Hedgehogs are not social animals. In the wild, they live alone and it is preferred they live that way in captivity. However, sometimes one may want to house two hedgehogs together and that is possible, depending on a few things.
Never house a male and female together unless they are spayed and neutered. They should only be left together for breeding. Not even playtime should be allowed between male and female hedgehogs, it only takes a moment for your female to become pregnant.
(Read how to breed hedgehogs here.)
Housing Female Hedgehogs Together
It is usually OK to house female hedgehogs together. Some females will get along, others will fight. You should have a second cage prepared in case that happens.
Most of the time, mothers and daughters, and sisters will be able to live together harmoniously. Sometimes hedgehogs can get along for a long time and suddenly fight and not be so peaceful anymore.
If you are housing two hedgehogs together, the cage should have two of everything; two hiding places, two food & water bowls, two wheels, two litter boxes… etc.
Of course, whenever you keep two hedgehogs together, you’ll want to make sure your cage is large enough. 2 feet by 4 feet wide is the ideal size for one hedgehog, two hedgehogs will need double that size or more, if possible.
Note on housing mothers with daughters:
Mothers go through a grumpy period when housed with their daughters as the daughters still want to nurse while the mom is done with that. Separating the mother for a few days will help solve this problem.
Housing Two Male Hedgehogs Together
This is an absolute no. You should never house two males together. They will fight. A lot of times, they will fight to the death.
There are very few people who have been able to successfully cage males together.
Hedgehog Quarantine Period
How devastated would you be if you just bought a new hedgehog and a few days later you find that your old hedgehog is now sick or has mites?
I’m sure you don’t want that to happen; that’s why quarantine is important. Each of your hedgehogs has unique bacteria on them that the other hedgehog is probably not accustomed to which could make it sick. You don’t want to put those bacteria in the same cage all at once.
It doesn’t matter whether you bought your hedgehog from a breeder or pet store, you should still keep them apart for a month.
(Read about buying from pet stores vs. breeders here.)
In this one month, keep your two hedgehogs in different cages, if possible in different rooms. If you aren’t able to keep them in different rooms, you should at least keep them on opposite sides of the room.
What to do during the quarantine period:
• Wash your hands after handling one of your hedgehogs and before you handle the other.
• Change your shirt and other clothing that came in contact with your hedgehog before moving to the other. You could throw a sheet or receiving blanket over yourself when handling the other hedgehog.
• Wash your hedgehogs’ equipment separately for the first few weeks.
• Handle your new hedgehog LAST!
Why Is Quarantine Important?
Other than what I already mentioned about illnesses:
1. It gives you 30 days to observe your hedgehog and learn what is normal for him/her.
2. It is the time it usually takes for a hedgehog to get used to a new food.
3. It helps the two hedgehogs get used to each other’s bacteria which travel through the air.