Pet parents are always trying their best to love and care for their pets. It can get quite confusing and even frustrating when the hedgehog you are doing your best to care for keeps trying to escape.
So, why does my hedgehog keep trying to escape? For baby hedgehogs, they will keep trying to escape to find their parents. For adult hedgehogs, they will keep trying to escape if their enclosure has too many irritating scents and when they are bored. Boredom occurs when a cage is not big enough to give a hedgehog room for exploration. The lack of a wheel in the cage can also cause the hedge to get bored, causing them to escape.
Hedgehogs have a unique personality; therefore, taking care of them requires a deeper understanding of their character. Read on to understand why your hedgehog runs away from you, why it’s scared of you, and how long it will take your hedgehog to get used to you.
Why Does My Hedgehog Run Away From Me?
Before delving into why the hedgehog is escaping, you must acknowledge that every hedgehog is different, and every individual hedgehog has its unique traits. Therefore, there are several reasons why your hedgehog may run away from you.
Your hedgehog may be running away from you because you changed your scent, or because it’s terrified of the noise from your feet, or other pets when you approach it. Hedgehogs are super sensitive to scents; they recognize you by your scent. If you change your scent too often, they might run away from you since they do not recognize you. Therefore, maintaining uniformity in the scents you wear makes them feel very settled.
The foot traffic and noise from the people and other pets around you when you approach may be frightening your hedgehog. Hedgehogs naturally fear just about everything. Also, since their eyesight is not too good, all their other senses are hyperactive.
Apart from puffing, hedgehogs also escape their predators. The unsettling environment may cause your hedgehog to run away when you or anyone approaches it.
Hedgehogs are very accomplished in their ability to escape and hide and finding an empty cage when you expect to see your little bundle of quills can be very scary. To reduce the risks of injury, always hedgehog-proof your house.
Get rid of any dangerous items that your hedgehog may escape out to, such as vents and doggie doors. Place foam blocks and other barriers across such areas. Create a habit of closing the doors to rooms that have potential hazards.
If you find out your hedgehog has escaped, refrain from panicking. Calmly check areas that your hedgehog might want to take a nap in, check behind boxes and shelves too. If they are still missing after checking the prominent places, place a water dish and some food near their cage area.
If you notice the food and water missing, that’s an assurance that your pet is around, alive, and doing well. You can then close off each room by placing the food and water; this will help you narrow down where your hedgehog is hiding.
Why Is My Hedgehog So Scared of Me?
It is not unusual for new owners to raise a concern about their hedgehog being scared of them. Considering they are sensitive pets; you need to be extra cautious when taking care of one. Therefore, it’s important to understand what may be causing your hedgehog to be scared.
Your hedgehog may be scared of you if you pet it too much or if you try to stop them from running, which can cause them to feel like you’re limiting their freedom. It may also just be shy and afraid of interaction. Hedgehogs are often born shy; however, some eventually conform and warm up to interaction, while others will still react to sudden sounds and movements. Once you acknowledge that they might just be shy, you’ll learn to accept that they are not scared of you and you’ll learn how to respect their space while still interacting with them.
Also, you may scare your hedgehog if you keep petting it without their consent. They’ll likely ball up each time they notice you’re approaching. Many hedgehogs do not like having their quills petted. Therefore, you need to take time to find out what your hedgehog likes and what they dislike so that way they won’t be put off or scared of your interaction.
Stopping your hedgehog when they try to run away from you, or something may scare your hedgehog. For the hedgehog, it would feel a lot like you’re limiting their freedom. Provided you are in your hedgehog’s safe room, allow your little friend to run around and explore. Eventually, they will tire themselves up and get back into their cage.
Your hedgehog dislikes being handled and is not the cuddly kind. You may want the hedgehog to cuddle, but it simply does not want to. This does not necessarily mean that it is scared of you, it just doesn’t want to cuddle. The domestication of hedgehogs began way later than with most pets. Therefore, expect them to be a little bit more protective of their spaces.
How Long Will It Take My Hedgehog To Get Used To Me?
To enjoy your experience with hedgehogs, you will need to take a minute to adjust your expectations. That said, there are a few milestones in terms of how your hedgehog responds to you that may imply they are warming up to you.
Depending on how you relate with them and the trait of your hedgie, it may take a few weeks to months for it to get used to you. However, most of them are naturally cautious and quite fearful. Therefore, it may even take a whole year to form that bond fully. You will need to get to know your hedgehog, build a bond with them, and allow them the treatment they wish. The bond won’t magically come in a week or two; Hedgehogs are not pets people would refer to as affectionate; some, a minority to be precise, may turn out affectionate, though
Irrespective of their traits, consistency is key in bonding, and earning their trust will make your hedgehog warm up to you. The key is to put effort into helping them trust you. Start small, like talking to them slowly; it helps them learn your voice.
Once the activities you do together become a routine that they love, they will slowly warm up to you. If your hedgehog is playing around, allowing you to bathe them and doing other activities, then they’ve already warmed up to you and your home.
Every hedgehog has a different and unique personality. Shy hedgehogs give you a challenge and opportunity to task yourself with finding activities that both of you can enjoy.
What To Do When Your Hedgehog Escapes
Hedgehogs usually won’t go too far when they run away. If your hedgehog has escaped, take it easy and follow these simple steps.
When your hedgehog escapes, do not cause a lot of panic and commotion. Begin by checking areas immediately surrounding their cage. If you’re yet to find it, crank up the heat. Chances are that the apartment’s temperatures are lower than your hedgehog’s comfortable temperature. Bumping up the heat will minimize the risk of your hedgehog going into hibernation. If the temperatures are not favorable, your hedgehog may ball up and not move an inch; this would make it harder to locate them.
If you had shut the door to the room you had put your hedge in, then you luckily only have that one room to check. If the door was open, immediately shut all your exits, this helps you narrow down your locations. Check every corner of every room using an elimination process. Pay attention to the warm and dark corners; they are a hedgehog favorite.
Avoid running appliances until you locate your hedgehog. When moving furniture, take precautions to avoid hurting them accidentally. If you still can’t find them, you can lure them with foods that have a strong scent to entice them.
A great trick is sprinkling some flour over newspapers then placing the food in the middle. Hopefully, you’ll hear the crackling of the newspaper and locate your little buddy.
Try making some noises in the process of searching for hedgie. Make some loud taps; your hedgehog might just respond in a huff and give their hiding place away. You can also turn the lights off and wait for them to come out to the darkness.
As long as you are taking proper care of your hedgehog, do not overthink their escapades; the little creatures are merely demonstrating their natural mountaineering skills through running up your stairs and rooms.
After several of those escapes, you can plan to prevent any form of tragedy or harm to them when they are up and about in their little escapades. If they have escaped and you can’t locate them, all you need is to figure out their hiding spot or just wait for them to show up.