Hedgehogs are small pets; nevertheless, they need that extra care and happiness. As a pet owner, your goal is always to keep your pet happiest. Therefore, you need to be in a position to keep your hedgie happy and tell when it’s moods have changed.
So, how do I know my hedgehog is happy? The typical sign of happiness is often the chirps and whiffles it makes when you pick the hedgehog up to feed it. When relaxed, you might also note that the hedgehog will have splat out, quills flat, almost always accompanied by a happy sigh. However, telling if a hedgehog is happy will also depend on the hedgehog; they all have different personalities.
Unlike other pets like dogs and cats, hedgehogs aren’t the easiest to tell if they are happy. It takes having stayed with hedgehogs before and interacting long enough to understand how the tiny creatures express their feelings truly. Read on for signs that your hedgehog is happy, how hedgehogs show affection, how long a hedgehog will take to know you, and how you can bond with your hedgehog.
Signs That Your Hedgehog Is Happy
If you’ve recently added a hedgehog to your life, you’re probably hoping to make it happy. Once you’ve provided it with all its basic needs, you may be wondering if it’s content and happy. Here are some behaviors that you may see your hedgehog doing that can hint to you that they are happy.
When awake, a happy hedgehog will make happy noises, explore your house, scuttling all over while sniffing things. This signifies that they are healthy and in a good mood. Sometimes, you will see it doing some laps in its cage, running under and over everything, eating a little, then back at running, causing havoc where it can; your hedgehog will do that when happy.
Happy hedgehogs show it by the way they sleep. For instance, when cuddling or just sleeping by themselves, you might notice your pet sighing deeply, relaxing the whole of its body. They might even stare at you with sleepy eyes in the process. Their ability to sleep well and in a relaxed manner shows is a sign of their elated mood.
You can also tell a happy hedgehog by the kind of noises they are making. A hedgehog, especially a baby hedgehog, may chirp, quite similarly to the chirp of a bird. Such a sound is the sound of happy and healthy hoglets that are calling for food.
A happy hedgehog will allow and tolerate you handling it. It’s rare to find a cuddly hedgehog. So, a hedgehog might not completely warm up to you but will tolerate your handling, which shows they are happy and comfortable with your interaction. If it gets huffy and hissy every time, you try and pick it up; well, those are its natural instincts and means that you still have some more bonding to do.
Snoring at night is a sign your hedgehog is happy. Hedgies have a cute little snoring noise that usually indicates that they are enjoying a peaceful sleep. If they make this sound during the day, you might want to get that checked since it may signal that they are having trouble breathing.
When your hedgehog is happy, it will seem more relaxed, comfortable in your home, and around you. If you provide your pet with the essentials like a wheel, enough room in its cage, and regularly take it out of the cage for cuddles, stimulations, water, and food, they are most probably happy.
It is essential to acknowledge that hedgehogs are naturally not as emotionally expressive as we would want them to be the same applies to showing happiness. Hedgehogs are naturally shy and timid because they are protecting themselves from predators
Are Hedgehogs Affectionate Pets?
Pet owners love to establish a friendship with their pets. For pets such as dogs and cats, this friendship is usually mutual, and the pet will equally grow fond of their owner. Whether hedgehogs are affectionate or not, we understand it is a matter of concern that requires attention.
Hedgehogs are affectionate animals. How much affection a pet hedgehog shows you is dependent on its past and personality. Some hedgehogs are very affectionate and will even kiss or nibble their owners most of the time, while others will rarely do this.
Also, hedgehogs will display affection to their owner once they become used to them. When new, a hedgehog will hiss and huff if you try to hold them but will become friendlier once they discover you have good intentions for them.
They will also be more affectionate when they feel threatened, especially when a new person tries to hold them or during a vet visit. In these cases, your pet will come near you and try holding your hands for you to protect them.
How Do Hedgehogs Show Affection?
While they are wonderfully fascinating creatures with quite the intelligence, hedgehogs are solitary animals that will often prefer keeping their own company. You may be wondering whether your hedgehog can show affection.
Hedgehogs show affection to their owners through certain unique actions such as poking their head out of the hiding place once they hear your voice. Some may also lay spread out, fully relaxed when snuggling with you, as pointed out earlier. Also, if your hedgehog has a particularly social nature, they may express affection by waiting at the front of their cage when awaiting you. Most hedgehogs will become accustomed to particular schedules, for instance, waiting for you during their regular playtime.
Some hedgehogs will go all the way and even offer their owners some nose kisses and nibble them affectionately while some will huff as an acknowledgment when handled. Personalities play a significant role when it comes to how affectionate hedgehogs are.
When your hedgehog stops puffing and hissing, that’s a sign of them being affectionate by trusting you. You can tell your hedgehog is enjoying your company when their quills aren’t always straight when you are around them.
Hedgehogs show the most affection when they are in threatening situations, for instance, during a vet visit or any unknown person attempting to hold them. In these scenarios, you’ll find your hedgehog trying as hard as they can to stay near you in search of your protection. In such situations, they show affection by trusting you with their life.
As the hedgehog realizes that you aren’t a threat, they will start to become friendlier. At the beginning of your journey with the hedgehog, you must acknowledge that they will take their time to embrace and accept the new surrounding and new owners. Expect them to huff and hiss when you hold them before they slowly begin to warm up to you
How Long Does a Hedgehog Take To Get Used To You
Once you’ve taken your hedgehog home, you’re probably looking forward to bonding with your new pet. So, how long will this take?
There isn’t a definite timeline of when your hedgehog can take to get used to you. Your behavior towards the hedgehog is also a significant determinant of how long it will take to get used to you. You became the hedgehog’s familiar anchor when you chose them. Therefore, right from the start, spend time with your hedgehog. Allow them to sleep while curled up in a blanket while on your lap.
The first two weeks you spend with your hedgehog are the most important determinants to shaping their reception to you and how long they will take to get used to you. Just remember that they are in a new environment and are beginning to learn to trust you. The hedgehog is also adjusting to the scary and exciting combinations of smells in their new home. Expect them to ball up more often and take their time to unball.
How Can I Bond With My Hedgehog?
Bonding with your hedgehog will help create an attachment between the both of you. The more the attachment between you and the hedgehog, the more you grow a love for each other. Bonding with your hedgehog will require effort, persistence, and a better understanding of hedgehogs.
To bond with your hedgehog, appeal to their powerful sense of smell, their sensitivity to smell, and their sense of touch. Your pet hedgehog will slowly get used to your scent, the sound of your voice, and enjoy special snuggling time with you. These pets have poor eyesight, so bonding with them via their senses will raise the effectiveness of all your efforts to bond.
You can bond with your hedgehog by letting them get used to your scent. Hedgehogs have a powerful sense of smell. One way to achieve this is by sleeping in your t-shirt for several days or wear it for a full day, then without washing it, drape it over the hedgehog’s cage.
You can also look for a fleece small enough to fit your pet’s cage, sleep with it for a few days then put it in their sleeping area. When the pet is still warming up to you, it’s better if you avoid trying out new perfumes, lotions, or scents. A fresh smell may disguise your original scent that the hedgehog was warming up to and confuse them.
Regularly talking to your hedgehog helps it bond with you by growing familiar with your voice. To increase this effectiveness, speak to your hedgehog during snuggle, holding, and bathing time, among other fun activities; this makes them associate your voice with enjoyment and comfort.
An easy way to bond is during their sleep and snuggle time. To achieve this, place your hedgehog on your lap for about an hour when watching tv or reading. You’ll notice your hedgehog uncurling and attempting to explore on its own after a few minutes.
If your hedgehog takes a little longer to relax, just be patient with them. You may also hold it against your chest with your hand so that it can enjoy your warmth. Refrain from trying to pet a shy hedgehog. It will likely relax and then come out on its own.
However, some irritable behaviors may limit how well your hedgehog bonds with you. When a hedgehog is accustomed to complete silence, general noises like the opening and closing doors may irritate them.
Hedgehogs are naturally very sensitive to sounds. You’ll even notice the prickle or ball up when they hear a loud noise. You can play music from time to time, the talking sounds, and music on the radio will provide constant noise, which makes new sounds and noises less obstructive.
If you’re still feeling unaware of their mood and affection, you may try playing with your buddy. Sit your hedgehog on the floor in a hedgehog safe area or room. Instead of touching it, allow the hedgehog to figure you out on its terms. Stay still and let them explore you like a mountain, do this routinely; they’ll get used to you.
Do Hedgehogs Feel Love?
Loving your pet and knowing that it feels and appreciates the love you are giving it can be motivating. You may end up keeping more pets if you know they can feel the love you are showing them.
Hedgehogs have emotions and will feel love. While only a few studies have been conducted on hedgehogs considering they are new in the pet industry, their findings show that these pets can also feel sadness. Hedgehogs can equally feel sad, and when they notice you are sad, they will try to console you by stopping their hissing and might even sit on your lap to comfort you.
While hedgehogs can love their owners and run to them every time, they see them, these pets are solitary, and they prefer to live alone and are very independent. Without proper care, they will never be interested in your attention and will continue with their normal hedgehog behavior.
If you want your hedgehog to trust you, you need to be nice to them by feeding and bathing them often. You should also initiate physical contact by cuddling your pet, but you should be gentle while doing this.
Alternatively, put your pet on your lap and spend time with it while watching or working on your projects. You should also maintain their enclosure clean and check the conditions to ensure your pet’s comfort.
While doing all these, you should talk to your pet, and it will relate your voice with good things such that when you call them, they will not hesitate but run happily to you.
Above all, just appreciate that your pet is unique and very accustomed to enjoying solitude. Provided you are doing all the necessary things to keep them happy, they are probably satisfied. If you have a busy schedule, then this pet is a great one to care for since they are less needy and are satisfied with basic animal care.
Hedgehogs are affectionate pets, and despite being solitary, they will show and feel love. They will also tell when you are sad and will try soothing you by sitting on your lap. If you treat them right, they will not only want to love it when you visit them in their cage but will also want to spend time with you outside their cage.