Why Is My Hedgehog Crying? (Causes + What To Do)

Hey there, fellow hedgehog enthusiast!

Have you ever found yourself wondering why your adorable little spiky friend seems to be shedding some tears?

No, you’re not imagining things – hedgehogs do have their own unique ways of expressing themselves, and those tiny droplets can leave us scratching our heads in concern.

But fear not! In this article, we’re diving deep into the world of hedgehog emotions to unravel the mystery behind those watery eyes.

Your hedgehog might be crying due to various reasons, including discomfort, stress, or even joy. They communicate distress or happiness through small squeaks and physical cues. Observing their environment and behavior can help you figure out the cause and ensure your spiky pal’s well-being.

From joy to distress, from curiosity to communication, these little critters have a lot to say (or cry) – and we’re here to help you decode their prickly language.

So, grab a cozy seat, prepare some treats for your hedgie, and let’s explore the intriguing question: “Why is my hedgehog crying?”

Do Hedgehogs Cry?

Hedgehogs do not cry in the emotional sense like humans do.

They lack tear ducts for producing emotional tears.

However, they do have some behaviors and physical reactions that might be mistaken for crying.

  • Vocalizations: When they’re distressed, scared, or in pain, they might produce huffing or puffing noises. These sounds can sometimes be mistaken for crying, especially if you’re unfamiliar with hedgehog behavior.
  • Eye Discharge: One common reason people might think hedgehogs are crying is due to eye discharge. Hedgehogs can have eye issues resulting from illness, allergies, or eye irritation. This discharge can make their eyes appear wet, resembling tears.
  • Communication: Hedgehogs use a combination of vocalizations and body language to communicate. They might make sounds to express their feelings, such as excitement when they find food or annoyance when they are disturbed.
  • Stress and Discomfort: Hedgehogs can become stressed or uncomfortable due to changes in their environment, handling, or health issues. This might lead to altered behavior, including increased vocalizations or changes in movement.
  • Physical Symptoms: While hedgehogs don’t cry emotional tears, they can experience physical symptoms like excessive salivation or foaming at the mouth if they’re in pain or feeling unwell.

Why Is My Hedgehog Crying?

Here are some potential reasons why your hedgehog might exhibit behaviors that could be mistaken for crying, along with explanations for each:

Stress and Fear

Hedgehogs can get stressed or scared due to changes in their environment, loud noises, or unfamiliar scents.

When stressed, they might make huffing or puffing sounds and exhibit defensive behaviors.

These reactions are their way of communicating discomfort.

Pain or Discomfort

If your hedgehog is in pain due to an injury, illness, or other health issue, it might display altered behaviors, including increased vocalizations or changes in movement.

These responses could be misconstrued as crying.


Hedgehogs communicate through vocalizations.

They might make various noises to convey their emotions or needs.

For example, if they’re hungry, they might make sounds indicating their desire for food.

These sounds can be mistakenly thought of as crying.

Eye Issues

Eye discharge is a common problem in hedgehogs, often caused by infections or allergies.

If their eyes appear wet due to this discharge, it might seem like they’re crying.

However, it’s a physical issue, not an emotional one.


Hedgehogs are solitary creatures, but they can still feel lonely or bored.

If they’re not getting enough stimulation or social interaction, they might exhibit unusual behaviors, which could be misconstrued as distress.

Also Read: Do Hedgehogs Get Lonely? (You Should Know)


Just like humans, hedgehogs can have allergies to various substances.

Allergic reactions might lead to sneezing, watery eyes, and other symptoms that could resemble crying.

Mating Behavior

Male hedgehogs can make high-pitched noises during mating attempts.

These sounds might be confused with distress, especially if you’re not familiar with their mating behaviors.

Cooling Down

Hedgehogs can enter a state called “aestivation” during hot weather, where they become less active to conserve energy.

They might make fewer movements and sounds during this time, which could be misunderstood as distress.

Territorial Behavior

Hedgehogs are territorial and might make noises to establish their dominance or mark their territory.

These vocalizations might seem unsettling but are a natural part of their behavior.


Hedgehogs can show excitement when they discover food or explore new things in their environment.

They might make sounds during these moments that could be confused with distress.

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Hedgehog Crying In Sleep

Hedgehogs can sometimes exhibit behaviors that might be mistaken for crying even during their sleep.

However, it’s important to note that hedgehogs don’t cry in the emotional sense like humans.

Here are a few reasons why your hedgehog might appear to be “crying” in their sleep:


Like many animals, hedgehogs can experience dreams during their sleep.

During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, they might twitch, make small movements, or even emit soft noises.

These movements and sounds are not expressions of sadness but rather a natural part of their sleep cycle.

Squeaks and Chirps

Hedgehogs can produce a range of sounds, even when they’re asleep.

These noises can include squeaks, chirps, or even soft snuffling sounds.

While it might resemble crying, it’s likely just their way of communicating or reacting to their dreams or sleep environment.

Comfort and Contentment

Sometimes, hedgehogs make contented sounds during sleep, such as soft purring or gentle breathing sounds.

These sounds can be mistaken for crying, but they actually indicate that your hedgehog is comfortable and relaxed.

Nighttime Activity

Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures, which means they’re most active at night.

During their waking moments, they might explore their surroundings, forage for food, or engage in other behaviors that could produce sounds.

These activities might occur during periods of light sleep, contributing to the perception of crying.

Mouth and Respiratory Movements

Hedgehogs can make subtle movements with their mouths and respiratory system while sleeping.

These movements might result in small clicking or huffing sounds that can be misconstrued as crying.

Do Hedgehogs Cry When They Die?

Hedgehogs, like most animals, do not cry in the emotional sense when they die.

They lack the emotional capacity and physiological mechanisms to express emotions like humans do.

The notion of animals shedding tears upon death is largely a human sentiment and is not supported by scientific understanding.

However, it’s important to note that dying animals might exhibit certain behaviors or physical responses that could be misconstrued as “crying.”

These reactions are often physiological in nature and not indicative of emotional distress.

When a hedgehog is nearing the end of its life, it might display lethargy, labored breathing, changes in body temperature, and other symptoms depending on the underlying health issues.

These changes are natural bodily responses and do not imply emotional suffering.

If you’re concerned about a dying hedgehog or have questions about their behavior, it’s recommended to reach out to a veterinarian with expertise in exotic animals.

They can provide you with guidance and advice on how to best care for your hedgehog during this time.

What Does A Hedgehog Cry Sound Like?

Hedgehogs can make a variety of sounds, but their vocalizations are not similar to human crying.

They do not produce tears or sobbing sounds in response to emotions like humans do.

However, hedgehogs do have their own ways of vocalizing to communicate various feelings or needs. Here are some of the sounds you might hear from a hedgehog:

  • Huffing and Puffing: When a hedgehog feels threatened or agitated, it might make huffing or puffing sounds. This is a form of defensive behavior and is meant to deter potential predators.
  • Hissing: Hedgehogs might hiss when they’re feeling cornered or scared. It’s a warning sound to signal that they’re feeling uncomfortable and might defend themselves if necessary.
  • Chirping or Chittering: Some hedgehogs produce chirping or chittering sounds. These noises can indicate excitement, curiosity, or interest in something they’ve encountered.
  • Purring: Hedgehogs can make soft purring sounds when they’re content and comfortable. This is often heard when they’re relaxed or being gently handled.
  • Clicking: Hedgehogs might produce clicking sounds, especially during their sleep or moments of relaxation. This could be a result of their mouth and respiratory movements.

It’s important to note that hedgehog vocalizations can vary from one individual to another, and their sounds might be influenced by their personality, health, and environment.

While hedgehogs do communicate through sounds, these sounds are not akin to human crying but rather expressions of their natural behaviors and instincts.

Do Hedgehogs Have Feelings?

While hedgehogs may not experience emotions in the same intricate way humans do, they do exhibit behaviors that suggest a level of emotional sensitivity.

These behaviors hint at the presence of basic emotions or responses to various situations.

For instance, when faced with threats, hedgehogs might puff up, hiss, or curl into a protective ball, indicating fear and stress.

Conversely, their purring when content or their curiosity-driven explorations imply a degree of comfort, interest, and perhaps even enjoyment.

Some hedgehogs can establish bonds with their caregivers, showing a form of recognition and attachment that goes beyond mere instinct.

Additionally, their playful activities and interactions further emphasize their responsiveness to their environment.

While their emotions are likely simpler than human emotions and rooted in their unique physiology, acknowledging and understanding these behaviors is crucial for providing them with appropriate care and a conducive environment.

What To Do If Your Hedgehog Crying?

If you notice your hedgehog exhibiting behaviors that could be interpreted as crying, it’s important to investigate the underlying reasons and respond appropriately.

Here’s what you can do if you suspect your hedgehog is distressed or exhibiting unusual behaviors:

  • Observe Carefully: Pay close attention to your hedgehog’s behavior. Is it making huffing or puffing sounds, hissing, or displaying other signs of distress? Observe its body language, movements, and surroundings to understand the context of its behavior.
  • Check for Stressors: Identify any potential stressors in the hedgehog’s environment. Loud noises, sudden changes, other pets, or new scents can trigger stress in hedgehogs. Minimize these stressors to create a calm and secure environment.
  • Examine Health: Make sure your hedgehog is in good health. Check for any signs of injury, illness, or discomfort. Eye discharge, lethargy, changes in eating or drinking habits, or labored breathing could indicate health issues.
  • Provide Comfort: Hedgehogs can find comfort in their bedding and hiding spots. Ensure they have a secure and cozy enclosure with appropriate bedding material where they can retreat when they feel stressed or anxious.
  • Offer Proper Handling: Handle your hedgehog gently and properly. Avoid sudden movements or loud noises that could startle them. Gradually build trust through positive interactions.
  • Regular Handling: Hedgehogs are social animals to some extent. Interact with your hedgehog regularly to help it get used to your presence and voice. However, respect their need for solitude and nighttime activity.
  • Consult a Veterinarian: If you’re concerned about your hedgehog’s behavior, health, or any changes you’ve noticed, consult a veterinarian with expertise in exotic animals. They can assess your hedgehog’s health and provide guidance on any necessary actions.
  • Maintain Consistency: Hedgehogs thrive on routine and familiarity. Keep their environment consistent and predictable to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Provide Enrichment: Hedgehogs need mental and physical stimulation. Offer toys, tunnels, and activities that can keep them engaged and prevent boredom.
  • Be Patient: Hedgehog behavior can be complex and might not always align with human expectations. Be patient and attentive as you learn to interpret your hedgehog’s unique behaviors.

Remember that while hedgehogs can exhibit behaviors that seem like crying, these behaviors are more likely expressions of their natural instincts and responses.

If you’re unsure about their behavior or well-being, seeking guidance from professionals and experienced hedgehog owners can help ensure your spiky friend’s happiness and health.

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In conclusion, while hedgehogs do not cry in the emotional sense like humans, they possess their own distinctive ways of communicating and responding to their surroundings.

The behaviors that might appear as crying are rooted in their natural instincts and physiological reactions.

Understanding these behaviors is crucial for providing appropriate care and ensuring their well-being.

Whether it’s huffing and puffing, hissing, or making other vocalizations, each action serves a purpose in their hedgehog language.

By observing, interpreting, and addressing their behaviors, we can better nurture our spiky companions and create a harmonious environment where they can thrive.

So, while your hedgehog might not be shedding tears, it’s undoubtedly speaking its own fascinating and prickly language.


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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