Every pet owner wants to give their pet appropriate toys to enjoy and have fun with. So, which toys do hedgehogs most often love to play with? In this article, we are going to give you 23 safe pygmy hedgehog toys, all of which are tried and tested by hedgehog enthusiasts and their adorable pets.
We’ve considered factors like availability, usability, value for money, materials, safety, and hedgehog appeal in order to bring you our pick of the best toys for hedgehogs. Toys that your hedgehog will love. Then we’ve grouped them – according to their primary benefit – into the following categories:
- Fun hedgehog toys for exercise and movement.
- Interesting hedgehog toys for investigation.
- Good hedgehog toys for foraging.
- Fun tunnel toys for hedgehogs.
- Soft hedgehog toys for snuggling.
Then we’ll wind up with some frequently asked questions.
Fun Hedgehog Toys For Exercise And Movement
It’s important for all pet hedgehogs to remain active as this will help to control their weight and increases fitness. Here are some toys that can help!
1. Carolina Storm Bucket Wheel
There’s one toy that every hedgehog needs (and most hogs love!) to have access to and that’s a suitable wheel. We recommend the Carolina Storm Bucket Wheel as it is a good size (10.5” diameter) with a wide (5”), smooth running surface. There are no gaps or bars to catch little hedgehog feet.
The wheel is super quiet and – being all coated metal and plastic – is very easy to clean. Since many hedgehogs like to go to the toilet under their wheel, you can also buy a perfectly sized litter pan to fit between the two legs of the stand.
2. Ethical Sponge Soccer Balls
These small and lightweight sponge balls from Ethical Pet Products (Spot) are great for hedgehogs to knock around and chase. For hogs that enjoy this activity, they will provide fun and entertainment, alongside the benefits of increased exercise.
The balls are sold in multipacks, making it easy to replace them over time as each ball gets lost or damaged. However, as hedgehogs don’t tend to chew, and the balls can be washed they should have a reasonable lifespan. A cheap and cheerful product that represents great value for the pleasure given.
3. Hartz Bizzy Balls Pack
Hedgehogs often enjoy balls of all shapes and sizes. This multipack from Hartz contains three jingle bell balls, each with different colors and textures. They are designed to create interesting roll patterns when moved.
These Bizzy balls are a good choice because they don’t have large gaps that can catch little feet and noses. Look out for other balls that are solid or have similar small cutouts. These are made from plastic, so they are long-lasting and easy to clean.
4. Hot Wheels 5 Pack Mini Vehicles
Yes, it’s official! Hedgehogs love cars! These Hot Wheels vehicles are a great size for your hedgehog to enjoy. They are good for stimulating chase and movement. Made from metal and plastic, they are easy enough to clean and can be washed.
These die-cast models do contain small parts – which for hedgehogs isn’t generally an issue as they are unlikely to mouth them. However, because of this, it is wise to use them supervised at playtime.
5. Large Tonka Truck
At the other end of the size range, some hedgehogs will have fun pushing, investigating, and clambering over a much larger vehicle. This steel and plastic Tonka Truck is ideal. Being mainly metal, it’s almost indestructible and should last the lifetime of your hog.
Investigating the truck and the fact that it rolls will encourage your hedgehog to remain active and engaged. You can even put a few treats or some snuggly bedding into the bed of the dumper, before finally tipping it out for your hedgehog to enjoy.
Interesting Hedgehog Toys For Investigation
Some items are not ‘asking’ for a specific behavior or interaction. They are simply interesting in terms of their smell, texture, sound and/or shape. Engaging with new and appealing toys relieves boredom and enriches your hedgehog’s life, as well as building their confidence.
6. Petstages Fresh Breath Mint Stick
This is an interesting toy, which has a central core made from dried mint surrounded by fabric and a robust net. The rest of the item is fabric and has crinkles for extra sound stimulation in the end sections.
Mint is an attractive smell for many animals including hedgehogs, and for an engaged pet, this toy offers textural, scent and sound enrichment. You can roll the minty stem between your hands to release the scent.
7. Fleece Or Paper Strips Forest (DIY)
Creating curtains of hanging fleece strips especially over or around foraging areas can be a great way to challenge and stimulate your hedgehog. Paper can be used in the same way and can be made quickly and easily.
Tear multiple pages from a magazine or phone directory and hold them in a pile before cutting through all layers. Cut half-inch strips from one edge of the paper to about an inch away from the edge of the other side.
This creates a multi-layered curtain of paper strips that are held together at one edge. You can then use zip ties through the intact edge to hang your curtain from the cage roof. Do a few in one area for your hedgehog to rummage through.
8. PetFavorites Original Mylar Crinkle Balls
These balls don’t really roll as such, but are visually and texturally exciting for the hedgehog, as well as creating a crinkle sound when played with. Because of their makeup, they can be difficult to clean but can cope with running water from the faucet.
The balls measure 1.5” in diameter and are soft to touch and lightweight. This pack of 6 should last a long while, and therefore, represents good value for money.
9. Boxes (FREE)
Hedgehogs can have great fun playing in – and with – cardboard boxes. Save them from all kinds of food packaging, toothpaste, medication and such like. You can also use much larger boxes either on their side or upturned with a door cut in them.
With several boxes, it’s possible to create multi-roomed mansions for your hedgehog to explore. Boxes can be fixed together with strong tape, or zip ties, and doors cut as appropriate. Always use supervised to make sure that your hedgehog is happy and not stuck.
10. Plant Fibre Or Paper Bowls
These multi-packs of bowls have great play value, as well a many other uses around the house. Hedgehogs are curious creatures and will often investigate and enjoy novel items. You can simply present the empty bowl at first until your hedgehog gets bored with that.
Other ideas for the bowl include:
- Pop a few treats at the bottom.
- Upend it over some treats in your foraging corner.
- Fill it with pompoms or shredded paper and a few treats.
- Suspend it from the cage roof on a length of string, just above floor level, to give your hedgehog a moving bowl to investigate.
When one gets soiled you can easily compost or bin it and then replace it with another for more good, clean fun!
11. Toilet Paper Tube (FREE/DIY)
Toilet paper tubes are recyclable, but your hedgehog will enjoy playing with them first. To prevent the tube from getting stuck on your pet’s head, simply cut right along the length of the tube and then present it.
You can add to the fun by filling the tube with some soft hay with a few treats placed inside. Selecting smelly treats can help to get your hedgehog’s interest. But even a plain tube can provide stimulation and joy as your hog explores it and tosses it around.
12. Munchkin Bath Duck
This robust rubber duck, from Munchkin, is a perfect hedgehog toy; hard-wearing, versatile and easy to clean. The duck can be offered in or out of the cage as a safe toy, even when unsupervised.
If your hedgehog gets bored with exploring the duck on dry land – try floating him (the duck, not the hog!) in a shallow dish of water. An oven tray or large clay plant pot saucer would be perfect. Then float the duck and see if this engages your pet.
Keep this activity for warm days when it’s easier to dry and warm your hog, should they get wet.
Good Hedgehog Toys For Foraging
Foraging is a natural activity for a hedgehog and should always be provided for. There are many toys that can add interest to your spiky friend’s foraging activities. Here are our favorites.
13. Andiker Snuffle Foraging Mat
Snuffle mats are great for foraging animals and can be used to hide your hedgehog’s dry cat food as well as the odd treat. This mat, from Andiker, is a suitable size for your pet. Its flexible plastic base and soft fleece strips make it machine washable and quick to dry.
The snuffle mat can be placed in the hedgehog’s cage or used in a playpen but ideally should not be available all the time. The novelty helps to keep the hedgehog interested.
14. Niteangel 4 Pack Small Animal Natural Toys
This natural pack of toys comprises a willow ring, a seagrass ball, a loofah and a pinecone – all perfect for adding to a foraging corner. Between them, they offer a variety of natural smells and textures for your hedgehog to root about amongst.
The toys are designed to be safe even if nibbled (the pinecone is cleaned and baked), and they are robust enough to hold up to rough play. You can use the pinecone and loofah to hide treats for extra foraging goodness.
15. Natural Apple Foraging Sticks
This is a multipack of 5-6” organic apple wood sticks, which are perfect for creating a matrix to hide food amongst in your foraging corner. Use a few at a time and mix with hay, pebbles, etc., to provide interest and texture.
The sticks are safe to chew, but for your hedgehog, the main purpose is environmental enrichment. They are natural in texture and smell, and similar sticks would be part of any wild hedgehog’s foraging experience.
16. Kong Small Forager
A small Kong can make a great hedgehog foraging toy, and it can be stuffed with your pet’s daily ration of food. It’s easy to roll around in order to release dry food but as your hog becomes more expert you can add wet cat feed, which is harder to get out.
Kong products have an excellent reputation for durability, and the strong rubber body of this toy can be easily washed and dried. It can even go into the dishwasher every now and then!
17. Large Volume (Foraging) Packs PetShow Kitten Pompoms
If you favor a less natural foraging experience for your hedgehog, these large volume packs of 1.8” pompoms may fit the bill. Offering anything from 20 to 100 pompoms you can create a ball pool effect in a flat low-sided tray.
This is then perfect for hiding dry cat food and treats amongst, and safe for your hedgehog to wade around in searching for goodies. However, if your hedgehog tends to chew things these would not be suitable, and you would be better with ping pong balls or similar.
The pompoms are not durable, and you’ll find yourself needing to throw them out as they get soiled. But they will provide great fun in the short to medium term.
Fun Tunnel Toys For Hedgehogs
Many hedgehogs like a tunnel to explore, take cover in, or even have a snooze. Here are some of our preferred options. Hedgehog Central suggest 4” diameter as appropriate, but please note this may be too small for larger hogs.
18. Rypet Fabric Covered Tunnel (4”)
This 4” tunnel is well made and robust. It used plastic rings at the tunnel entrances to maintain its shape. However, it is still collapsible and therefore easy to store when not in use. It’s machine washable and wears well.
The fabric prints used are cute and the tunnel offers a warm environment for a hedgehog to snuggle down. Also, lightweight enough to toss around if your pet just wants to have fun with it.
19. Ware Extendable Play Tunnel (4”)
This extendable plastic tunnel can be used contracted, partially extended or fully extended, making it a versatile toy for a variety of situations. The plastic is easily cleaned but the ridges and length make the job a little harder.
At 4 inches wide you’ll need to judge its suitability for the size of your pet. For tunnel loving hedgehogs this tunnel represents 2.5 feet of tunneling fun! Once expanded it’s very easy to contract down again for storage. The corrugated inner surface makes it safe to run through without slipping.
20. Large Diameter PVC Pipes
All kinds of plastic wide bore pipes are available from the building trade and can often be picked up second hand on auction sites. These are useful for larger hedgehogs, are easy to keep clean, and wear well.
Soft Hedgehog Toys For Snuggling
Most hedgehogs like to snuggle is soft fleecy beds, but some will also enjoy a stuffed toy companion to sleep alongside. Here are a few possibilities.
21. Wild Republic Stuffed Hedgehog
Hey! It’s a hedgehog for your hedgehog. Already road-tested by hedgehog owners this plushy is extremely soft, well made and robust. Your pet may want to sleep snuggling up with their Wild Republic hog – one owner’s hedgehog always burrowed underneath it.
22. Sock Friend (FREE/DIY)
As a free alternative take an old sock and stuff it with fleece scraps before knotting or sewing up the end. Some hedgehogs even enjoy a large fluffy slipper sock, without any stuffing.
23. SmartyKat Catnip Soft Mice
For a more manipulatable soft toy, try these little catnip mice. A more active hedgehog can have lots of fun moving these around and the catnip is appealing to our hogs. You could also leave the trio scattered in your pet’s nest box for snuggle time.
The 3 mice are around 4 inches long including the tail. Like all SmartyKat products are made from recycled, reclaimed, renewable and certified organic materials.
Frequently Asked Questions About Toys for Hedgehogs
Why do hedgehogs need toys?
Hedgehogs are inquisitive and active creatures who benefit from physical and mental stimulation. Toys are useful in achieving this. Not only do they prevent boredom, but they have the positive benefits of:
- Giving your pet pleasure and fun.
- Keeping them fit and healthy.
- Encouraging their natural behaviors.
- Stimulating their senses.
- Improving their well–being.
My hedgehog doesn’t appear to want to play – does he still need toys?
There are two types of enrichment toys that all hedgehogs should have as they provide for the expression of natural behaviors. These are:
- A hedgehog safe wheel.
Beyond these, if your hedgehog doesn’t want to play then try free items from your recycling to see whether you can find anything that he’s interested in. Not all hedgehogs enjoy all activities.
Why is it so important for my hedgehog to have a wheel?
Hedgehogs are evolved to cover many miles each night in the search for food. It isn’t possible to provide the space for this in the domestic setting, so using a wheel overcomes the problem.
Do hedgehogs need chew toys?
No, not really, but if you have a hedgehog who likes to chew (most aren’t bothered) then you can provide chewable toys to keep them happy. You will also need to be careful about giving toys with small parts (like the Hot Wheels cars) or that are easily destroyed (like the pompom balls).
Watching your hedgehog fully engaged with a toy is both heart–warming and adorable. Now you have plenty of excellent recommendations for toys that are likely to appeal to your hog. Try a few different types of toy until you work out which activities your pet really enjoys. Above all – have fun together!