How To Get Hedgehog to Uncurl?

Hedgehogs are known for their unique defense mechanism of curling up into a tight ball when they feel threatened.

While this may be an effective way to protect themselves in the wild, it can be challenging for pet owners who want to handle and interact with their spiky companions.

So, what can you do if your hedgehog refuses to uncurl? In this article, we’ll explore creative and gentle ways to coax your hedgehog out of its defensive posture and help it feel more comfortable and secure in your presence.

How to get a Hedgehog to Uncurl

Rubbing the Spine

Hedgehogs are timid creatures who are not out to hurt anyone. Their defense mechanism is very strong, and they use it to save themselves from danger.

But they consider even loud noises dangerous and curl into a tight ball. When that happens, the owner must understand that to uncurl the hedgehog. They must gain their confidence.

To gain confidence, the owner must hold it facing the hedgehog downwards. They must gently but firmly rub their spines for a little while. A few minutes into the rubbing will get the hedgehog to uncurl.

Running a warm bath

When a hedgehog is curled up into a tight ball, a good way to make them uncurl is to put them into a warm bath gently.

The warm water will warm their bodies and help them uncurl and feel their surroundings.

Hibernating Hedgehogs

It so happens that sometimes the hedgehogs curl up in a tight ball because they are hibernating. This tells that the hedgehog is healthy and strong.

Wild hedgehogs tend to hibernate when they eat the right amount of fats and nutrients they need for hibernation. Pet hedgehogs do not hibernate.

When pet hedgehogs hibernate, the owner must ensure their room temperature is not too cold, which angers the hedgehog to curl up.

They must warm up the room and hold the hedgehog toward their bodies to keep them warm.


Owners who keep hedgehogs as pets must make them familiar with them and their surroundings.

When they see their small hedgehogs curled up into a tight little prickly ball, they can put their nose to their nose.

When curled up, the hedgehogs make use of their sense of smell and hearing to make an understanding of their surroundings.

This nose-to-nose makes them familiar with their owner and helps them get comfortable with them. A little time like that helps them to uncurl and show their tinny faces.

Water on the spine

Hedgehogs are familiar with water and tend to relax when in contact with water. The owners can easily uncurl their hedgehogs by trickling down a small amount of water on their spines.

The water’s smell and feel help the hedgehogs uncurl and experience their surroundings.

Curiosity to uncurl

Hedgehogs are curious creatures who are always curious about their surroundings. The owner must use the hedgehog’s curious nature and make them curious enough to come out of their curled-up position.

What they can do is they can blow on their faces. The hedgehogs will smell the warm breath on their face and will become curious about their surroundings.

Keep doing it for a while, and the hedgehogs will eventually come out and appease their curiosity.

Quiet surroundings

Hedgehogs are even afraid of loud noises. They curl up faster into a tight ball when in contact with a loud thud.

To uncurl that frightened creature, make sure that the surroundings are quiet. Gently rub their spines; eventually, they will understand there is nothing to fear.

Give them a treat

The small creatures love to eat their insect food. They are always hungry and enjoy a treat now and then.

When curled into a tight ball, the owner can hold up a yummy insect in front of their mouths to get them to uncurl.

As the hedgehogs use their sense of smell, the smell of a treat will help them uncurl very quickly.

These treats will get them to form good confident relationships with their owners. They will feel safe around them.

Final Thoughts

Hedgehogs are timid creatures that require care and gentleness from their owner. It would be in the best interest of all hedgehog owners to know the dos and don’ts about their hedgehogs.

They frighten easily and have a hard time adjusting to new surroundings. 

In the wild, they are independent to do what they please according to their requirements. They need some getting used to when they are made pets and brought to human territories.

The owners must know how to deal with their hedgehogs for that purpose.

The pet owner must provide quiet surroundings to keep the hedgehog comfortable and safe in a human environment.

If they feel slightly intimidated by their surroundings, they will curl up, and it would take a lot of time to uncurl.

Pet owners must know how to easily and quietly get their hedgehogs to open up to them.

The abovementioned ways will help the owners understand their hedgehogs and give them ideas on how to uncurl and play with them.

These small, tiny creatures are harmless and can be wonderful pets if treated with the utmost care.

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