Do Hedgehogs Get Attached to Their Owners?

A hedgehog is probably the last animal that comes to mind when considering pets who show affection and quickly get attached to their owners.

However, they make wonderful pets; they are adorable, small, and full of character.

If you are about to welcome a hedgehog into your home, it’s natural to wonder if they cuddle and get attached to their owners.

We answer this question here!

Do Hedgehogs Get Attached to Their Owners?

The short answer to the question “do hedgehogs get attached to their owners is “yes, they do!” If a hedgehog has spent considerable time around you, it’s likely to get used to your scent.

When hedgehogs begin to recognize the owner’s scent, they develop a strong bond with them.

However, baby hedgehogs will likely become attached to their owners faster than mature ones. Older hedgehogs demand more attention and time to bond with their owners.

The time a hedgehog takes to get attached to the owner also depends on the hedgehog’s personality.

Moreover, hedgehogs also need time to adapt to their surroundings, including the sounds and scents around them.

Once they feel secure in their surroundings, they become more at ease since they realize no threats exist.

Therefore, a hedgehog that’s comfortable in its environment is likely to form a bond with the owner faster.

Hedgehogs have varying personalities, so don’t expect all of them to take the same amount of time to get attached to you.

Some hedgehogs are grumpier and take longer to adapt to the environment. Others are friendlier, making it easy for you to bond with them.

By nature, a hedgehog is a solitary animal. So, if your pet hedgehog allows you to come near them, it indicates they trust you.

Do Hedgehogs Like Cuddling?

Hedgehogs are typically solitary creatures in their natural environment. If appropriately socialized from an early age, hedgehogs may be more accepting of being petted and may even like to be cuddled occasionally. 

Observing its body language lets you determine if your hedgehog likes to be cuddled. It is likely to enjoy the attention if it appears comfortable and relaxed in your arms.

However, generally speaking, it’s preferable to let your hedgehog be if it seems uncomfortable or uneasy.

The prickly spines of hedgehogs make cuddling them challenging as well.

They have spikey and sharp spines, which can be quite painful for humans upon contact as they are made of keratin.

These spines enable hedgehogs to protect themselves from predators. They have around 5,000 to 7,000 spines on their bodies, so be careful while petting them.

How to Bond With Your Hedgehog?

If you have a hedgehog and want to develop a strong bond with it, here are some simple ideas:

Give them More Time

One way to develop a strong bond with your hedgehog is to give them more time. Hedgehogs require social interaction for almost 30 minutes a day.

This way, you can use this opportunity to get to know your hedgehog and show them your love.  

Offer Them Food as a Reward

Most hedgehogs like eating. You can reward good behavior with food; this can be a wonderful way to show a hedgehog that you care. Just be careful not to feed them too much!

Give Them Your Love and Affection

Hedgehogs are affectionate creatures who love to cuddle and be petted after becoming accustomed to it. Thus, giving your hedgehog physical affection is a great way to show them that you care.

Hedgehogs are sometimes shy initially, but with time and gentle treatment, they will become used to being around you. Start by feeding them with your fingertips, then gradually work up to pet them.

Offer Them Enrichment and Amusement

Hedgehogs require amusement since they have a busy nature. Thus, if you want to engage your hedgehog daily, you can offer them enrichment items and toys. These things will make them happy and occupied throughout the day.

Be sure to provide them a place to play where they feel secure as they love exploring. This space would be a spare room in your home which is generally unoccupied.

To entertain your hedgehog, you can play games with them, including tug-of-war using a soft rope, hide-and-seek, ball chasing, and more. Be sure only to play games that are safe for them.

How Do Hedgehogs Show Affection Toward Their Owners?

Many hedgehog owners believe their pet is exhibiting affection when it licks them. However, others believe hedgehogs lick you since they are curious creatures and may like how you smell.

If your hedgehog is habitual of licking, you must try to stop this behavior before it leads to biting.

One of the simplest ways hedgehogs shows their affection is by not running off when they are being held.

They may roll up and sleep in your arms if they are extremely comfortable in your presence.

They may approach you with genuine eagerness and interest and then relax on your lap or shoulder to express affection. If your hedgehog is friendly, it will not flee when you pet its head.

Final Word

Hedgehogs are little, spiky creatures that have long been kept as pets. They are adored for their vibrant personality and adorable appearance.

Hedgehogs can make wonderful pets for individuals of every age if given the proper care and attention.

They are not very demanding and require little care. Moreover, they develop strong attachments to their owners when they feel comfortable and secure.

They may also get accustomed to your scent, which may lead to them developing a strong bond with you.

Hedgehogs may take some time to get used to their surroundings. However, once they are comfortable, they display their happiness and attachment in many ways, such as taking a nap on your shoulder.

Give your hedgehog two to three weeks to adjust to its new surroundings when you adopt them.

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