Hedgehogs make great pets even though they are shy and have a protective nature. If you have acquired a hedgehog, get ready to put extra effort into a bond with your Hedgehog.
Difficult doesn’t mean hedgehogs don’t bond with their owners. On the contrary, once it recognizes your scent and touch, it will love you loads.
The main sign of bonding it will show is allowing you to hold it without spiking up. Then, slowly, it will also allow you into your personal space. That is the stage you need to work for patiently.
Read along to know the signs that you are bonding well with your Hedgehog. I have also given some ways to bond well that you can try with it.
Do Hedgehogs Bond With Their Owners?
Yes, Hedgehogs are very loving pets and bond well with their owners. The only issue is that they require more than standard time to bond. It is because they have very protective instincts.
If they sense any danger, they will straighten their spikes and start hissing. So, you need to understand it and put in personalized efforts.
You need to put extra effort into the initial phase. Once your Hedgehog is sure you pose no danger; you can bond without any fear. As hedgehogs have weak eyesight, triggering their other senses is the trick.
How to Tell if Your Hedgehog Likes You?
All your diligent efforts might be in vain if your Hedgehog doesn’t understand them. So, to make sure you don’t make this mistake, you must notify the signs your Hedgehog gives.
Some signs that your Hedgehog likes you are listed here.
1. Fewer Quills
A scared hedgehog straightens its quills. So, in the beginning, it will spike up more around you. So, if your Hedgehog has started to spike up lesser recently, it is a very positive sign.
Now you can try and touch it or go around it without scaring it, which means it has grown fond of you. It also produces more opportunities to bond.
2. Entry in the Cage
Hedgehogs generally don’t like anyone entering their cage. It will allow you to even touch its cage without objecting if it likes you.
You might need to carry it out of its cage to bond with it. So, this might be a sign even more important than letting you touch it.
3. Exploring Around
An excellent sign of your hedgehog liking you is when it starts climbing you. Don’t be surprised it is very natural.
If it’s just a little uncomfortable, it will keep sitting at one place in your hand or lap when you hold it. After it grows fond of you, it will move around you.
It will climb your shoulders, nib your hands, and shift positions. Take this as a very positive sign.
This sign is the most affectionate sign your Hedgehog can show. Very fond hedgehogs have a habit of rubbing against your hand or lap when you hold it. It can tickle you a little, but the Hedgehog completely loves it.
How to Bond With Your Hedgehogs?
Hedgehogs make good pets for many of their owners. However, they may require more attention, care, and effort to accustom them to your home surroundings.
Here are few ways you can follow to bond with your Hedgehog.
Hedgehogs sense your touch every time. So, trying to bond with a sense of touch can be a great start.
Before you touch your Hedgehog, make sure you wash your hands. Preferably, wash hands with the same soap, so it feels safe and comfortable in your hands every time.
A hedgehog should be handled delicately and with utmost care. The best position to pick it up is from belly down. After that, you can choose to hold it in your hands or lap according to its comfort.
It may create a mess once you touch it, but it’s completely normal, and you need not be scared. For better results, be patient with your Hedgehog as it is learning to grow comfortable with you.
It is the most important thing you need to keep in mind while touching your Hedgehog. Do not wear gloves as they may feel threatened. It will not be able to smell you and will not get comfortable.
As a result, it will take longer for you to bond with your Hedgehog.
The easiest way to bond with your Hedgehog is through smell. It has a strong sense of smell and recognizes its owner through the scent.
To make Hedgehog familiar with your smell, you can place your clothing in its cage. You should use the cloth; otherwise, it will smell of detergent.
The Hedgehog will soon know your body smell and will not create a mess when you approach it.
Also, ensure not to introduce a new scent on your body when you are with your Hedgehog. It will confuse Hedgehog and may get irritated. So, you should avoid trying new perfumes and essences for a while around it.
Hedgehogs may also recognize you through your sound akin to smell or touch.
You should try to talk to your Hedgehog when you are holding it, petting it, or bathing it. But, do not speak loudly, as Hedgehogs have a sharp hearing. So, it might get scared.
Once your Hedgehog starts getting familiar with your voice, it will be easier for you to bond and take care of it.
Hedgehogs, or any other pet, will forget your warmth if you do not regularly contact them.
Regular contact will keep them relaxed and comfortable when they are with you. The best time to hold or pet your Hedgehog is during the late evening hours.
You can let the Hedgehogs sit in your lap and let them discover you while you are watching a movie or working.
Don’t give up with your Hedgehog. Training more domesticated pets seems easies, but a hedgehog is a special pet. With the ways we have discussed, you can make that special relationship with it.
Don’t forget to keep monitoring the signs. Also, reward your pet every time it shows a positive sign to encourage that behavior.