Hedgehogs have become popular pets in recent times. These tiny creatures come with quills on their back, a pointed nose, and tiny ears. They are pocket pets, take less space, and are ideal for someone who prefers a quiet pet.
Hedgehogs are solitary animals that like being alone. They prefer quiet over any loud noises or disturbances.
Since it has been a fact that hedgehogs are solitary animals, they should be housed separately from other hedgehogs.
Moreover, if you have any other pets, such as a cat or a dog, they should be kept away from the hedgehog too. Being around too much noise is likely to stress out your hedgehog.
Do Hedgehogs Live Alone?
Even in the wild, hedgehogs are solitary. These small mammals only come out to hunt or to mate. Otherwise, hedgehogs prefer to be alone and have as little interaction as possible.
When hunting during the night, hedgehogs do not depend on other hedgehogs. They hunt for themselves.
When female hedgehogs give birth, the babies only stay with the mother during the weaning process. After being weaned off, the baby hedgehogs leave the nest and no longer need the mother.
Male hedgehogs do not stick around for the babies. They take no active part in raising or while the mother gives birth.
Are Hedgehogs Loners?
Hedgehogs love being alone. They are loners who only interact when they need to, which is for hunting. Once hedgehogs are done weaning, they will leave the nest and go about their separate ways.
As babies, however, hoglets tend to stay together with their siblings for a while. Some have even shown protective instincts towards their siblings.
Hoglets also experience distress if they are removed from the litter if they are not eating enough, for example. On the other hand, there have been instances when food is scarce, and hoglets fight with their siblings.
Are Hedgehogs Social as Pets?
Every hedgehog comes with a unique personality. Generally, hedgehogs are known to be solitary animals. They like little interaction with their pet parents, and it is best to keep them away from any pets around the house.
If you spend a lot of time with your pet hedgehog, they can socialize with you and form a bond. If you interact a lot with your hedgehog, you will find it responding to your voice and appearance. Hedgehogs who have been socialized can be loving and even cuddle with you.
However, unsocialized hedgehogs that are kept alone can become nervous and jumpy. They can also become stressed around new people and scents.
Do Hedgehogs Need a Companion?
Hedgehogs, by nature, do not yearn for companions like other animals. They do not mate for life like penguins. Hedgehogs prefer to be alone, hunt alone, and only come out to mate.
Hedgehogs do get along with other hedgehogs but do not need a companion. You can introduce your hedgehog to another by putting the two cages side by side and letting them get used to one another.
Keeping Hedgehogs with Other Pets
Although generally, it is not recommended to keep hedgehogs with other pets such as cats and dogs. Other pets can potentially hurt or harm the hedgehog. However, there have been instances of depending on the hedgehog’s nature to get along with other pets.
Cats and dogs become aware of the hedgehog’s quills over time and get used to them. They figure out how to handle hedgehogs and be around them. Other small pets being around hedgehogs is no reason to worry for you.
If, however, you notice your hedgehog become stressed or anxious around other pets, immediately separate them.
How to Introduce Hedgehogs to Other Pets
You can begin introducing your hedgehog with other pets slowly and gradually. Since hedgehogs are, by nature, solitary animals, they will seem a bit afraid and stressed.
Cats and dogs are both curious and will try to get close to your hedgehog. Ensure you always eye on your pets and take the necessary safety measures so none of them gets hurt.
Your pets should not get too close with the hedgehog; otherwise, the quills can prick them, or the hedgehog can get hurt.
If your hedgehog feels friendly and comfortable, the quills will not stand upright and will be flat. This way, you can hold the hedgehog and give it a sense of comfort and security.
Holding the hedgehog while introducing it to your pets will help avoid any dangerous situations as you can quickly remove them from the scene.
By nature, hedgehogs are not aggressive animals and have a sweet temperament. Keep in mind the temperament of your other pets before you introduce your hedgehog to them.
If your pets are sweet and calm and not aggressive, it is only a good idea to introduce your hedgehog to them. If your pets are loud or aggressive, your hedgehog can feel threatened and curl itself in a ball with spikes that can prove harmful to other pets and you.
Hedgehogs, by nature, are solitary animals who enjoy being alone. These tiny mammals do not crave any sort of companionship, and neither do they mate for life. Hedgehogs prefer to hunt alone in the wild and only come out to mate.
When hedgehogs are born, they only stay with the mother until they are weaned off. They leave the nest and then go their separate ways. Male hedgehogs have nothing to do with birth or upbringing.
As pets, hedgehogs can be social if that is their true nature. Hedgehogs have different natures, and the way they behave depends on it. These creatures have been known to develop bonds with their owners and respond to their voices and actions. You can introduce your hedgehog to other hedgehogs slowly.
They usually do not like any other presence, especially another pet. But all hedgehogs are different, and some coexist peacefully with other pets.
If you feel that your hedgehog is stressed or scared around other hedgehogs or pets, remove them and keep them separate.