Hedgehogs have two different types of body fur on them. They have quills and fur on them. The African pygmy hedgehog is one of the smallest hedgehog species and can have around 5000 to 7000 quills on its back. But are hedgehogs fluffy?
Hedgehogs are not fluffy because of the spines on their back. But they do have soft and somewhat fluffy bellies.
These small mammals make great pets. They have bellies covered with soft and fluffy fur but have a back covered with quills. While these quills are spiky and sharp, hedgehogs can control them by a group of muscles. When relaxed, these quills can be harmless.
Even though hedgehogs are not that fluffy, they make great affectionate pets.
Are Hedgehogs Cuddly?
Hedgehogs are solitary animals and usually only have interactions with each other during the breeding season.
How often a pet hedgehog likes being cuddled or held is dependent on each personality. It depends on how comfortable they feel while being held and how much handling they have received in the past.
Many hedgehogs enjoy snuggling up to their owners, while others may not enjoy it as much. Some may be shyer and may not feel comfortable while being held or prefer moving around rather than sitting and cuddling.
While a hedgehog may be tolerant of being held, they may not enjoy long cuddling.
It is hard to judge the personality of any hedgehog. Nonetheless, almost any hedgehog can certainly become tolerant to being held with time and patience. If you get a hedgehog when it is young and handle it often, there is a high chance it will be an affectionate pet.
How To Handle a Hedgehog
The quills on a hedgehog’s back can be soft or spiky, depending on how it feels. When calm, a hedgehog’s quills are relaxed and not prickly. This is when you can handle and hold a hedgehog without worrying about getting pricked.
When relaxed, the quills tend to be flat on its side and back, all pointing at the rear end. So, if you don’t grab them from the back against their sharp tips, there is no chance of getting poked.
Always pet your hedgehog from head to tail, following the direction of its quills.
Do Hedgehogs Like to Be Held?
Even though they are solitary animals, hedgehogs can get very attached to their owner.
So yes, hedgehogs do enjoy being held.
The best place to hold them is in the palm of your hand; this makes them feel safe and relaxed. Additionally, this helps build a connection between the owners.
However, it would help if you always were cautious when handling your hedgehog. Forcing the process by being hasty will lead to your hedgehog curling up into a ball, hurting you in the process. Hedgehogs are sensitive animals and have a natural defence system.
What Is the Right Way to Hold a Hedgehog?
There are a few tips for when you hold a hedgehog that you ought to be aware of:
- Let your hedgehog recognize you. Hedgehogs have a strong sense of smell which they use to recognize people. Bring your hand close to your hedgehog so that it can sniff and recognize you. This will make your hedgehog feel comfortable around you.
- Place your palms on the sides of your hedgehog and cup them. Wrapping a warm towel around your hedgehog will make it feel comfortable and protect your hand at the same time.
- Some hedgehogs can feel sensitive about touching their belly. So, it is important not to do so as it can make them feel uncomfortable and threatened.
Do Hedgehogs Hurt to Hold?
Depending on whether the hedgehog is curled up or relaxed, its quills will feel different.
When in a defensive position, hedgehogs curl up. Its quills become more spread out and are more evenly distributed. There the quills become sharp or prickly to the touch.
Hedgehog quills are not strong enough to break or pierce the skin, but they can be painful to touch.
If a hedgehog curls up quickly in your hand, this may cause some pain or damage to your hand.
When relaxed, the quills lay flat on a hedgehog’s back. These are not too sharp and will allow you to hold your hedgehog without any problems. When in a relaxed position, the quills of a hedgehog lie evenly on your hand, distributing the weight of your hedgehog.
You can compare the feeling of touching a hedgehog’s quills to touching a hairbrush.
Are Hedgehogs Spiky?
Hedgehogs can be prickly and have sharp backs. This is dependent on whether they are relaxed or curled up. Hedgehogs that feel threatened can curl up, making their body sharp and spiky.
Baby hedgehogs have sharper quills than adult ones; this is because they are not fully developed. Baby hedgehogs are not fluffy at all!
Quill sharpness also differs from hedgehog to hedgehog, and some may have too sharp quills to handle. Despite them having a spiky back, hedgehog’s quills are not dangerous and cannot hurt you.
So are hedgehogs fluffy or spiky? Hedgehogs have two different furs on them in the form of their quills and the actual fur. The quills of a hedgehog are modified hair that is hard and sharp to touch, used for self-defence.
The side and back of the hedgehog are covered with around 5000 to 7000 quills. In addition, the bellies of hedgehogs are covered with soft fur.
By nature, hedgehogs are solitary animals and prefer to be alone. However, these tiny mammals have different personalities. Hence, whether a hedgehog is a cuddler or not depends on its personality.
Some hedgehogs like cuddling up to their owners and sleeping, and some do not. It also depends on how comfortable the hedgehog is with its owner.
The right way to hold a hedgehog is to wait until its quills are relaxed and downward. This means that the hedgehog is comfortable and not nervous or stressed around you.
It would be best if you were gentle while holding the hedgehog and pet it in the direction of its quills; otherwise, you may hurt yourself. Despite being spiky, a hedgehog’s quills will not hurt you.