry raspy cough, it means they have a dirty nest or are in too dry an atmosphere but if it is a prolonged chesty and wet cough that has been going on for some time, it could be lungworm and is worth going to a vet just to make sure since this can be quite common in hedgehogs.
A high pitched hissing noise is usually made by mother hedgehogs when they are finding their newborns who have their eyes and ears folded over, with the babies themselves often letting out chirping sounds similar to birds as a call for food.
Because hedgehogs cannot cry, if they let off a loud yelp or scream this can indicate they are in distress or terrified, and should be seen to right away
When hedgehogs sleep they can make anything from light chirping noises to weepy little snoring noises, and if you’re very lucky, you may even at some point hear your hedgehog let out a purr which just means that they’re happy with everything you are doing.
Hedgehogs love a moody growl from time to time so it’s nothing to worry about, just make sure they are not doing it too much to ensure you and your prickly friend are still close.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Hedgehogs Have A Quick Temper?
While it is primarily based on personality, hedgehogs are a lot like teenagers since they are often moody, irritable and get annoyed if everything around them isn’t the way they like.
Hedgehogs can get annoyed if you pet them too much, if you pick them up when they’re a bit sleepy, or even if you just accidentally drop their favorite snack in front of them before it gets to their cage, so more often than not it is just them being in a small rut rather than anything the owner has done.
Always try to avoid pestering a hedgehog that has just finished quilling too, this is a very painful process that often puts them in a bad mood for the day so there’s no need to make it even worse.