Having just one hedgehog can seem lonely. But is it actually okay to get a partner for your hedgehog? Let us find out.
Can hedgehogs live together? Hedgehogs can certainly live together. But the success of the cohabitation between two hedgehogs depends on the individuals involved and how they are introduced.
In general, hedgehogs are solitary animals, so pairing them up with another hedgehog comes with difficulties. But when the correct factors are considered, one can successfully house two hedgehogs.
To shed more light on the question, we discuss the factors to consider for hedgehogs to live together. We also discuss the risks involved, tips to increase the chances of hedgehogs living together, and much more.
Can Hedgehogs Live Together?
Hedgehogs can live together. However, living in pairs is not the natural order of things amongst hedgehogs. So, getting your hedgehog another hedgehog to live with might be difficult. Nonetheless, it is possible.
The typical nature of a hedgehog is to live alone. Hedgehogs live solitarily. As a matter of fact, male hedgehogs only go after female hedgehogs when they intend to mate. But once that is done, they leave and do not see each other again.
The general recommendation is to let hedgehogs live alone. If you consider the factors and get them right, you might be able to pair get your hedgehog to live with other hedgehogs.
The most important factors to consider when getting hedgehogs to live together are as follows:
The animal laws vary across regions. In some places, getting another hedgehog to live with your hedgehog might be illegal.
This applies because doing so is a potential hazard; the new hedgehog might harm the old hedgehog or vice-versa. While such a law seems harsh, some pet owners are pretty unpleasant with their pets. So, the law stands as a deterrent to their cruelty.
Considering the gender of the hedgehogs to live together is vital because of the possibility of aggression. Generally, female and female pairing is most ideal. Other pairings have a higher potential of failing.
With age, it appears that having hedgehogs with a significant age gap also contributes to success. However, it is not known why this is so.
Can Male and Female Hedgehogs Live Together?
If trying to breed more hedgehogs, then you can keep a male and a female hedgehog together. But even this is typically done for a short period. Once the female hedgehog appears to be pregnant, the male is taken away.
If you are not trying to breed more hedgehogs, then you could spay the female or neuter the male before keeping them together.
However, this process is a bit expensive. Since there is no guarantee that the male and female hedgehog will live harmoniously, it may not be worth it.
All in all, male and female hedgehogs can live together. But there is always the possibility that they will not get along. This is especially true when both animals have gotten used to living alone. If they do not get along, there will be clashes.
Can Two Female Hedgehogs Live Together?
Having two female hedgehogs live together comes with more ease than any other gender pairing. Nonetheless, it is not flawless. Even between two female hedgehogs, there may conflict if one or both are territorial.
The chances of having conflicts are lower when the two female hedgehogs are familiar with each other.
For instance, if the two hedgehogs are siblings that grew up together. Such a pair would have been used to each other. Hence, they will be able to tolerate each other.
Still, familiarity does not totally rule out the possibility of conflicts. Even female hedgehogs that are used to each other may get into fights.
Can Two Male Hedgehogs Live Together?
This pairing has pretty low chances of thriving. The show of territoriality by male hedgehogs is the main driving force of conflict between them.
Male hedgehogs are inclined to prove their dominance. So, if one male tries to dominate the other, there will be resistance. Such resistance may lead to aggression and possibly a fight to the death.
You might be thinking, “What if the male hedgehogs are siblings?” Well, their familiarity with each other does not matter. Male hedgehogs that are brothers may still have a go at each other. This applies even if they grew up together.
With male hedgehogs, there is only a slim chance that they will live together harmoniously.
Can Young and Old Hedgehogs Live Together?
Pairing older hedgehogs with younger ones in a house appears to favor success. While there is no specific reason for this yet, people believe that the young hedgehog might not consider the older one a threat. Hence, the harmony.
This old-young pairing can be done between related hedgehogs and non-related hedgehogs, especially females. But it is not foolproof as even related hedgehogs with a significant age gap may get in fights.
Can a Mother Hedgehog and Her Offspring Live Together?
A mother hedgehog and her offspring can live together. But you should keep in mind that mother hedgehog to daughter hedgehog pairing is the best. Mother and son pairing might lead to conflicts just like other male and female pairings.
The mother is already familiar with her daughter, and with time, the daughter will get used to the mother. So, the chances of success here are pretty high.
Can a Mother Hedgehog, Father Hedgehog, and Their Offspring Live Together?
This should be avoided. Without the dad, a mother hedgehog and her daughter will most likely do well together. But if there is a father hedgehog, things will be different.
As we said before, male hedgehogs will show aggression and try to dominate the rest. While doing this, the mother hedgehog will become stressed. If the offspring with them is still a baby, the mother might eat it due to stress.
Risks That Come With Having Two Hedgehogs Live Together
The prime risk that comes with having two hedgehogs live together is injury and death.
As illustrated above, male hedgehogs are territorial, and they might get aggressive with other hedgehogs – male or female. When this happens, both hedgehogs might take part in the fight, leading to injury or death.
Another possible risk that comes with having two hedgehogs live together is infection. The new hedgehog might come in with a disease and infect the old hedgehog. But this can be prevented by quarantining the new one before contact with the old one.
There is also the chance of pregnancy if you keep a male and a female hedgehog together. If you are not a breeder, you may not want extra hedgehogs around. Luckily, this can be avoided if the female hedgehog is spayed or the male is neutered.
If you have a mother hedgehog with a baby hedgehog, there is a possibility of the mother eating the baby. But this usually occurs when the mother is stressed.
Tips to Increase the Chances of Hedgehogs Living Together
To improve the chances of your hedgehogs getting along when they live together, try the following tips:
- Start by quarantining the new hedgehog. While in quarantine, observe the hedgehog to ascertain its health condition. By doing this, you will ensure that the new one does not transmit disease to the old hedgehog.
- Do not cramp the two hedgehogs together in a small space. Give them their own place. Having separate cages for the hedgehogs would be ideal. But you can keep both of them in a 2 x 4-foot cage.
- Introduce both hedgehogs gradually. You might even start the introduction indirectly by placing the cages of the hedgehogs side-by-side. Hedgehogs do not have sharp eyes, but their noses and ears are pretty sensitive.
So, by placing the cages side-by-side, you are introducing them to each other’s smell. They may also learn each other’s sounds.
- Whenever the hedgehogs will meet for the first time outside their cage, make it happen on neutral territory. This way, neither of them should feel threatened by the other.
- Once you are sure both hedgehogs get along, try placing them in a cage together. Of course, when you do this, ensure you monitor them. While observing them, pay attention to squeals since it signifies aggression. Try to separate the hedgehogs before the fights break out.
- If both hedgehogs do get along in one cage, ensure you duplicate the items in the cage. Get 2 exercise wheels, 2 water bowls, 2 heating sources, and 2 feed bowls. This way, both hedgehogs will have fewer reasons to clash with each other.
- If everything does not turn out as expected, just house both hedgehogs in separate cages.
Since they are naturally solitary, it will not be easy trying to get hedgehogs to live together. However, it is not impossible to get them together.
When trying to get a partner to live with your hedgehog, avoid male-to-male pairing. This type has the lowest chances of success.
Female-to-female pairing, on the other hand, offers higher chances of success. But it is not fail-safe.