Hedgehogs are low-maintenance pets that do not require loads of interaction like other pets such as dogs. These small mammals are solitary animals and prefer being by themselves. Hedgehogs do not enjoy the company of fellow hedgehogs, let alone other animals. But can 2 hedgehogs live together safely?
While it is recommended to separate the hedgehogs, you can keep two together if they are both females.
Hedgehogs do not like being together, which is why people keep them in separate cages. As opposed to males, female hedgehogs are more susceptible to sharing their space with another female. However, it is best if you introduce the hedgehogs gradually and never at once.
If the hedgehogs are not comfortable being in one space together, keeping them in separate cages is best.
Do Hedgehogs Get Lonely?
As a pet parent, you will always be concerned about your pet’s well-being. While hedgehogs are solitary animals, you will always wonder if they are lonely and require a companion.
In the wild, hedgehogs live a completely solitary and independent life. However, when hedgehogs turn six weeks, they leave their nests and live independent lives. Hedgehogs love being alone and like to forage alone for food at night and avoid enemies.
When you keep a hedgehog in captivity, they will not act differently than in the wild. Hedgehogs will still prefer to live a solitary life. Hence, your hedgehog in its cage does not crave a companion. Therefore, you do not have to worry about your hedgehog getting lonely in its captivity.
It is best to leave some toys in the cage for your hedgehog for some mental stimulation. In addition, hedgehogs also love running the wheel. Therefore, installing a wheel will be healthy for your hedgehog and equals foraging the forest for food.
Do Hedgehogs Need Friends?
Hedgehogs do not require companionship as they are solitary animals. However, there have been instances where hedgehogs have gotten along with each other. Female hedgehogs are more likely to tolerate other females. However, male hedgehogs do not get along with other males.
If you put two hedgehogs together, they are likely to fight each other over food and territory. Male hedgehogs are dominating and hence, will not accept other males. You can keep a younger hedgehog with a much older one.
It is best to avoid keeping a male and female hedgehog together unless you are a professional breeder. Keeping both male and female hedgehogs in one cage will result in a fight or a pregnancy.
If you do keep more than two hedgehogs together, you must keep them in a big cage. Moreover, a new hedgehog from a breeder may have fleas or some disease. Therefore, it is essential to keep your new hedgehog away from the old one for at least a month to prevent the risk of spreading diseases.
You cannot introduce hedgehogs with each other immediately. It is best to slowly introduce the two hedgehogs while they are in their cages. If you think that the hedgehogs are getting aggressive, you must separate them immediately.
On the other hand, you can put both hedgehogs in one cage if you think both hedgehogs are getting along.
Even after you have kept your hedgehogs together in one cage, you must monitor to see that no fight breaks out. If you hear any sounds of squealing or hissing, it is because the hedgehogs are fighting, and you must separate them before they hurt each other.
Do Hedgehogs Feel Lonely Without Their Owners?
Hedgehogs like to be alone. Therefore, they will not feel lonely without their owners or any human interaction. However, it is vital to pick your hedgehog, cuddle with it and interact in any way for its mental stimulation.
When you get a hedgehog, it will take some time to warm up to you. Hedgehogs are introverts and can quickly get nervous, which is why they do not become comfortable with people too quickly. Your hedgehog may have its quills raised all the time and curl into a ball.
However, it is essential to remember that your hedgehog needs time to adjust to its surroundings.
Hedgehogs require loads of mental stimulation. You must know that without mental stimulation, hedgehogs will not feel lonely. Instead, they will only be bored. Hence, it is important to provide your hedgehogs with a lot of mental stimulation, and there are many ways to do that.
The first thing you should look out for is getting a large cage. A hedgehog, by its nature, roams around and covers a lot of areas in the wild, searching for food. Hence, the large cage will provide the hedgehog with a greater area to cover. As a result, the hedgehog can roam in its cage and explore its surroundings.
In addition to the large cage, you must also provide your hedgehog with a wheel to run. Hedgehogs require exercise, and this also helps to stimulate them mentally. As hedgehogs are prone to gaining weight, running the wheel will help counter that problem.
Moreover, you can also provide your hedgehog with toys, for example, a small ball. Hedgehogs love to play, and pushing the ball will help them stay mentally stimulated.
Lastly, you can give live worms to your hedgehog. Your hedgehog can play with the worm, watch it squirm before it eats it.
Hedgehogs are solitary animals by nature. As pet owners, you always want the best for your pet and may wonder if your hedgehog needs a companion. However, hedgehogs do not like the company of others and prefer to be on their own.
You can keep two hedgehogs together if they are female as they are likely to tolerate each other. However, male hedgehogs will assert dominance and will end up fighting. While hedgehogs do not feel lonely without their owner, interacting with them is suitable for their mental stimulation.
You can play with your hedgehog, give it toys, a big cage with a wheel, and live worms.