Are Hedgehogs Expensive to Keep? A Complete Guide to Hedgehog Ownership Costs

Hedgehogs are small, insectivorous mammals known for their spiny exteriors. They are native to Europe, Asia, and Africa and have become popular pets in many other parts of the world. As pets, they can be quite independent and are generally low maintenance. However, they do have specific care requirements that must be met to keep them healthy and happy.

The Cost of Acquiring a Hedgehog

Before discussing the ongoing costs of hedgehog ownership, it’s important to understand the costs associated with acquiring one.

Purchasing a Hedgehog

The cost of a hedgehog can vary greatly depending on where you live and where you purchase it from. On average, a hedgehog can cost anywhere from $100 to $300. However, some breeders may charge even more for certain colors or patterns.

It’s important to do your research and find a reputable breeder or pet store that specializes in hedgehogs. Avoid purchasing from pet stores that may not have their hedgehogs’ best interests in mind.

Adopting a Hedgehog

Adopting a hedgehog from a rescue organization can be a cost-effective alternative to purchasing one from a breeder or pet store. Adoption fees can range from $50 to $100 depending on the organization.

While it may be tempting to adopt a hedgehog from someone who can no longer care for it, it’s important to keep in mind that these hedgehogs may have health or behavioral issues that require extra attention and expenses.

Costs Associated with Hedgehog Care

Once you’ve acquired a hedgehog, there are ongoing costs associated with their care.

Food and Water

Hedgehogs require a specialized diet that includes high-quality cat food, insects, and occasional fruits and vegetables. On average, you can expect to spend around $20 per month on food for your hedgehog.

They also require a constant supply of fresh water, which can be provided in a water bottle or shallow dish. A water bottle will cost around $10, while a dish can be purchased for as little as $5.


Hedgehogs require a spacious cage or enclosure that is at least 4 square feet in size. A suitable cage can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 depending on the size and quality.


Hedgehogs require bedding that is safe, absorbent, and dust-free. Bedding materials such as paper-based products or aspen shavings can cost around $10 per month.

Accessories and Toys

Hedgehogs require toys and accessories to keep them mentally stimulated and physically active. These can include tunnels, exercise wheels, and hiding spots. Toys and accessories can cost anywhere from $20 to $50.


Hedgehogs require regular veterinary check-ups and may require medical attention if they become ill. Veterinary costs can vary greatly depending on your location and the type of care required. On average, you can expect to spend around $100 per year on check-ups and preventative care.

Unexpected Costs of Hedgehog Ownership

In addition to the ongoing costs of hedgehog ownership, there are also unexpected expenses that may arise.

Emergency Vet Visits

If your hedgehog becomes ill or injured outside of regular veterinary hours, you may need to take them to an emergency vet. Emergency vet visits can be costly, with fees ranging from $500 to $1000 or more.

Surgeries and Other Medical Procedures

Hedgehogs may require surgeries or other medical procedures throughout their lives. These can include dental procedures, tumor removals, or other types of surgeries. The cost of these procedures can vary greatly depending on the type of procedure and your location.

Alternatives to Hedgehog Ownership

If the costs associated with hedgehog ownership are too high, or if you’re not sure if a hedgehog is the right pet for you, there are alternatives to consider.

Virtual Hedgehogs

Virtual hedgehogs are a fun and low-cost alternative to owning a real hedgehog. These can be found in virtual pet games or as smartphone apps. While they don’t provide the same level of interaction as a real hedgehog, they can be a fun way to learn about hedgehogs and their care requirements.

Visiting Hedgehogs at a Petting Zoo or Wildlife Sanctuary

If you’d like to interact with hedgehogs without the long-term commitment and costs of ownership, consider visiting a petting zoo or wildlife sanctuary. These facilities may have hedgehogs on display or available for interaction.


Owning a hedgehog can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it’s important to consider the costs associated with their care before making a commitment. From acquiring a hedgehog to ongoing care and unexpected expenses, there are many factors to consider. By doing your research and understanding the costs involved, you can make an informed decision about whether a hedgehog is the right pet for you.

As for the question “can hedgehogs cry,” it’s important to note that hedgehogs do not have tear ducts and therefore cannot cry tears. However, they can make noises and display other signs of distress if they are in pain or uncomfortable.

ThePetFaq Team