How Often Should I Play With My Hedgehog?

Muhammad Ahmad Raza
5 min readJan 5, 2023

Image Credit: Sierra NiCole Narvaeth

Hedgehogs can be amazing pets if handled with care. Depending on their background, a hedgehog might not feel safe being with you. This is why you should spend more time playing with them, so they understand you and like you more.

You should consider playing with your hedgehog for at least 30 minutes daily. This activity can help you keep your pet hedgehog happy and strengthen your bond with them. You can divide the playing activity into 15 minutes during the morning and 15 minutes in the evening if you have a busy schedule.

Learning how to play with your hedgehog is not difficult. You don’t need to get enrolled in a training program or spend countless hours online to learn how you can make your hedgehog feel happy with activities. Below are some amazing activities that your hedgehog will love!

Fun Activities For Your Hedgehog

As mentioned above, you can easily familiarize yourself with fun activities that your hedgehog will love! According to hedgehog pet owners, here are six common activities that hedgehogs love.

  1. Soccer

Soccer is one of the favorite activities for hedgehogs. Keep in mind that your hedgehog cannot understand all the rules of soccer as we do. At best, your hedgehog can learn how to put the ball inside the net.

Try putting a small ball near your hedgehog and watch them headbutt it! Hedgehogs love to push the ball ahead and keep chasing it all the time.

It’s easy to create a small box with goal coasts where your hedgehog can practice soccer. Make sure you buy a small, lightweight ball that doesn’t hurt your hedgehog.

2. Hide And Seek

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals who love to spend time in solitude. If you want your hedgehog to spend their playtime doing something they absolutely love, you should consider arranging a game of hide and seek for them.

It’s easy to create a small mud puddle where your hedgie can hide. You will eventually see your hedgehog trying to dig deeper to spend more minutes under the bud.

But if you don’t like getting your hands dirty by creating a mud puddle, you can try creating a hide and seek tunnel for your hedgehog.

3. Critter Ball Game

Do you want to blow spirit into your lazy hedgie? If you wish to see your hedgehog more playful and active, you can try putting them in a critter ball.

It might sound scary to confine your little hedgie inside a critter ball. However, for hedgies, this activity is not scary at all. You can buy a 12-inch critter ball that can allow your hedgehog to fit in easily. There are colored and transparent critter balls easily available online.

A transparent one is a good option if you want to see your hedgie when they play. You can put the critter ball inside the cage of your hedgie if you don’t want them to get out.

4. Sounds Game

Hedgehogs are very receptive and love to correspond to sounds in their surroundings. If you love musical instruments yourself and want to introduce your hedgie to mesmerizing sounds of instruments, you can try placing a piano near your hedgie.

Hedgehogs can run over the keys of your piano and respond to the sounds they hear. You should avoid playing loud sounds near your hedgie as it can feel scary. It’s better to consult your vet if you want to introduce new sounds to your hedgie without scaring them.

5. Walk And Touch

If you want to spend more time with your hedgehog, you should play the amazing “Walk and Touch” game with them. Hedgehogs love to follow around a smell. You can take your hedgie outside the cage and keep it in your hands for a few minutes.

Then you can get distant from your hedgehog and place a finger on the floor. Your hedgehog will start following the smell of your hand and will follow your finger. You can then get up to move to a different place and repeat the process.

6. Toy Games

Seeing your hedgehog play with toys is truly one of the most amazing activities. If you don’t want to take your hedgie outside the cage, you can consider placing some attractive toys inside their home. Hedgehog pet owners say that some hedgies have specific preferences for colors.

You can try buying colorful and colorless toys for your hedgehog to find which ones they like the most. Make sure that the toys you buy for your hedgie don’t have sharp edges, as edges can easily hurt your hedgehog.

Playtime With Your Hedgehog — Some Tips

Hedgehogs need special attention to ensure they don’t get hurt (and you don’t get hurt) during playtime. Forcing your hedgehog to play against its will is not a choice. You should follow these tips to ensure your hedgehog loves the fun activities mentioned above.

  • Choose The Right Time

Hedgehogs can be more active or sluggish at a specific time of the day. You need to check the routine of your hedgehog and try playing with them when they are the most active. As hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, you need to adjust the playtime closer to when they wake up.

  • Look For Signs of Stress

A hedgehog might get irritated if they don’t like an activity. The most common sign of stress a hedgehog shows is when they try to get away from you. A stressed hedgehog might also show agitation by shaking their head. Watch out for these signs so you don’t anger your hedgehog.

  • Follow Safety Practices

The droppings of hedgehogs contain salmonella even if they are kept clean. You should avoid playing with hedgehogs near kids and older persons. Keep the toys of your hedgehog clean, so your hedgehog can stay safe from viruses and bacteria.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions people ask about playtime for hedgies.

Q.1. Can I take my hedgehog outside my home for play?

A. Vets suggest that taking your hedgehog outside can make them feel happy and strengthen its bond with you. However, when taking your hedgehog, you must ensure they don’t get into direct sunlight. Look for any potential hazards for your hedgie and keep them under foolproof supervision.

Q.2. Can my hedgehog get angry if I don’t play with them?

A. hedgehogs love to spend time in solitude, but they can become friendly if you spend fun time with them. Ignoring your hedgehog for a couple of days can make them angry. You must take 30 minutes out of your daily routine to keep your hedgehog happy.

Q.3. Should I try unique activities with my hedgehog?

A. It’s easy to think you can try something with your hedgehog that others have never tried before. However, doing something uncommon with your hedgie can even hurt them. This is why you should ask the vet before you try a new activity with your hedgehog.

Final Thoughts

Spending quality playtime with your hedgie is not difficult. You need to set aside half an hour from your daily routine to play with your hedgehog. It’s easy to buy toys and other accessories for hedgehogs online.

Make sure you follow the fun activities for hedgehogs mentioned above so you can keep your hedgie healthy and active!

References:

  1. https://www.petsthattravel.com/taking-hedgehog-outside/
  2. http://hedgehogkeeper.com/how-to-play-with-a-hedgehog/
  3. https://www.claringtonvet.ca/2018/07/15/oshawa-on-vet-keep-hedgehog-happy/
  4. https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/threads/how-often-do-you-play-bond-with-your-hedgehog.18767/

--

--

Muhammad Ahmad Raza

Freelance Writer, BS Physics (2018-22), Avid listener