Are Hedgehog Rodents? [Find the Truth]

Hedgehogs are seen in Africa, depending on the terrain, mostly in East Africa, Central Africa, and West Africa. Wild hedgehogs are the natives of Africa, New Zealand, and Asia but as pets, they are loved in North America.  

The size and appearance of some small rodents are close to the hedgehogs- we agree. This is why people think hedgehogs are rodents- but, is a hedgehog a rodent? Once and for all, my friends, no, hedgehogs are not rodents! 

Here, we will go through an in-depth yet easy discussion on what makes them different from rodents and how you can find it out!

Are Hedgehog Rodents?

Are Skunks Related to Hedgehogs in Any Way?

Skunks are not rodents, and despite their similar appearance, they are not closely related to hedgehogs. Skunks are part of the weasel family, while hedgehogs belong to the Erinaceidae family. Although both animals have prickly quills, they are not alike in genetic terms.

Is a Hedgehog a Rodent?

Hedgehogs are fluffy little animals’ that look similar to rodents and yet are not rodents. They are a subfamily of the family Erinaceidae which is quite different than the family Rodentia. 

From distance, a hedgehog might look like a rodent but it’s not. They live in East, West, and Central Africa and prefer dry shelters. They are mostly found in areas close to the border with humans. 

Difference between a Hedgehog and Rodents 

Now that you know hedgehogs are not rodents, you might want to know the reasons behind them, right? 

Yes, we agree that they look quite similar but some differences make them different animal families. Here, we will brief a few reasons to clarify the diversity.

The Incisor Teeth 

The incisor teeth of rodents play a major role when deciding which animal group the mammal will represent. 

In the case of rodents, they have incisor teeth that never stop growing- this work for the entire Rodentia family no matter it’s a hamster or a beaver. 

However, hedgehogs don’t have these incisors. Instead, their mouth includes 44 teeth a lot like humans. This is considered to be the principal difference between rodents and hedgehogs. 


Rodents are quite adaptive and so, they can live in severe conditions. Their nesting ability tells a lot about them. 

They can live on the surface and at times, underground too! Besides, you might see a rodent living high in the trees- it depends on their species. 

However, hedgehogs can only live by the surface. They are not capable of living underground. This clears out that hedgehogs are not rodents. 


In terms of quills, rodents and hedgehogs are different too. If we think about a rodent with quills, a porcupine comes to our mind first. Well, in the case of this species, it comes out of its body so that it can stay stuck in the attacker. 

But the quills of hedgehogs are different. It curls up into a ball. And in this way, the quills stick out and eventually deter the predator. 

Development in Survival Techniques 

Secondly, over years, rodents have developed some specific features as their survival techniques. They have developed large cheeks so that they can hold food. 

Along with this, they have developed the art of jumping through the sand with their back legs. Hedgehogs don’t have these features. Instead, they have their quills.

Wrap Up 

While hedgehogs are not as adaptive as rodents, you can still plan on keeping them as your pets. All you need is to keep them away from any wet areas or wetlands and feed them the high-protein food they prefer. Feeding them meat-based kitten food is a way to deal with your new pet too- try it out!

About Dale E. Bitting

He is the founder of Rodents Info, where he provides comprehensive methods, tips, tricks, and techniques to keep harmful rodents at bay from homes and landscapes. As a rodents expert, he shares valuable information and resources to help safeguard properties against unwelcome critters. Dale is also passionate about nurturing and caring for harmless pet rodents. He offers pet parenting guides, tips, and advice to ensure these furry companions live happy and healthy lives. Join him as he explores the fascinating world of rodents and celebrates the joy they bring to our lives. Learn more..

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