5 Telltale Signs Your Pet Hedgehog Feels Calm and Content


So, you’ve brought home a cute little hedgehog, and you’re probably asking yourself how to tell if your new companion is calm and relaxed. Well, you’ve come to the right place!

It’s important to remember that hedgehogs, like us, have different ways of expressing their feelings.

In this blog post, we’ll explore five clear signs that show when your hedgehog is comfortable and content, which could be as simple as watching them uncurl or noticing their steady breathing.

Quick Answer

Spotting a relaxed and calm hedgehog is easier than you might think! Here are the five signs you should look out for:

  • Curling Up Less: When a hedgehog is at ease, it uncurls its body and appears less “ball-like”.
  • Comfortable Exploration: A calm hedgehog will show interest in its surroundings, exploring comfortably and fearlessly.
  • Steady Breathing: Keep an eye on their breathing pattern. When relaxed, a hedgehog’s breathing should be steady and even.
  • Positive Response to Handling: If your hedgehog responds well to your touch and doesn’t tense up, that’s a sign they’re comfortable.
  • Normal Eating and Drinking Habits: A relaxed hedgehog will maintain its regular eating and drinking habits.

Signs Your Hedgehog Feels Calm and Confident

Here are the five (5) obvious signs you can look out for;

Sign 1. Curling Up Less

One of the most apparent signs that your hedgehog is relaxed is if they spend less time curled up. In the hedgehog care world, this behavior is known as “balling up,” where they tuck their head and roll their body into a spiky ball.

It’s a defensive mechanism hedgehogs use when they feel threatened or anxious.

On the contrary, a hedgehog that spends a significant amount of time uncurled, either lying flat or exploring around, is likely feeling comfortable and secure in its environment.

If you notice your hedgehog wandering around and showing curiosity in its surroundings rather than hiding or curling up, that’s a great sign of relaxation.

Sign 2. Comfortable Exploration

Hedgehogs are naturally inquisitive creatures. When they’re relaxed and calm, they’re more likely to show interest in their surroundings, comfortably exploring their environment.

You might see your prickly buddy sniffing, examining new items, or sprinting about their enclosure. Hedgehogs can be quite fast when they want to be!

Remember, an active hedgehog is often a happy hedgehog. If they’re engaged with their surroundings and aren’t hesitant to roam freely, it’s a good sign they’re feeling at ease.

However, if they’re always hiding or refusing to come out, this may indicate stress or discomfort.

Sign 3. Steady Breathing

Monitoring your hedgehog’s breathing can also be a useful indicator of their emotional state. A calm and relaxed hedgehog will typically have steady, even breathing.

There won’t be any noticeable gasping, panting, or rapid breaths that might suggest anxiety or stress.

On the other hand, if you notice your hedgehog’s breathing has become irregular, shallow, or too fast, it could be a sign they’re uncomfortable or stressed.

This could be due to sudden environmental changes, loud noises, or even illness.

Sign 4. Positive Response to Handling

A surefire sign of a relaxed hedgehog is its positive response to handling. These small mammals can develop trust and comfort with their owners over time.

When they’re calm and content, they will not tense up, curl into a ball, or raise their quills in response to your touch.

Instead, your hedgehog might respond by uncurling, exploring your hands, or even nuzzling into your palm. They might let out a contented purr, another sign of a relaxed hedgehog.

If you’re asking, “How do I know if my hedgehog likes me?”, a positive response to your touch is a great sign!

Sign 5. Normal Eating and Drinking Habits

Lastly, maintaining normal eating and drinking habits is a reliable sign of a relaxed and calm hedgehog. When these creatures are comfortable in their environment, they’ll regularly eat and drink as part of their daily routine.

If you notice your hedgehog munching on their food and hydrating themselves as usual, it indicates they feel at ease.

On the other hand, if your hedgehog has suddenly stopped eating or drinking or shows significant changes in their dietary habits, it may be a sign of stress or illness.

It’s important to monitor their food and water intake closely and consult a vet if you notice any concerning changes.

Understanding Your Hedgehog’s Behavior

Hedgehogs have unique behaviors and body language cues that can give us insight into their emotional state.

They are naturally curious and, when comfortable, will engage with their environment in different ways, like exploring, running on their wheel, or burrowing into their bedding.

Understanding these behaviors is crucial for any hedgehog owner, as it allows you to provide the best care possible for your pet and ensures they are happy and relaxed.

Hedgehogs also have unique nocturnal habits that can affect their daily behavior. Knowing this can help you better understand their sleep patterns and overall behavior.

Tips to Keep Your Hedgehog Relaxed

  • Create a Safe Environment: Your hedgehog’s living space should be quiet, secure, and away from any potential disturbances. It should have a temperature of around 75-80°F (24-27°C), as hedgehogs can get sick if they get too cold.
  • Provide Plenty of Exercise: Hedgehogs need regular physical activity to keep them healthy and happy. Provide a running wheel in their habitat for this purpose.
  • Keep a Consistent Schedule: Hedgehogs are creatures of habit. Maintaining a consistent daily schedule for feeding, cleaning, and socialization can go a long way in keeping your hedgehog relaxed.
  • Handle with Care: Always handle your hedgehog gently and respectfully. Quick movements or handling can cause stress.
  • Monitor Their Diet: A balanced diet is key to your hedgehog’s health. Ensure they’re getting the right nutrients from their food, and monitor their eating habits.
  • Offer Enrichment: Stimulating toys, like balls, tunnels, or safe chew toys, can keep your hedgehog entertained and happy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. How do I know if my hedgehog likes me?

Hedgehogs can show affection in a few different ways. They might uncurl when you pick them up, nuzzle into your hand, or relax their quills. Building trust with a hedgehog can take time, so be patient and persistent.

Q2. How do I know if my hedgehog is unhappy?

Signs that your hedgehog might be unhappy include excessive hiding, loss of appetite, changes in feces, aggressive behavior, and self-mutilation. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to consult with a vet as soon as possible.

Q3. Can hedgehogs recognize their owners?

While hedgehogs don’t have the best eyesight, they do have an exceptional sense of smell. They can recognize their owners’ scent; over time, they may associate it with safety and comfort.

Q4. How often should I handle my hedgehog?

Handling your hedgehog daily is recommended to help build a bond and keep them socialized. However, each interaction should be respectful and on the hedgehog’s terms.

Q5. Are hedgehogs nocturnal or diurnal?

Hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal animals, which means they are most active during the night. They may also display crepuscular behaviors, meaning they can be active during twilight hours (dawn and dusk).


Understanding your hedgehog’s behavior and recognizing the signs of a relaxed and calm hedgehog can make your pet-parenting journey much more rewarding.

By paying attention to their body language, behavior, breathing, response to handling, and eating habits, you can ensure your spiky friend is comfortable and happy.

Remember that each hedgehog is unique and might express relaxation or stress differently. Consistency, patience, and a safe, enriching environment will go a long way in keeping your hedgehog relaxed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top