There are over 15 species of hedgehogs and not all of them can be kept as pets as some can be “not friendly”. African Pygmy is the most popular choice due to its friendly behavior, however, there are some other good options.
However, remember that like any other animal, hedgehogs take time to open up and get comfortable around new people. They may appear to be hostile or scared in the beginning. It’s a common occurrence and nothing to worry about.
Spend a bit of time with your pet and get to know each other to develop the bond. The trick lies in knowing what they adore, what makes them angry or upset, etc. You will find all of such information in this article. Let’s move on:
Table of Contents
1. Are Hedgehogs Friendly With Their Owners?
Pet hedgehogs are popular as they are generally friendly. However, it takes time for a hedgehog to become friendly with their owner.
Start off by feeding them with your hands. However, make sure to not wear gloves as it would restrict them from smelling your hands. Hedgehogs use smells to recognize people and their surroundings. Therefore, give your pet the chance to understand your scent.
It will take a week or two for your pet to get comfortable around you.
2. Are Hedgehogs Friendly With Other Pets?
Hedgehogs can mingle well with cats and dogs but you need to introduce them to each other.
Hedgehogs are tiny animals. Even if your pet dog is not hostile, it may end up harming the hedgehog while at play. This is why it is important to keep them under your watchful eye.
Tip: Notice the hedgehog’s behavior when other pets urinate or defecate. If it scares the hedgehog then you must make sure to keep your hedgehog away from such animals.
It takes time for a hedgehog to recognize other pets and become friends with them.
How To Introduce Other Pets To A Hedgehog: Never let a hedgehog roam freely in a room with other pets. Instead, keep them confined to their cage and place the cage at a considerable distance from pets such as cats and dogs.
It’s better to keep the cage in an elevated position so that other animals cannot reach it.
Allow the hedgehog and other pets to get familiar with each other. They will both get used to each other’s presence and learn to recognize scents. It can take about two weeks for both the animals to get comfortable around each other so make sure to be patient.
All in all, cats and dogs can turn out to be quite friendly with a hedgehog but you need to wait for them to develop a bond.
3. Can Two Male Hedgehogs Be Friendly?
Two males cannot be friendly to each other, especially if kept alone in the same cage. This is because hedgehogs are said to be jealous of each other and may try to get into a fight over food or area.
They may roam around freely in open space but never in the same cage unless there’s a border between them.
4. Can A Male Hedgehog Act Friendly With A Female Hedgehog?
Absolutely. It’s natural for opposite genders to attract each other. In fact, hedgehogs are known to mate and your female may get pregnant, so be careful before you keep a pair in a cage.
Check out this guide to know if a hedgehog is pregnant. You will have to take special care of a pregnant animal.
Tip: Do not place a young female hedgehog (under 5 months) with a male hedgehog. The mating experience can be too much for the female pet and she might not be able to bear the pain of breeding.
5. Steer Clear From Things That Upset Or Make Them Angry
Hedgehogs have a sensitive nature due to which they get scared easily. Loud sounds, too much light, and an unknown environment can make them uneasy and upset.
They anoint in such situations, hence make sure to be careful about how you behave around them.
Here are a few known things that upset hedgehogs:
- Strong scent.
- A male hedgehog in their cage.
- Not allowing them to sleep in the day.
- Not providing them with a preferable diet.
- Cold temperature.
- Loud sounds.
- A small cage that allows little to no movement.
- Poor hygiene condition.
- Touching their belly.
- Washing them with cold water.
Make sure that you avoid these things to keep your hedgehog friendly and playful at all times.
6. Provide Them With A Warm Environment
Hedgehogs do not like cold temperatures. If you live in a cold region, provide them warmth by installing a heating pad or a light bulb that maintains the temperature between 72-80 degrees.
You can also install new bedding to offer them comfort and warmth.
7. Do Hedgehogs Like To Play?
They do play but not like cats and dogs. You can’t expect your pet hedgehog to fetch the ball.
Their favorite activity is to run on a Ferris wheel. Hence, consider installing one in their cage. This will ensure they remain healthy.
Experts say that hedgehogs can gain a lot of weight if they do not run a lot. And overweight hedgehogs can easily get ill. This is a good reason to introduce a Ferris wheel so that your pet doesn’t end up getting obese.
Sick hedgehogs can easily get irritated and lazy. Therefore, take steps to ensure they remain healthy.
All in all, hedgehogs are friendly in nature but they require time to create a bond with the owner and get accustomed to the surroundings. Give your animal some time and you two will have a lot of fun together.