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How To Get A Hedgehog To Like You – 5 Practical Tips

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There are many ways to learn how to get a Hedgehog to like you. However, there are very few that actually work.

In this detailed article, we will debunk the myths and give you practical advice on how to bond with your Hedgehog.

It’s not easy learning how to get a Hedgehog to like you when you are a new pet owner. You need to try and spend as much time with your prickly friend as possible. It’s even harder for your pet Hedgehog to bond with you especially if they are very young or have had a difficult upbringing.

For example, stray and wild Hedgehogs will be much harder to form closer bonds with as they are not used to human interaction and will naturally feel threatened.

Try to be patient and only take proactive steps when it is clear and safe to do so. Over bonding with your Hedgehog may have the undesirable effect of pushing them away.

Your aim is too subtle and friendly and always look out for the right cues to pet, play and interact. Learning what sounds Hedgehog makes when they are happy, sad ort threatened is very important.

How To Get A Hedgehog To Like You

Hedgehog Bonding with Touch

The first thing you want to do to get a Hedgehog to like you is to bond with touch. This involves you taking your Hedgehog out of the cage and interacting with it. Always remember to be patient and gentle whenever you bond through touch.

1. Keep hands clean

Try to use the same ora similar brand of soap when you wash your hands. If you do this your Hedgehog will link this scent to you and over time will become much more comfortable with you.

Avoid wearing gloves or handwear when you handle your Hedgehog as this may interfere with your natural scent and will prolong your bonding time.

If you must wear gloves be cautious that your Hedgehog may feel threaten or provoked to bite. Instead, use a blanket that is soft and gentle in touch and ensure you use the same washing up detergent each time. This will ensure that the Hedgehog associates that smell with you and your interaction time.

2. Gentle Pick Ups

You always want to show care and attention when picking up your Hedgehog. Your Hedgehog will be able to sense frustrations in your immediate care and will try to avoid contact with you if they feel frightened if your technique for picking them up is incorrect.

  • Pick up you Hedgehog from the belly and ensure it is facing down
  • Hold your Hedgehog in your hand or alternatively you can place him comfortably in your lap.
  • Don’t worry if your Hedgehog starts to ball up or won't uncurl from their ball. This is very natural and normal too.
  • Be careful to only pick up your Hedgehog before you touch anything that has a strong smell. Cooking, eating or interacting with chemicals is a good example here. Your Hedgehog has very astute sense and will be able to smell even an onion that you shopped up a few hours ago if your hands are not thoroughly washed.
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3. Let your Hedgehog unroll naturally.

It’s perfectly normal for your Hedgehog to roll up into a ball the first few times you attempt to pick them up. Remember, they are not used to human interaction and will do what feels right to them. That’s to hide away and hope you lose interest!

Try to be patient and don’t hold them in an uncomfortable way. Keep them in your hand or lap and just wait for them t uncurl. Ultimately you are teaching your Hedgehog through close interaction that you are not there to harm them in any way and that they should feel safe in your presence.

This can take some time to get used to, especially for baby Hedgehogs or a pregnant Hedgehog.

4. Pet your Hedgehog correctly

Learning how to get a Hedgehog to like you involves being practical and proactive in your approach. Many new pet owners make the mistake of petting their Hedgehog in the wrong direction.

Always pet your Hedgehog from head to tail. This will be in the direction that the quills (those prickly things on their back ) lay. Never pet in the direction against the quills as this will be painful for you and be uncomfortable for your Hedgehog.

Small hints like this will make your efforts of learning how to get a Hedgehog to like you much easier and smoother.  

You can also try a Hedgehog bonding pouch.

This is a great Hedgehog accessory to have as it will give you 1 on 1 time with your Hedgehog and also give them their freedom and security by being in the secure Hedgehog bonding pouch by themselves. They are very cheap and many pet owners swear by them.

If you want to know how to get a Hedgehog to like you fast then I’d recommend picking up one of these from amazon.

Hedgehog Bonding With The Scent

The next important way to learn how to get a Hedgehog to like you is to figure out how to bond with scent. This is just as powerful as touch as Hedgehog has excellent scent receptors. This is how baby Hedgehog bond with their mothers as they are born blind for up to 14 days.

1. Put a piece of clothes in the Hedgehog cage.

One practical tip for hedgehog bonding is to leave a ‘smelly’ piece of your clothes In their cage. By smelly we don’t mean the football shorts that you just wore in a 90-minute match, but more appropriately a very frequent piece of clothing you wear in the house that you don’t mind getting dirty.

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A perfect example of this would be your house t-shirt or house vest. These pieces of clothes will perfectly as they have your natural smell on and this is the scent that you want to introduce and allow your Hedgehog to get familiar with.

  • Remember you mustn't put a washed or clean item of clothing into the hedgehog cage. This wild defeat the whole point of bonding through scent.
  • Also, try not to use a piece of clothing that has loose threads or loose sequences hanging off it as it may interfere with the Hedgehog safety. Once it’s inside the cage let them go wid with it.
  • Most Hedgehog will use it as a blanket or something to lay on.

Another practical tip we would recommend is sleeping with a small blanket for a few nights that you can then use as Hedgehog lining. This will be perfect as it will naturally have your smell on it and the Hedgehog will use it inadvertently to sleep with.

2. Avoid harsh new scents

Many new pet owners who want to learn how to get a Hedgehog to like you forget that powerful new scents can irritate and confuse a Hedgehog. It’s best you restrict the temptation to try on any new lotions of fragrances for a few weeks until after you successfully bonding with your Hedgehog. Perfumes are the perfect example of a powerful scent that will irritate your Hedgehog if you interact with them whilst wearing it.

Hedgehog Bonding With Sound

Although not widely known, bonding with your Hedgehog through is a very smart way to keep your Hedgehog close and keep them happy for longer.

1. Talking to your Hedgehog

Your Hedgehog will get familiar with your voice and the things you say. Some people even train their Hedgehog to do tricks and they use their voice and simple commands to achieve this.

  • If your Hedgehog starts to ball or you see their quills coming up from their body in a threaten manor then you could be speaking too loudly or abruptly.
  • When you use your voice and your Hedgehog has started to respond to it you should incentivize them with treats. This will create a strong link in their brain that your voice means food and that’s a fantastic way to get your Hedgehog to like you. It will also help your Hedgehog learn new tricks.

2. Play relaxing music

Contrary to popular belief Hedgehog does actually like the sound of music and they will relax more with a calm piece of music on they will with a fast or abrupt piece of music. Keeping some soft background music will not only serve to relax your Hedgehog but it will also help them to adjust to their new surroundings if you have just purchased a Hedgehog and have brought it home.

Remember if you don’t have any background music on then you run the risk of your Hedgehog being more startled when they hear new or loud noises in and around the home.

3. Not all sounds are good ones.

Many pet owners that are learning how to get a Hedgehog to like you forget this basic rule and have too many foreign sounds on at once. If your Hedgehog is in the front room and you have people coming in and out, the radio and TV on and something loud bubbling in the kitchen then this can be overwhelming. On top of that having other pets can be a distraction and confuse your Hedgehog.

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It’s safer to have 1 or background noises while your Hedgehog is in their cage and then slowly blend background noises as they get more accustom to them. For example, you can have the TV on but take the radio off, or tell people to talk a bit more quietly. In that way, your Hedgehog get’s more familiar with the surroundings over a longer period and this transition will help you bond with them.

It’s simple advice, but many pet owners forget this and then are surprised when they see a Hedgehog hissing and jumping all the time. To avoid your Hedgehog hissing and jumping turn down the background noise and filter it to be more subtle.

Hedgehog Bonding With Personality

Every Hedgehog is a bit different and your hedgehogs' temperament will shine through as you spend more time with them. Regardless of your Hedgehog personality, there are some tale-tell signs that your Hedgehog is happy and contented or frightened and threatened.

Knowing what sounds does a Hedgehog make is important to understanding your Hedgehog and will ultimately help you bond with them.

For example, If your Hedgehog does this then they are probably unhappy or feel threatened: 

  • Quills go up
  • Hissing, huffing or screaming
  • Tries to bite or shows teeth
  • Always rolls up in a ball and doesn’t unroll for a long time
  • Shows irradiation by shaking all the time.

If you do this correctly you will know how to get a Hedgehog to like you as you'll able to see first hand how they feel about you.

There are lots of different types of hedgehog personalities but the most popular are:

1. Snuggler 

A Hedgehog that just likes to relax and is very chilled in your hand or other peoples. They adore interaction and you’ll routinely hear them purring for comfort. If you are a new Hedgehog owner then try to look our for one of these as they are the easiest to bond with!

2. Explorer

This type of Hedgehog likes to be in the open and shies away from being in one place for too long. This can include your hand or your lap. You’ll know that you have an explorer if they are constantly on the move and when you try to hold them they want to walk away, jump down or go explore!

3. Hider 

These are the last type of Hedgehog and they usually refer to a Hedgehog that just prefers to hide and shy’s away from human interaction. You’ll know you have this type if you try to hold them and they hiss, jump or curl up into a ball al the time. Stray Hedgehog usually show this personality trait and so to get this Hedgehog to like you may take more time.

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