Names for Pet Hedgehogs, Porcupines, and Tenrecs
Do you have a pet with quills?
Picking a name for an animal like a hedgehog or porcupine can be an amusing venture. These distinctive and personable animals have unusual characteristics providing the opportunity for some interesting name selections.
What is a tenrec?
Tenrecs look like hedgehogs but they are not, being classified in their own family. Their quills are shorter and more blunt than hedgehogs. They are native to Madagascar and other parts of the African mainland. These animals are unique for having a lower body temperature than most mammals. Only a sloth has a lower body temperature. In captivity, common and lesser tenrecs are kept as pets. They are sold for around $700.
Names with the word 'quill' in it
Names from animated characters
- Lou and Penny are porcupines from the Dreamwork's film Over the Hedge
- Sandlash and Shaymin are Pokemon that look like hedghogs
- Sonic is a popular hedgehog videogame character. Amy Rose is Sonic's hedgehog girlfriend and Knuckles in an echidna.
- Koopa is the name given to turtles in 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?
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 African Crested Porcupine, North American porcupine, Prehensile-tailed porcupine, and Palawan porcupine from the Philippines. Just as you might have guessed, they can't be cared for like a typical guniea 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 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
Daisy (like daisy anemone cactus)
Mr. Needles (also the name of the dog in George Lopez)
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!)
Sweet gum (their seed pods have a spiny appearance)
Names for animals with unique coloration or patterns
White or Albino
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, 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.
- Dill Prickles
- Wind Chime
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?