Hedgehogs might be sensitive and nocturnal animals who love to sleep all day but that doesn’t mean you can’t play with them when they’re awake.
In fact, it is essential that you play with them so that they remain healthy, fit and happy. Plus, spending time together will also strengthen the bond you two share. One of the most common ways to get a hedgehog physically involved is to install a wheel in the cage. This not only ensures they remain fit and not gain weight but also aids in food digestion. However, that’s not the only game your hedgehog can play, there are other ways to awaken their playful state.
Let’s talk more:
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Who says soccer is just for us? You can involve your spikey friend to join in as well.
Get a small ball that’s not very hard and see your hedgehog headbutt it all around the house. The ball must be very tiny so that the animal has no issue with it. If it’s too heavy or hard, your pet may end up getting injured.
To make it interesting, you can create two small goal posts and enjoy watching your little friend drag the ball all the way to the goal. It will obviously take some time for your pet to learn the art of ‘football’ but the animal will eventually learn. It’s best that you play with the pet – without touching him – so that the hedgehog knows what to do with the ball.
You can use your finger to score a goal and the hedgehog will eventually begin to replicate your actions.
Hide And Seek
Hide and seek is one of the hedgehog’s favorite games. In fact, they love to hide under carpets and behind curtains.
Hedgehogs are also known to burrow into soft things and sleep there. You can make a small mud puddle and place your hedgehog on it. It won’t be long before you’ll find it burrowing deep within. In fact, the animal may even prefer to stay there for a few minutes/hours.
It can be quite entertaining to watch the pet do this. However, you might not be able to join him in the game so only enjoy as a spectator. To take it up a notch, you can create a tunnel that has an entry and exit point. You can use plastic or paper to make it, however, paper may not be a good choice as it will not last long.
To make your hedgehog go through the tunnel, pass a toy into it. It’s best to use a toy that can be remotely controlled so that your hedgehog knows to follow the animal.
Playing With You
Some hedgehogs are scared of playing with objects and prefer interacting with humans. If your hedgehog falls into this category then you can play with it in the following ways:
- Feed it with your hands to cheer him up and strengthen the bond.
- Let the animal come into your lap, climb onto your hands. This would take a lot of time as the pet needs to bond with you first.
- Some hedgehogs are lazy and prefer to snuggle in your lap. Place them on your shoulder or your lap when you watch TV.
It is important that you wait to build a connection with your pet before you start any such activity. Check out this article for details on how to hold a hedgehog and what all you need to take care of.
The Game Of Sounds
Hedgehogs love to listen and respond to pleasant sounds. You can place the animal on a piano (if you have any) and watch him run over the keys.
However, remember that they do not like loud sounds as it can scare them, hence be careful.
A Critter Ball
It might sound scary to find your hedgehog inside a critter ball and exploring the home from the inside but the truth is that they love it.
Hedgehogs are lazy animals who don’t like to roam around on their own. Hence, a critter ball would cheer them up.
- You can get a large (12-inch) critter ball that can accommodate your lil friend inside. You can choose from either a transparent critter or a colored one. We’d recommend that you go for a clear critter ball so that you can watch over your hedgehog and see if it likes it.
- You can place the ball in their cage as well. This will help them get accustomed to it. The nature of a hedgehog restricts them from getting accustomed to new things, hence make sure to take things slow.
- Do not set your eyes off your pet when it’s inside the ball. It could pass down a flight of stairs or hit furniture.
Disposable Wooden Boxes
Hedgehogs love to play with wooden items. It may be a good idea to buy a pre-built wooden house and place it next to your pet’s cage. The pet will begin to interact with the house in no time.
We suggest you opt for a disposable box because hedgehogs poop can make them messy. Wooden items are hard to sanitize and wash, therefore, a disposable item may be a good option.
Walk And Touch
Take your pet out of the cage and let it smell your hand. Now, distant yourself from the animal (only a few feet) and place your finger on the floor. The hedgehog would smell your hand and walk all the way towards you.
Move your finger to a different spot as the hedgehog is about to reach you. Your pet will suddenly shift as well, making it fun and exciting to watch.
This game can also help the animal lose weight and be active.
Hedgehogs love to play with toys. Get a toy that’s safe for the animal, such as a furry ball. It should have no sharp edges.
Some hedgehogs love to play with colored objects while some have no color preference at all. See what your animal likes more and get him what he wants.
Ferret Treat Ball
A ferret treat ball gives out a treat when touched. You can place the ball at a distance and watch your hedgehog walk towards it and ram its head or paw to bring the treat out.
It may take the animal a while to grasp how the process works so be understanding. Hedgehogs are smart animals and quick to learn.
Stuffed animals can make your pet hedgehog happy. You can opt for a cat, dog, or teddy bear.
You can try big small toys as some animals may suggest a toy they can pull and play with and some prefer bigger stuffed toys. However, in most cases, hedgehogs prefer smaller stuffed toys as bigger ones can make them feel threatened and cause them to run away and hide.
They prefer to climb and snuggle with smaller soft toys.
How to Play With a Hedgehog: The Bottomline
Hedgehogs are playful creatures who enjoy playing with humans and toys. You can try different games with them and see what they enjoy the most. Your pet may take a little while to get the gist of a specific game, hence stay patient and allow your pet the time it needs to get accustomed to a new routine.