Are Hedgehogs Legal in North Carolina?

If you’re a fan of cute and quirky pets, it’s no surprise that hedgehogs have caught your attention. With their spiky exteriors and adorable faces, these small mammals make fascinating companions. However, if you reside in North Carolina or plan to move there, it’s essential to know the legalities surrounding owning a hedgehog as a pet.

As with any state, laws regarding exotic pet ownership vary widely. In the case of hedgehogs in North Carolina, they are classified as “wild animals” since they are not native to the United States. The state has specific rules regarding keeping wild animals as pets.

Prior to 2010, it was illegal to own a hedgehog in North Carolina without proper permits or licenses due to concerns about potential ecological damage and threats posed by invasive species. However, regulations were updated following careful study and consideration.

In October 2010, North Carolina Animal Welfare Act was revised to remove the ban on possessing certain exotic animals including hedgehogs. This change allowed residents of North Carolina over the age of 18 years old to legally keep hedgehogs as pets without permits or licenses.

It is crucial for prospective owners to research local regulations thoroughly before getting a pet hedgehog since legislation can change over time.

Owning any pet requires responsibility and knowledge about their care needs. Here are some vital points that every aspiring hedgie owner should consider:

  • Living Environment: Hedgehogs should have a spacious enclosure with proper bedding, hiding spaces, and exercise wheels. They are solitary creatures and often prefer solitude.
  • Diet: A balanced diet for your hedgehog consists of commercial hedgehog food, supplemented with occasional insects, cooked meats, and fruits. Fresh water should always be available.
  • Grooming: Hedgehogs need regular nail trims and occasional baths to stay clean and healthy.
  • Veterinary Care: Finding a veterinarian experienced in exotic pet care is essential. Regular check-ups help ensure your hedgehog’s well-being.

Owning any pet comes with advantages as well as challenges. Consider the following pros and cons before deciding whether owning a hedgehog is right for you:


  • Hedgehogs are relatively low-maintenance pets compared to dogs or cats.
  • Their unique appearance makes them fascinating companions that can quickly become the center of attention among family members or friends.
  • Hedgehogs are generally quiet animals that won’t disturb neighbors or housemates with excessive noise.