Names for Pet Hedgehogs, Porcupines, and Tenrecs

Updated on July 25, 2019
Melissa A Smith profile image

Melissa cares for a variety of exotic animals and has completed a certificate in veterinary assisting and a bachelor's degree in biology.

Picking a name for an animal like a hedgehog or porcupine can be an amusing venture. These distinctive and personable animals have unusual characteristics that provide the opportunity for some interesting name selections.


What Is a Tenrec?

Tenrecs look like hedgehogs but are classified in their own family. Their quills are shorter and more blunt than hedgehogs'. They are native to Madagascar and parts of the African mainland. These animals are unique for having the second-lowest body temperature of all mammals after the sloth. In captivity, common and lesser tenrecs are kept as pets. They are sold for around $700.

Names With the Word 'Quill' in Them

Quill Smith
Harley Quill
Two Lesser Tenrecs being gently handled by their keeper
Two Lesser Tenrecs being gently handled by their keeper | Source

Names of Animated Hedgehog and Porcupine Characters

  • Lou and Penny are porcupines from the Dreamwork's film Over the Hedge.
  • Sandlash and Shaymin are Pokemon that look like hedgehogs.
  • Sonic is a popular hedgehog videogame character. Amy Rose is Sonic's hedgehog girlfriend and Knuckles is an echidna.
  • Koopa is the name given to turtles in the Super Mario Brothers video games. Some koopas, called spinies (Spiny) have spikes protruding out of their back.
  • Flaky is a porcupine from Happy Tree Friends.
  • Ash is an African Crested Porcupine from the Illumination film Sing.
  • Morkubine Porcupine is an animated character from the Disney film Chicken Little.

Have you heard of pet tenrecs?

See results

Can You Really Own a Porcupine as a Pet?

Yes! The species most often kept in captivity in order from the most common to less common are:

  1. African Crested Porcupine
  2. North American Porcupine
  3. Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine
  4. Palawan Porcupine (Philippines)

Just as you might have guessed, they can't be cared for like a typical guinea pig or rabbit. These are large rodents with large housing requirements.

African crested porcupines are one of the largest rodents in the world. Their quills, unlike those of porcupines in the Americas, do not attach into the skin with backward-facing barbs. All porcupines have an odor, but Old-World porcupines are said to smell less than New-World porcupines according to owners.

Names That Are References to the Way Hedgehogs Look

  • Brillo
  • Daisy (like daisy anemone cactus)
  • Mr. Needles (also the name of the dog in George Lopez)
  • Pincushion
  • Pine Cone
  • Pokey (also a Super Mario Brothers enemy)
  • Prickly Pear (a type of cactus)
  • Puff (like porcupine puffer)
  • Rose (a beautiful plant with thorns, perfect for a feisty female!)
  • Spike
  • Splinter
  • Saguaro
  • Sticky
  • Sweet gum (their seed pods have a spiny appearance)
  • Thumbtack
  • Urchin

Names for Animals With Unique Coloration or Patterns

Patches (pinto)
Light colored
White or Albino
Cookie Dough
Sweet Ceam
Butter Milk
Water colors

Legality of Porcupines, Hedgehogs, and Tenrecs

Unfortunately these animals are not legal to keep in all states and cities. Hedgehogs are illegal as pets in California and Pennsylvania, and they require a special permit in Maine and New Jersey. Porcupines are not legal in even more states, as you may have guessed, due to being highly uncommon animals. Tenrecs tend to be illegal in states that have 'approved species' lists, especially since very few people have heard of them.

These animals should not be illegal in any state. They do not pose any conceivable threat to public safety, there is a low risk they will escape and survive outdoors to establish feral populations, and no severe zoonotic diseases are associated with them.


Are Porcupines Dangerous?

Porcupines have quills that are unlike those of hedgehogs and tenrecs. North American porcupines have barbed quills that can latch into skin and sink deeper while being difficult to remove. However, captive-bred porcupine are not 'wild animals'. If they are not startled, they are calm and their quills are not raised. They can even be petted as long as you pet in the direction the quills are going.

Of course, porcupine owners should have some experience with exotic animals and understanding their behavior to avoid sparking aggression that can lead to getting stuck with a quill. In general, hand-raised porcupines have decent dispositions. Their highly protected bodies might also contribute to this.

More Porcupine Names

  • Cinnamon
  • Coco
  • Cosmo
  • Dill Prickles
  • Hazel
  • Hedgie
  • Puddles
  • Solace
  • Sprinkles
  • Wind Chime
  • Wanda

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

  • What family are hedgehogs in?



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    • profile image

      Jason D 

      4 months ago

      The suggestion for the name “Sandlash” is missing an S. It’s “Sandslash.” Nerd.

    • profile image

      olivia dahmes 

      15 months ago

      I love hedgehogs!...

    • profile image 

      2 years ago

      Are tenrecs legal in the state of Colorado to have as pets ?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      New Hampshire has legal tenrecs despite having an approved species list. They're also the only New England state that allows any species of crocodilian as pets.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      3 years ago from New York

      I've been trying to get a prehensile-tail since last year. One popular dealer dropped contact with me right when I was about to send them the money. I'm waiting to hear from another. The fates seem intent on blocking it. Now I am really low on funds due to recent enormous vet expenses for my beloved dog.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Do you have any of these Ms. Smith?


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