New hedgehog owners have a lot of questions. One of my friends just asked me about hedgehog cuddliness and their general behavior. I gave him a vague answer. I was perplexed as well. So, I decided to research it out.
I did learn a lot while writing this. So, here are my findings.
Do hedgehogs cuddle?
Most hedgehogs like to cuddle. However, it’s not a species behavior but a personality trait. Some hedgehogs just want to roam around on your body, sniffing and smelling.
In case you want to know about more hedgehog behaviors, keep reading on.
Are pet hedgehogs affectionate?
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Pet hedgehogs are pretty affectionate, considering that they are solitary animals. But, it also depends on the past and personality of the hedgie.  Some hedgehogs are quite affectionate and would kiss, nibble you all the time while others not so much.
In the starting, it is hard for any hedgehog to accept new surroundings and new parents easily. They would likely hiss and huff whenever you try to hold them. Then, slowly, as they realize you are not a threat to them, they will become friendlier.
If your hedgehog is not hissing or puffing, it is a pretty good sign that it trusts you. If they are not keeping their quills straight all the time when you’re there, that’s also a sign that they are warming to you.
Hedgehogs show even more affection when they see threatening situations like a vet visit or someone unknown trying to hold them. In these cases, they would likely try to hold your hand or come near you so that you can protect them. If a hedgehog is showing such signs, he likely trusts you with his life.
Do hedgehogs love their owners?
Hedgehogs can definitely love their owners. But, for that, you also have to do your part like holding them up every day for 30 minutes or more, providing them safety, bonding with them during times like bathing.
Hedgehogs are generally considered aloof animals.  They have a reputation of not being too playful or enjoyable, but when the hedgehog starts to like you, they do show affection in certain ways.
If a hedgehog trusts you, he will not be likely to huff or puff when you try to hold him. He will likely let you pet his head, chin without too many tantrums. He won’t hesitate to sleep on you either.
But, as every hedgehog is different, the time after which a hog starts showing affection can vary by a lot.
Are hedgehogs friendly?
Hedgehogs are friendly to a certain extent. They are wild animals and only popular since the early 90s (1993 precisely).  Since then, they have changed a lot. Their behavior has become friendlier from the initial stages of constant balling, hissing, and whatnot.
But, there are very few chances that you will get an extremely friendly hog. Most hedgehogs aren’t that friendly in the beginning, and you have to mold them to trust you and to be friendly with you.
Do hedgehogs like belly rubs?
Some hedgehogs like belly rubs while others don’t. It all depends on the hog’s nature and the trust that you have with him/her. Bellies are one of the most sensitive areas for a hog. This is where the predators want to attack. Hence, many of them are not comfortable with rubbing there.
What does it mean when a hedgehog licks you?
Hedgehog licking is not a sign of affection. It means that the hedgehog thinks that you smell interesting.  Licking can lead to nibbling, and nibbling can lead to biting. So, halting it then and there is your best interest.
Although hedgehog bites are not that strong as they gain confidence, and you do not stop them in their behavior, they start biting harder and harder.
Also, please clean your hands with an unscented soap before handling them.
Hedgehogs are very peculiar about smells. It is all that they do in the wild. They love to smell things to guess whether there is something to eat or anoint themselves. As they have poor eyesight, they rely on their nose a lot.
How smart is a hedgehog?
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Hedgehogs are not that smart. There was no need for them to be smart in the wild. Hence, intelligence like that of birds didn’t develop in them. Whenever a predator arrived, they just balled up, and the predator had no chance.
A hedgehog is quite a carefree animal. It can go off the cliff without caring much about the consequences. They roam around in their poop. However, they are so cute that we are willing to do everything for them.
Do hedgehogs feel love/sadness?
Hedgehogs likely feel emotions like love and sadness. Since hedgehogs are new to the pet industry, compared to dogs and cats, there aren’t many studies on them. But studies on dogs have shown that animals like them can sense emotions.
Several users have reported that whenever a hog senses that you’re feeling sad, he gets easy on them and stops the hissing and puffing. They might even come to sit on your lap when you feel the blues. Hedgehogs are amazing creatures.
Do hedgehogs like being stroked?
Hedgehogs generally do not like to be petted or stroked. Some may allow you to do on occasions like eating when they are enjoying their meals but will likely to huff and puff after 5 to 10 minutes.
If you continuously try to pet on their quills, they may straighten their quills, and you may get a nice pinch. Make sure to never pet or stroke during their quilling season as they are quite irritated than and might even bite you.
How do you get a hedgehog to trust you?
Hedgehogs are prey animals and fear everything around them. There are also solitary creatures, so bonding or trusting doesn’t come naturally to them. But, there are a few things you can do to make sure they trust you more.
This is not going to be a one-day process, and you have to do it for a lot of time to gain their trust.
Here are some easy things you can do.
· Give them more time to adjust
New hedgehogs take a lot of time to adjust, unlike dogs or cats. Therefore, you should give them some time to cope with the new environment, new views, new smells, and everything else. Give them 2 to 3 weeks to understand things, and then you can start the bonding process to make them closer to you.
· Use the age-old t-shirt trick
This is the easiest way to bond with a hedgehog. Here, you are using your already worn clothing like T-shirts and placing them in areas where the sleep, eat or play. By doing that, you are associating your smell with the good things in their life, with the things they associate with trust and happiness.
· Provide them a suitable environment
Hedgehogs are wild animals, and not many of their previous generations have lived in captivity. So, providing them a suitable environment is highly necessary. Make sure the lighting in the room is not that bright to disturb them. They should also get a consistent lighting schedule, so their body clocks remain steady. A schedule for all other things is also quite a good option.
· Provide them treats
Providing treats like mealworms can help out in the bonding process. Hedgehogs love to eat and even anoint with mealworms. Therefore, give the mealworms with your bare hands so that they can associate the good feeling of eating a mealie with your scent.
· Spend a lot of time with them
Even if the hog doesn’t like you, try putting them in a play area nearby when you are watching TV or reading a book. In that way, you are letting the hedgehog explore things around him and providing him an opportunity to understand that you are not a threat.
· Holding is super important
Your new hedgehog would likely huff, threaten whenever you try to hold him for the first few times. He may also straighten his quills so you can’t hold him. He can even ball up.
Do not get discouraged by these. Holding him every day for 30 minutes or more should be your goal. Keep doing that each day, every day. And, sooner rather than later, they will change.
This is how you’re going to bond with your hedgehog. You have to be patient, and you have to do the tasks continuously.
Do hedgehogs cry?
There could be several reasons why a hedgehog is making cry like sounds. Firstly, if the cry sounds like a chirp, and the hedgehog is a male, he is likely calling out females for mating.
If the noises are too loud and severe, it could be a sign of internal injury and other problems. Hedgehogs are known to hide their injuries, and therefore you should immediately take your hedgehog to a vet.
Hedgehogs do make noises while they sleep. If your hedgehog is making a different kind of noise during sleep, these are completely normal, and you shouldn’t worry about them.
Can hedgehogs get depressed?
Like various other animals, hedgehogs can get depressed. The depression can also be linked to a new hedgehog taken away from his mother’s warmth. To reduce the effect, you can provide them blankets to snuggle and even some toys to change their mood.
Do hedgehogs like music?
Hedgehogs can get accustomed to music, and some of them can even like it. But what sounds they will depend on the hog’s personality. Some dislike high-pitched noises, but others don’t.
Music can also be an easy way to make your hedgehog accustomed to a noisy house environment and noises from other members. Try to change the music and then keep an eye on how the hedgehog reacts. If everything is fine, you can keep the music on low for a long time, else change it.