Why Does My Hedgehog Hate Me?

Even if we are trying our best to build a good bond with our Hedgehog, there might be times when your little pet gets upset and start ignoring you. You might wonder why my Hedgehog hates me, but the answer might not be that simple.

Aggressive or antisocial behavior does not necessarily mean that your Hedgehog hates you. Instead, these behaviors are an indication that your Hedgehog is afraid. Your behavior or your pet’s past experiences have caused them to be afraid of people, making them lash out or withdraw.

By understanding the cause of your Hedgehog’s behavior, you can make changes that allow your pet to feel safe around people.

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If you take the necessary steps, you’ll be able to slowly but surely teach your Hedgehog to trust you and become an overall less fearful pet.

Does Your Hedgehog Really Hate You?

When Hedgehogs show antisocial or aggressive behavior, it has nothing to do with a personal grudge against you or anyone.

Hedgehogs that seem to hate their owners are usually just scared and need to be given time to trust their people.

In other scenarios, people may think their Hedgehog hates them because of a misinterpretation of their pet’s behavior.

Let us look at some of the most common behaviors in Hedgehogs that cause owners to think their little ones hate them.

In some cases, you may inadvertently cause fear or stress in your Hedgehog, but in other cases, your Hedgehog’s behavior may result from hormonal imbalances.

Aggressive Hedgehogs

If your Hedgehog swats, lunges, or bites people, that does not necessarily mean it hates them.

This aggressive Hedgehogs behavior is often the result of territorial and hormonal behavior, or it is caused by fear.

In general, most Hedgehogs are usually very gentle animals. While there are several possible reasons that a Hedgehog might show aggressive behavior, it will usually be for one of these two reasons:

Hedgehogs can become aggressive when they feel they have to protect their territory.

Sometimes Hedgehogs learn that people will go away if they act aggressively toward people when they are scared.

This type of aggression is learned based on a fear of people. This may be because you are accidentally scaring your Hedgehog or because of past trauma.

Hedgehogs That Run Away

Owners may think that a Hedgehog that runs away all the time means it hates them.

Usually, this behavior results from past experiences that scared the Hedgehog.

Your Hedgehog may have felt trapped or overwhelmed around people in the past, causing them to develop a phobia. As a result, your pet always runs away when you approach and is hesitant to spend time with you or bond with you.

Hedgehogs That Won’t Cuddle

In general, most Hedgehogs do enjoy being pet, but they don’t enjoy any kind of handling that makes them feel trapped.

If your Hedgehog doesn’t enjoy being held or handled excessively, then that is normal Hedgehog behavior. Do not worry, they don’t hate you.

A Hedgehog that doesn’t let you pet them, on the other hand, might have trust issues. They may have had bad experiences with human hands in the past, and been pet in ways they didn’t like, so now they avoid it altogether.

However, it is important to note that some Hedgehogs are just more sensitive and don’t enjoy being pet, so it’s best to respect your pet’s boundaries if that’s the case.

Young hedgehogs also don’t always like to settle down to be pet. You’ll just have to be patient as your Hedgehog grows up and calms down a little in these cases.

Why Your Hedgehog Hates You?

If your Hedgehog is afraid of you, a change in your behavior won’t automatically cause your pet to trust you again.

You’ll need to work with your Hedgehog to help them feel safe when you are around.

Over time, your pet will start to forget the old associations that caused them to fear people, and the fear will be replaced with a positive association that you purposefully cultivate with your Hedgehog.

Holding Your Hedgehog

In most cases, Hedgehogs hate being held.

If your primary way of interacting with a Hedgehogs is to pick them up, they will start to run away from you whenever you come near to avoid being held.

You’ll want to keep this to a minimum as difficult as it is to resist holding your adorable little one.

Instead, it’s best to mostly interact with your Hedgehog while on the floor.

This way they’ll still be in control of their movement. You will have to handle them occasionally, but you’ll lose your Hedgehog’s trust if you are always trying to pick them up (and make sure you are holding them correctly).

You are Too Loud

Hedgehogs can be easily scared of loud sounds.

These loud noises can be anything from loud music to slamming doors or talking too loudly. If you are consistently noisy around a Hedgehog, they’ll start to associate you with that fear and become afraid of you.

If you want one of these skittish Hedgehogs to trust you, you’ll have to lower the volume of your daily life. Be careful when you close doors to make sure they don’t slam.

Make sure to speak with a quiet and gentle voice when you’re around them. You can also hang out with your Hedgehog doing silent activities, like reading or using headphones.

Too Much Unwanted Attention

Once your Hedgehog trusts you, it is important to give them much attention.

However, if your pet is not ready for it, too much attention can overwhelm them. You want to avoid crowding your Hedgehog or petting them when trying to eat, sleep or groom.

You also want to avoid chasing your Hedgehog down to interact with them.

If your Hedgehog fidgets and runs away from you, then let them. When building trust with a Hedgehog, you have to let them come to you independently.

This allows your Hedgehog to build up their self-confidence and will make them more likely to trust you in the future.

You Smell Like Other Animal

If you’ve been around other animals, your Hedgehog will know about it.

So if you have a dog or a cat kept in a different part of your home, your Hedgehog might smell their scent on you and get scared.

If you spend a lot of time around a friend’s pet or at an animal shelter, your Hedgehog might also be scared of you until you’ve taken a shower and changed your clothing.

Your Hedgehog Is Territorial

If your Hedgehog is territorial, it may be attacking you for no reason. They have an instinct to protect their homes from perceived threats, including predators and your other pets.

Most of the time, Hedgehogs will not be territorial toward humans. However, it does happen occasionally.

In addition, you may have to adjust your behavior to avoid going into your Hedgehog’s enclosure when your pet is around.

You will have to refresh their food and water bowls and clean the enclosure when your pet is out and about to get some exercise.

You Move Too Fast

Hedgehogs can also get startled by fast movements.

Hedgehogs prone to anxiety can become scared if kept in a high-traffic part of the home, where people are constantly walking around. This can especially be a problem if you have young children.

You’ll also want to pay attention to your movements around your little pet.

You don’t want to suddenly reach out to touch your Hedgehog since that may scare them. Instead, if your little pet is afraid of fast movements, you’ll want to try to slow down around them.

Try to pay attention to how quickly you do everything, from walking across the room to standing up after you’ve been sitting for a while.

Your Hedgehog Does Not Feel Safe

A Hedgehog who doesn’t feel safe in its home environment is likely to hide and run away consistently.

They’ll rarely feel comfortable coming out to play and interact with you.

A Hedgehog can be afraid for many reasons, but usually this kind of generalized fear comes down to having very little control over their immediate environment.

Usually, it’s a combination of loud noises, unusual scents, and limited hiding places.

To help your Hedgehog feel safe and eventually learn to trust people, you must make your little pet as comfortable as possible in their home base.

Ensure they have hiding houses and try to limit the amount of jarring external stimuli your Hedgehog comes in contact with.

You can also help your Hedgehog out by giving them treats for brave behavior when they come out of hiding to help build up their confidence.

Past Experiences

Sometimes, Hedgehogs are afraid of people because of past experiences that we don’t know about.

This is more common with Hedgehogs who have been adopted. Many of these Hedgehogs had to deal with scary situations in their day-to-day lives and aren’t ready to trust new people.

They have made negative associations with people based on their experiences, and as a result, they are scared of all humans.

In these situations, it’s really important to give your Hedgehog a lot of time to adjust and trust you. Give your Hedgehog treats and spend quiet time with your Hedgehog to help them make new, positive associations with people.

How Do I Get My Hedgehog To Like Me?

If your Hedgehog is afraid of you, a change in your behavior won’t automatically cause your pet to trust you again.

You’ll need to work with your Hedgehog to help them feel safe when you are around.

Over time, your pet will start to forget the old associations that caused them to fear people, and the fear will be replaced with a positive association that you purposefully cultivate with your Hedgehog.

Classic Conditioning

For the first step, your goal is to get your Hedgehog to make a positive association with you.

To do that you’re going to simply go up to your pet’s enclosure or hiding spot and leave a treat.

You want to make sure your Hedgehog sees you leave the treat (so they don’t think it just magically appeared), then go away and leave your pet alone.

Do this a few times every day for a couple of weeks or until your Hedgehog is willing to come out and get the treat almost right away.

This technique is used to help your pet understand that people aren’t always scary and can even give you good things.

Sit With Your Hedgehog

The next step is to encourage your Hedgehog to come out of hiding while you’re still in the room and even approach you of their own free will.

First, you’ll want to leave the treat like you usually do, but then stay in the room and sit quietly near your Hedgehog.

As your Hedgehog gets braver, you can set the treat closer and closer to where you are sitting until they come up to you to get the treat.

During this time, you’ll want to ignore your little pet. Watch them out of your eye to see what they’re doing, but try to keep your attention on something else, such as a book or your phone. Hedgehogs will be less afraid to approach you if they think you are not paying attention.

Start Petting Your Hedgehog

After your Hedgehog readily comes up to you for a treat, you can add in some interaction with your pet.

You just want to give your pet a simple pat on the top of their head when you give them a treat. As they get more comfortable with being touched, you can start giving them scritches on their forehead and behind the ears.

Eventually, you’ll even be able to give them strokes down their back and give them a nice massage.

But, of course, this will take a lot of time. Your Hedgehog is likely to get scared and shy away at first.

Always wait for your little one to come back to you before trying to pet them again, and never follow your Hedgehog to try to pet them if they’ve gone away.

Eventually, your Hedgehog will realize that you’re not going to hurt them, and they’ll be willing to stick around. After a while, they’ll likely start to settle down and enjoy being pets.

Keep Your Hedgehog’s Trust

Once you have gained your Hedgehog’s trust, you need to make sure you can keep it.

This means you need to continue to avoid picking your Hedgehog up all the time, and you need to help make sure your pet feels safe in its environment.

Avoid loud noises and be patient with your Hedgehog when they get scared.

Mohini

Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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