Posted Jun 11, 2016
I was given a hedgehog by a friend of a friend. I should have suspected something was amiss when it was just given to me, since these animals are usually costly to acquire. At first I was amused by the sounds he made, how he would roll into a ball, and the novelty of having an exotic animal. However, when I got him he would frequently stay rolled up, only unfurling to eat or defecate (which he did in only one area of his habitat, so I appreciated that). I wondered why he didn't unroll often, and I figured it was because he was nocturnal and just didn't want to play much int he daytime with me. I later discovered that he had a tumor under his arm, and by the time I realized it, the tumor was too entangled in blood vessels and tissues to be removed. I am not sure if this condition is common among hedgehogs, or if it may have been caused by the food he was given (cat food, which the previous owner assured me was just fine). Either way, until he succumbed to the tumor, he was an interesting pet to have. He didn't seem to require much space, preferring to stay in his den, though I think he would have liked a companion. Hedgies have cute faces and they interact with people similar to the way a gerbil or hamster does. Hedgehogs do have an unusual aroma... kind of like crickets in a basement. They make a funny sound when disturbed that is similar to a sugar glider sound, a sort of vibrating rhythmic sound like a field full of cicadas. I would not own a hedgehog again, simply because he didn't seem very happy in captivity. Just because an animal CAN be kept as a pet, doesn't mean it SHOULD. That being said, if you are going to give it nightly attention and a companion, then get hedgey with it. But if you think the novelty might wear off and you will just have another creature in a cage, please reconsider.