What Smells Do Hedgehogs Like?

Hedgehogs are small mammals that have recently become common pets. However, despite many people being open to keeping hedgehogs as pets, there is still a lot not known about them. One particular thing that hedgehogs are known for is their amazing sense of smell. 

Hedgehogs may like mild smells. 

Since hedgehogs are sensitive to smells, they do not like strong smells. Any new smell in your hedgehog’s vicinity can throw it off. Therefore, it is important to maintain the scent you use and now use new ones around your hedgehog. Hedgehogs are known to recognize their owner’s scent, and therefore, any changes you make will make your pet avoid you. 

What Smells Do Hedgehogs Dislike?

A hedgehog’s life revolves around scents, and with their sensitive sense of smell, it is recommended not to use strong scents around them. 

For instance, any scented air freshener you use can trigger your hedgehog. In addition, hedgehogs are also prone to upper respiratory infections. Hence, it is best for pet owners to use products with faint scents or those that do not have any. Most importantly, it is best to avoid tee tree scents as they are toxic to hedgehogs. 

When you use detergent to wash your clothes or fleece, you must ensure it is not heavily scented or is free from any scents. 

Are Hedgehogs Sensitive to Smell?

A hedgehog’s most important asset is its sense of smell. Hedgehogs are born blind and do not have the best vision. Therefore, they have excellent noses to make up for it. A hedgehog’s nose will turn moist when they come across new smells. Hedgehogs forage at night, searching for food and can smell it underneath the soil up to three inches deep. In addition, this excellent sense of smell enables hedgehogs to look out for predators. 

A hedgehog’s sensitivity to smells enables it to survive, stay safe from predators and look for food. It is easy for hedgehogs to search for food with their nose. Therefore, if you put out food for hedgehogs, they can detect it even if they are not close by. 

If you have a hedgehog, you will notice that they use their nose to sniff the air around them. Hedgehogs rely heavily on their noses and are constantly sniffing to detect change. These mammals have a long nose which is a prominent part of their physical appearance.

Hedgehogs have well-developed olfactory lobes, which enable them to sense and categorize smells. These small mammals are so sensitive to new smells that they begin to self-anoint. For new hedgehog owners, the self-anointing process can be scary if they are experiencing it for the first time. When hedgehogs are introduced to new smells, they begin to self-anoint. 

A self-anointing hedgehog will foam at the mouth and spread it throughout its body. This process can take as long as half an hour. Hedgehogs may self-anoint in an attempt to cover their scent. Any new scent makes hedgehogs think there is a predator nearby, and hence, they begin to self-anoint to hide from it. 

Do Hedgehogs Smell?

You may wonder if hedgehogs use their sense of smell to detect their kind. Like all animals, hedgehogs do have their scent. It is a given that hedgehogs have their scent because how else would they detect other hedgehogs? For instance, hedgehogs may smell other hedgehogs if they have visited their nests. For instance, female hedgehogs are often found with hoglets in nests. 

In addition, hedgehog scent plays an important role during the mating season. Male hedgehogs, known as boars, use their scent to attract the female hedgehogs inviting them to mate. In addition, the male hedgehogs will mark the ground with their scent for the females. Moreover, the female hedgehogs will attract the males with their scent. 

Why Does My Hedgehog Smell Bad?

Hedgehogs do not have their scent, which humans can pick up. It is the hedgehog’s environment that can determine if it smells bad.

Therefore, it is important to keep your hedgehog’s habitat clean which means their cage. Hedgehogs poo and pee in their cage; therefore, the building of urine and faeces can lead to an unpleasant smell. If you make it a habit to clean your hedgehog’s cage every day, it will not smell bad. Sometimes the poop can get into your hedgehog’s foot resulting in poop boots. You must clean their feet so the poop does not dry and causes your hedgehog to smell. 

Apart from a dirty environment, there are other reasons why hedgehogs can smell bad. For instance, infections can cause your hedgehog to have stinky poops. If you are cleaning the cage, bathing your hedgehog and still find it to smell bad, it can be because it is sick. Therefore, you can get your hedgehog checked at the vet.

Usually, your hedgehog may experience stinky poop because of their diet. Bad mealworms or fish can cause your hedgehog’s poo to smell. Hence, the kind of food you give your hedgehog greatly affects how they smell.

In addition, to avoid any poop incidents, you can try litter training your hedgehog. Litter training is not a consistent process, but it works to ensure your hedgehog does not smell bad. Moreover, since a separate area is dedicated to the bathroom, cleaning the cage becomes easier. 


Hedgehogs are small mammals with small ears and big noses. While hedgehogs are born blind and have poor vision, they have a great sense of smell. However, hedgehogs being sensitive to smells, do not like anything powerful. Therefore, it is a good idea to use mild scents or scent-free things. 

Any new scents can trigger your hedgehog to self-anoint. This is a process where a hedgehog foams at the mouth and covers itself in saliva to mask its scent. Sometimes, your hedgehog can smell bad due to a dirty habitat, health issues or smelly faeces. Therefore, it is important to clean your hedgehog’s cage, maintain a good diet and keep up with vet visits to ensure it remains healthy.

profile photo

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

[the_ad id="1296"]