People, who never get in touch with a hedgehog raise the question, can you touch a hedgehog because of their quills? The spikes on their back make them look dangerous and harmful to a bare hand. However, if you want to pet a hedger, it is easy to handle this cute creature with the proper techniques. In this article, I will share with you the answer to do hedgehogs like to cuddle or all relevant questions for better understanding.
Can You Touch a Hedgehog?
Yes, you can touch a hedgehog, but it’s important to approach them gently and carefully. Hedgehogs have prickly quills on their back that serve as a protective defense mechanism. It’s best to let them smell your hand first and then gently stroke their back. It’s important to be calm and slow in your movements to avoid startling the hedgehog. Always wash your hands before and after handling a hedgehog to ensure their health and safety.
Why Are People Reluctant To Touch Hedgehogs?
The main reason for people’s hesitation is the spiky back of these little fellas. In scientific language, these spikes are called quills. These spikes make them look harmful, and people perceive them like needles that can easily injure the skin. The fact is almost the opposite if you know how to handle a hedgehog, it will automatically make them your favorite pet. Also, proper education allows you to play with them fearlessly.
What Are Hedgehog Quills And Hedgehog Fur:
The hedgehog has soft fur at their bellies and sides, while the back has hard spikes called quills. These quills can range from 3,000 to 5,000, which sounds terrifying. Also, these spikes are pretty sharp and harmful. The back muscles control these spikes and roll them in a ball when they notice any danger. These quills work as a shield for them from their enemies.
Generally, you can touch them without damaging your hand, even in this ball-like protective situation. But if you try to grab it but hardly, it will poke all the spikes in your hand, and you will end up with injuries. Also, you cannot bear the pain if you accidentally catch your finger between the balls. Therefore, deal with these little fellas with a bit extra care.
When Do These Quills Become Dangerous?
In a relaxed state, you can feel that the spikes are evenly sitting around the back with no harmful points. In this condition, you can cuddle with or pet them without any worries. However, when they sense danger, the muscles contract and stand the quills to make them spiky. These innocent creatures become dangerous at this point, and you have to handle them with extra care.
If you try to touch its spikes, you can get bloody hands as these pointy quills can damage the skiing easily. Generally, a hedgehog is not highly damaging. However, they are dangerous for kids or people with no hedgehog-handling experience, even in calm conditions.
How To Handle A Hedgehog?
When a hedgehog feels safe, it keeps the quills relaxed. During this time, you can cuddle and grab it without any worries, as these quills act like fur at that time. There is no danger while handling a relaxed hedgehog because quills lay down along the skin without any tension. This situation allows you to pet them quickly along the quill direction.
However, when it comes to handling a terrified hedgehog because of their pointy and tensed spikes. It is pretty tricky to hold this pet in this situation, and it is recommended not to touch it with bare hands. Try to grab them with the help of a thick towel to avoid direct contact with skin with pointy edges. Also, you can use rubber gloves or gloves made up of any thick material.
Moreover, sometimes irrespective of the tense situation, they suddenly roll up, which can be dangerous. Try slowly taking your hand out of the rolled body in this situation. This needs extra care; otherwise, the spikes can harm your hand skin. If your fingers get caught in the ball, their muscles put pressure, and spikes pierce the hand. This is not a good situation; therefore, handle it with care.
Do Hedgehogs Cuddle And Like To Be Cuddled?
The answer varies based on the hedgehog’s nature, as each has its own likes and dislikes. Also, the past handling of this small creature decides how much a hedgehog-like to cuddle. If there is no past handling of a hedgehog, it makes bonding difficult with a human. In contrast, some hedgehogs like to cuddle and explore new spaces in the house.
Although it is difficult to answer this question, you can still handle any hedgehog of any nature, and it requires a bit of patience. It is safe to get the cuddle, and with some bonding, he will like it.
Can I Touch Wild Hedgehogs?
Don’t dare to touch a wild hedgehog because they never had human interaction and ended up harming your hand. You can encounter these creators in your garden or back home, but touching them can be a wrong decision. For hedgehogs, humans are predators and try to keep themselves safe by activating their spike shields.
However, on social media, you will see many people claim to handle wild hedgehogs and share techniques. The intention behind this sharing is to show love toward these little creatures. On the other hand, many animal lovers stand against this as this familiarity can be dangerous for them. It will prove deadly if hedgehogs stay calm even in the presence of predictors.
What If It’s An Emergency?
Contact animal care services if you encounter an emergency, like an injured hedgehog or abandoned hedgehog baby. Touching a hedgie in this condition can be more harmful than normal. Don’t get close to the hedgehog’s nest or touch its babies; when you touch the babies, the mother is more likely to abandon her babies or even kill them.
However, if you know that the mother leaves because someone disturbs the nest, then call the helpline to save the babies. So, in case of an emergency, contacting a relevant service is preferable to doing anything by yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do Hedgehogs Hurt To Touch?
The answer varies based on the situation of a hedgehog. For example, touching a calm and friendly hedgehog is entirely safe. However, when you try to touch a furious or wild hedgehog, you will end up with an injured hand. If you ever have to handle a wild or fierce hedgehog, make sure to use a thick towel.
Do Hedgehogs Like Being Petted?
Yes, they like petting, but only if they are familiar with you, as it is important to win their trust first. Otherwise, humans are predators of wild hedgehogs, and they never let you come close to them. Also, some hedgehogs like to pet, but some hate it; it depends on their nature. So before doing this, remember to analyze the situation.
Do Hedgehogs Bond With Humans?
Yes, they can be your best friend and stay with you for life. However, you have to win their trust, requiring effort, persistence, love, and understanding. Once you win their trust, they will never leave you.
Do Hedgehogs Know Their Owner?
Yes, they start recognizing their owners with time. It will take some time because of the shy nature of hedgehogs. Once they get comfortable around you, they will never leave your side.
Do Hedgehogs Like Tummy Rubs?
This seems a bit weird initially, but your little friend likes a belly rub. After getting a good belly rub, you will feel satisfied with your pet hedgehog. However, please don’t forget to analyze its mood before a belly massage because you can also make it angry with it.
The Bottom Line:
Now you know the answer to Can you touch a hedgehog, and it is yes. However, do this with a pet hedgie in its calm condition. You can also cuddle with them or pet them with ease. These creatures are cute and show your love. In contrast, holding a wild or frightened hedgehog is not a good idea. Therefore, if you plan to keep a hedgehog as a pet, follow the above-shared instructions for the best handling.