They are small and prickly and are the very latest must-have pets.
Would-be owners are will happily wait up to a year and will travel any distance to get their hands on an African pygmy hedgehog.
The cute pets are a quarter of the size of a normal hedgehog and are fully domesticated and don't carry diseases or fleas.
They love being handled and rarely curl up in a defensive ball. The animals were first bred in captivity less than 10 years ago in America but have recently been introduced to the British pet market. Scroll down for more...
All the rage: the African pygmy hedgehogs were first bred in America 10 years ago
And because they are so rare and so unusual, people are queueing to buy them for £190 each.
Breeder Bonnie Martin, 35, said: "There are only eight serious breeders in the country and we can't keep up with demand.
"I have a waiting list that is 20 strong, which is about five litters and will take about a year to clear. One man in Edinburgh is waiting to pick one up.
"They are incredibly cute and can fit in the palm of your hand. They are just as cute as a hamster or a guinea pig but they have the added wow and novelty factor.
"They are a very easy pet to handle and cheaper to maintain than a cat." African Pygmy Hedgehogs are a cross between an Algerian and White Bellied hedgehog and were bred in the US about 20 years ago.
They are born pink and the most common colour is a chocolate brown, however it is possible to get albino varieties. Scroll down for more...
Energetic: The animals will cover up to eight miles a night on their little hamster wheels
Prickly character: The little hedgehog will set owners back up to £190 each
They grow to just two pounds in weight and eight inches in length and have a lifespan of between three and five years.
Unlike hamsters, they are carnivorous and feed on a diet of cat food, chicken, beef mince and turkey.
As they are nocturnal the cute critters come alive at night and can run up to eight miles a night on an exercise wheel.
Mrs Martin, from Fairford, Glos, started breeding them last year and has a 'stud' hedgehog called Mr Pig and four females, which produce two litters a year.
She said: "Mr Pig has fathered two very healthy litters already and I am waiting for more. "The males reach sexual maturity at five months and the gestation period for females is anything between 32 to 50 days. They normally produce three or four babies per litter.
"There is a popular misconception that all hedgehogs carry fleas, but that is only in the wild and just like a fox or badger would have them.
"The African Pygmy variety are much smaller than a normal hedgehog. Scroll down for more...
Cute: There are just eight African pygmy hedgehog breeders in Britain
"They are a very convenient pet because they sleep during the day when you are at work and wake up when you sit down in the evening.
"They aren't a problem at night. I have got three living in my bedroom and they don't bother me.
"They are shy creatures and you do have to put a lot of effort in into taming them. After that they won't tend to roll up in a ball because they are used to being handled." The current British population of African Pygmies is about 300, which are registered and have lineage certificates.
The new pygmy hedgehogs you can keep like a pet hamster | the Daily Mail