It is not uncommon for animal-lovers who already have one pet to want to add more to their family. The affection you provide and receive in return from various animals can be contagious.
People frequently decide to buy more than one of whatever pet they already have in order to provide a companion for their existing pet. This often works well with pets such as dogs and cats, but what about hedgehogs?
As a rule of thumb, if you currently have a hedgehog as a pet, getting another one is not a good idea. While it is doable, there are several reasons to proceed with caution.
Hedgehogs are not like dogs, cats, or other popular household pets. By nature, they are lonely creatures. And having numerous hedgehogs under the same roof might cause a variety of issues.
While each hedgehog is unique and special, and you are the best judge of your current pet, the information in this book is based on the breeder and professional veterinary advice.
You should take the advice, or at the very least carefully think about it, before jeopardizing your present pet’s happiness by bringing home a second hedgehog.
Having said that, there are many cases of siblings reared together from birth where no such harmful implications have been observed, thus some individual judgment on the side of pet owners is obviously required.
Do hedgehogs enjoy living in pairs?
Usually, no. Hedgehogs are solitary creatures by nature, therefore living in pairs is tough for them.
They will live alone in the wild, with the only interruption to their solitary existence being mating, which will be brief, and then they will go back to their lives as a loner.
They don’t actually need another hedgehog for companionship in order to thrive, and they appear to live as long as hedgehogs who have accepted living with other hedgehogs.
Male hedgehogs are the least likely to be willing to share a cage with other guys because one will want to be the alpha and control the other. This usually leads to violence since neither side is willing to back down and accept being at a territorial disadvantage.
When one party refuses to back down, it can only lead to one outcome: a fight to the death. Keeping two female hedgehogs together is easier than keeping two male hedgehogs together, although it is not always practicable.
Females can also become territorial in some situations, thus females housed together must be closely monitored.
What you should consider before introducing hedgehogs to each other:
- Female pairings are frequently the greatest bet for remaining together.
- A baby hedgehog may be partnered with an older hedgehog on occasion. However, sibling girls of the same age have had the most success.
- Male-female pairings can not only result in breeding, but also in aggressive fighting and harm, just as male-male pairings might. Female-female couples are less violent against one another, although this is not a certainty.
- Before introducing a new hedgehog to your pet, quarantine them separately in the home for up to a month after bringing them home from a breeder or pet store. This will assist in isolating any diseases or parasites they may have and preventing them from infecting your current pet.
- To begin, do not keep two hedgehogs in the same cage. Slowly introduce them to each other in a “neutral” place outside either of their cages, so neither believes the other is invading their space.
- If everything is going well and they appear to be getting along, you can place them in the same cage. You should keep an eye on their behavior for a few days after you first place them together in this manner to make sure they don’t injure each other. Mild nudges and overall physicality are to be expected. Squealing or extremely aggressive movements, on the other hand, should result in the hedgehogs being separated.
- Remember that if you are intending to house two hedgehogs in the same cage, you need to increase the minimum cage size requirements by at least 50% to accommodate the extra hedgehog and guarantee they both have enough space. According to some experts, having enough cage space reduces the possibility of violent behaviours.
- Finally, you’ll need to recognize that you’ve made a commitment. If you can’t keep them together, be prepared to house and raise the two hedgies separately. You can’t just return it or get rid of it, so be really certain you want to try it before purchasing a second hedgehog.