I asked myself this question for a long time. My hedgehog Gerber came to me through a small shop I had wondered in to get a water bottle. I saw this poor creature suffering from diarrhea and mites. He looked at me with those big possum-like eyes and I knew I was taking him with me. The shop keeper tried to talk me out of it, knowing the animal was sick and probably dieing. I diddn't care, even if he was to die, I will have given him a great last few days. I brought Gerber to the vet immediately. About 300 dollars and many sleepless nights later, Gerber had a good prognosis.
I then asked the question, what do I do with this hedgehog? I had never interacted with one before and Gerber and never been handled so his disposition was quit undesirable to say the least. I read quite a few books and watched several documentaries on handling, but I just had to figure it out on my own.
What do you do when a child throws a tantrum? You pay it no attention, you don't let up, and you wait for him to calm down to talk some sense. I did the same for Gerber. I would pick him up and let him throw his tantrum and when he was done he realized mom wasnt so bad and even had treats for him. Slowly but surely he cam around and we have nice conversations and quality T.V. time. My favorite time of the day is unwinding after work with Gerber by my side watching our favorite shows.
Ok...so is a hedgehog right for you? I am as contrary as my hedgehogs, I am moody and prone to a "huffy" fit every now and then. A hedgehog is not cuddly, sure he can cuddle, but you can get a face full of quills if your not careful.
Their eye site is very poor so a nibble now and then on your hand if you startle them is common. They will roll in a ball and take your hand with them if you are not careful. The can be loud at night and expensive to care for. THEY ARE NOT MEANT FOR CHILDREN!
Is it worth it? They are smelly, crabby, and can be down right mean....but I wouldn't trade it for the world and now have 2 hedgehogs, I took in a girl, a playmate for Gerber. I built them a play pen for their night rounds, Something all hedgehogs do and need. I love my prickly pears and if you fit the criteria, you will too.
My baby "Gerber".
My baby "baby".