Hibernation

It is thought that hedgehogs can curl up into a ball and stay that way for months at a time for hibernation, this may be true for European hedgehogs. Fluffy likes to sleep on her side during the day, in a soft warm place. We have given her a blue sleeping bag made of felt. If Fluffy gets cold, or experiences a sudden temperature drop, making her expect to be cold, Fluffy will attempt to hibernate. She will instinctively lower her body temperature and her immune system will stop in preparation for low-energy rest.

African pygmy hedgehogs can not actually hibernate and can not survive if left to be cold.

If Fluffy is cold to the touch, and/or sluggish, then she has had a hibernation attempt, and must be gently warmed up to normal body temperature (20-30degrees Celsius) as soon as possible. She will continue to be sleepy/sluggish after a hibernation attempt. Her immunity will also be less active, so leave her in her box (except for warming up if using body temperature) until she displays signs of her usual curious, eating and drinking self. To prevent hibernation attempts overnight, when the house is coolest, we have a microwavable hot water bottle to leave in her tank, under her sleeping bag. The heating instructions are on the pad itself and it stays warm for about 10 hours.