The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Hedgehogs can seem very angry and grumpy at times, and this can seem like it is personal when it happens every time you handle your hedgehog. It can begin to feel like your hedgehog hates you, but is this true?
It can seem like your hedgehog hates you at times, but it is more likely that your hedgehog is scared of you as it is not used to you yet. Remember, hedgehogs are small animals that are hunted in the wild, so to your hedgehog, you are a big animal that could threaten its life; it will hiss at you.
What are some ways you can help your hedgehog get used to you and, in turn, like you? How exactly do you bond with your hedgehog? Let us find out!
Why Does My Hedgehog Hate Me?
It can be extremely easy to think that your hedgehog hates you, as they can act fisty and hiss when you pick them up or even come near them. But you need to remember that hedgehogs are small, prey animals that are anxious by nature as this is how they survive.
However, your hedgehog does not hate you when they do these “displays of aggression,” they are most likely just scared of you as, to them, you are a big animal that may try to hurt it. This will be the case if your hedgehog is new to your family and is not used to you yet.
You may have just startled your hedgehog when you tried to pick it up or walked past its cage as it is still trying to get used to its new environment. Hedgehogs take a long time to adjust to new things, so your hedgehog is probably just scared and trying to get accustomed to its new environment.
How to Make Your Hedgehog Like You
If your hedgehog is hissing at you, hiding away from you, or is scared of you, there are more than a few tactics you can use to try and win your hedgehog over and possibly make it like you. These methods are easy to implement in your routine with your hedgehog, so let us have a look through them.
Always Handle Your Hedgehog Properly
To help encourage your hedgehog not to be scared of you, you need to properly handle your hedgehog when you pick it up. You should never touch your hedgehogs’ spines in a weird way; for instance, rub them in the wrong direction, as this is uncomfortable for your hedgehogs.
Handle your hedgehog with care and respect, and do not touch its face as they rarely enjoy it. When you handle your hedgehog, always show confidence as they can sense when you are unsure of something, making them nervous.
Handle Your Hedgehog at the Right Times
You should handle your hedgehog either in the early morning or late at night, as hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and do not like to be woken up when they are still tired. Waking your hedgehog up to hold it can make your hedgehog grumpy, and it will hiss at you.
You need to handle your hedgehog when the hedgehog is also comfortable with it. Even if your hedgehog wakes up during the day, do not attempt to handle it; it will be grumpy, as it probably just got up for a drink of water or some food.
Be Consistent with Handling Your Hedgehog
You need to handle your hedgehog consistently, at least once every two or three days, as this will help your hedgehog get used to you and your smell. If you leave your interaction for too long, your hedgehog may forget that you are not a threat, and it will be scared of you again.
You need to remember that hedgehogs also love routine and can feel nervous when their routine is interrupted when you are handling them for the first few times. So, keep a handling schedule for your hedgehogs to help them get used to you.
Provide the Right Environment for Your Hedgehog
If your hedgehog does not have the right environment in your home where it can feel safe, then this can make your hedgehog nervous and grumpy towards you. If your hedgehog’s enclosure is not big enough, it will not be able to get rid of its excess energy, which can make the hedgehog grumpy.
When hedgehogs do not have enough physical and mental stimulation, they get rather grumpy as they are bored and full of energy.
You should also provide your hedgehog with the right food and enough water and make sure it is kept at the right temperature where it is comfortable and feels safe. You need to ensure that your hedgehog care requirements are met.
Do Not Give up On Making Friends with Your Hedgehog
You should never give up trying to make friends with your hedgehog, as it will take time for them to warm up to you. There will be times when you need to handle your hedgehog, and they are grumpy or angry, but that’s okay.
If you are persistent with your hedgehog and you do your best to ensure it is comfortable and feels safe, it will start to get used to you and your home environment. Bonding with your hedgehog is very important and will help your hedgehog feel comfortable around you.
How to Bond with Your Hedgehog
If you want your hedgehog to like you and show you affection, then you need to bond with your hedgehog. During this bonding time, you can show your hedgehog that you are not a threat to it, and it can be comfortable around you.
Bonding with your hedgehog can be a time-consuming process that will require you to be persistent, patient, and give a lot of effort and a good understanding of your hedgehog.
To bond with your hedgehog, you can use the hedgehogs’ senses. Hedgehogs have a strong perception of smell and an excellent sense of touch and hearing that you can use to your benefit when bonding with your hedgehog.
But you do need to remember that hedgehogs have quite poor eyesight, so appealing to their other senses will work more in your favor than expecting them to recognize you.
You should help your hedgehog get used to your scent by holding them or letting them cuddle next to a blanket that smells like you. You can speak to your hedgehog regularly to help it get accustomed to your voice and hold it to get it comfortable with being touched by you.
Hedgehogs are grumpy most of the time, as they are small creatures that are scared of most things in their life, including you. So, your hedgehog is probably just afraid of you as you are bigger than it; this does not mean that your hedgehog hates you.
If you keep handling your hedgehog and stay persistent, you will get it feeling safe and comfortable with you in no time. Good Luck!