Exploring the World of Hedgehog Sounds: How They Use Vocalizations to Communicate and Express Themselves

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Published on June 3, 2021
Last Updated on October 11, 2023

Hedgehogs make a variety of noises, which can vary from high-pitched squeaks to low grunts. Hedgehog may even purr if you are lucky. The sounds hedgehogs make are often mistaken for ducks or frogs because they are not as common and loud as other animals such as cats or dogs.

There are many different types of sounds hedgehogs produce, but one thing all these noises have in common is that they’re meant for communication.

Hedgehogs are often noisier at night because they are mostly nocturnal creatures. If you hear strange screams coming from your garden late at night, it could be because there is a baby hedgehog out looking for food!

Are Hedgehogs Loud?

Hedgehogs are discrete little animals, so they are not as loud or noisy as many other nighttime critters.

While they do make a variety of different sounds, they’re generally not very loud.

That does not mean hedgehogs do not make any noise at all, however. Hedgehog sounds vary in type of sound and volume depending on the animal’s mood.

You’re More Likely To Hear Hedgehogs At Night

Hedgehogs are most active at night, which means they are more likely to make noise in the evening. Some everyday sounds hedgehogs will produce include snorting, huffing, and purring if you pet them. Hedgehog owners should be aware that these noises can sometimes mean something else!

While hearing hedgehogs in the wild is uncommon, since these critters are quite discrete, pet hedgehogs can be quite vocal!

Common Hedgehog Sounds

Hedgehogs make a wide array of sounds, like squeaking, quacking, hissing, couching, and even purring!

Hedgehogs Squeak When They’re Unhappy

The most common hedgehog sound is a high-pitched squeak. This noise is similar to the sound you might hear when squeezing a toy duck. If your pet has recently eaten, it may make another type of noise that sounds like quacking.

Hedgehogs generally squeak when they’re unhappy or distressed about something, so if your pet hedgehog is squeaking when you hold it, bathe it, or something similar, it’s a good indicator that the animal is not enjoying itself and that you should get it over with as soon as you can!

Quacking Like A Duck?

Hedgehogs can make little quacking sounds that sound a little like a duck.

There are many different situations where hedgehogs might quack, but many report hearing this duck-like sound, when hedgehogs are slightly frustrated or irritated without really being in distress.

Others say that they hear their pet hedgehog quaking after eating, and others in turn say that their hedgehogs quack while going to the bathroom!

Grunting, or Why Hedgehogs Are Called “Hogs”

Hedgehogs are known to make grunting sounds when scavenging for food at night. The grunts are similar to the noises a hog or pig makes. A lot of people think grunting is an aggressive sound, but a grunting hedgehog is actually a happy hedgehog!

Here’s one that’s sort of grunting. Or maybe it’s just a heavy breather!

Do Hedgehogs Purr?

Hedgehogs can actually purr when they’re in a really good mood. You’ll probably not be around to hear this in the wild, but if your pet hedgehog is in a relaxed mood and feeling happy, it might actually purr.

Hedgehog purrs don’t sound a lot like the way a cat would purr, however. Instead of a continuous “engine sound”, hedgehog purrs are more like small, individual clicks.

Do Hedgehogs Scream?

Hedgehogs do not really scream, but they are capable of producing a variety of noises like the squeaking mentioned above. If your pet is making these sounds, you will want to figure out why.

Common reasons that hedgehogs might begin squeaking excessively include illness or injury, but this isn’t a given.

Hedgehogs also simply might scream, or squeak if they’re unhappy about being held, taking a bath, or something similar.

And what to do if your pet hedgehog is unhappy? Avoid doing what it seems to be angry about, or get it over with as soon as possible!

Hedgehogs Sometimes Make Coughing Noises

Dry coughing sounds usually mean the hedgehog’s nest is dirty and dusty. A continuous wet lung cough, which sounds like a smoker’s cough, on the other hand, is more serious. Lasting coughs could be a sign that your hedgehog has lungworm or is sick in some other way.

Get off the internet and make an appointment with a vet!

The hedgehog’s normal huffing and puffing sounds may also sometimes be mistaken for coughing. If the hedgehog is just grunting, there’s nothing to worry about.

Hedgehogs Sometimes Make Hissing Sounds When Fighting

Hedgehogs are solitary animals that live in the wild, but sometimes at night, they may make noise for another reason: fighting.

Generally, pet hedgehogs shouldn’t share a cage, but if you have two or more hedgehogs living together, you should be very mindful of hissing sounds or any other signs of fighting or aggression, since the hedgehogs might end up hurt.

If you happen to hear a loud hissing sound coming from your hedgehog’s cage, it might be time to intervene!

Or flee?

Do Hedgehogs Make Crying Sounds?

White hedghehog vocalizing while sitting in the grass,

Hedgehogs cannot cry, but they can produce a variety of noises. If you hear crying-like sounds coming from your hedgehog’s cage, it is likely because they are in distress and need help!

A hedgehog’s squeaking can also be confused for a hedgehog crying, but generally, if the animal sounds unhappy, it’s a good indicator that something is wrong.

Do Hedgehogs Have Special Mating Calls?

Hedgehogs are solitary creatures, but the males will scream to attract females when they need a mate. Just like some humans!

As the male hedgehog circles the female, she will make a chugging sound like a steam train. There also might be hissing sounds, squeaks, and a wide array of other sounds that express everything from discomfort to anger, but also contentment.

Do Hedgehog Mothers Make Noises During Childbirth?

Mother hedgehogs aren’t very vocal while giving birth. This might seem surprising to some, but it’s very helpful for the mother hedgehog and her babies to stay hidden from predators who’re out looking for an easy meal.

Hedgehogs are born with their eyes shut and ears folded over. The babies can neither see, nor hear, which means that the mother mostly communicates using tough and smells in the first few days.

As the babies begin crawling toward her belly, she will give a hissing sound that helps them find her to nurse.

What Do Baby Hedgehogs Sound Like?

Baby hedgies are primarily silent when they first come into the world. Gradually, they will start making different noises, such as snuffling and grunting. The sound they make when nursing is known as “sucking in the air.”

Do Baby Hedgehogs Squeak?

Baby hedgehogs do not squeak like other small animals do when they’re born – instead, they emit high-pitched squeals like a baby bird, which eventually become more adult-like as time goes by.

You can hear what baby hedgehogs sound like in this video:

Do Hedgehogs Make Sounds While They Sleep?

A peaceful sleeping hedgehog will often begin snoring. Adorable snoring hedgehogs may sometimes be seen moving their arms and legs just like dogs when they’re dreaming.

During various types of dreams, hedgehogs mimic the noises they would make when awake. So don’t be surprised to hear your hedgehog even when it’s taking a nap!

Do Hedgehogs Make Sneezing Sounds?

Hedgehogs sneeze as a defense mechanism when they get surprised. The sneezes are harmless, but they can be alarming if you do not know what’s happening.

If the hedgehog is exhibiting other symptoms such as coughing or wheezing, then it might be a sign of illness that will need treatment.

Are Hedgehogs Sensitive to Sound?

Hedgehogs have sensitive hearing, and if they are startled by a loud noise, it can cause them to go into shock. It is common for hedgehogs to ball up or become prickly when exposed to new loud noises.

Hedgehogs Can Sometimes Enjoy Calming Sounds

If you are concerned about the noise levels around your hedgehog, it is best to provide them with a quieter environment.

Make sure that their cage has plenty of bedding material to burrow in, so it has the possibility of escaping to somewhere more quiet.

Placing natural objects near the enclosure can also help reduce stress – try adding plants or humidifiers.

Hedgehogs Are Curious About Enticing Sounds

Hedgehogs are naturally curious, so it is a good idea to introduce new sounds around them with care. Rather than playing music in the room, try adding small decorative wind chimes or gentle running water from time to time.

Do Hedgehogs Enjoy Music?

There is no definitive answer to the question, “do hedgehogs enjoy music?” However, you may notice that your pet seems calmer and friendlier after being exposed to soothing sounds. Try playing some of their favorite tunes on a quietly-tuned radio or CD player if they often feel restless.


  • Tommy

    Hi, I'm Tommy! I'm the founder of Floofmania.com. I am an animal enthusiast and self-proclaimed wildlife expert as well as a dog trainer and breeder of the breed Löwchen. Since I was a kid, I’ve been wildly fascinated by animals, both from growing up in a rural area where there were always animals around, but especially from seeing them in the wild.

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