We recommend handling your hedgehog for at least a half hour a day. The easiest way to accomplish this task is 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. Some hedgehog owners suggest that you wait to handle your new hedgehog a couple days so that it has a chance to get accustomed to its cage.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal and only come out at night. Generally, any hedgehog out during the day is probably in trouble and will need to be picked up and taken to a wildlife rescue centre.
Start handling your hedgehog in the evening when they are most likely to be awake. A sleepy hedgehog can be grumpy which will make this task practically impossible. Allow your hedgehog to sniff your hands so that they will recognize you each time you handle them.
Hedgehogs are, by nature, nocturnal, but that does not necessarily mean that they should not be awakened for bonding or playtime during the day. Some hedgehog owners have found that their hedgehogs have a particular time when they wake up in a better mood than other times.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal and usually sleep during the daytime. Pregnant or nursing mothers may need to be out during the day. Otherwise, if you see hedgehogs in daytime they are probably injured or ill.
It depends on the personality of the individual hedgehog and how much handling the hedgehog has had in the past. Some hedgehogs do seem to like to snuggle up to their human companions, while others might be shyer or simply prefer exploring and moving about over sitting still and cuddling.
The average hedgehog is content to do its own thing and may not show any outward sign that it cares about its owner's existence unless you have a treat in your hand. Despite their somewhat solitary nature, they can become very affectionate with their owners and will even enjoy snuggling on your lap.
One of the best and easiest ways to bond with your hedgehog is to simply hold your hedgehog on your lap for an hour or so while watching television or a movie. Don't attempt to pet a shy hedgehog simply relax and come out on its own.
Pet hedgehogs do best if handled every day, even if it is for just a short amount of time. We recommend handling your hedgehog for at least half an hour a day. The easiest way to accomplish this task is 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening.
When awake, they are very active and it's fun to watch them dig, go through tubes, push toys around and run on their exercise wheel. They should get at least an hour every evening out of their cage to explore. Because hedgehogs are a little prickly, they are best for older children and adults.
A hedgehog's go-to vocal is huffing and puffing, but he's not trying to blow the house down. This sniffing is a normal vocalization he makes while going about his business of exploring. An unhappy hedgehog, on the other hand, will show his disdain with a hiss or a clicking sound.
Hedgehogs generally aren't cuddly animals, and they're most active at night. So they're probably not for someone who wants a very hands-on pet to hang out with during the day. However, they're quiet animals that don't take up ample space and don't need a lot of attention.
Hedgehogs need environmental temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees. Keep your hedgehog's cage away from drafts, direct sunlight, or cold areas. You may want to provide your hedgehog with a small warm spot in his cage where he can go to get warm but would also be able to get away from if he feels too warm.
Recommended Home for Hedgehogs
House your hedgehog in an area that you spend the most amount of time in–like your living room or bedroom so that they can spend time with you. Their home should not be in direct sunlight or in a drafty area. Optimal temperature is between 70 F-85 F; hedgehogs can overheat over 85 F.
Places some hedgehogs like to be scratched include: their ears, chin, along the edge of their quill line or skirt, belly fur or feet. protective of its feet.
Some hedgehogs may enjoy belly rubs, while others may not. Here's a behavior you won't likely see in other family pets: a hedgehog that finds a particularly exciting new scent will lick at it until he develops what is best described as a scented froth in his mouth.
Hedgehogs are known to be very communicative when it comes to their needs, and often make a low purring sound when they are happy or content.
However, the species is prohibited throughout Australia for a number of reasons including its potential to introduce exotic animal diseases and because the species has the ability to become a serious invasive pest in Australia.
Encourage the bonding process
The first two weeks with your hedgehog are the most important in shaping your new companion's personality and how they will react around you! Once home, you may notice a temporary personality change from when you picked out your hedgie, and this is completely normal.
Hedgehogs tend to bond with their owners. They will remember your voice, your smell, and even your appearance. Some will only relax with their owners and be loyal to their owners. Make sure a hedgehog is the pet for you, be prepared for a commitment.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal, which means they shouldn't really be seen out in daylight hours. Some of the exceptions to this are pregnant females gathering nesting materials just before she gives birth, or a new 'Mum' taking a break from the nest to get food and water while her young sleep.
HEATSTROKE AND DEHYDRATION. Heatstroke can cause hedgehogs to lay out during the day, this is of course not normal being nocturnal. They become very dehydrated and will often lay on their belly with their legs hanging out the sides. If they are laying on their sides then it is very serious.
Hedgehogs do circle when they are about to mate and some people mistake running in circles for mating behaviour. But this is something very different. In mating behaviour, males and females circle together with the male typically circling around the female.