Posted: March 31, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT
Isabelle Francais/BowTie Inc.
Hedgehogs are most active at night.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, which means they are most active at night. They tend to sleep a lot during the day, and do most of their eating and exercising after the sun goes down.
The best time to handle and feed your hedgehog is in the evening, since this is when your small pet is most active naturally. You can also handle your hedgehog during the day, but it won’t be as alert as it will in the evening.
African hedgehogs do not hibernate, although they may go into a hibernation-like state if the temperature in their cage goes below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Hibernation is not healthy for these animals because they did not evolve in a cold climate. Estivation is normal for them, however, and is a slowed down state brought on by heat. In this state, their metabolism slows and they sleep a lot. Estivation does put stress on the hedgehog’s body, and should be avoided by providing a moderate room temperature for these animals.