Hedgehogs and chinchillas have one obvious thing in common
They are both adorable!
But they are adorable in completely different ways.
And when you compare the chinchilla vs hedgehog in more depth, you notice more differences.
But also a surprising number of similarities.
However, it is the differences that are key.
They make one of these animals a much better pet than the other. Which one is better?
That actually depends on what you want from a pet. Keep reading for a detailed comparison of the hedgehog vs chinchilla that will help you figure out which of these adorable little creatures is the better pet for you.
- 1 Chinchilla Vs Hedgehog
- 1.1 The Chinchilla
- 1.2 The Hedgehog
- 1.3 Differences Between Hedgehogs And Chinchillas
- 1.4 Similar Between Chinchillas Vs Hedgehogs
- 1.5 Advantages Of The Chinchilla
- 1.6 Advantages Of Hedgehogs As Pets
- 1.7 Who Should Get A Chinchilla?
- 1.8 Who Should Get A Hedgehog?
- 2 Hedgehog Vs Chinchilla: Final Thoughts
Chinchilla Vs Hedgehog
We will begin our hedgehog vs chinchilla comparison by looking at each animal individually, before comparing them directly. The we will examine the advantages of each as a pet, before helping you figure out which one is the right choice for you.
Chinchillas in the wild inhabit the South American Andes Mountains. They are adorable, soft, furry, crepuscular rodents.
They make excellent pets, because they are friendly, affectionate animals that you can even train to perform tricks. Having a chinchilla as a pet can be highly entertaining, satisfying, and rewarding, and their curious and playful nature enhances this fact.
Chins are mostly herbivorous animals weighing between 400 and 600 grams. Their diet consists of hay, high-quality grass pellets, and certain fruits and vegetables in moderation. With proper care, captive chinchillas can live for 10 to 20 years.
Hedgehogs are small, spiny animals found in many corners of the world, including Africa, Asia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe. Their bodies have spikes resembling needles that safeguard them from predators.
Hedgehogs have become popular as pets due to their distinctive appearance. As pets, they require a lot of specialized care and attention.
They are mainly omnivores and can eat a wide range of foods. You can feed captive hedgehogs mealworms and crickets, as well as high-quality cat food. They weigh between 200 and 600 grams. With appropriate care, they can live for 5 to 8 years.
Differences Between Hedgehogs And Chinchillas
There are several notable differences between hedgehogs and chinchillas. Here are the most important tones.
- Appearance: Chinchillas have soft, furry bodies that make them alluring to cuddle. Hedgehogs have spiny bodies that can prick you.
- Habitat: Chins are native to the Andes Mountains in South America whereas hedgehogs are found on various continents, including Europe, Asia, and Africa.
- Sociable: Chinchillas are sociable animals that need other friendly chinchillas and humans to interact with. Hedgehogs, on the other hand, are solitary creatures that only become social during mating season.
- Activity: Chinchillas are crepuscular, so they spend most of their time active around dusk and dawn. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, so they spend the day sleeping and the night being active.
- Diet: Chinchillas are primarily herbivores – they eat grass, hay, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. Hedgehogs are omnivores – they need high-quality hedgehog food or cat food as well as mealworms and crickets to thrive.
- Lifespan: With a lifespan of 10-20 years, chinchillas live longer than hedgehogs who have a lifespan of just 5-8 years in captivity.
Similar Between Chinchillas Vs Hedgehogs
Chinchillas and hedgehogs also have a few similarities. Here are the most important ones.
- Size: Chinchillas and hedgehogs have similar sizes. These small pets do not weigh more than 600 grams. Chins are around 9-14 inches long, whereas hedgehogs are 4-12 inches long. Their compact sizes make them ideal for people living in small homes.
- Survival adaptations: Both animals have distinctive adaptations that help them live in the wild – Chinchillas have thick and dense fur that protects them from the cold, harsh climate. They also use a mechanism called fur slip to startle their predators. They do so by releasing their fur when trapped. Hedgehogs use their sharp spines to prick predators. They also roll into a ball to camouflage themselves from wild animals.
- Habits: While chinchillas are crepuscular and hedgehogs are nocturnal, both species are more active at night and sleep through the day. They are mostly silent creatures that make excellent pets for apartment dwellers, people working from home, students, etc.
- Popular as pets: Both chinchillas and hedgehogs are becoming more popular as pets. Their unique appearances combined with sweet antics make them adorable and interesting pets.
- Specialized care: As pets, both types of animals need special care. You must research each species’ diet, living conditions, veterinary care, etc. thoroughly before keeping one as a pet. For the chinchilla, might I suggest Planet Chinchilla for your research needs?
- Exercise needs: Both animals are prone to obesity and weight gain. As a result, you need to make sure they get at least an hour a day of exercise (preferably at night).
Advantages Of The Chinchilla
Chinchillas make great pets for all of the following reasons.
Unique And Interesting
Chinchillas are exotic, interesting, and unique animals. Their antics, habits, and behaviors will entertain you for hours. Their soft fur combined with their cute looks also make them cuddly, sweet pets.
Chins are fairly low-maintenance. They don’t need daily walks or grooming. You simply provide them with a dust bath, and they clean themselves.
With good care, chinchillas can live for almost two decades. This is a lot longer than most pets.
Chinchillas are intelligent, social creatures. They are also trainable. Chins can also show affection and love to interact with their owners. Check out our guide on how to train a chinchilla to perform some cool tricks.
Chins are mostly quiet during the day, because they are usually sleeping then. And although they are active at dusk and dawn, they are inherently silent animals and don’t make much noise.
That said, they can be a bit noisy at night sometimes, which is why it is best not to put their cage in your bedroom. But overall, their quiet nature makes them ideal for small apartments or people with neighbors close by.
Great For People With Allergies
Chinchillas are excellent pets for people with allergies. They do not have dander, unlike cats and most dogs. Most people with mild to moderate allergies may be able to be around chinchillas without suffering from allergy symptoms.
Advantages Of Hedgehogs As Pets
There are also several benefits to keeping a hedgehog as a pet.
Unique And Interesting
The spiky coat of a hedgehog, combined with their cute looks, make them unique and interesting pets. Hedgehogs are excellent climbers and great runners. They are also loyal and affectionate to their owners. They can even remember your scent and form a close bond with you.
They Are A Symbol Of Good-Luck
According to Egyptian mythology, hedgehog amulets represent good luck, rebirth, and abundance. Seeing a hedgehog is considered a sign of “good things to come.” Consequently, keeping a hedgehog as a pet might bring you good fortune!
Hedgehogs are low maintenance, because they don’t need daily walks, grooming, or baths. As long as you provide them with healthy food, shelter, and mental and physical stimulation, they should be fine.
Suitable For Apartment Dwellers
Hedgehogs are compact animals that don’t need much space. They are also silent, which makes them ideal for apartment dwellers, people who work from home, and students.
Who Should Get A Chinchilla?
The ideal owner of a chinchilla is someone who has deeply researched and done their homework regarding the care and maintenance of a chinchilla.
You should know about chinchillas’ dietary needs, dust baths, temperature settings, and their need for mental and physical stimulation. You should have the time, money, and resources to provide proper care and regular veterinary checkups.
A chinchilla owner should be willing to spend time training their skittish chinchilla. Many chinchillas take time to get accustomed to handling. Therefore, you need to be patient and should treat your pet with love and care.
You should be willing to keep two or more chinchillas, since these social animals need the company of their own kind. If you only have one, you need to dedicate at least an hour per day to socializing with your chinchilla yourself.
Finally, you need to understand that you will have to keep up with your chinchilla’s daily care for a long time, since captive chinchillas live for 10 to 20 years.
Who Should Get A Hedgehog?
Hedgehogs are unique animals with special needs. An ideal owner for a hedgehog is someone who has the time and resources for providing the hedgehog with the proper diet, environment, and medical care.
It is important to have studied the animal’s unique needs. You need to be patient and gentle with the animal and take time to create a bond of trust with your pet.
Finally, you should have the resources and the know-how to provide what the hedgehog needs – a warm and dry environment, special food, an exercise wheel, plenty of nesting and hiding areas, and more, along with daily physical and mental stimulation.
Hedgehog Vs Chinchilla: Final Thoughts
Comparing the chinchilla vs the hedgehog directly makes it clear that these are two very different animals and they make very different pets. But you can’t simply say that one is better than the other.
The one that is better for me (obviously the chinchilla) is not necessarily also going to be the one that is better for you. Hopefully this comparison has helped you figure out which one of these two adorable little animals is the right pet for you.
And if you are not sure either is right for you, we have other comparisons that might help. For example, we look at the differences between the chinchilla and sugar glider, the hamster and chinchilla, and we compare the chinchilla and the rat.