Many hedgehog owners are very confused about finding friends or partners to enjoy their time with to make sure that they are not lonely. But the question they bring up here is, do hedgehogs need friends? Or are hedgehogs solitary?
The answer is yes; hedgehogs are solitary. They do not like living around a lot of people and having company around them all the time. If you own a hedgehog, you must have observed that a hedgehog tries to run away if you force the hedgehog to play around with other hedgehogs or any other pets.
The best option you can offer to your hedgehog is to raise and pet it individually without the company of another pet. The solitary is also referred to as the safest way to take care of a hedgehog.
Hedgehogs are seen to be quite social only during their breeding phase. Otherwise, they like loneliness and solitude.
Why Are Hedgehogs Solitary?
Hedgehogs take up a lot of time to warm up to humans. As pets, they like to wander around alone initially because they are cautious about the human interaction they receive. It is also observed that hedgehogs do not pay much heed to human affection.
They do not like being held a lot, or being petted like the other pets you might own. They take up a lot of time, around sixty percent more than the average time taken by other pets other than hedgehog breeds.
Are They Scared of Humans?
Hedgehogs can be scared of humans sometimes. They have very sharp and prickly quills in their bodies. They use these quills to defend themselves if they feel like a predator is approaching them.
When a new owner adopts hedgehogs, the hedgehog acts very vary and alarmed around them to ensure that the human is not a predator. Their spikes stand up when their new owner approaches them because they feel anxious and nervous around the new owners.
Some hedgehog owners say that they think that their hedgehogs were initially were threatened by them.
How Do Most Hedgehogs Try To Evade Human Affection?
Most hedgehogs have this habit of smearing their saliva all over their body. The smearing of saliva is often referred to as the hedgehog’s self-anointing technique or habit. They do this to avoid human touch and affection in any form.
Most hedgehog owners say that self-anointing is a sign from the hedgehogs that they do not want any human affection near them and enjoy their own company.
Do Hedgehogs Get Lonely?
No, hedgehogs never feel lonely while they are alone. It is recommended that you keep your hedgehog alone without any other pets. Solitude is preferred because hedgehogs can start fights if they do not get along with the other pet you have kept with them for their company.
They have quills that stand up when they need to fight. The spikes can cause serious damage to the other pet and injure them badly. It is highly advised that you keep your hedgehog alone without any pets or companions around it as a precaution.
Can I Keep Two Hedgehogs In One Cage?
Hedgehogs tend to accept companions sometimes. You must make sure that you are taking some necessary precautions before introducing another hedgehog to the hedgehog you have owned for some time.
It has been observed that female hedgehogs can easily live with another female hedgehog in harmony. On the other hand, male hedgehogs cannot be kept in the same cage as another male hedgehog because of their impulsive and aggressive nature.
Some Tips to House Hedgehogs Together
- Avoid keeping male hedgehogs together in one place. Keeping them in one place can lead to a fight where the hedgehog can leave any of your hedgehogs behind with serious injuries, and in some extreme cases, hedgehogs die due to extensive fights.
- Male hedgehogs fight other male hedgehogs due to their hunger for dominance. Both of the hedgehogs try to dominate each other, which usually results in a fight.
- It is better to house female hedgehogs with other female hedgehogs, although this is not recommended and guaranteed given hedgehogs’ solitary nature.
- If you need to pair your hedgehogs due to some difficulties, try pairing a young, naïve hedgehog with an older one. The mature and immature pair will minimize the chances of a fight between the two hedgehogs.
- Never pair a female hedgehog with a male hedgehog. A short interaction between the two can also lead to a fight.
- Make sure that you have a spacious cage if you plan on keeping two hedgehogs together. There must be plenty of space for both hedgehogs to sit around properly without bumping into each other. Ensure that there is enough food for two hedgehogs and lots of toys to keep both of them occupied without causing any fights.