Are Hedgehogs Blind or Deaf?

Hedgehogs are fascinating creatures that people have become more comfortable keeping as pets. Unfortunately, due to a hedgehog’s exotic nature, not many people know much about them.

Apart from the famous quills, hedgehogs have certain features which set them apart from other animals. If you are planning to keep a hedgehog, it is helpful to know as much as you can about it to take better care of it. So, are hedgehogs blind or deaf?

Hedgehogs are born blind and deaf, but they gain both things over a short period.

When a hedgehog is born, it is blind and deaf. However, as it matures, it opens its eyes and gains a sense of the world. However, although a hedgehog may not be blind, it has poor eyesight. Hedgehogs have a good hearing sense to make up for the bad eyesight. 

Do Hedgehogs Have Bad Vision?

It is a common misconception which most people believe that hedgehogs are blind. However, while hedgehogs are not completely blind, they still have poor vision. In addition, hedgehogs are prone to losing their vision and going blind because of certain illnesses and diseases. Hedgehogs are also known to be born blind. 

Since hedgehogs have bad vision, they can only see outlines of objects and people and some shadows. However, seeing the outlines does not guarantee that hedgehogs see the objects as they are. One of the reasons why hedgehogs are sensitive, scared is because they cannot see well. In addition, any loud sounds or sudden movements can also cause hedgehogs to get scared. 

As hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, they do not need their vision. These small mammals have evolved over many years not to need their vision. Hedgehogs sleep during the day and wake in the night to forage. Hence, the hedgehog’s natural habitat does not require great eyesight to survive. 

Can Hedgehogs See at Night?

Overall, hedgehogs have bad vision. But, these animals are nocturnal, which means they are active during the night while they sleep in the day. Therefore, a hedgehog’s vision is not really of use to it. Hedgehogs can see at night, during the dark, and their night vision is better than day vision. 

Hedgehogs are not completely blind and can only see the outlines of objects, and they cannot see very far. However, hedgehogs can get a certain idea about their environment and the things in their vision range. Having a bad vision is not bad for hedgehogs because it has led them to rely heavily on other senses like hearing and smell. 

It is, however, still not proven that hedgehogs have better night vision. Since hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, it is only assumed that they see better during the night.

How Do Hedgehogs Survive with Poor Vision?

Although hedgehogs have poor vision, they do just well in the wild. Hedgehogs hide during the day and do not require much of their vision anyways. Even if hedgehogs have poor eyesight, their senses of smell and hearing make up for it. Hedgehogs can even survive if they are blind but rely on their ears and nose. With their sense of hearing and smell, hedgehogs can hunt food and dodge their predators. 

If a predator is nearby, the hedgehog can smell it from afar or hear it with its powerful ears. Therefore, this gives a hedgehog enough time to prepare and curl into a ball. Hence, hedgehogs do not need their eyesight. In fact, many of them are born blind and lead healthy lives. 

Since hedgehogs do not like being out in the light, it is important to give them dark corners in their cage where they can hide during the daytime. 

Are Hedgehogs Colour Blind

When it comes to colours, hedgehogs have limited vision. These small mammals are not completely colour blind, but they cannot see colours like humans. Hedgehogs can only see colours which are shades of brown and cream. Moreover, hedgehogs can see differences between some shades of grey and blue. 

Hedgehogs only have retinas made from four percent colour-sensing cells; however, the cells are 25 percent in humans. Hence, hedgehogs see very little colour. 

Do Hedgehogs Have Good Sense of Hearing and Smell?

It is important for hedgehogs to have good hearing to look for food. Hedgehogs do not have big ears, but they are positioned in such a manner that they pick up important sounds. In addition, the sensitive hedgehog eats pick up high notes and has a hearing frequency between 250-45000 hertz.

However, hedgehogs cannot hear low-pitched sounds as well as humans. 

Good hearing is important not only for finding food but looking out for predators.

Since hedgehogs can hear high-frequency sounds, they can pick on their predators and enable them to take a defending position beforehand. Good hearing helps hedgehogs look out for predators and ensures that they perform tasks like crossing roads. To hear better, hedgehogs will sometimes stand still, so they do not become distracted from the rustle of their spines. 

In addition to hearing, hedgehogs also have a good sense of smell. Hedgehogs are constantly sniffing to detect changes in their environment. Hence, these small mammals can pick up scents and can also detect other hedgehogs this way. Moreover, hedgehogs can smell food that is three inches underground with their noise.


Hedgehogs are born blind and deaf and regain their sense as they start to mature. Hedgehogs are not completely blind contrary to popular belief; however, they do have poor vision.  However, hedgehogs are prone to getting blind. These small mammals can only see the outline of objects, and when it comes to color, they have limited vision. However, hedgehogs do not need their eyesight because they are nocturnal animals. 

To make up for the lack of eyesight, hedgehogs have other powerful senses like their sense of hearing and smell. Hedgehogs can hear high notes better than low notes. Moreover, the nose can detect changes in smell in the environment. This sense enables a hedgehog to survive in the wild even if it is blind.

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Hey, I'm Brian and I love hedgehogs. They're curious little animals that fascinate me. Over the years, I've become extremely knowledgeable about hedgehogs so have decided to share that knowledge here

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