Until only recently, everyone thought of hedgehogs to be wild animals. However, slowly people have become accustomed to the idea that hedgehogs can be good pets. However, there are still some who have reservations. Hedgehogs are small but can look intimidating because of their sharp quills. But are hedgehogs dangerous or are they perfectly safe to humans?
Hedgehogs may have sharp quills, but they are not dangerous to humans or anyone around them.
Hedgehogs are prey animals which means other animals hunt them. Therefore, it is rare for a hedgehog to attack someone.
When hedgehogs feel threatened, they will curl into a spiked ball to protect themselves. But it’s not just their spikes that people are concerned with. Many people are concerned about any diseases that hedgehogs may carry. These small mammals do carry diseases, but not all of them.
It is rare for humans to get pricked by quills and contract a disease from their hedgehog.
Do Hedgehogs Attack Humans?
When getting a pet, it is important to consider if they are safe to keep in the first place.
As aforementioned, while hedgehogs are small, people refrain from keeping them as pets because they fear hedgehogs will attack them with their quills. On the contrary, hedgehogs are calm animals and would rather defend themselves by curling themselves into a ball than attack.
While hedgehogs, like all animals, can attack humans, it is quite rare. Instead, the hedgehog may make a hissing sound. This is because hedgehogs can get easily nervous and are more afraid of humans than the other way around.
Hedgehogs will never charge at you with full speed to attack you. Instead, if hedgehogs feel threatened by your presence, they are likely to run the opposite direction away from you. Hence, there is no reason to worry about hedgehogs attacking you.
Are Hedgehogs Aggressive?
All animals tend to become aggressive in different circumstances. Therefore, it is natural to think if your hedgehog can become aggressive with you. Hedgehogs are solitary animals and do not like interacting with humans or other hedgehogs.
Therefore, it is unlikely for hedgehogs to be aggressive towards humans. Hedgehogs turn into spiked balls rather than attacking or attempting to bite someone.
On the other hand, hedgehogs can be aggressive to other hedgehogs. Since hedgehogs like to be alone, they cannot tolerate the presence of another hedgehog with them. Therefore, it is best to keep one hedgehog per cage.
Female hedgehogs can be tolerant to other hedgehogs as opposed to males. Moreover, if you plan to breed hedgehogs, you should remove the male hedgehog from the cage, or it may harm the baby hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs in the wild can become aggressive towards one another during the breeding season. In the season, male hedgehogs will compete in a head-butting competition to win over the female hedgehog.
There are times when mother hedgehogs will display behaviors of unintentional aggression towards their babies. For example, mother hedgehogs can resort to cannibalistic behavior and eat their babies if they think they are in danger.
For instance, male presence in the cage will cause mothers to eat their babies. Therefore, you must remove the male hedgehog and avoid making loud sounds that cause mother hedgehogs to become stressed.
Also, mother hedgehogs may take their babies on the wheel and run with them. During running, the mother may trample over the babies or run the wheel on them. Hence, many hedgehog babies have lost their lives because of this.
Therefore, if your hedgehog has babies, it is important to remove the wheel so the mother does not accidentally hurt the babies.
What Do Aggressive Hedgehogs Look Like?
You will know that hedgehogs are aggressive by looking at their quills. When a hedgehog is aggressive, it will try to look intimidating and raise its quills. In most cases, hedgehogs will also raise quills to protect themselves against predators.
In addition, hedgehogs also make hissing sounds when they are aggressive. A relaxed hedgehog, on the other hand, will lay its quills flat. When a hedgehog has its quills flat, it is easy to pet them and lift them without hurting yourself.
Therefore, you must leave an aggressive hedgehog alone and pet it only when calm and relaxed.
Do Hedgehogs Bite?
Another form of aggressive behaviour is hedgehog biting. While many people associate biting as an aggressive reaction, there are other instances when hedgehogs can bite.
Hedgehogs are curious animals, and whenever they are introduced to new scents, they will bite the object or person. Hedgehogs will bite to know if the object or person is edible. Most people are concerned with whether hedgehog bites hurt. However, hedgehog bites feel like nibbles, and they will not puncture your skin.
Hedgehogs may also bite to communicate with their owners. You may think that your hedgehog is being mean, but it may be expressing what it feels. For example, your hedgehog may bite you when it cuddles against you.
The bite only means that your hedgehog is in an uncomfortable position. However, if your hedgehog bites you too frequently, it only means that it is aggressive.
If your hedgehog continues to bite you without any reason, it is important to discourage it. Instead of pulling your hand away when your hedgehog bites, you must push forward so it becomes discouraged and it lets go.
Otherwise, your hedgehog may think you are playing with it.
Contrary to popular belief, hedgehogs are not dangerous mammals. The quills may cause the hedgehog to appear intimidating. However, that is not the case. Hedgehogs do not attack humans. However, as these mammals are solitary animals, they prefer being alone and run in the opposite direction if they feel threatened.
Hedgehogs are not aggressive towards humans, but they can be when it comes to other hedgehogs. Therefore, you must never keep two hedgehogs in one cage. It is also important to remove the wheel when the mother gives birth or accidentally runs it over the little hedgehog babies.