How to Handle a Grumpy Hedgehog

If one thing you should know about hedgehogs is that they are not the best at socializing. Hedgehogs are solitary animals and prefer their presence as opposed to being around other people. Therefore, it can be difficult, especially as a new pet owner, to handle your hedgehog when it is being grumpy.

While some hedgehogs can be grumpy, others are just as friendly. So let’s find out how to handle a grumpy hedgehog:

You can handle your grumpy hedgehog by using scents to calm it down a little.

One thing to remember about hedgehogs is that they rely heavily on scents. Hedgehogs recognize objects and people by smelling them as they do not have much eyesight. Therefore, by letting your hedgehog get used to your scent, it will recognize you. In addition, you must also hold your hedgehog or move it around gently and avoid any haste movements which may startle it.

Why Is My Hedgehog Suddenly Grumpy?

Hedgehogs are known to get angry if things around them are not what they like. There are many reasons why your hedgehog may be suddenly grumpy. 

One of the reasons why your hedgehog may be grumpy is because you pet it constantly. Hedgehogs do not require much human interaction; therefore, you can make them angry by petting them constantly. In addition, while some hedgehogs do enjoy being social and being around their owners, some do not. However, this does not mean that you cannot bond with your hedgehog.

You can do so, but you need to be gentle while being consistent. 

Sometimes, hedgehogs can be grumpy if they are quilling. Quilling is an incredibly uncomfortable process for hedgehogs. This is when a hedgehog’s quills fall off and are replaced by new ones. For hedgehogs, quilling is like when a child is teething. Therefore, the process is painful and can cause your hedgehog to be uncomfortable. 

During quilling, hedgehogs like to spend time alone. If you try to touch your hedgehog, it may get angry. You can give your hedgehog some space and inspect its back for signs of infection. An oatmeal bath is known to do wonders for hedgehogs and provide them with relief during quilling. 

Among all factors, the personality of your hedgehog also determines its grumpiness. Some hedgehogs are just not social as opposed to others. In addition, if your hedgehog is new, it will not immediately trust you. Therefore, you may find your hedgehog hissing at you. 

Sometimes, hedgehogs will also be grumpy and irritated because they are unwell. Hedgehogs tend to hide their illness, and you cannot tell if they are sick. Sick hedgehogs do not like physical contact and will hiss at you when they do not want to be touched. Therefore, it is important to keep with your hedgehog’s vet visits to ensure that they are not ill. 

How Do You Tame an Angry Hedgehog

When you get your hedgehog, it will not socialize and will appear to be angry. As aforementioned, scents play an important role in a hedgehog’s life. Therefore, you must get your hedgehog accustomed to your scent. You must not rotate between different scents as hedgehogs can get confused. In addition, it is best not to use heavy scents as they can mask your own.

Hedgehogs also do not like any fast movements. Therefore, when you pick your hedgehog or move it around, you must handle it gently. Any jerks will cause your hedgehog to become angry and even scared. 

As pet owners, we want to cuddle with our hedgehog. However, if your hedgehog is not comfortable, you must not force it and withdraw. It is important to be patient, gentle, and persistent when dealing with hedgehogs. 

How Do You Calm a Grumpy Hedgehog

If you are faced with a grumpy hedgehog situation, there are a few ways you can calm it down.

The first thing you must ensure is that your hedgehog recognizes you, which is through your scent. Hedgehogs, unfortunately, do not have great eyesight, and therefore, they will only recognize you if they are familiar with your scent. 

If your hedgehog does not recognize your scent, it will become angry when you approach it. It is also important not to rotate between scents because this will trigger your hedgehog and not cause it to trust you. 

If your hedgehog is grumpy, you must avoid handling it roughly, picking it suddenly and changing its location. This will only cause the hedgehog to become angrier. It is best to leave the hedgehog aloe until it has calmed down and then pick it. 

Since hedgehogs do not trust humans right off the bat, it is important to understand that you may be off to a rough start. Hedgehogs are angry and grumpy when they are around new smells and the environment. Your hedgehog is highly likely to remain curled into a ball, and you must not take it personally. The greater you spend time with your hedgehog and bond with it, the more it will trust you and be less grumpy. 

Since hedgehogs are nocturnal, they are most active during the nighttime. Therefore, you must not disturb your hedgehog during the day as this is when it falls asleep. In addition, you must leave your hedgehog alone for some time when it wakes up because it will be grumpy. Give your hedgehog some time when it wakes up to be active and then continue to handle it. 


Hedgehogs can be grumpy animals because they do not like human interaction. While some hedgehogs are friendly, others can be the opposite, depending on their personality. You can handle a grumpy hedgehog by dealing with it patiently and being gentle with it. There are a few reasons why your hedgehog may be grumpy. For instance, your hedgehog may be quilling; there may be an underlying sickness, or you may be petting it constantly. 

You must refrain from handling a grumpy hedgehog and wait for it to calm down. In addition, it is important to let your hedgehog recognize your scent, as new scents can also cause it to become grumpy. 

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Hey, I'm Brian and I love hedgehogs. They're curious little animals that fascinate me. Over the years, I've become extremely knowledgeable about hedgehogs so have decided to share that knowledge here

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