If you are considering adopting a hedgehog as a pet, one of the key questions you may have is as to whether these animals are mean. There are also those who may just want to know whether hedgehogs are mean or not out of curiosity. Read on, to find the answer.
Are hedgehogs mean? For the most part, hedgehogs are docile. But there are times when they may show some aggressiveness: sometimes to the point of biting their human handlers. And if you keep more than one hedgehog, they may at times be mean towards one another.
If you socialize your hedgehog properly, and meet all its needs well, then you can greatly reduce the probability of it behaving in a mean manner.
Can Hedgehogs Be Mean?
In answering this question, we first need to find out, what is a hedgehog’s personality like?
The answer is that hedgehogs are generally docile, not mean.
But there are times when they may exhibit behavior that qualifies to be termed as ‘mean’. For instance, there are times when they may respond to being handled by biting the people handing them.
And if you happen to keep more than one hedgehog, there are times when you may find them being mean to one another.
For instance, at feeding time, you may notice one hedgehog trying to keep the other one from accessing food...
So the answer to this question, on whether hedgehogs can be mean is ‘yes’. It is not their default state of being, but it is something they are capable of.
Even if we were to take it further and ask, can hedgehogs be mean and bite people, the answer would still be the same. By default, they are docile. But they are capable of being mean.
Many hedgehog owners have reported incidents where their hedgehogs have exhibited mean behavior at some point. So it is something that they are capable of being.
Are Hedgehogs Mean?
Hedgehogs are usually nice and docile. But they do sometimes get nasty. For instance, if a hedgehog wants to be left alone, yet you insist on handling it, it may get nasty and bite you.
If a hedgehog is startled, it may get scared, go into defense mode, and turn out to be somewhat nasty.
And as with most animals, when it is mating season, hedgehogs – specifically the males – can be somewhat nasty to each other, as they compete for females.
At feeding time, some hedgehogs may behave in mean ways: trying to block others from accessing the food.
Then again, in these sorts of things, it is hard to generalize. Much depends on the personality of the specific hedgehog in question.
The whole scenario is akin to asking: are hedgehogs friendly? Or are hedgehogs bad? The reality is that you may find one hedgehog that is very friendly, and another one that has a personality which actually qualifies it to be termed as ‘bad’.
But while answering the are hedgehogs mean question from a general point of view, the answer is ‘no’. Generally, hedgehogs are nice and docile. But there are times when they can show their nasty side.
Are Pet Hedgehogs Mean?
Most of the people who pose the are hedgehogs mean question turn out to be individuals who are considering adopting hedgies as pets.
Therefore, the deeper underlying question is, are hedgehogs good pets to keep (with regard to their personality)?
The people who have an interest in these matters will typically pose other questions like, are hedgehogs meant to be pets in the first place? And are hedgehogs common pets?
But our focus here is on the question, are hedgehogs a good pet to have (with regard to their personality)?
And the answer is that, for the most part, pet hedgehogs are nice, docile and quite friendly. But there are times when they can turn out to be mean. So this is something you need to be aware of, and ready for, while adopting a pet hedgehog.
To take it further, do hedgehogs hiss and puff and be mean? The honest answer is ‘yes’. They do at times exhibit those nasty behaviors. But it is rare.
Can hedgehogs hurt you then? Whereas they are capable of biting, you tend to find that their bite is not particularly painful or dangerous. Often, a hedgehog’s bite doesn’t even break the skin. It is more of a pinch, rather than a puncture.
If you adopt a pet hedgehog, take care of it well and socialize it properly, it is highly unlikely to exhibit mean behaviors.
Are Baby Hedgehogs Mean?
Sometimes, the person posing the are hedgehogs mean question turns out to be an individual who is considering adopting a baby hedgehog.
So, for that person, the real interest is in knowing, are hedgehogs nice or mean when they are babies?
Now if by being ‘mean’ one refers to the baby hedgehogs having a tendency to bite, then the answer is ‘yes’. Baby hedgehogs may be more likely to bite than adult hedgehogs.
This is because they are still at a stage where they are exploring the world around them. And that is something they do using, among other things, their mouths.
For instance, if you place a finger in front of a baby hedgie, it may decide to take a bite. That is because to it, the finger may come across as something that is potentially edible, something worth exploring.
Moreover, because they aren’t yet properly socialized, baby hedgehogs may be more likely to snap and react angrily when you try to handle them.
Are Male Hedgehogs Mean?
A natural extension to the are hedgehogs mean question is this one: where people want to know whether male hedgehogs specifically are mean?
The true position is that male hedgehogs can be meaner than females.
If you keep many hedgehogs together, you may notice the males being somewhat mean towards one another. They can also be mean towards the females. Sometimes they go as far as being mean towards the hoglets.
Are Female Hedgehogs Mean?
Another natural extension to the are hedgehogs mean question is where people want to establish whether the females specifically are mean.
Some may frame it as: are female hedgehogs meaner than males? And the answer is that, generally, the female hedgehogs are less mean than the males.
But much also depends on the specific hedgehog’s personality. It is not altogether impossible to find a female hedgehog that is actually meaner than some males.
All in all though, the female hedgehogs tend to be much less mean than the males.
Can Hedgehogs Hurt You?
Anyone who poses the are hedgehogs mean question may also have an interest in knowing whether hedgehogs can hurt someone.
Now it is highly unlikely that a hedgehog would hurt you. This is because, for starter’s hedgehog’s teeth are flat. Therefore when they bite, the bite doesn’t really penetrate deeply.
It is important to remember that (contrary to what many people think), hedgehogs are actually not rodents. Therefore they don’t have the piercing or gnawing teeth we find in rodents.
Their claws are also not very sharp. So they really don’t have anything with which they can inflict serious injuries. Even their spikes aren’t particularly capable of causing great injury, to humans at least.
Most people who have been bitten by hedgehogs report that the bites were more of pinches, rather than punctures.
But if the hedgehog happens to latch on a part of the skin that is very soft, then it may break it.
How you react to the hedgehog bite also determines how nasty it ends up being. If, as most people do, you try to pull away, the hedgehog is likely to bite harder.
But suppose, for instance, the hedgehog is biting at your finger. And rather than pulling it away, you push it deeper inside. In that case, the hedgehog is likely to release, rather than biting harder.
Still, as with any other type of animal bite, if a hedgehog happens to bite you, it is best to disinfect the bitten place thoroughly.
All in all though, it is highly unlikely that hedgehogs would hurt you.
Why Is My Hedgehog Being Mean?
Sometimes, the person posing the are hedgehogs mean question will turn out to be an individual whose hedgie is already exhibiting mean behaviors.
There are people whose hedgehogs exhibit such nasty behaviors that they get to a point of asking, why are hedgehogs so mean?
Remember, as we said while answering the are hedgehogs mean question, hedgehogs by default are nice and docile. But they can nonetheless behave in a mean manner at times.
If someone happens to encounter the nasty side of hedgehog personality, they may end up wondering, why is my hedgehog being mean?
Now, one possibility is that you are not meeting all the hedgehog’s needs. For instance, a hedgehog that is not getting adequate food may eventually turn nasty.
Another possibility is that you are handling the hedgehog too much. Yet it prefers being left alone. So it turns nasty.
Yet another possibility is that there is something in the immediate environment that is scaring the hedgehog. So the hedgehog is always in the defense mode, and hence nasty.
There could be something stressing the hedgehog. So it ends up exhibiting behavioral changes: including one where it starts being nasty.
This is more likely to be the case if, for instance, besides being nasty, the hedgehog has also begun being more active during the day. Are hedgehogs meant to be out in the day? The answer is no.
Therefore if your hedgehog has become nasty, and also has other behavioral changes like being more active during the day, something may be stressing it and making it blue.
It may also be a scenario where you simply have a hedgehog with a mean personality. Just as some people have mean personalities, there are hedgehogs with mean personalities.
How To Stop Hedgehogs From Being Mean?
This, in other words, is a question on how to train mean hedgehogs. It is a logical follow up question, to the are hedgehogs mean question.
One thing you may need to do is socialize the hedgehog. This is useful if the hedgie is being mean towards people. The idea is to get it to be used to being around people.
Another thing you can do is reward the hedgehog whenever it acts in a nice way. You could also use a bit of negative reinforcement when the hedgehog acts in a mean way.
For instance, if the hedgehog bites you, blow some air into its face. This is unpleasant to the hedgehog, and it will come to associate it with biting. So it will avoid biting, so as not to have air blow into its face.
You of course need to ensure that you meet all of the hedgehog’s needs. This way, it won’t be nasty on account of unmet needs.
For instance, you will need to establish, how are you meant to feed hedgehogs? Then follow those guidelines, so as not to end up with ‘hangry’ (hungry and angry) hedgehogs which naturally tend to be quite nasty.
Final Verdict – Are Hedgehogs Mean
By default, hedgehogs are nice, docile and quite friendly. But there are also times when they can be nasty. At such times, they may be mean towards the people who handle them. And if you have more than one, they may be mean towards each other.
Unmet needs (for instance, not being adequately fed) and improper socialization are among the things that can make hedgehogs mean. There are also some hedgehogs whose personalities are just caustic.
Ensuring that all of the hedgehogs’ needs are properly met, alongside proper socialization can help keep them from being mean.