Do hedgehogs smell bad? Causes and Solutions

With so many new individuals interested in having a hedgehog, there are certain to be a lot of questions. “Do hedgehogs smell bad?” 

Even though hedgehogs are adorable, you don’t want a small animal in your home that may cause odors. The strange thing is that, for a very straightforward topic, a lot of false information is available. While some claim to smell horrible, others dispute this.

This brief tutorial will provide you with the definitive answer to your query as well as advice on how to maintain the pleasant scent of your hedgie!

Why do hedgehogs smell bad?

A hedgehog’s powerful smell might come from a variety of sources. Their skin and quills include natural smell glands that they utilize for marking their territory and communicating, which is one of the main causes. Stronger scents in their feces and urine might also result from poor dietary choices.

Inadequate hygiene, such as infrequent cage cleaning or poor litter box upkeep, can worsen odor problems. Finally, underlying health concerns such as skin infections or tooth difficulties can cause unpleasant odors. Proper maintenance, such as a balanced diet, regular cleaning, and veterinarian assistance as needed, can help reduce hedgehog odor.

Does Hedgehog Poop Stink?

The excrement of hedgehogs can have a distinctive smell, akin to that of rodents and other tiny animals. Even while some larger pets have stronger odors than others, a hedgehog’s smell can still be detected, particularly if its nutrition is out of balance or its habitat is not maintained. Hedgehog excrement scents may be reduced with proper cage upkeep, which includes routine litter box cleaning. Furthermore, feeding the hedgehog nutritious food can assist control its digestive system and lessen the strength of its waste stench.

What Makes Them Stink?

A dirty environment is the main culprit behind a smelly hedgehog. Eventually, your hedgehog will use their cage as a lavatory. Urine and excrement will eventually accumulate and, as you might guess, smell bad. Your hedgehog doesn’t smell horrible by itself, but their feces does.

Their feces don’t smell particularly horrible compared to the odors of any other species, including humans, but they also do not smell nice. If you do not clean their environment regularly, your hedgehog will spend an increasing amount of time in waste. Because they are animals, they will not hesitate to march across pee or feces-covered areas.

If this continues for long enough, the odor of their feces will transfer to your hedgehog, causing them to smell. Male hedgehog pee usually smells harsher than female urine. If you have a male hedgie, you may need to clean more frequently. 

Other Common Causes

There are also more reasons why hedgehogs may smell foul. Sickness or infection may cause your hedgehog to emit a foul odor or produce abnormally smelly excrement. This is due to a variety of biological interactions that we do not need or desire to investigate in depth.

Your hedgehog may be unwell if you’re keeping their cage clean and giving them regular baths yet they still smell terrible. Although there’s probably nothing to worry about, it’s typically a good idea to take them to the vet for confirmation.

A poor diet is the second typical reason for a stinking hedgehog. The scent of their excrement can be greatly influenced by both excessive fat intake and nutritional deficits. Take a look at our dietary and nutritional recommendations to ensure they are consuming the correct meals.

Do Hedgehogs Smell Bad When They Die?

Like any other organism, a hedgehog will naturally start to degrade when it dies. There will usually be an odor throughout this procedure because of the decomposition of organic substances. However, several variables, such as the state of the hedgehog’s body, the surroundings in which it is found, and the rate at which the decomposition process proceeds, might affect how powerful or repulsive this smell is.

If a hedgehog dies indoors, as in a pet owner’s house, the body may not be found and removed right away, and the stench may become apparent rather rapidly. Owing to improved ventilation and the availability of other natural scents, the stench may be less overpowering in outdoor settings.

To avoid unpleasant odors or health dangers, treat the remains of a deceased hedgehog with care and respect, and dispose of them properly. If you’re unclear on how to address the matter, consult with a local veterinarian or animal control organization for assistance.

How To Get Rid Of Hedgehog Smell

As you may have surmised from the section above, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure your hedgehog smells incredible. These are things that everyone can do and should be done by everyone who has a hedgehog, regardless of how bothered you are about their smell.

1. Clean Their Cage

clean hedgehog cage

One of the most crucial things you can do to ensure your hedgehog never smells bad is to clean their cage regularly. Maintaining the health and smell of your hedgehog may be achieved with daily spot cleaning. Just go through their cage and remove any areas where feces or pee are visible. It takes hardly a few minutes!

Every week, you should clean their cage thoroughly, paying attention to the bed and liner as well as the entire cage. This should also not take a while after a system is up and running. To avoid covering their cage with dangerous chemicals, only use trustworthy wipes while cleaning.

2. Give Them A Bath

Washing your hedgie once every two weeks is a great idea. This will not only protect them from any residual odors from their cage, but it will also help them remain healthy and comfortable.

A daily foot wash is something that some owners like doing as well. This has the benefit of treating the part of their body where waste is most likely to come into touch with them. 

This helps ensure that your hedgehog never smells and that they adore it as well. When cleaning them, make sure not to leave out the quills. They may transmit an odor far more efficiently than you think.

3. Try Litter Training

Litter training is an excellent method to ensure your hedgehog doesn’t smell if you want to go the whole way. If you can complete this procedure, it will undoubtedly make a significant impact even if it can be difficult and isn’t always effective.

Eliminating the space where they use the restroom will greatly reduce the likelihood of odors. It also facilitates even simpler cleaning of their cage!

4. Give Them The Right Foods

Your hedgehog’s smell will be greatly influenced by the foods they consume. Nutrient deficiencies, fatty diets, and difficult-to-digest snacks can all contribute to your hedgie’s slight stench. The solution to this is not too difficult. It all comes down to selecting a reliable source (such as the guide we already referred to) and following it. This will increase the scent of your hedgehog and its longevity and general health.

5. Clean the Exercise Wheel

Hedgehogs only require enough room in their cage to be comfortable, not much more. They must still be able to move about appropriately, though. Since they may be more likely to become obese, their health must provide them with a range of activities to encourage activity. Though it might rapidly gather dirt and feces as your hedgehog uses it, an exercise wheel is a great method to encourage your little pet to get some exercise.

Regularly removing the exercise wheel to clean it can help decrease scents emanating from your pet’s environment. You may also soak the exercise wheel in soapy water for a few hours to remove any tenacious clumps of excrement, especially if you have a spare wheel to replace it with.

6. Fresh Bedding

Ensure that the bedding for your hedgehog is constantly clean. You should change your hedgehog’s bedding far more frequently than you should clean the cage and the wheel.

As they quickly accumulate waste, water spills, and neglected food, be sure to wipe out their bedding at least three times a week. Warm, cozy bedding that eliminates odors and is free of dust will keep your hedgehog happy. 

7. Visit a Veterinarian

Sometimes, even with our greatest attempts to maintain a clean living environment for our hedgehog, the problem isn’t the cage itself. A hedgehog may occasionally smell because of a medical condition. It’s necessary to consult your veterinarian if you take great care to keep your hedgehog’s cage clean but the stink persists.

Since hedgehogs are prone to a variety of health problems, routine examinations can help you stay ahead of any emerging disorders. If you’ve never had a hedgehog before, your veterinarian may also advise you on how to care for them.

Common Mistakes When Removing Hedgehog Smell

It’s hard to keep your hedgehog and their cage odor-free, but the approach you use can make a big difference in how well it works. When attempting to lessen your hedgehog’s smell, there are a few things you should never do.

Air Fresheners or Scented Candles

Using a can of air freshener or burning your favorite scented candle is a quick and easy approach to dealing with a variety of odors. However, when it comes to our hedgehogs, both of these ways should be avoided.

Hedgehogs are prey animals that are very sensitive to scent. While we may believe that mountain-fresh aerosol is a wonderful alternative to smelling our hedgehog’s cage, our pet will not agree. Using scented cleansers to remove odors, even if they are not generated by your hedgehog, might give your pet undue discomfort.

Chemical Cleaners

It is vital to clean your hedgehog’s cage regularly. However, chemical cleaners frequently produce lasting aromas, which have the same effect as air fresheners and scented candles. The cage may be as fresh as new when you’re done, but the cloying scent of bleach will not make your hedgehog happy.

Instead of using chemical cleaners, which are often unsafe to use near pets, clean the cage using baking soda. It’s an excellent, natural cleaning product that eliminates odors without concealing them. You can clean and deodorize your hedgehog’s cage without them noticing.


Q1. Do hedgehogs have a smell?

A filthy environment is the most frequent cause of a smelly hedgehog. Your hedgehog will eventually use its cage as a restroom. Urine and excrement will eventually pile up and produce an unpleasant stench. 

Q2. How can I keep away my hedgehog from smelling?

To keep their hedgehog from stinking, many hedgehog owners provide daily foot showers and change the bedding regularly. Some hedgehog owners have even managed to litter train their hedgehogs.

Q3. Why does my hedgehog smell so bad?

Although hedgehogs are mostly kept in cages, their cages might smell if they aren’t cleaned regularly.

Q4. Which smells are offensive to hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs regret strong, pungent odors like citrus, vinegar, and ammonia.

Q5. How often should I clean my hedgehog’s cage?

It is advised that the cage be cleaned at least once a week, removing filthy bedding and cleaning accessories to reduce odor and maintain a healthy atmosphere.


So, You have got the answer to the question in this guide “Do hedgehogs smell bad?”. As said before, you are probably doing something wrong if your hedgehog smells. But if you follow our guidelines, you and your hedgie will be much happier. Regularly cleaning their cage and exercise wheel, as well as replacing their bedding, will help reduce the stink around your hedgehog. If your hedgehog becomes very stinky, you can wash them on occasion. Avoid using air fresheners, however, because strong odors might bother your hedgehog.