How Do Hedgehogs Move Around?

A hedgehog is an animal that typically stays low-key and under the radar (quite literally), so not one you typically hear about. It’s also quite discreet in the way it moves around!

When hedgehogs move around in nature, it’s mostly during the night, while they’re out looking for food.

In the wild, hedgehogs hunt and eat many slugs, insects, and small critters which you might consider pests in your back garden. For this purpose, they use their sense of smell and hearing more, since their eyesight betrays them at night.

This is also reflected in how they move around:

Hedgehogs aren’t quick runners or jumpy attackers by any means, but rather: Slowish little spike-balls that navigate by sniffing and carefully feeling and testing their surroundings with their paws!

Hedgehogs And Their Moving Patterns


Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, so they only move about at night and are highly active. Here’s a lesser-known fact: hedgehogs are solitary animals, which means they’re quite literally, loners. This also influences how they move, because they aren’t relying on staying in line or formation with a group of other hedgies.

They move about in a random pattern as they’re not territorial, often revisiting the gardens and places that take their liking, so their routine is more of a regular than a scattered one, much like how humans move about!

Since hedgehogs don’t have permanent lodging, they have to move around quite a bit in order to get food, find mates, and look for places to nest.

The range of areas where a hedgehog will normally be found doing that are close-knitted and well connected, so hedgehogs are prone to staying away from far-flung areas. They don’t go that far!

So, if your neighborhood hedgehog hasn’t been sighted for a while rest assured, they’re close by, and there’s probably no need to panic.

How Far Do Hedgehogs Travel?

According to scientific research, hedgehogs are known to travel 2 kilometers at night, sometimes maybe even 3. (Now THAT’S scientific!)

This distance is different for male and female hedgehogs as female hedgehogs usually don’t travel as far at night.

Despite this, hedgehogs are used to hiding in the night as per their nature, so they’re pretty hard to find. One could even say that if you play hide-and-seek with them, you’re likely to never, ever win.

However, there is one fact that might be able to help you win.

Are Hedgehogs Fast Runners?

Compared to other animals in the same size range as a hedgehog, they’re pretty slow when it comes to running speed, theirs being 4 mph.

Bearing in mind that this speed can vary according to the hedgehog’s own size and weight, you should probably not try racing your pet hedgehog.

Are Hedgehogs Good Climbers?


Contrary to their rather round and fluffed-up appearance, hedgehogs are relatively adept climbers.

As their name suggests, they can climb very high hedges… Well, that might not be the real reason for the name, but hedgehogs can surmount relatively big obstacles when you consider their plumb appearances.

Hedgehogs can’t can’t climb steep inclines or slippery surfaces, however. They can climb up a normal surface pretty easily, but because of their rounded bodies and small feet, it becomes hard for them to get down once they’re on a high surface.

Adventurous hedgehogs might get stuck on ledges and high surfaces, unable to climb back down once they’ve surmounted the high surface. They don’t often venture upwards in the wild, though.

Wild hedgehogs aren’t really climbers, and this behavior is mostly seen with pet hedgies.

So, the next time you ask your hedgehog to gather up the courage and climb down a steep wall or roof, don’t. It’s better to go up there and get them yourself.

Can Hedgehogs Climb Steps Or Ladders?

Other than that, hedgehogs are good at climbing stairs and ladders – at least if they have rough surfaces and steps of a reasonable size.

But when I say that hedgehogs are good climbers, you have to take it with a grain of salt. They’re better than you’d expect… But they’re not exactly squirrels.

Hedgehogs have been known to climb walls by squeezing in between the gutter and the brickwork, but you won’t see them running up a tree without a care in the world like many other wild animals.

If the barrier is easy to grab on to and if there’s something that the hedgie really wants on the other side though? It just might be able to crawl over it. Chicken wire, smaller walls, fences, and the like aren’t impossible obstacles for a motivated hedgehog to tackle.

However, if you’re thinking of putting up a ramp in your pet hedgehog’s cage I’d advise otherwise since your pet wouldn’t know how to climb down the ramp once it’s gotten up and would probably yell ‘mayday, mayday!’.

How Do I Keep My Pet Hedgehog from Climbing Out of Its Cage?


If your hedgehog is kept in a boring and stuffy enclosure, chances are that they’ll get bored very quickly and try to climb out any chance they get.

Since they’re more or less adept climbers there’s a big chance that they’ll succeed in escaping the cage.

To counter this, you can buy a plastic tarp to put on the ledges of the cage to keep the hedgehog from gaining enough footing on those ledges, hence keeping it from climbing out. If the problem is boredom, try installing more fun-filled activities within the cage. Make their lives as fun as you want your own to be.

Hedgehogs, like any other pet animal, have feelings and get bored of their monotonous surroundings. In this case, what you can do as an owner, is to give them more attention.

Take them out for walks and let them roam around natural surroundings, for example, a park or a safe natural enclosure. This will make them more at ease and less prone to trying to escape the cage.

How Good Are Hedgehogs at Adjusting to Their Surroundings?


Hedgehogs can adjust to their surroundings impeccably, and they’re known to live in a variety of different environments, from grasslands to meadows, to woodlands, forests, and urban areas.

As such, they can move obstacles (rocks, branches) out of their way very efficiently. When there’s a shortage of favorable surroundings, hedgehogs can live in other surroundings without difficulty.

A much lesser-known fact is that hedgehogs can also live in areas with rocky paths; gravel does not bother them one bit! Living in sand is also not a problem for them as they like digging in sand as if to find hidden treasures.

So, it’s totally ok to take your pet hedgehog for a day at the beach!

As already mentioned, hedgehogs are adept at walking and climbing on rough surfaces, for example, gravel, sand, and asphalt, because of the structure of the skin on their feet and their body structure.

So, you don’t have to worry about them getting lost within the rocks or the sand. Put some trust in your hedgehog’s abilities and affinities- they deserve it.

Do Hedgehogs Wobble When They Get Cold?

Whenever the temperature drops, hedgehogs usually get ready for hibernation.

So if you notice any weird movements or behavior in your hedgehog, for example wobbling and shaking, as well as swaying and reduced daily movement, chances are your hedgehog is feeling frosty.

In short, if your hedgehog is being a lazy bum, chances are that it’s cold and ready to go into hibernation. This isn’t always a good thing actually, so consider turning up the heat a bit!

Can Hedgehogs Move Backwards?

Another question that we’re sure has made a home inside your heads is, can hedgehogs move backwards? The answer is no, they cannot. Their spines prevent them from moving backwards hence they get into a lot of situations where they get stuck and have to be rescued.

This is where you guys come in, as their knights in shining sweatpants, here to save the day!