How Big Does a Hedgehog Get?

Despite being covered in long and thick quills, hedgehogs have become a popular choice in pets over time. This is largely in part due to how cute hedgehogs can look and how small they are.

The average pet hedgehog can easily fit in the palm of an adult person’s hand.

Of course, given that they are so small, many pet hedgehog owners worry about whether their pet is growing at a healthy rate and if they are a healthy size and weight.

So, if you are wondering how big a hedgehog gets, the answer is that pet hedgehogs usually get as big as 4 to 12 inches and can weigh between 10 to 17 ounces when they are fully developed.

Let’s take a closer look at all the different hedgehog size-related questions you might have:

How Big Do Hedgehogs Get at Different Points in Their Lives?

Did you know that there are 17 different breeds of hedgehogs worldwide, and only 3 of those 17 breeds are kept as pets?

Of the three pet hedgehog breeds, including the African Pygmy, the Indian Long-Eared, and the Egyptian Long-Eared, the African Pygmy is the most popular type of hedgehog that has been domesticated.

Pet hedgehog breeds are often smaller than the hedgehogs found in the wild.

To get a good idea about how big your pet hedgehog will get, you can look at how big the average African Pygmy gets at different points in its life.

When born, the African Pygmy hedgehog is between 1 to 2 inches long and weighs as little as 1 to 3 ounces.

At one-month-old, it will likely stay the same length but will gain weight and weigh between 4 to 6 ounces.

You can expect your pet hedgehog to be between 2 to 4 inches long and weigh between 7 to 9 ounces at two months.

At six months, its weight will increase to 10 to 12 ounces, but its length might remain the same.

Then, at four months, it will grow to be between 4 to 12 inches long and weigh between 13 to 15 ounces.

By five or six months, your pet hedgehog will be fully grown and reach its adult size of between 4 to 12 inches long and anywhere between 16 to 17 ounces.

When Does a Hedgehog Reach its Full Size and Stop Growing?

While an average pet hedgehog can be expected to reach its full adult size and stop growing by six months, the answer can depend on several factors.

Depending on the specific breed of the hedgehog, its genetics, its sex, and its diet, the hedgehog may reach its full size much before or even much after the six-month mark.

Some wild hedgehogs continue to grow until they are eleven months old. 

Are Male and Female Hedgehogs the Same Size?

Male and female hedgehogs may be approximately the same size, but as a general rule, male hedgehogs are usually bigger than females.

This is the case in most mammals in the world and is also true for all hedgehog breeds.

How Big Do Wild Hedgehogs Get Compared to Pet Hedgehogs?

As we have mentioned, hedgehogs in the wild and many wild hedgehog breeds can grow much bigger than pet hedgehogs.

While the average pet hedgehog can be anywhere between 4 to 12 inches long and can weigh between 10 to 17 ounces, the average wild hedgehog will have a similar length of about 12 inches but can weigh up to 40 ounces!

From some perspective, you can imagine that a wild hedgehog can weigh up to four times as much as a pet hedgehog.

Does a Bigger Hedgehog Always Mean a Healthier Hedgehog?

While you might imagine that a hedgehog that is smaller than average is weaker and less healthy than a hedgehog that is bigger than average, the truth is that size is not always a complete measure of health.

To get a good idea of your hedgehog’s health, you would need to take into consideration other factors such as the hedgehog’s diet, how active it is, and so on.

The best size for your hedgehog would be for it to be within the range that is considered normal. So, a pet hedgehog should be between 4 to 12 inches long and weigh 10 to 17 ounces.

If your hedgehog is significantly smaller or bigger, you should take it to the vet and start working on a diet and exercise plan.

What Should You Feed a Hedgehog to Keep It at a Healthy Weight?

Underfeeding or overfeeding your pet hedgehog can lead to an unhealthy weight. Being underweight or overweight can lead to several other health problems you want to try and avoid.

As such, you should feed your hedgehog a balanced and nutritious diet to help it maintain a good size.

Hedgehogs naturally eat mostly insects but can sometimes eat smaller animals and plants like fruits and vegetables.

So, they are technically omnivores but can more often be called insectivores. Pet hedgehogs should be given a diet that consists of a high protein content with some plants, fruits, and vegetables.

With a consistent diet, your hedgehog should be able to maintain an average and healthy weight.

Should You Measure a Hedgehog to Check its Size?

Measuring your pet hedgehog at certain intervals can help you ensure that your hedgehog is growing at the right pace, is healthy, and is meeting its size milestones.

So, if you’re wondering whether you should measure a hedgehog to check its size, the answer is yes, especially during the early months of the hedgehog’s life.

Your hedgehog grows most in the first three to six months of its life. You should weigh and measure your hedgehog every two to four weeks to check that it is the right size for its age.

You can refer to the numbers we mentioned earlier in the article.

After the six-month mark, your hedgehog is likely done growing, so you don’t need to check its size very often, but you can still weigh it every few months.

To actually weigh your hedgehog, you can get a specific hedgehog scale from a pet store or online.

However, a specific scale isn’t quite necessary, and a regular kitchen scale will work just as well.

As for measuring the length of your hedgehog, you can use a tape measure and measure the length from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail.

The Bottom Line

Hedgehogs are quite small animals and don’t usually get bigger than the size of your palm.

Pet hedgehog breeds are particularly smaller as compared to some wild breeds. The size of your hedgehog will depend on its breed, genetics, diet, sex, and other factors.

However, on average, your pet hedgehog should be anywhere between 4 to 12 inches long and should weigh between 10 to 17 ounces.

By around six months of age, most hedgehogs have reached their full adult size.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are all Hedgehogs the same size?

No, hedgehogs can vary in size depending on the species and individual. The African pygmy hedgehog, which is commonly kept as a pet, typically grows to be around 6-9 inches long and weighs between 0.5-1.5 pounds, while other species of hedgehogs can be larger or smaller.

How big is a full-grown hedgehog?

A full-grown hedgehog is typically around 5 to 12 inches (13 to 30 cm) in length and weighs between 0.5 to 2.5 pounds (0.2 to 1.1 kg), depending on the species.

What age is a hedgehog full-grown?

A hedgehog is typically considered full-grown at around 6-12 months of age.

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