Why Is My Hedgehog Squeaking? When To Worry?

Hedgehog Squeaking

Hearing your hedgehog making a new and unfamiliar noise can be very worrying. Especially, for a new owner. One of the less common noises is hedgehog squeaking. Some common causes for hedgehog squeaking include your hedgehog expressing their annoyance or a male calling to mate.

If you own a hedgehog, you’ll hear them making a variety of different noises. Hedgehog’s are vocal animals and making noises is totally normal. Some of these noises include huffing, snorting, snuffling. However, some noises can be a sign that something is wrong. In some cases one of these more alarming noises is hedgehog squeaking.

To help you establish the cause of your hedgehog squeaking and recommend ways to prevent it, we are discussing the following topics:

  • Identifying if the noise is positive or negative
  • Possible causes for hedgehog squeaking
  • How to prevent negative hedgehog squeaking and other alarming noises

Once you have a better understand of what the different hedgehog noises mean, you will be more confident and not panicking every time they make a new noise. Furthermore, you’ll also know when your hedgehog is happy, when they are annoyed and when they just need some space.

Identifying If The Noise Is Positive Or Negative

If you hear your hedgehog squeaking, you might wonder if it’s a happy or distressed squeak.

To properly identify any noise that your hedgehog is making, you must listen and observe your hedgehog’s behavior. When hedgehogs make noises, they are trying to communicate something. Question is what?

The following noises is how your hedgehog communicates with you:

  • Clicking or popping means that your hedgehog is in defence mode and should be left alone. It can also be a sign that your handling technique might need improving
  • Scream. This distress call is easy to identify as it sounds just like a scream and is ear piercing
  • Happy hedgehog noises include snuffling and grunting like a pig
  • Sneezing can be a sign your hedgehog is sick. To read more on the topic, click here Why Is My Hedgehog Sneezing And How To Treat It

Possible Causes For Hedgehog Squeaking

Hedgehog squeaking is also described by people as chirping. Some of the possible causes for hedgehog squeaking include:

  • Newborn baby hoglets squeak
  • Male hedgehog’s mating sound
  • Hedgehog in distress
  • Tooth and mouth problems

Newborn Baby Hoglets Squeak

As already mentioned squeaking is also described as chirping. This is especially true if you hear it from baby hoglets. This is usually one of the first sounds you’ll hear baby hoglets make.

Furthermore, hoglets also make this noise when they are hungry.

To learn all about baby hoglets, click here How To Look After A Baby Hedgehog – Step By Step Guide

How To Fix It?

If the squeaking is coming from hoglets, to ensure that the sound is not a call for help, you must ensure that they have everything they need. One of the essentials for newborns is a nesting box. If there isn’t one, you must provide it for the newborn hoglets.

The nest can simply be a fleece material bunched up together in a circle shape for a pet hedgehog.

If you want to build a nesting box for a wild hedgehog, you can follow these steps:

  • Size should be roughly – 4m (13ft) of 50mm x 25mm (2” x 1”), 8m (26ft) of 100mm x 18mm (4” x 3⁄4”)
  • Only use untreated wood
  • Pipe to provide air circulation – roughly 380mm (15”) long, and about 12mm (1⁄2”) diameter
  • Wire mesh netting roughly 25mm (1”)

It’s also important to note that when a hedgehog has given birth, it’s important to not disturb her or the babies at first.

Male Hedgehog Mating Sound

Another cause for hedgehog squeaking is when a male hedgehog is looking to mate. The squeaking sound can be a sign that your hedgehog is ready to breed and wanting to court a female.

It’s almost like a song they sing to attract a female.

Hedgehog In Distress

In some cases, hedgehog squeaking can be a distress sound. Your hedgehog can be making this noise if they are stuck in something, hungry or thirsty. Every owner wants to avoid their hedgehog feeling uncomfortable or being in pain. Therefore, if you hear your hedgehog squeaking, it’s important to investigate if the squeaking is a call for help.

Even in the case of hedgehog squeaking being a distress call, it’s still not as serious as the infamous hedgehog scream. Hedgehog squeaking as a distress call can mean they are in a moderate or less pain than when they make the scream noise.

How To Fix It?

If you suspect your hedgehog making any distress sounds, it’s important to go over their care routine and ensure that nothing is missing. Check the following:

  • Temperature
  • Cage setup
  • Diet
  • Hydration

Hedgehog Squeaking And Chewing

Sometimes, hedgehog squeaking can be a sign of your hedgehog having something stuck in the roof of their mouth or a tooth issue. Often, hedgehogs get kibbles stuck in their mouth which can result in this sound.

How To Fix It?

If you suspect that something is stuck in your hedgehog’s mouth, you should gently open their mouth and inspect with a flashlight. If you can’t see anything but your hedgehog continues to make distress sounds, it’s recommended to take them to the vet.

However, if your hedgehog has something such as a kibble stuck in their mouth, other symptoms will also be present such as not eating.

To prevent kibbles getting stuck in your hedgehog’s mouth all together, it’s recommended to count the kibbles beforehand.

How To Prevent Hedgehog Squeaking?

To prevent your hedgehog from making any alarming or distressing noises, you need to ensure that their daily care is up to a high standard. They need to be provided with everything they need to stay healthy and be a happy ball of quills. This includes:

  • Correct diet and hydration
  • Correct cage set up
  • Adequate temperature and lighting
  • Safe handling

Diet And Hydration

To provide your hedgehog with nutritious and well balanced diet, follow the split below:

  • High quality cat or hedgehog kibble food – 70%
  • Insects such as mealworms and waxworms – 10%
  • Fruit and vegetables – 10%
  • Cooked meat and eggs – 10%

Correct Cage Setup

The hedgehog cage should have enough floor space for them to move around comfortably. Ideally, the enclosure’s floor space should be a minimum of 2 x 3 feet (61 x 91cm). As hedgehogs are very good at climbing, the enclosure should be tall enough to prevent this.

Besides the size of the enclosure, the contents are also as important. Your hedgehog would benefit the most of having a wheel and a hide spot.

Choosing the right substrate is also essential for their health. The perfect substrate for your hedgehog is shredded paper, recycled pelleted/absorbable material or wood shavings such as aspen or pine. However, you should avoid fine and dusty beddings such as corncobs, dusty shavings or cedar shavings, as they can be irritating.

The hedgehog’s enclosure should be places somewhere quiet away from any noises such as TV, loud music, kids, etc.

Adequate Temperature And Lighting

The ideal temperature for your hedgehog is between 74° and 76°F. Another thing that can contribute to the temperature is the placement of their enclosure. Ensure their cage is placed away from any drafts that can lower the temperature.

Your hedgehog needs a heat lamp called a ceramic heat emitter (CHE). This lamps will keep them warm. Its important to note that the CHE lamp only emits heat and not light. Any light during the night runs the risk of confusing the hedgehog that it’s day time which can affect their feeding schedule.

In terms of light, the hedgehog need around 12 hours of light during the day; and need to be in dark for around 12 hours at night.

Safe Handling

Knowing how to safely handle your hedgehog is essential as the wrong handling can cause them stress and even injury.

To handle your hedgehog safely, cradle them in your hand or forearm. Then, place the other hand gently over their back for security.

The safest way to interact with your hedgehog is to place them on your lap, have pillows around you and be near the floor in case they fell.

If your hedgehog feels safe, they will unroll and begin exploring. To help earn their trust, you can use treats during these interactions.

On the other hand, if you hear your hedgehog squeaking whilst handling them, you might be hurting them or causing them stress.

What Are Owners Saying? Owners Experience With Hedgehog Squeaking

Hedgehog squeaking is a sound that owners come across quite often. We’ve put together owners’ first hand experiences with hedgehog squeaking:

“My hedgie sometimes makes a squeaking noise, like a guinea pig but quieter, when she’s relaxed, so I think it’s a happy noise.”

“See if he goes back into the tunnel – if he does then he probably likes it, if he gets huffy and balls up then he’s scared.”

“My hedgehog does this everytime he poos or pees. Strange…

Omg I am so happy I found this. One time I was in the other room and I heard quacking. I thought it was my hedgie, but he was asleep. I have no idea why he did it.”

“My hedgehog just quacked! She’s on my lap on her blanket and quacked casually then burrowed and fell asleep.”

“while he was eating or rather i should say after eating his food.”

“I kept hearing some noises from the ‘courting’ hogs last night, in between the female huffing (not sure which, they were hidden in the undergrowth) which sounded (each one) a bit like a single quack! (as opposed to the quack, quack, quack that ducks do). Not sure of the significance, but shortly after that he gave up and returned to feeding.”

Final Thoughts

Although, hedgehog squeaking is a common hedgehog sound, there isn’t that much information on the topic.

The most common reasons for hedgehog squeaking that we discussed include:

  • Newborn baby hoglets squeak
  • Male hedgehog squeaking as a mating call
  • Hedgehog in distress can make a squeaking sound
  • Tooth and mouth problems can make your hedgehog squeak

In most cases, squeaking is nothing to worry about. However, it’s always beneficial to go over your hedgehog’s care routine to make sure everything is up to standard. Another thing worth checking is that nothing is stuck in their mouth such as a kibble.

If your hedgehog’s squeaking is persistent and you can’t find anything wrong, you should take your pet to the vet for further examination.

Relevant Topics Q&A

What Does Hedgehog Clicking Sounds Mean?

Another popular sound amongst hedgehogs is clicking sound.

When the hedgehog makes a clicking or popping sound, it means that your hedgehog is in an aggressive/defensive state.

It’s important to never try and provoke your hedgehog to make certain sounds as you’d be causing them unnecessary stress and discomfort.

What Hedgehog Sounds Should You Worry About?

When owning a pet hedgehog, it’s important to understand what the different sounds they make mean. As hedgehogs are vocal animals, the following guide is a great way to understand their communication:

  • Hissing – aggressive/defensive sound
  • Huffing – irritation, annoyance, or uncertainty
  • Screaming – this is an ear piercing sound that means your hedgehog is in extreme fear or pain. In some cases, you might hear this screaming sound when they are asleep. However, this has been put down to them having nightmares and not actually being in danger
  • Wheezing – this noise can indicate an upper respiratory illness. In that case, other symptoms will also be present.
  • Grunting, snuffling like a pig – this means your hedgehog is happy and content. Most likely they are out and about exploring then making this sound

References

https://www.welshwildlife.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Hedghog-box-leaflet.pdf

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