Hedgehogs, just like other animals, express themselves in so many ways. Hissing is one of the sounds that are related to snakes, as well as, hedgehogs. While this is natural, many hedgehog owners find it difficult to understand why hedgehogs hiss and what it means.
So, why is your hedgehog hissing at you? Generally, hissing is a defensive behavior that hedgehogs use to indicate that they are scared or anxious instead of being aggressive. It’s not uncommon for a hedgehog to hiss whenever it’s in a new environment and overwhelmed by the new changes it experiences. Simply put, hissing is a way for a hedgehog to communicate that it’s scared or anxious. In other scenarios, when a hedgehog hisses, it means that it is quite irritated at you or any other animals nearby. Finally, a pet hedgehog will hiss if its cage is disrupted or whether a predator approaches it.
Getting a better understanding of why your hedgehog hisses are the first step in ensuring that your hedgehog remains calm and comfortable. Instead of thinking that your hedgehog is mean or aggressive, it’s important to think of hissing as a sign of being scared or shy. Read on to find out how to make your hedgehog comfortable and stop hissing.
How Do I Get My Hedgehog To Stop Hissing?
While hissing is pretty common for hedgehogs, it’s crucial to know the reason why your hedgehog is hissing. Normally, hissing is a sign of aggression and fright or even basic quilling.
So, how can you stop your hedgehog from hissing? Finding out why your hedgehog is hissing is instrumental in stopping your hedgehog from hissing at you. For instance, if your hedgehog is hissing due to a change in environment, you will be in a better position to stop the hissing by developing a formidable relationship with your hedgehog. While this might sound easy, making your hedgehog comfortable by socializing with it can be a daunting task.
Whenever your hedgehog is grumpy and scared, it’s of utmost importance to keep in mind that they heavily rely on scent while developing a bond. This is mainly because hedgehogs don’t rely heavily on sight, unlike other animals. Since they are well adapted to smell, hedgehogs can use smell to differentiate between people. Therefore, to bond well with your hedgehog, ensure to get him used to your smell.
Typically, for your hedgehog to get used to your smell, you’d better avoid changing your smell. For instance, you should make a point of maintaining the same soap, body wash, lotion, and laundry soap. While you are at it, it would be best if you avoid using strongly scented soaps and lotions as you try to develop a bond with your hedgehog.
Apart from the scent, hedgehogs are also highly sensitive to light, mainly due to their poor eyesight. Due to this, ensure to maintain a constant amount of light whenever you are with your hedgehog. For example, casting a shadow over your hedgehog’s cage by standing over the source of light will probably frighten him. Try to be aware of the source of light and avoid putting your hedgehog on a shadow whenever you pick him.
How To Interact With a Hissing Hedgehog
Apart from adapting to a new environment, your pet hedgehog can hiss due to many reasons. Regardless, you should ensure to ease your hedgehog by interacting with it. By doing this, you will be doing a lot in making your hedgehog comfortable and reassure your love for your companion.
But, how do you go about interacting with a scared and anxious pet hedgehog? Although this is not a walk in the park, it’s necessary. Here are different tips to guide you through the entire process.
Be patient in understanding how your hedgehog feels. Take time to know what triggered the hissing and do away with it. If your hedgehog is irritated or perplexed by the smells, sights, and sounds of the new environment, be patient to give it time to adjust to the new environment. In no time, your hedgehog will come around and fit well with the new environment.
Pamper Your Hedgehog Daily
Ensure to maintain contact with your hedgehog daily regardless of whether it’s hissing at you or not. Chances are that you may get frightened holding your hissing hedgehog. However, always remember that if you get scared, your hedgehog will pick up your fright, which will ultimately reinforce its behavior.
While at it, it’s important to maintain consistency in maintaining contact with your hedgehog. It is highly recommended to ensure that you hold your hedgehog every day for at least 30 days.
However, it would help if you considered the duration of time you hold your hedgehog. Sometimes, a grumpy hedgehog that is hissing may not feel comfortable to be held for more than 10 minutes, while others will feel better if they are held for a longer time.
Trigger Their Curiosity
Whenever your hedgehog is hissing, there is a high probability that he will curl up and cannot see what’s in front of him. However, since hedgehogs are naturally curious creatures, they will react to any reaction from you. By triggering their curiosity, you will make them uncurl and naturally relax.
Here are two main ways to trigger your hedgehog’s interest.
Use Food To Pique Interest
Pet animals are always accustomed to enjoying a particular food. Once you know what food your hedgehog loves best, you can then go ahead to entice him out of hissing. To do this effectively, ensure to use the flipping pick up method. This involves picking your hedgehog up first using a towel with their scent. Once your hedgehog is flipped over, use a pair of tweezers to grab a small number of treats and feed your hedgehog.
Due to the hedgehog’s curiosity, you can rest assured that it will fall for this trick. It will slowly start to uncurl. Generally, this method is effective for a grumpy hedgehog since you will be disturbing him from his sleep.
Change the Environment
Changing your hedgehog’s environment is also instrumental in triggering your hedgehog’s curiosity. Unlike enticing your hedgehog with treats, you will use the scooping pickup method while changing your hedgehog’s environment. Just pick up your hedgehog with some substrate or with a towel. If you decide to use a towel, ensure that it has the hedgehog’s scent.
Once you’ve picked up your pet companion, tilt him slightly and carefully with his head facing down. This will go a long way in piquing its interest with regards to where it’s heading. In any case, this should automatically put your hedgehog in exploration mode, and when he is in this mode, he will automatically uncurl a bit with his front legs sticking out first.
Once your pet is completely uncurled, slowly move him towards a flat surface, say a table, and slowly allow him to set his front feet down. After your pet is completely settled, place food in front of him within a distance close enough for him to see.
Generally, understanding your pet hedgehog is the best way of stopping him from hissing. While triggering your hedgehog’s curiosity is one way of making him stop him from hissing, you should also consider grooming and feeding your nutritious hedgehog foods. Remember that depending on the temperament of your hedgehog, one particular method may not work. Therefore, ensure to use different methods to ease your hedgehog out of hissing.
Pet Your Hedgehog
Hedgehogs are accustomed to reacting differently to different things by producing different sounds. A hissing hedgehog will most likely be distressed due to a change in environment or a sense of danger.
Whenever your hedgehog is hissing, ensure first to identify the cause of discomfort. This way, you will be in a better position to better manage and stop your hedgehog from hissing. Importantly, pet your hedgehog to make it accustomed to you and its new environment.
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