Top 10 Peculiar Pets

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Many think the surge in pet hedgehogs began with the release of the popular video game, "Sonic the Hedgehog" in 1991, and this is one fad that seems to have staying power. Hedgehogs are commonly mistaken for small porcupines, but the two species are not related. Hedgehogs can vary in size from .5 pounds to 1.5 pounds (.23 kilograms to .6 kilograms), with spines up to .75 inches (1.9 centimeters) in length.

Caring for This Pet

Hedgehogs are generally low-maintenance, gentle pets. Wild hedgehogs eat insects, but you can buy hedgehog mixes at pet stores that are specially formulated for these spiny creatures and supplement their diet with insects, like crickets, as treats. They need to be handled often while they are young to adjust to humans. For living conditions, The Hedgehog Welfare Society (HWS) recommends cages no smaller than 30 by 24 inches (76 by 60 centimeters) and at least 15 inches (38 centimeters) tall to accommodate exercise wheels.

Is This Pet Right for You?

It is illegal to own a hedgehog in some states, and in Washington D.C. and New York City, so check your city's and state's laws before purchasing one. You should also make sure you can locate a vet in your area that will treat hedgehogs. A hedgehog can make a good pet if you're committed to weekly weight checks to ensure it's not eating too much or too little, and plenty of one-on-one time. This is a pet that mostly sleeps all day and is up all night, so you'll also need to plan bonding time during odd hours.

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