They are African Pygmy Hedgehogs and they are flying off the shelves at Cheshire Waterlife at Sandiway near Northwich where fashionistas are forking out £250 a time for the poshest of pets.
In fact would-be owners of the five-inch long mini-hedgehogs that come in colours ranging from albino to apricot and chocolate to salt ‘n pepper, are travelling from as far as Ipswich and Scottish borders to stake their claims.
“We’ve been astounded at the popularity of these cute little creatures,” said Cheshire Waterlife owner Steve Birchall. “I bought a number of the hedgehogs from a breeder who I met a few months ago little realising how popular they were set to become.
“Apparently they are all the range among the WAGS because they are cute, they love being handled and they will sit quite happily in a handbag. Whatsmore they are also inexpensive to keep, feeding on cat-food.
“And they’re obviously popular as we’ve seen customers travel the length and breadth of the country to get here and buy one.”
Cheshire based style-guru and etiquette expert Diana Mather said: “'These lovely little animals should make a perfect present for the trend setter who has everything. And they’re ideal for designer Mums to give to their children.
“The African Pygmy Hedgehog, is a delightful little creature which is increasingly seen gracing designer kitchens and peeping out from the handbags of our foremost fashionistas.'
'”Advising people on animal etiquette is becoming more frequent as new designer pets come on the market. Charming as African Pygmy Hedgehogs are, if you are going to tote them around in your handbag, it is good manners to ask whether your friends are happy to have them as an extra guest - especially if they have dogs in the house!”
For more information about Cheshire Waterlife’s African Pygmy Hedgehogs call 01606 882223 or click onto www.cheshirewaterlife.co.uk