Are hedgehog rodents? And other interesting facts!

 

Ever since I’ve discovered how extremely well behaved creatures hedgehogs are, I started to make some changes in the way I see having a pet. Not all of them require long walks or special diets. It’s important to learn the key features about them and the rest is just pure bliss because you have a friend that will never argue with you.

The most common mistake everyone does is to think that hedgehogs are rodents. Completely wrong because even though they look similar to hamsters or Guinea pigs, they are actually insectivores. Furthermore, they don’t emanate a special odor and can be easily litter trained. Compared to rodents, they live much longer. Basically, with proper care, hedgies can live up to 7 years old.

 

 

One major positive aspect related to these little animals is the fact that they don’t need any immunization shots. If you want to keep them as pets, just make sure you have some spare time after you come from work to take care of them. They are nocturnal creatures that get up from their naps only after dark.

Hedgehogs have soft fur on their bellies and faces while their back is covered entirely with spikes or quills. If they are relaxed, the spikes lie flat just like hair. On the contrary, then they feel in danger or a threatening situation, they tense the intricate muscles on their backs and cause the quills to rise up until they become extremely sharp.

Just like dogs, hedgehogs shed their fur and their spikes but they will not come out naturally if they happen to get pricked.

 

You need to understand that hedgehogs aren’t famous for their social skills. You won’t see them in groups because they like to explore the unknown and forage for food without any help. However, domesticated ones can be put together as long as they are both females. It’s better not to house two males because they tend to get into a quarrel unless they were raised together from a very young age.

If you’re interested in getting a hedgehog for a pet, you should know that they are excellent choices for single people of families that don’t afford an animal that is high-maintenance.

 

 

Since most of these creatures provide a ton of entertainment thanks to their curiosity to learn and explore their surroundings, you’ll have a blast watching them. Besides, once they get used to their owner, they get more interactive and a tad more playful. You can purchase some small toys for cats or running wheels and they’ll be more than glad about their environment.

In addition, they don’t need special treatment because they need to be kept indoors at normal room temperature. As far as feeding them, you’ll find plenty of hedgehog food available in specialized stores.

If you’re not into dogs, you’ll love a hedgehog because it doesn’t bark, climb curtains or chew your shoes.

 

Do hedgehogs make good pets?

 

If you’re curious to know if hedgehogs make good pets, you should start with a few basics facts related to this wonderful animal. Hedgehogs are mammals that have been on this Earth for millions of years and their natural habitat is usually located in Africa or southern Europe.

Although they are insectivores, they won’t turn down a variety of different animals or plants, if the situation occurs. Since they are known to be nocturnal, they spend most of their day sleeping and only get active at dusk.

 

The trademark of these little fellows is his quills. The reason why hedgehogs have them is to protect themselves and they do so by curling up into a lovely ball that has these sharp hollow hairs located on the exterior.

Moreover, the quills are specially colored with a white and brown tips so they can be used for camouflage. However, you’ll find hedgehogs that have brown, cream, gray, or even albino quills.

Most people wonder whether these cute animals can make great pets, just like dogs, cats, or hamsters. The most common type of hedgehog sold as a pet is the African pygmy hedgehog. Even though you can take it and consider it as your pet, keep in mind that hedgehogs are solitary animals that like to live alone.

The African pygmy type can grow up to 9 inches long and has a lifespan of 4 to 6 years. Some pets can even go on and live up to 10 years.

One aspect you must consider is that a hedgehog is an active animal that needs a large cage in order to be healthy. Therefore, try to get a hedgehog house that comes in an adequate size. You’ll find plenty good options for affordable prices. Besides this, don’t forget that hedgehogs need to spend lots of time outside their cage, exploring the environment.

Because they like to spend the most part of their activity at night, they make great pets for people that spend their time at home in the evenings or those that don’t go to sleep so early. If you have small children or toddlers, you might want to consider another option for a pet.

 

 

Kids are curious and like to express their feelings of affection towards their pet. So when they get overzealous, hedgehogs might get scared and extend the quills for protection. This can lead to serious injuries caused by this pet to one of your family members.

In terms of diet, they eat mostly insects but also vegetables. Their diet should have high-quality proteins. Try not to give them too much fat and if you decide to feed them with dog kibble, make sure they are small so that the hedgehog can chew them without too much effort.