A. No, hedgehogs do not need to be spayed/neutered unless advised by your vet. There are certain circumstances that may require your pet be spayed/neutered, but it is not common.
Q. Can they shoot their quills? Are they sharp?
A. No, a hedgehog cannot shoot its quills. Yes, the quills are sharp and can poke, however, hedgehogs do not constantly hold their quills up. They only do so when they are nervous or scared. A calm hedgehog has its quills down and you can touch them without being hurt. However, you will get poked quite often if you get a pet hedgehog. It comes with the territory.
Q. Do hedgehogs roll around?
A. No, hedgehogs do not "roll around". They will roll up into a ball as a defense, but they can't voluntarily roll while in this position.
Q. Do hedgehogs bite?
A. All animals with teeth have the ability to bite. So yes, they are capable of biting, and some can get into a habit of biting if allowed to. However, biting is a secondary defense for hedgehogs. They usually only bite if extremely angry or scared. Their first defense is to ball up and stick their quills out.
Q. Can hedgehogs live outside?
A. No! These are African Pygmy hedgehogs and are desert animals. They cannot live outside and require to be kept at a temperature around 75-78 degrees at all times wherever their cage is.
Q. What do they eat?
A. Hedgehogs can eat a high quality cat food that doesn't have lots of fillers and has the right amounts of protein, fats, and fiber. They also love bugs and insects such as mealworms, hornworms, dubia roaches, and many others. They will even pinky mice.
Q. Do they need a friend?
A. No, by nature, hedgehogs are solitary creatures and do just fine by themselves. In fact, they will often fight if they are housed together. On rare occasions do they do well in a cage together.
Q. How long do hedgehogs live?
A. The average is 3-5 years, however domestic hedgehogs have been known to live as long as 9 years.
Q. Do they eat hay?
A. No, hedgehogs do not eat hay. They are insectivores, which means they eat mostly insects and things with protein for their diet. They can have fruits or vegetables, but only as a snack. Fruits and veggies are not a staple and not necessary to their diet.
Q. Are they a rodent?
A. No, hedgehogs are not rodents. They are a mammal. Their teeth do not continuously grow like rodents do and thus they do not need things to chew on. They also do not go around chewing on things (like rabbits do).
Q. What is self-anointing?
A. Self anointing is something hedgehogs do when they find something they like or are trying to mask their scent. They may start licking/biting at something (this could be your fingers to get your scent, or some other thing they like). After awhile they will turn their heads around, curl their body in and start to lick a foamy kind of spit onto their quills. This is usually something owners look forward to their hedgehog doing as many see it as a sign of acceptance from their hedgehog that they want their scent on them.
Q. When are hedgehogs awake?
A. Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures, so they are awake at night. They will find a dark place to curl up during the day and sleep. Once it gets dark, they become active and want to run, eat and drink, and are ready to play. If you get your hedgehog up during the day, you may notice they're a little crankier, since all they want to do is sleep.
Q. Can I trim the quills down or cut them?
A. No, you can NOT clip or trim the quills of a hedgehog. This would be detrimental to your hedgehog. Quills are not like nails that grow back. Quills are hollow and by clipping them, you would expose them to dirt, bacteria, etc. This is considered inhumane to do to a hedgehog and would be permanent harm to their quills.