When we think about hedgehogs, it does not cross our minds that they are athletic. On the contrary, hedgehogs love to run and are more athletic than we give them credit for. Apart from running, hedgehogs are also known to swim and climb. But are hedgehogs good climbers or not?
Hedgehogs are good climbers despite their small size and appearance.
Hedgehogs are good climbers if we compare them with other animals – especially animals of the same size. However, we cannot say that hedgehogs are the best climbers. Other small mammals such as squirrels and rats are better climbers than hedgehogs if we look at other small mammals.
Wild hedgehogs are more adventurous than pet hedgehogs. Your pet hedgehog will climb its cage, and if you let it out, you will see it climbing stairs too.
How Well Can Hedgehogs Climb?
Hedgehogs are good climbers, and they have no trouble climbing high hedges and walls. If hedgehogs spot any insects, they will climb enough to reach them. However, while hedgehogs are good at climbing up, they have trouble climbing down.
Due to the hedgehog’s small body and weight, hedgehogs have difficulty climbing down from walls or hedgehogs and hence, sometimes fall.
Can Hedgehogs Climb High?
Hedgehogs in the wild can climb greater heights than a domesticated hedgehog. This is because wild hedgehogs face many obstacles and therefore are more athletic than pet hedgehogs. On average, hedgehogs can climb 15 to 20 inches of height.
How high hedgehogs can climb depends on one to another. Like humans, all hedgehogs are different, and some may not climb as high as others. However, if you have a young hedgehog, it will learn to climb quickly if you give it objects to bolster it.
Can Hedgehogs Climb a Tree?
Hedgehogs are good at climbing trees; however, you will usually find them on the ground. On the other hand, hedgehogs dig burrows at the bottom of trees to hibernate. When hedgehogs climb up trees, they have trouble climbing down.
Usually, hedgehogs fall instead of attempting to climb down. The hedgehog’s quills act as a cushion to protect it from the fall.
Can Hedgehogs Get Hurt While Climbing?
For hedgehogs, it is not the climbing that is a problem but rather climbing down. Hedgehogs may be great climbers, but they have trouble getting down because of their poor depth perception. When hedgehogs climb trees or walls, they will fall multiple times.
Hedgehogs can fall a lot, and their quills act as a cushion to protect them. However, despite the quills, hedgehogs can still get hurt.
While a hedgehog’s spines protect it, they can also hurt them when they fall. If hedgehogs fall from a great height, the quills can harm them internally.
Moreover, when hedgehogs are climbing their cages, their feet can get stuck in the cage wires. This can lead to serious injuries like broken bones.
How to Prevent Hedgehogs from Getting Injured
If you have a pet hedgehog, you will often find it trying to climb the cage. While climbing is great, hedgehogs can seriously injure themselves, and you cannot be there to keep an eye on it all the time. Therefore, it is best to take preventative measures to avoid your hedgehog from getting hurt.
Instead of keeping a wire cage, you can choose to go for a plastic cage. This ensures that your hedgehog does not climb any cage walls. However, hedgehogs often use wheels or cage accessories to get closer to the cage and attempt to climb it.
Hence, it is best to place the accessories in the middle of the cage, away from the walls, so the hedgehogs refrain from climbing it.
You can place cardboard along the walls of the cage to prevent the hedgehog from climbing. However, you can use this as a temporary solution until you get a plastic cage. In addition, it is important to keep the top of the cage covered so even if your hedgehog climbs, it does not get out.
Can Hedgehogs Climb Fences?
Hedgehogs love to hang around in gardens because they get a place to sleep at night and food to eat. Hence, hedgehogs can climb fences. However, modern fences are not hedgehog-friendly and therefore hinder their movement going from one garden to another.
Fences made from dry stones, log piles that have gaps for hedgehogs are better.
Can Hedgehogs Climb Ramps?
Ramps are tricky because they slope downwards and can easily cause hedgehogs to slip. However, hedgehogs can still climb ramps, although they may find it difficult to do so.
It is important that you install ramps in your garden pond or if you have a pool. While it is easy for hedgehogs to jump in the water and swim, they are maybe unable to get out if there is no access. For example, rivers or ponds have a natural gateway that hedgehogs can use to get out.
However, when it comes to pools, hedgehogs have nothing to grab. Therefore, hedgehogs will swim in the water until they become tired and eventually drown.
Whichever ramp you install, it should be hedgehog friendly. For example, the ramp should not have any sharp edges sticking out. Otherwise, it could hurt hedgehogs who try to climb out. Moreover, the material of the ramp should not be slippery, or it will not serve the purpose.
Hedgehogs are more athletic than we give them credit for. These small mammals are good climbers, but we cannot say they are the best. Other mammals like rats and squirrels are better climbers than hedgehogs. Hedgehogs can climb walls, hedges, and trees.
However, you will not find hedgehogs in trees but rather on the ground.
Unfortunately, as much as hedgehogs are good at climbing, they have a hard time getting down. Hedgehogs have poor depth perception, and therefore, they fall instead of climbing down. When hedgehogs fall, their quills protect them from getting injured.
However, hedgehogs can injure themselves, especially if they fall from a greater height as the quills hurt them internally.