Hedgehogs’ Social Behavior (8 Things You Didn’t Know)

Hedgehogs are solitary creatures who love to live by themselves! Unlike many other pets, hedgehogs do not require socialization from their owners which is by far one of the hedgehog’s most abnormal social behaviors.

Just because hedgehogs do not require socialization from their owners does not mean they are anti-social though. In fact, hedgehogs love to play with toys and can be great companions, and the more time you spend with them, the closer bond you can form!

If you want to form a solid connection with your solitary hedgehog, you should let them have their desired alone time. Hedgehogs love living alone and prefer single-housing over multiple hedgehogs homes. 

Do Hedgehogs Live Alone or in Groups? Are They a Social Creature?

Hedgehogs are solitary creatures which means they would much rather prefer living alone than in groups. Housing hedgehogs together is not recommended because of the social complications it causes.

Social complications happen for a number of reasons like gender or the desire for dominance. In any case, it is strongly recommended that you do not house hedgehogs together and if you do, only house females together and pay close attention to signs of aggression.

Are Hedgehogs Affectionate Amongst One Another?

Hedgehogs do not get along with one another mainly because they are a gender-based species. Male hedgehogs often fight for dominance. This may show itself in territory battles like assertion over food and water or worse, physical fighting.

Housing a male and a female together can also cause physical fighting. Furthermore, hedgehogs of the opposite gender are likely to mate when housed together and this can be a major issue for the amateur pet owner.

The only way hedgehogs are known to get along with other hedgehogs is when they are housed in a female, female combination.

These hedgehogs tend to be less hostile and can form meaningful relationships with each other. However, do not expect them to sleep together at night since this is not a normal hedgie behavior!

Can Hedgehogs Be Aggressive, Vicious, Or Mean?

Hedgehogs are not naturally aggressive but because they are prey in the wild, they have defensive tendencies. Do not be surprised if your hedgehog starts hissing and huffing when you place your hand in their cage. This is a normal defensive stance for your hedgehog!

Overcoming the Aggression

Remember, your hedgehog is typically prey in the wild which is why some hedgehogs will react defensively every time you place your hand in the cage, especially when you are a baby.

Do not be surprised if they continue to hiss and snap if they are awoken in the middle of their slumber. It is not a sign of mistrust for you, it is just shocking!

To overcome this obstacle and prove that you are trustworthy, introduce them to your smell and slowly accommodate your hedgehog. Slow accommodations will help your hedgehog learn to trust you as you help them overcome their hissy!

Do Pet Hedgehogs Enjoy Being Around Humans, Or Do They Want to Be Left Alone?

Hedgehogs do not mind hanging out with their human companion but because they are solitary creatures would rather be left alone! If you are trying to make your prickly pal more social, spend as much time with them as you can napping and during their waking hours.

Why Is My Hedgehog So Angry?

Hedgehogs can get angry for numerous reasons like interrupting sleep or creating too much noise throughout the day. In any case, hedgehogs use anger as a social cue to alert their owners something is wrong.

Interrupting their Sleep

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals so your hedgehog might be angry if you are constantly waking them up and interrupting their sleep schedule.

Not Enough Food

Your hedgehog might be frustrated because there is a lack of readily available food. Although they do not need to eat every day, each hedgehog is different. If your hedgehog is always angry with you it might be because they are hungry!

Too Much Light and Noise

Hedgehogs are nocturnal which means they sleep throughout their day. Similar to their chaotic noise at night keeping you up, if you make constant noise throughout their day, it can be difficult for your pokey pet some shut-eye!

Consider finding somewhere else to work during the day or moving your pet’s cage somewhere they will not have to hear the noise of your busy day!

Sick

If your hedgehog is constantly snapping at you or huffing every time you touch them, this is a key social cue that there is something wrong with them. A hedgehog that huffs is normal but one that is constantly defensive is showing signs that they are in distress -especially if they are staying out in the open!

Q & A

Hedgehogs as Pets: Do They Like Being Held and Cuddled?

Some hedgehogs love to be cuddled and will sleep on your chest but would prefer to be left alone to explore!

Why Is My Hedgehog Grumpy?

If they are young, your loving pet might be losing their quills which can make movement and touch very uncomfortable. Otherwise, they may be hungry, sleep-deprived, or ill.

Can You Socialize a Grumpy Hedgehog?

You can socialize a grumpy hedgehog, but you should let them get used to your smell first and find the root of their grumpiness before pursuing the socialization.

Do Hedgehogs Like to Play?

Some hedgehogs love to play which is why you should have plenty of stimulating toys like mazes and animal tubes. Always beware of the size tube provided since hedgehogs are known to get stuck inside small tubes!