Many people are used to picking up their pets and giving them snuggles. That is how we show love to our pets. You may have noticed that cats and dogs express their love by rubbing themselves against you. However, in the case of hedgehogs, this may not happen. But how do you pick up a hedgehog safely?
You can pick up a hedgehog when its quills are not standing up. Flat quills are your cue to pick your hedgehog.
By looking at your hedgehog’s quills, you can tell if it is stressed or anxious. Upright quills mean it is not a good time to touch them. However, if you need to move your hedgehog, you can do so by wearing thick gloves.
Is It OK to Pick Up a Hedgehog?
It is completely OK to pick up your hedgehog.
You should be aware of how your hedgehog feels at that moment. If your hedgehog is not comfortable around you, the quills will stand upright, showing that it feels threatened. It is best not to handle your hedgehog if it is stressed.
Does It Hurt to Pick Up a Hedgehog?
It does not hurt to pick your hedgehog. The quills of hedgehogs are not barbed (like porcupines), which means they will not pierce through your skin. The quills feel as if you are getting a shot at the doctor’s office.
How much pain you feel depends on how you handle your hedgehog. It is important to pick your hedgehog with confidence and to remain calm while doing so. Your hedgehog will trust you more by being calm and is less likely to react by raising its quills.
If you try holding your hedgehog in a fast motion, it will feel threatened and may think that you are attacking it. Hence, it is important to start slowly yet steady at the same time.
If you flinch or make any sudden movements, you can scare your hedgehog. The more time you spend with your hedgehog and the more you handle it, it will trust you and not reach as much.
Notice the quills of your hedgehog before attempting to pick it. If the quills are lying flat, do not brush your fingers against their direction, or you can end up hurting yourself.
What Is the Best Way to Hold a Hedgehog?
Make sure you have the timing right when you decide to hold your hedgehog. Since these tiny mammals are nocturnal, they sleep all day and stay awake during the night.
It is not recommended to disturb a sleeping hedgehog; hence, you should let it be during the day. Since hedgehogs love the nighttime, your little guy is probably in a good mood.
If your hedgehog has been with you for some time, it may have become accustomed to your scent. A hedgehog’s sense of smell is its biggest asset, and it heavily relies on it to recognize things.
If you are wearing a new perfume and smell different, your hedgehog may not recognize you. Ensure that you are not wearing a new scent, so your hedgehog knows it’s you.
You can begin holding your hedgehog from the side with your palms facing upwards. This position is the best. You should ensure that your hedgehog is standing and slide your hands underneath and cup them.
It would be best if you were careful not to touch the hedgehog’s belly, or it may attempt to curl. You should slowly cuddle and stay gentle with your hedgehog.
If you need to change your hedgehog’s position or pick it up for a shower and the quills are standing upright, you may need to adjust. You can always use a thick towel to pick your hedgehog.
However, if the scent of the towel is new for the hedgehog, it may throw it off. Using thick gloves when handling your hedgehog may also stress it as it will not recognize your scent.
Hence, it is always recommended to use your hands rather than a towel or gloves. Hedgehogs do not have great eyesight and use their sense of smell to recognize things and people.
How Can I Make My Hedgehog More Comfortable?
The key to holding your hedgehog is to make it comfortable, so it trusts you. If your hedgehog knows you are there to take care of it, it will not raise its quills.
Since hedgehogs are naturally solitary animals, it takes some time to warm up to their owners. Hence, it is important to spend quality time with your hedgehog, so it memorizes your scent and voice.
Getting a hedgehog to bond with you takes time, so do not be disheartened if it does not happen right away.
The best way to make your hedgehog more comfortable around you is to leave a shirt or a piece of your clothing in its cage, so it recognizes your scent. Moreover, it would help if you gave your hedgehog treats as it explores. You should also talk to your hedgehog while cleaning its cage or bathing it.
One question that strikes potential or new hedgehog is if you can even pick it up. The quills of a hedgehog may appear sharp and intimidating, but they do not stand in the way of you picking them up.
It is perfectly OK to pick your hedgehog up. However, you must ensure that the quills are not standing upright and are flat. A relaxed hedgehog will have relaxed quills, while a stressed hedgehog will have its quills standing up.
It is best to pick your hedgehog up in the evening and not disturb it in the daytime when it is time to sleep. You should avoid wearing new scents when handling your hedgehog as it may be unable to recognize you.
As you pick your hedgehog, you should be slow, steady, and confident. Any rushed and sudden movements will make your hedgehog think that you are attacking it.