Why Is My Hedgehog Hissing At Me?

Hedgehogs are very quiet pets to have. They don’t bark like dogs or meow at you when they’re annoyed. However, they are capable of making some very soft sounds that can help us understand how they are feeling. I once found my hedgehog hissing, but what does it indicate?

Your hedgehog hisses at you because they felt threatened, they wanted more privacy, or they might’ve seen their own reflection. Lack of adequate food and water can cause them to be upset, as can fear or anxiety. Meeting all of their health requirements will limit the amount of hissing.

Hedgehogs tend to express themselves in a variety of ways. If your hedgehog hisses frequently, it’s time for a change.

You should also always investigate excessive hissing with your veterinarian to make sure it’s not your cat’s way of telling you that they are in pain or that something else is wrong.

Do Hedgehogs Hiss?

A hedgehog hissing is pretty common.

All hedgehogs have the ability to hiss. However, only some of them choose to display their behavior.

The hissing behavior of a hedgehog largely depends on how stressed they are or how threatened they feel.

It is important to provide your hedgehog with an environment that makes them comfortable at all times. If you do so, there is a good chance that you will never see or hear them hiss.

Of course, there is no guarantee of this and sometimes it’s important to hear your hedgehog hiss. It will tell you that there is something wrong and needs to be taken care of.

What Does A Hedgehog Hiss Sound Like?

A hedgehog hissing is a common behavior that sounds like the soft hiss of a cat.

When a hedgehog hisses, they release a sudden burst of air through its mouth, which causes the hissing noise. If you’re close enough to the pet’s face, you can actually feel the air coming out of their mouth when they’re hissing.

A hiss can also change based on the given situation. A hiss can range from a silent, open-mouth hiss that is more a visual sign of unhappiness, to an aggressive hiss.

Why Do Hedgehogs Hiss?

You might have seen your hedgehog displaying a variety of both unique and fascinating behaviors. However, it can sometimes be hard to understand why these behaviors are being used and in what context.

One of these behaviors is hissing. It is safe to say that if your hedgehog hisses it’s for a negative reason and means that they aren’t happy about something.

In most cases, a hedgehog will usually hiss as a warning to stay away or as an aggressive display.

Either way, if your hedgehog hisses at you or in general it’s a good idea to back off until you can assess the situation and try and make a judgment as to what could be causing them to hiss.

Why Does My Hedgehog Hiss At Me?

There are a number of reasons why your hedgehog might be hissing at you. Let us discuss these reasons in detail:


Hedgehogs tend to get irritated if they are being constantly handled and this can cause them to hiss at you to let you know they want to be left alone.

This can be a problem if a hedgehog is new to a home and is experiencing a lot of extra attention.

Over-handling can also occur when friends and family visit and mishandling can sometimes be a problem too.

Even though it’s great to give your hedgehog lots of love and attention, it’s important to realize that there needs to be a balance and they need their own space too.

New Home

If you have got yourself a new hedgehog, then you must understand that it is not easy for your pet.

Everything will be new for your pet. It will see a lots of strange people that could be perceived as predators can be scary.

Hedgehogs instinctively becomes defensive and this can often lead them to hiss in order to try and defend themselves in their new environment.

This is usually accompanied by other tell-tale signs such as hiding, and so on.

It is important to provide your hedgehog with a lot of hiding places and time on their own to begin with as this will allow your new hedgehog the time to adjust that they need.

Change Of Environment

A change in your Hedgehog’s lifestyle of environment is very similar to bringing them to a home for the first time.

Your hedgehog will not like a number of changes all at ones. Therefore, if you even just move them to another room or even decorate the room they are living in then this can cause them to feel uneasy for a while.

All the uncertainty can be accompanied by a lot more hiding and sometimes by some hissing

The hissing can be aimed at you, your pets or even new objects in their environment in extreme circumstances if your hedgehog is really uncomfortable.

Other Hedgehogs

If you keep other hedgehogs in your home then there is a strong chance that you will experience them hissing at each other at some point.

If you suspect one of your hedgehog is becoming territorial and displaying behaviours such as hissing then it’s a good idea to separate them to different rooms or at least to areas of the room where they can’t see each other.

Some hedgehogs can become extremely territorial and this can cause them a lot of stress. In the short term, it’s not something to worry about but this stress over a long period really isn’t good for their health.

Insufficient Hiding Spaces

Hedgehogs will need sufficient hiding spaces in their enclosure. They love to feel safe and have a place to hide if they feel threatened or uncomfortable.

Having multiple places to hide in their cage can give your hedgehog time to assess what is going on and to see if there is any danger around them.

Without these simple hides, your hedgehog can quickly become stressed and they can resort to hissing as their next line of defence.

Building a habitat with great hides really can be the difference between having a hedgehog that is calm and feels safe and one that seems skittish, stressed and even aggressive.

Other Household Pets

Sometimes your hedgehogs can even show signs of territorial behavior, stress and aggression, when they see other pets in your home.

If you have large animals such as cats and dogs then it’s quite common for your hedgehog to see them as a predator or at least intimidating.

This can cause your hedgehog to act defensive and hiss as a warning and to protect themselves.

It’s always best to introduce animals in the same room as your hedgehog slowly even when your pet is in their cage so they can feel more comfortable over a course of time.

In addition, never leave your hedgehog and any other pet in your home unattended when they are out of the tank.


if your Hedgehog is not tamed, it will often be aggressive and hiss.

This behavior is pretty common if you bring home a baby hedgehog from a breeder but it’s actually more likely to happen if you rehome a hedgehog that’s not been treated well by its previous owner.

Your hedgehog will need some time to trust you and this can take some time depending on how old they are and what experiences they have had in the past.

One of the best ways to get a hedgehog to trust you and to understand that you mean no harm is to offer them food directly.

Injury Or Illness

Your hedgehogs can sometimes become either injured or ill in some way even without you knowing about it.

If this happens, they will often want to be left alone to rest and if they are injured picking them up can bring pain to the injured area.

Therefore sometimes hissing is the only way that an injured or ill hedgehog can communicate and warn you to leave them alone.

It’s important to always check for other signs such as how well your hedgehog is moving and if they are lethargic or off their food.

Disturbance While Eating

Hedgehogs hate to be disturbed while eating.

Most hedgehogs are protective when it comes to their food. You might often find your Hedgehog hissing if they think you are going to take it away from them.

If your hedgehog is eating either creepy crawlies or pellets from the food bowl then it’s best to just give them some space and certainly don’t creep upon them.

How Do I Get My Hedgehog To Stop Hissing?

If you feel that your hedgehogs hiss due to some problem in their environment, then you will need to try and remove the object or the source of the problem.

You must make sure that your hedgehog has a hiding place in their cage where they can hide until they feel safe.

In addition, going through the reasons that we have discussed above will help us to quickly eliminate most of the reasons and also help you identify the possible reason why your hedgehog is hissing.

Try talking to your hedgehog in a soft tone can also help to make them feel more comfortable in the situation.

How Do I Get My Hedgehog To Stop Hissing At Me?

If you have a feeling that your hedgehog is hissing at you, then you need to back off. Also, do not try to pick your hedgehog in such cases.

Give your hedgehog some time to calm down while trying to figure out what is causing them to feel this towards you.

Give your hedgehog around an hour to calm down and then you can slowly start talking to them in a soft voice and see how they react and take it from there.

Again, the easiest and fastest way to stop your hedgehog hissing is to go through the reasons we have talked about and eliminate these reasons one by one until you feel you have a good idea of what can be causing the issue.


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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