Why Is My Hedgehog Suddenly Grumpy? (+ What To Do About It)

Hedgehogs are known for their charming personalities, playful nature, and adorable looks, making them a popular choice as pets. They are generally low maintenance animals, but their grumpy behavior can be a cause for concern for many owners. So, let’s learn more about it.

There are several reasons why a hedgehog may suddenly become grumpy, including illness, stress, hormonal changes, or changes in their environment or routine. It’s important to monitor your hedgehog’s behavior closely and consult with a veterinarian if you suspect they may be experiencing any health issues.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons why hedgehogs become grumpy, from changes in their environment to underlying health issues.

By understanding the causes of this behavior, you can help your hedgehog feel more comfortable and secure and enjoy a happy and healthy life together.

Reasons Why Your Hedgehog Might Be Grumpy

Like all animals, hedgehogs can experience a range of emotions, including grumpiness.

If your hedgehog seems grumpy, it’s important to identify the root cause and take appropriate steps to address it.

Here are some reasons why your hedgehog might be grumpy:

Health Issues

Hedgehogs can experience a variety of health issues that can cause them pain and discomfort.

Injuries, dental problems, and parasitic infections are all common health issues that can make your hedgehog grumpy.

If your hedgehog is experiencing any health issues, it’s important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

Your vet can diagnose and treat the underlying problem, helping your hedgehog feel better and reducing their grumpiness.

Lack of Socialization

Hedgehogs are social animals that thrive on interaction with their owners.

Without adequate socialization and attention, they can become withdrawn and grumpy.

It’s important to spend time with your hedgehog each day, talking to them, holding them, and playing with them.

This can help them feel more comfortable and secure in their environment, reducing their grumpiness.

Environmental Factors

Hedgehogs are sensitive to changes in their environment. If they are exposed to loud noises, bright lights, or strong smells, they may become stressed and grumpy.

It’s important to keep your hedgehog’s environment as calm and peaceful as possible.

This means minimizing loud noises, providing a dark and quiet sleeping area, and avoiding the use of strong-smelling products in their enclosure.


Hedgehogs are sensitive to temperature changes. If their enclosure is too cold or too hot, they may become irritable and grumpy.

It’s important to keep their enclosure at a consistent temperature that is within their comfort range.

This means providing a heat source during colder months and ensuring they are not exposed to direct sunlight or high temperatures during hotter months.

Hunger or Thirst

If your hedgehog is hungry or thirsty, they may become grumpy and agitated.

It’s important to provide them with fresh food and water each day and to monitor their intake.

If you notice any changes in their eating or drinking habits, it’s important to seek veterinary care.

Also Read: How Long Can Hedgehogs Go Without Food And Water?


As hedgehogs age, they may become less active and more prone to grumpiness.

This is a normal part of the aging process and can be managed by providing a comfortable and quiet environment for your hedgehog to rest.

What Does An Angry Hedgehog Sound Like?

When hedgehogs feel threatened or scared, they may make a variety of sounds to communicate their discomfort. However, these sounds are not always angry in nature.

In fact, most of the sounds hedgehogs make are defensive rather than aggressive.

Here are some common sounds hedgehogs may make when they feel threatened or uncomfortable:

  • Hissing: Hedgehogs may hiss when they feel threatened or scared. This sound is a warning sign that they are not happy and may be preparing to defend themselves.
  • Puffing: When hedgehogs puff up, they are trying to make themselves appear larger and more intimidating to potential predators. This is not necessarily a sign of anger, but rather a defensive tactic.
  • Clicking: Hedgehogs may click their teeth together when they are feeling uncomfortable or threatened. This sound can be a sign of aggression, but it’s also possible for hedgehogs to click their teeth when they are content.
  • Grunting: When hedgehogs are angry or agitated, they may grunt to express their displeasure. This sound is often accompanied by other defensive behaviors, such as hissing or puffing.

It’s important to remember that hedgehogs are not naturally aggressive animals. They typically only display defensive behaviors when they feel threatened or scared.

As a pet owner, it’s important to provide your hedgehog with a safe and comfortable environment, and to handle them gently and respectfully to minimize any feelings of discomfort or threat.

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How Do You Hold A Grumpy Hedgehog?

If your hedgehog is grumpy or irritable, it’s important to approach them with caution and care. Here are some tips on how to safely and gently hold a grumpy hedgehog:

  • Use gloves: If your hedgehog is very agitated or aggressive, you may want to wear gloves to protect your hands. Choose gloves that are thick enough to prevent bites or scratches, but still allow you to handle your hedgehog gently.
  • Be calm and patient: Hedgehogs can sense fear or nervousness, so it’s important to approach them calmly and patiently. Speak in a gentle tone, move slowly, and avoid sudden movements that may startle them.
  • Use a towel or blanket: To help calm your hedgehog down, you can wrap them in a soft towel or blanket. This will also help protect your hands and arms from scratches or bites.
  • Support their body: When holding your hedgehog, make sure to support their body and avoid squeezing or putting pressure on them. Use both hands to gently lift them up, and then hold them close to your body for support.
  • Be aware of their mood: Pay attention to your hedgehog’s body language and vocalizations. If they start hissing, puffing up, or clicking their teeth, it’s a sign that they are feeling uncomfortable or threatened. In this case, it’s best to put them back in their enclosure and try again later.
  • Offer treats: To help your hedgehog associate handling with positive experiences, you can offer them treats or snacks while you’re holding them. This will also help distract them and keep them calm.

Remember that each hedgehog is unique and may have different preferences when it comes to handling.

Some hedgehogs may enjoy being held more than others, so it’s important to pay attention to your hedgehog’s body language and respond accordingly.

If you’re ever unsure about how to handle your hedgehog safely and gently, consult with a veterinarian or an experienced hedgehog owner for guidance.

How Do You Calm A Grumpy Hedgehog?

If your hedgehog is feeling grumpy or agitated, there are several things you can do to help calm them down:

  • Give them some space: If your hedgehog is feeling grumpy, it’s important to give them some space and time to calm down on their own. Avoid picking them up or handling them until they seem more relaxed.
  • Provide a comfortable and safe environment: Make sure your hedgehog has a comfortable and safe environment to retreat to when they’re feeling stressed. This can include a cozy sleeping area, a hiding place, and plenty of toys and enrichment activities to keep them occupied.
  • Offer some gentle petting: Some hedgehogs may enjoy gentle petting or stroking to help them relax. Use a soft touch and move slowly to avoid startling them.
  • Use a soothing voice: Talking to your hedgehog in a calm and soothing voice can help reassure them and make them feel more relaxed. Avoid making sudden or loud noises that may startle them.
  • Provide a warm and dark space: Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals that prefer dark and quiet environments. Providing a warm and dark space, such as a cozy blanket or a hiding place, can help your hedgehog feel more comfortable and calm.
  • Offer a treat: Giving your hedgehog a treat or snack can help distract them and make them feel more relaxed. Just make sure to offer healthy treats in moderation.

It’s important to remember that hedgehogs are individuals and may have different preferences when it comes to calming techniques.

Pay attention to your hedgehog’s body language and behavior to determine what works best for them.

If your hedgehog continues to display signs of aggression or agitation, consult with a veterinarian or an experienced hedgehog owner for additional guidance.


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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