Why Is My Hedgehog Suddenly Grumpy? (All You Need To Know)

The behavior of a Hedgehog can sometimes be highly uncertain. Your Hedgehog is sweet and friendly one day, and the next, they are a complete menace. This kind of sudden mean behavior is not that uncommon, especially when dealing with a young Hedgehog who is less than a year old.

In general, Hedgehogs suddenly turn grumpy if there is a significant change in their day-to-day routine. Other possible reasons for sudden behavioral change in Hedgehogs include immense pain, illness, fear, anxiety, boredom, the scent of another animal, partial blindness, and pregnancy.

The best part is that you can help your Hedgehog overcome their grumpy behavior.

Hamster Essentials
Hamster Essentials

By finding out the cause of the sudden behavioral change in your Hedgehog, you can take the required steps to correct the problem and live a peaceful life with your pet.

Your Hedgehog Is Grumpy Because They Are In Pain

Sometimes, the grumpy behavior of your Hedgehog is a sign that it is actually in immense pain.

In such cases, they will lash out at you because of the pain they feel, similar to how many people are more irritable when suffering from a headache and other forms of pain.

You might not notice any visible sign of illness or pain, which makes it challenging to know when pain is the cause of grumpy behavior.

Most Hedgehogs tend to hide their symptoms of illness. Therefore, it can be challenging to notice when your Hedgehog is sick.

Some common signs of sickness you can look out for include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Change in litter box habits
  • Lack of energy
  • Watery eyes
  • Snotty nose
  • Sitting in an unusual position
  • Drooling

If you notice any of the above-listed symptoms in your Hedgehogs, then the cause of aggression may be illness or pain.

In such cases, you’ll want to take your Hedgehog to the vet to get an official diagnosis and help your pet recover.

Your Hedgehog Is Grumpy Because They Have Reached Puberty

If you notice a sudden grumpiness in your Hedgehog’s behavior, then there are chances that they have reached sexual maturity.

Once the hormones kick in, your Hedgehog will become more aggressive and frustrated. However, not all Hedgehogs will act grumpy when they reach puberty, but some behavior changes are typical.

Sometimes, it feels like this change happens overnight, while other times, it is a gradual change in behavior over a couple of months.

The only way to correct this behavior is to get your Hedgehog spayed or neutered. Just remember, it may take a month for your pet’s hormones to calm down after they have received the surgery.

Your Hedgehog Is Grumpy Because They Are Scared

If your Hedgehog is scared or anxious, it is quite natural for them to turn grumpy.

For instance, if your pet suddenly gets startled by a loud noise or a rapid movement, then they may instinctually lash out at whatever happens to be nearby.

It is vital to make your pet Hedgehog feel safe in the environment. It would help if you encouraged them to gain confidence. With this, you can prevent the grumpy behavior of your pet.

There are chances that your pet Hedgehog is grumpy because they were once improperly handled. Such cases occur if your pet has a terrible experience with humans.

Your Hedgehog Is Grumpy Because You Added Another Animal To The Household

The other scenario that can cause grumpy behavior is adding another animal to the household. The sudden and pervasive scent of the other animal can cause your pet Hedgehog to get confused and grumpy.

In most cases like this, your Hedgehog will eventually calm down on their own after they’ve gotten used to the new scent.

You may be able to help them by placing a towel or toy with the new scent into the Hedgehog enclosure to help them adjust more quickly.

Your Hedgehog Is Grumpy Because They Can’t See Properly

Poor vision or blindness is yet another reason your Hedgehog might have suddenly turned grumpy.

With the passing age, many Hedgehogs start to develop cataracts. Some Hedgehogs may develop cataracts in one eye, while others may develop in both eyes.

If your Hedgehog has developed cataracts, its vision will get cloudy. This may, then eventually, lead to complete blindness.

If your Hedgehog is fully blind or is blind in one eye, then it might be a severe problem.

There might be cases when your pet may not have noticed your hand coming toward them at all. Then if you suddenly touch and pet them, they might get startled and bite.

In such cases, the best way to counteract this grumpy behavior is to make sure your Hedgehog is aware of you and your hand whenever you are near.

You must build a habit of speaking softly to your pet. If your Hedgehog is only blind in one eye, always approach them from their good side.

Try to make some noises with your hand by rubbing your fingers together as you go near your pet Hedgehog. This way, they won’t be surprised when they cannot see you.

Your Hedgehog Is Grumpy Because They Are Bored

Boredom is yet another reason why your Hedgehog must suddenly have been grumpy. There have been cases where Hedgehogs gradually get angrier when they do not have anything to do.

However, I do not think you should rule out boredom as a cause for your HedgHedgehog’s grumpiness.

Although some Hedgehogs might become more grumpy over time due to boredom, there are chances that the grumpiness is due to a recent and dramatic change in their lifestyle.

A sudden change in the lifestyle or living conditions can easily lead to stress in our Hedgehogs, causing grumpy behavior.

Your Hedgehog might even act grumpy if you went on a vacation for a week or so. During this time, your pet may not have gotten as much attention or exercise when you are gone, making your pet feel frustrated when you get back.

In such cases, you will notice that your Hedgehog’s behavior returns to normal once their routine is back to normal. Therefore, it is crucial to provide your Hedgehog with enough physical and mental stimulation so that they can work off their frustration.

And, of course, make sure to spend time around your pet Hedgehog so they get enough socialization.

Your Hedgehog Is Grumpy Because They Are Pregnant

If your female Hedgehog is not spayed and has been housed together with a male, then there are high chances that your pet is aggressive because she is pregnant.

Also, there are chances that your pet Hedgehog has false pregnancy. Due to this, they might suddenly turn grumpy towards anyone who tries to interact with them.

In such cases, if you have any doubts regarding your Hedgehog’s behavior, then the best option is to take your pet to a vet as soon as possible.

Related Queries:

Are Hedgehogs Moody?

Hedgehogs can surely be moody sometimes. You have to be extremely gentle with your pet in such scenarios.

Be patient with them, and don’t take it personally. With time, you will see that their behavior is back to normal.

How Do You Deal With A Grumpy Hedgehog?

If your Hedgehog is being grumpy, but you are sure they are not in pain, ask yourself whether they might be afraid of being handled and why.

Are you suddenly appearing where they didn’t expect you to be? Speak to them as you approach so as not to startle them. Always use a calm, quiet voice.

If you are still not sure of your pet’s condition, then I would advise you to take them to a vet as soon as possible.


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.

Recent Posts