Hey guys! Happy late New Year! Just this past Thursday I got something that I’ve been wanting for awhile now, and that, as the title suggests, is a pet hedgehog!
He’s a six week old, salt and pepper colored, African Pygmy hedgehog, and he is the cutest thing ever! I named him Ralphonzo, Ralph for short lol
I’ve only had him for 3 days, but already I am obsessed with him. I know he’s a very private animal and he likes his space, but when he isn’t sleeping all day and finally wakes up at night, I do like to do bonding activities with him and hold him and play with him so he gets used to me and my scent.
Since hedgehogs are nocturnal, all little Ralphonzo does is sleep all day; literally all day, with the occasional ‘awake for 30 minutes to eat and drink water and poop’ then he’ll go back to sleep until about 11pm/midnight, then he’ll be awake for a couple hours and he’ll run around his cage, use his wheel and play with his toys. Hedgehogs are very low maintenance animals and don’t need much care since they just sleep all day, which is ideal for me since I work anywhere from 4 or 5pm to about midnight/1am. So he’ll be asleep when I leave to go to work, and then he’ll be up when I get home so I can bond with him for a bit before I go to sleep.
Since I’ve had him, I’ve been trying to give him a routine of bonding with me everyday so he can get used to me. Since hedgehogs have very poor eyesight, they use their other senses to get acquainted with everything. So holding him in my hands and having him around me will help him recognize my scent and my touch and not be afraid of me when I try to pick him up. Which has been working so far to be honest. Yesterday he spent an hour hanging out with me on my bed as I watched Law and Order SVU. He fell asleep in my hand for a bit, then woke up and started exploring the bed and my stuffed animals. And today when I went to pick him up he didn’t flinch as much or curl into a ball and was more comfortable with me.
Little Ralph is just a baby and as a baby hedgehog, his quills are quite thinner and more sharp than adult quills. So picking him up at first, when his quills touch me, it does hurt a little, so to speak, but it’s not ‘painful’. He’s just prickly. But picking him up isn’t a problem for me. You just have to know how to do it and since he’s getting used to me, he recognizes my scent and puts his quills down most of the time when I pick him up.
Instead of buying a cage for him, I basically just built it myself and saved a lot of money doing so. I bought a big, clear storage container and fleece blankets and bedding, a little food bowl, water bottle, wheel, sleeping pouch and an igloo along with some toys.
So far he hasn’t caused any problems or given me any trouble. He seems to be adjusting quite well to his new home and new surroundings. He only gets grumpy if I wake him up. Which is normal because I get angry too if someone tries to wake me up like wtf why are you interrupting my sleep? But other than that I do expect him to be a little grumpy here and there because he is only six weeks old and when they’re between six and eight weeks old they go through ‘quilling’ where their baby quills fall out and their adult quills come in, and supposedly it’s painful. So if he happens to be grumpy with me for no reason over the next couple weeks, I’ll assume that’s why.
But he’s just so cute like look at him!! Look at his little face! ❤