Hedgehogs are mammals with big noses and small ears. The most notable feature of a hedgehog is the sharp quills on its back. One of the reasons people find hedgehogs intimidating is the quills. However, some are more concerned about the hedgehog’s behaviour. So, are hedgehogs aggressive or calm?
Hedgehogs are generally not aggressive animals, but some of their behaviours can come off as aggressive.
Usually, hedgehogs are shy animals and do not display any signs of aggression. On the other hand, many people mistake a hedgehog’s playful behaviour as aggressive. Sometimes, hedgehogs like to communicate with sounds, which people also find aggressive. In addition, your hedgehog may bite you only to get to know you or if you smell differently.
Will a Hedgehog Attack Me?
Whether you are getting a pet hedgehog or encounter one in the wild, it is natural to wonder if it will attack you. However, it is highly unlikely that a hedgehog will attack you. Hedgehogs, rather than being predators, are prey animals. Therefore, they are not used to attacking and are more scared of you than you are of them.
If a hedgehog is scared of you or feels threatened, it will raise its spikes and roll into a ball. In addition, hedgehogs may also make hissing sounds. Hedgehogs are shy animals that prefer their own company and may run at the chance of encountering you.
In addition, do not expect a hedgehog to come charging at you to attack you. It is more probable that a hedgehog will hide from you and protect themselves. Hence, it is safe to assume that you are safe from any hedgehog attempting to attack you.
Are Hedgehogs Dangerous?
Hedgehogs are not dangerous animals. However, it all depends on what you consider dangerous and how you will handle your hedgehog. The key lies in holding the hedgehog correctly, as the sharp quills can hurt you.
Sometimes, the quills can poke you, but it is not that bad and will not draw blood. Some people, however, can be allergic to hedgehogs, and after getting poked, may experience an allergic reaction or even after handling a hedgehog.
Hedgehogs are known to be carriers of certain diseases like salmonella. However, your hedgehog may have to contract the disease from an external source. Hence, maintaining hygiene becomes important and ensuring that the food and water source is clean. In addition, each time you handle your hedgehog, you must wear gloves and wash your hands afterwards.
If you are getting your hedgehog from a breeder, or your hedgehog is around others, it will likely contract certain diseases. Moreover, hedgehogs may also get fleas from other hedgehogs. Although the fleas are not harmful, they can irritate you. Also, if you have pets, you need to keep them away from your hedgehog so they do not get fleas.
Why Do Hedgehogs Bite?
Hedgehogs seem like shy animals, but most of them can be biters. However, biting is not always a sign of aggression. There are certain reasons behind a hedgehog’s biting, which people mistake for signs of aggression. However, it is only that your hedgehog is trying to communicate something with you.
Sometimes hedgehogs bite simply because they have something to say. Hedgehogs cannot speak, so they bite to communicate the way they feel. For instance, your hedgehog may bite you if you are too close to it and make it uncomfortable.
Moreover, things like bathing them or messing their sleep may also result in a bite. Your hedgehog is trying to communicate what it likes and dislikes. However, if your hedgehog is biting for no reason, that is aggressive behaviour.
Your hedgehog may bite you because it wants something from you. As with all animals, it is important to train your hedgehog and respond less to the biting to discourage it.
Hedgehogs are curious animals who love to explore. One of the important features which help hedgehogs recognize things is their nose. However, apart from the nose, hedgehogs tend to bite foreign objects or people to learn to recognize them. This behaviour is common, especially in baby hedgehogs.
During the first few months, baby hedgehogs are curious about their surroundings and learn what they can or cannot eat.
It is okay to let the baby hedgehogs bite during this phase. However, you must ensure that this curious behaviour does not shit to aggressiveness.
Hedgehogs tend to hide their diseases, but you can tell they are sick if they are biting. Therefore, if your hedgehog is biting out of the blue, it is important to look into the problem. However, not all hedgehogs bite because of being ill; it can also be because of the quilling process.
Stressed hedgehogs can also display biting. Hedgehogs can get easily stressed, especially if there has been a change in their environment. Similarly, any changes in a hedgehog’s diet can also cause it to become stressed. Therefore, it is important to maintain consistency when it comes to a hedgehog’s food and routine.
Since hedgehogs are solitary animals, they do not like having too much physical contact. Therefore, if you are cuddling or holding your hedgehog excessively, it can bite you. In the beginning, as you try to bond with your hedgehog, expect some biting.
Hedgehogs can be considered to be intimidating and aggressive by most people because of their sharp quills. However, hedgehogs are not aggressive animals. Rather they are shy. Many hedgehog behaviours are sometimes mistaken as aggressive. You do not need to worry about a hedgehog attacking you because it is likely to hide and curl into a ball. Hedgehogs are prey animals and would be scared of you than you are of them.
Hedgehogs can bite due to various reasons such as stress, bad health, extra physical contact or simply because they are curious. If your hedgehog has often been biting, for no reason, it is aggressive behaviour, and you must respond less to it.