Hedgehogs are insanely adorable. It’s an undeniable fact, and the Internet has let everyone in on it. Although there is no questioning the cuteness factor of these little guys, you’re faced with the deliberating question of whether you actually want to care for one. It’s not even that they’re hard to take care of — they are just a huge commitment, and isn’t meant for anyone who should really just get a pet rabbit or something.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I really did love my little guy.
I bought him off of Kijiji and named him Baby; we were best friends at first sight (minus the fact that he wasn’t so friendly at first). It’s definitely true that all animals have varying temperaments, but my best friend also had a hedgehog who was immediately comfortable with her, named Kitty.
Kitty was a little too comfortable and was most definitely not litter trained. She would just pee on you, or on the towels, or on the table, or wherever, for that matter. She also never visibly pooped in her cage — not once did they change the bedding. It sounds really terrible, but there was never any visible excretion for them to clean out of the cage! How does that happen?
Mine, on the other hand, needed his litter box changed every couple of days. It would get full, the litter was all mushy and the cage would smell rancid. And I’m not exaggerating. You really couldn’t sit on the side of the couch that the cage was near, because once you smelled it, there was no unsmelling it. And, I’m pretty sure my apartment always smelled like a savage animal.
Now these are the things that come with most pets- cats bunnies, and all those types of things. But the upside of those pets is that they are actually awake when you are. Not running 7 miles a night on their wheel, basically blind in the light, and spiky.
But really, my Baby was adorable. I loved him and I kept him for two years, playing with him whenever I could, giving him baths with oatmeal because A) hedgies are super cute when they swim, and B) his skin was dry and the oatmeal helps, as well as making him smell delicious. The little animal soap that I bought from Petsmart was nice too, but I didn’t use it much because sometimes he would accidentally dip his nose in the water, and though I’m sure there are precautions for it, I can’t see it being healthy.
He was never covered in anything disgusting because I was pretty regular about changing his bedding and litter, and bathing him #neatfreakproblems.
After two years of not being able to play with the little guy, other than taking some cute photos and baths, I started to wonder if it was really worth it for me to keep him in a cage in my apartment when I couldn’t even spend much time with him.
Owning a hedgehog actually takes a lot of dedication, and that’s why the person I bought him from in the first place sold him.
I don’t know if he was just an angry guy, but the woman that I bought him from said that she bought him from a 6 year-old’s parents, who had originally bought him for their son. They felt bad because they couldn’t spend enough time with him, and their son couldn’t play with him. In my opinion, you probably shouldn’t buy a child a pet that’s outer coat doubles as a defense weapon, but that’s just me…
So this woman had him, and she sold him because again, she felt like she couldn’t spend enough time with him. After a while of owning him, I felt the same. I loved caring for him, cutting his nails after a bath, wrapping him in a blanket… But I still felt like I just wasn’t spending enough time with him. You can wake them up during the day, but after half an hour he would get pretty irritable. In the bath, he would swim for a bit while looking like he was having the time of his life, and then he suddenly would get overwhelmed and start shitting himself. I kid you not.
This also happens on the wheel. Whenever he was running, he would just have to go to the bathroom. I eventually tied the wheel to the top of the cage, because when it wasn’t beside it, he would just crawl all over the cage.
Anyways, hedgehogs are fun for a while. Super adorable, fun to play with (for a short amount of time everyday) but incredibly cranky during regular daytime hours. The cages need to be cleaned every couple of days. If you’re sleeping, you’ve got to prep extra food and water for them at night. Bathing them is fun, but the sound of running water scares them, and when they get startled, some of them bite.
Mine never bit me, except for one time, when he thought I was an orange (don’t ask).
I sold him, inevitably, because I didn’t want him to die. The life span is around 5-8 years from what I can remember.
[quote_right]Oh, and their penises look like little outie belly buttons, they’re pretty funny.[/quote_right]
Ooh, and their bellies are so soft it’s adorable. But they shed. And they shed quills sometimes and it’s scary because they don’t grow back and you can’t tell but you just know they’ve been loosin’ em here and there, you know?
POINT BEING, hedgies are cute, and I cried when I sold mine… But they’re probably better off in the wild. I mean, the Instagram famous ones are probably living life… But if you don’t have time for that, please don’t take on the responsibility just to have one.
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