I recently obtained a female albino hedgehog from her previous owners. They weren't that fond of the hedgehog and didn't socialize her well during the ~8 months they had her (they got her at ~1-2 months of age). They didn't take her out much, didn't play with her - basically, she stayed in the cage 99% of the time with them.

So, the hedgehog is ~10 months old, hasn't been socialized well, and is quite aggressive towards me.

I have had her for 2.5 weeks now. During that time I took her out every evening (after she woke up) and let her get used to my presence, noises that I make, etc. She spends about an hour outside of her cage, mostly playing freely on the sofa. For about 20-30% of the time, I try to interact with her by picking her up, trying to play with her. Every time I take her out, I give her a treat that she likes and eats eagerly.

Although she became slightly less aggressive for that time, she is still quite easily startled by me, doesn't let me touch her at all (unless I have picked her up forcefully), and mostly curls up into a ball when I am holding her.

Is this normal behavior? Can I expect the hedgehog to become more accustomed to my interaction if I continue trying to socialize her? What time-frames could I expect for a change in the behavior?

1 Answer 1


I don't know a lot about hedgehogs but any pet you have needs daily interaction or it will get back to being more like how it behaves in the wild, being afraid of people and predators, so it will try to defend itself against you because it is afraid.

It will probably take some time before the hedgehog starts to trust you fully. How long this might take depends on both you and your pet.

What I suggest you do is get a notebook and write in it every day after playing with the hedgehog. Write down the progress of the hedgehog and include even the smallest little positive steps (you don't need to write a lot in it, just some notes).

You will soon see how far you and the hedgehog have come, and this can be really motivating for you.

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