Hedgehogs are solitary animals. They prefer spending alone with themselves instead of choosing a company to enjoy their time. Most of the time, initially, hedgehogs get very nervous around humans and other hedgehogs too.
Two male hedgehogs cannot be together in a litter box together because they prefer to live alone and fight for dominance if they are left in the company of each other. The question here is, do hedgehogs want attention? Do they need attention?
We love petting our animals. Most of the owners treat their pets as their babies after adopting them. Hedgehog owners ask the same question.
Do hedgehogs like to be held? Can they hold and cuddle their hedgie like any other pet without their pet getting nervous or anxious? The answer is yes.
Hedgehogs like to be held and like when they are petted and cuddled like any other pet. But hold on, there are a few circumstances that we have to look at before we unveil how and when you should pet and cuddle your hedgie as its owner.
How Do I Know That My Hedgehog Is Comfortable Around Me?
Hedgehogs take their time bonding with their owners. They regard their owners with suspicion until they are sure that there is not threatening them or their existence.
It has been discovered that holding your hedgehog in your hands and petting them while sitting at your palm is one of the best ways to bond with your hedgehog.
Do not cuddle your hedgehog during the initial stages. Let the hedgehog make itself familiar with the place, environment, and most importantly you. Start with holding your hedgehog in your palms first and give them a forward rub on their back. A forward rub means rubbing their back from the top of their head to their tail.
Rubbing a hedgehog’s back backward can be a problem for you. The problem that arises from backward rubbing is that the hedgehog’s quills will rise from their sides, and their pointy spikes will end up hurting you.
Once your hedgehog becomes very comfortable in your palms, you can deduce that your hedgehog has become familiar with you and feels comfortable and safe around you.
Dos And Don’ts of Holding a Hedgehog:
Now that you know how to establish a warm connection with your hedgehog, you need to know the tactics that come with handling a hedgehog.
1. Do not hold your hedgehog when you just adopted it.
If you have adopted your hedgehog very recently or have just brought it home from the store, make sure that you avoid holding it or petting it for a while. Initially, the hedgehog will be very anxious around you. Their quills rise to protect them and act as a strong shield and a defense mechanism.
Hedgehogs need quite a lot of time to familiarize themselves with their owners. Unless the hedgehog recognizes you, it will consider you as suspicious and a threat towards itself.
2. Friendly gestures will help you bond with your hedgehog.
Hedgehogs take their time bonding with their owners. Some experts and researchers say that the amount of time that you spend your hedgehog impacts your bond with your pet. The more time you spend with your pet, the less time it will take for your pet to be familiar with you.
One of the friendliest gestures you can offer to your hedgehog is, offering them nutritious and yummy food that they might like to consume.
3. Use the hedgehogs smelling capability to ensure that it is familiar to you.
Hedgehogs have weak eyesight; they cannot see and memorize anything that relies on their ability to see. But to make up for their weak eyesight, hedgehogs have a powerful sense of smell. They can smell things from afar and memorize foods, their paths, how to their wheel, how to reach to their litter box, and the way to you through their sense of smell.
Once the hedgehog remembers your smell and becomes familiar with it, the hedgehog will have more minor issues bonding with you.
Helpful Tips When Holding Your Hedgehog:
- Try holding your hedgehog gently from the sides. Make sure that you are not touching the hedgehog’s belly. Hedgehogs do not like to be touched in the area that covers their belly. Instead of becoming friendly, your hedgehog can become angry with a belly touch.
- If your hedgehog refuses to be held, you should let it be and try some other time. If you force your hedgehog into being held, your hedgehog will become rebellious and angry.
- If you feel scared of the hedgehog’s quill, you can try holding your hedgehog with a soft towel that can act as a barrier between your skin and the hedgehog.