Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Hedgehogs > How Often Should a Hedgehog Poop? Factors, Training, & FAQ

How Often Should a Hedgehog Poop? Factors, Training, & FAQ

hedgehog on the log

Hedgehogs make great pets if you’re okay with an animal that sleeps most of the time. They’re cute and a friendly alternative to the traditional cat and dog pet options. But sometimes, people hesitate when they find out how much hedgehogs poop.

We can all agree that poop is the least exciting part about owning an animal. However, it’s something we need to pay attention to. With hedgehogs, you’re going to deal with a lot of poop.

We’re discussing everything about hedgehog poop habits in this post. So put your gloves on, and let’s get started!


How Often Do Hedgehogs Poop?

The short answer is this- hedgehogs poop a LOT. They process food quicker and, as a result, poop more often.

Hedgehogs are small creatures with fast metabolisms. They’re also insectivores and can eat almost 100% of their body weight in food.

Most hedgehog owners feed their hedgies commercial food and the occasional insect treat. However, it only takes about 12-16 hours for food to pass through a hedgehog’s digestive tract. Hedgehogs don’t have a cecum, the lower portion of the intestine, like humans and other animals.

It’s hard to say how often hedgehogs poop, but experienced hedgehog owners agree that these little critters poop constantly. Your hedgehog will probably poop more if it’s a baby.

A term often thrown around in the hedgehog circle is called “poop boots.” This refers to when a hedgehog’s feet are coated in feces. Keeping up with the amount of poop hedgehogs produce can get old. If you don’t want to deal with a lot of poop, owning a hedgehog may not be for you.

European hedgehog in the wild
Image Credit: aaltair, Shutterstock

Hedgehog Poop: The Good, The Bad, The Smelly

So now you know the truth! It’s not that hedgehogs poop too much. They’re just poopy creatures. If you still want a hedgehog, it’s important to understand what healthy hedgehog poop looks like. Hedgehogs sleep most of the time, so it can be a challenge knowing if they don’t feel good. A good sign is their eating and pooping habits.


The breed of hedgehog you get determines the size of their poop. What you feed your hedgehog may also determine the size. Hedgehog poop is small and measures around 1.5–5 centimeters. Their poop is cylindrical, almost like human waste. Round or flat droppings are not from a hedgehog.

If you notice your hedgehog has loose stools or diarrhea, call your veterinarian.

an adorable hedgehog licking its nose while being held
Image Credit: Julia Jane, Shutterstock


A healthy hedgehog will have dark brown, almost black stool. This trait can vary as well, depending on what the hedgehog eats. Since hedgehogs are insectivores, finding insect parts in wild hedgehog feces is common. Unless you feed your hedgehog bugs, you probably won’t notice this in your hedgehog’s poop.

Any other color is a cause for concern. For example, red may be a sign of blood. Green is often a sign of stress or dietary change. If you notice your hedgehog’s poops are abnormal, it’s best to call your vet.


Again, what you feed your hedgehog determines the pungency, but at the end of the day, it’s poop. There will be a stench. Your hedgehog will also start to smell because of the poop boots. Regular baths are standard for hedgehogs to remove any excrement from their feet. Hedgehog poop will smell, so be prepared.

hedgehog in a towel
Image By: Jenn Huls, Shutterstock

How To Help Your Hedgie Poop

There might come a time when you must help your hedgie poop. Hedgehog constipation is common. Constipation usually isn’t a problem unless the problem becomes prolonged. In that case, you should always seek a veterinarian’s opinion.

But sometimes, a little at-home care can help. If your little lap cactus is constipated, try placing it in two inches of warm water. Warmth is a great way to get the body relaxed and moving. Also, make sure your hedgehog has access to clean water.

You can also try feeding your hedgie pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling). Pumpkin puree has helped lots of animals with diarrhea and constipation, and many hedgehog owners swear by it. Some even mix olive oil into the pumpkin.

It’s also good to check the temperature in your hedgie’s cage. If the temperature is below 75 degrees F, your hedgehog might try to hibernate. Hedgehogs typically eat less and empty their bowels before hibernation.

hedgehog walking
Image By: Pixabay

Where Do Hedgehogs Like To Poop?

It probably doesn’t surprise you to know that hedgehogs will poop anywhere. They poop when they walk, run on their wheelie, and nap on their owners.

Hedgehogs aren’t like dogs, sniffing around for the best pooping spot. They’re also not territorial. They don’t bother with scent tracking everything, using their feces and urine to mark their territory. They will just go where they are, similar to a horse. This is especially true when they’re warm and active.

Wild hedgehogs poop as they walk, so it’s natural for your hedgehog to do the same.

european hedgehog
Image By: Jussi Suvela, Shutterstock

Why Does My Hedgehog Poop On Me?

Like humans, hedgehogs like to relieve themselves as soon as they wake up. It’s best to give your hedgehog a few minutes to do its business before picking it up and cuddling.

We’ve mentioned many times that hedgies poop a lot whenever they want to, so make peace that your hedgehog will have poop on it when you pick it up. Your hedgehog may stop pooping on you so much as you bond. But if it’s a new pet, this will take some time.

As cute as hedgehogs are, we must remember that they are prey animals. Prey animals get scared quickly, so it’s easy for them to poop when the fear senses kick in. You can help your hedgie feel comfortable by feeding it treats every time you pick it up.

If you want to let your hedgehog explore the house but don’t want poop everywhere, you can try potty training with a litter pan.


Training Your Hedgehog To Use A Litter Pan

If you’re interested in training your hedgehog to use a litter pan, we don’t blame you! Many experienced hedgehog owners have successfully trained their prickly friends to use a litter pan.

Training your hedgehog to use a litter pan is a slow process and requires patience and persistence, but it can be done!

However, it’s important to note that not every hedgehog will follow through with this training. Your best bet is to give it a try and see how your hedgehog responds. The following video gives you helpful tips on how to properly litter pan train your hedgehog.



You’ll soon find that hedgehog pens require routine cleaning if you want a hedgehog. So don’t worry if your hedgehog is a poop machine! Putting up with poop boots is part of loving a hedgehog. If you don’t think it’s for you, that’s okay!

But if you want to be a part of the prickly pet club, and you’re okay with a lot of poop, we say go for it. Loving a hedgehog is a unique experience. Many people have dogs and cats. Why not mix it up a little? As long as you do your research and promise to love your hedgie, poop boots and all.

Related Reads: 

Featured Image Credit: Thanisnan Sukprasert, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets