We already recognized hedgehogs for their pokey spines that line their entire backside. Unlike a porcupine, these spines rarely detach and typically only do so when they are under a great deal of stress. The Amur Hedgehog is very similar to other popular hedgehogs you see here in the United States. They look and behave like the European Hedgehog, although they are often lighter in color. Keep reading to find out where these hedgehogs come from and how to care for one as a pet.
Quick Facts about Amur Hedgehog
|Species Name:||Erinaceus amurensis|
|Temperature:||72°F – 80°F|
|Color Form:||Brown, light brown, whitish-yellow|
|Lifespan:||5 – 8 years|
|Size:||10 inches long|
|Minimum Tank Size:||30 gallons|
Amur Hedgehog Overview
The Amur Hedgehog goes by many names. Whether you refer to them as the Manchurian hedgehog or Eriaceus amurensis, these small animals are similar in appearance to most pet hedgehogs that you’ve seen already.
The Amur Hedgehog is native to the state of Amur Oblast in Russia, although their habitat currently stretches across to Primorsky Krai and into China and Korea. They tend to be solitary animals and are mostly nocturnal. They forage for food at night and eat a variety of worms, beetles, ticks, snails, and snakes. You’ll most likely find them in deserts, forests, and savannahs, where they must avoid predators like foxes, hawks, ferrets, and eagles. While the Amur Hedgehog isn’t the most common type of pet hedgehog, there are a few people who enjoy keeping them as company.
How Much Do Amur Hedgehog Cost?
When purchasing a hedgehog, not a lot of people realize how much this animal can truly cost them. Aside from the initial cost of a hedgehog, which tends to be anywhere from $200 to $500, you also must pay for all the supplies as well. Between a large cage, bedding, toys, food, and vet bills, these animals could cost you hundreds of dollars every year. Of course, some people are able to stay within a budget, but those who want to go all out sometimes spend into the thousand-dollar range for top-of-the-line supplies and adequate enclosure space.
- Related: How Much Does a Hedgehog Cost?
Typical Behavior & Temperament
The Amur Hedgehog behaves very similarly to most other hedgehogs. They tend to be fairly docile and become more relaxed the more comfortable they get with you. Hedgehogs are sometimes very vocal and will grunt, squeal, screech, and even growl to convey information to you. Be aware that they are most active and night and will make noise while you sleep and will want to nap in a dark spot for most of the day.
Appearance & Varieties
Like most other hedgehogs, the Amur Hedgehog is covered in spines along their head, back, and posterior. These spines are also called quills and are typically dark brown, light brown, or whitish-yellow in color. Often, they are dark brown at the base and turn lighter as you work your way up to the tips.
The Amurian species specifically has a lighter overall appearance compared to most other hedgehogs. The underside of its body is also covered in softer fur that is much darker than the rest of its bodies. Most of them reach about 10 inches long and weigh only a few pounds.
How to Take Care of Amur Hedgehog
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
The home you choose for your hedgehog is one of the most important aspects you should focus on because it plays a major role in their overall physical and mental health. Hedgehogs are typically very active in the wild, and they enjoy having areas where they can swim, climb, dig, or forage for food. They are supposed to have large territories, but that isn’t always possible when keeping them as a pet.
Amur hedgehogs should have a minimum 30-gallon tank or enclosure, although they would be far happier if they were provided with an enclosure that offered at least 6 square feet. The larger the space you can provide, the happier your pet will be.
Another important thing to remember is that hedgehogs are nocturnal, and their homes should not be placed in a spot that receives direct sunlight because it will affect their sleep routine. Line the bottom of your enclosure with towels or soft bedding, as well as adding some shredded paper over the top of the bedding. Include an exercise wheel for them and offer lots of toys and activities that will help to keep them busy.
Do Amur Hedgehogs Get Along with Other Pets?
Technically, some hedgehogs do end up getting alone with other pets in the house. Still, that really depends on both animals in question. You shouldn’t ever force a relationship between two animals. The last thing you want is your hedgehog to feel stressed and scared in their own home.
If you do want to introduce two animals together, then you have to work slowly and in different stages. Start by allowing the animals in the same room together while your hedgehog is locked in its enclosure. Keep the visits short until they start to act more relaxed around one another. Slowly work your way up to short, supervised visits and then increase the time they spend around each other. No matter how well they end up getting along, you should always supervise your hedgehog when they are around other animals.
What to Feed Your Amur Hedgehog
Hedgehogs are mostly insectivores and spend most of their lives eating beetles and other sorts of bugs. It wasn’t until recently that more people started to consider them omnivores. On top of hedgehog food from the pet store that provides them with essential nutrition, feeding your hedgehog a variety of worms, crickets, and even fruit is okay. They should always have fresh water in their bowls as well. Most people prefer to install a bottle with a straw for them to drink out of.
Keeping Your Amur Hedgehog Healthy
Keeping your hedgehog in good health isn’t too challenging if you provide them with plenty of space, mental and physical stimulation, and a well-balanced diet. These animals are not overly demanding. The most work that you will likely have to do is to clean their cages once a week with gentle cleaning products.
While breeding hedgehogs seems as simple as putting a male and female together, there are some risks associated with it. When you breed females too young, they can often lose their babies and some even eat their young because of how much stress they’re under. You’ll also have to watch for violence between the male and female to ensure that they don’t hurt one another.
Do not breed hedgehogs more than three times per year. The mother should have a minimum of 4 months between each litter, although more is preferred. Female hedgehogs are safe to breed when they are at least 6 months old, but you should not wait until after she is 12 months old because it increases the likelihood of her pelvis bones fusing together and making birth harder for her.
Male hedgehogs can start breeding at any edge, although most are ready between 4 and 6 months of age. It is better to breed only friendly males. Do not inbreed a male and female, or you increase the chance of health issues with the babies.
Are Amur Hedgehogs Suitable For You?
The Amur Hedgehog really isn’t all that different than the European or African Pygmy Hedgehogs that we often keep as pets here in the United States. If you’re wondering if these animals are a good pet for you, take some time to consider if you are truly able to afford and provide everything they need in order to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Most hedgehogs are low maintenance, but they still require a lot of responsibility that some people just aren’t willing to do.
Featured Image Credit: AnMenshikova, Shutterstock