how long do hedgehogs live?

Hedgehog Lifespan – How long do pet hedgehogs live?

When you become a hedgehog owner, he/she becomes an important part of your life. And of course, hedgehog life span is not the easiest thing to talk about – no one wants to think about their pets dying. But here it is:

Pet hedgehogs live for between 5 and 7 years

However, it is important that you have a good understanding of how long hedgehogs live for before considering getting one – and this will help you decide whether getting a pet hedgehog would be the right option for you. So don’t think of this as a morbid subject.

In this article we talk about hedgehog life expectancy, comparing how long they live for in the wild compared to when they are kept as pets, as well as the main causes of death.

Pet hedgehog lifespan – What is the oldest hedgehog?

Pet hedgehogs live longer than those in the wild in general. Healthy pet hedgehogs without any major health issues should live up to 6 or 8 years.

There are many things that can affect the lifespan of your pet hedgehog, including the diet, bedding, quality of life, health/illness & stress level.

We have heard of a hedgehog that has lived for 16 years – a male hedgehog in Denmark. Also, one Reddit user (krakken_kitty) has a female hedgehog that is 11 and a half years old.

Wild hedgehog life span

There are no hedgehogs native to the US and they are only kept as pets. In other parts of the world including the UK and other parts of Europe, Middle East and Africa, a lot of hedgehogs live in the wild – a lot more than pet hedgehogs.

The life expectancy for wild hedgehog depends a lot on what type of hedgehog they are.
Larger hedgehogs can live between 4 to 7 years in the wild while smaller breeds live between 2 to 4 years. Furthermore, if they are in bad condition, for example, go without food, this can decrease massively.

Main Causes of wild hedgehog death


Predation is the most common cause of wild hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are not exactly at the top of the natural food chain. It is known that animals like foxes and badgers are the main predators of hedgehogs, and it has been reported that this is the main cause of the decrease in the number of hedgehogs in the UK.


One of the dangers out there for hedgehogs is busy roads. In the UK, over 300,000 hedgehog deaths are estimated to be caused by roadkill. In addition, it is believed that pollution caused by vehicles on the road can cause problems for the health of the wild hedgehogs, and therefore, indirectly having an impact on the number of wild hedgehogs.

Slug pellets

Slug pellets used in gardens can also have an indirect impact on the decreasing number of hedgehogs. Although it has been said a hedgehog would need to consume significant amounts of slug pellets to cause death, however eating the slug pellets itself or eating poisoned slugs can be harmful to hedgehogs for sure.

Male and female hedgehog life expectancy

Unlike dogs & humans, there are no differences in life expectancies between male and female hedgehogs.

However, female hedgehogs can have the risk of health complications and early death as a result of breeding.

How old are Hedgehogs in human years?

So you may be wondering how old is my hedgehog in human years? How old would they be if they were humans? But the reality is that they will never become humans so is it really all that relevant? Anyway, the chart below by Millermeade Farm’s Critter Connection shows the hedgehog age in human years, and you should be able to get a good idea of whether they are considered adult/ senior etc.


So this means a 6-month hedgehog would be considered an adult and if they lived up to 7 years, that would mean they did a pretty good job living long.

Hedgehog yearsHuman years
2 months10 years
6 months20 years
14 months30 years
3 years40 years
3 years & 6months50 years
3 years & 8 months60 years
4 years & 2 months70 years
5 years & 4 months80 years
6 years & 2 months90 years
7 years & 8 months100 years
How old are hedgehogs in human years Table

So this means a 6-month hedgehog would be considered an adult and if they lived up to 7 years, that would mean they did a pretty good job living long.

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