Who knew hedgehogs could be fun pets? Not us! We're well into dogs and cats at the BlogPaws West home. But, I did learn recently that hedgehogs could be and are great pets. They're still considered "exotic" pets, I guess. Hence, lots of us may not know about their delightful cuteness.
For those not in the know...an exotic pet, as defined in Wikipedia, is, "...a rare or unusual animal pet, or an animal kept as a pet which is not commonly thought of as a pet." That's where I got my fab pictures from, btw.
I'm intrigued by this idea. According to resources online, hedgehogs are tiny, they eat insects, and are low-maintenance. Sort of like guinea pigs or mice or birds, maybe. Or, maybe not. Remember, I'm speaking from the reading I've done, not from experience.
Hedgehogs sure are cute, I will admit that. And, I'd love, love, love to hold one. I see that when domesticated, hedgehog parents like to feed their pets "a diet composed primarily of high protein, low fat, high-quality cat food, with regular treats such a mealworms, fruits, vegetables, and cooked, unseasoned meats." Whew! That's a bit high-maintenance, if you ask me!
Over on Buzzle.com, there's an adorable picture of a little guy (one thinks it's a 'guy' but one doesn't really know), and lots of great info from someone named Linda Orlando. She notes that these creatures are "like a bristly brush, rather than a porcupine." And, "Most hedgehogs can be trained to use a littler box, but not all."
An important thing to realize, I learned, is that these little creatures can be like Harry Houdini...they routinely escape their confines and climb over everything. One needs a good wire cage with small openings (really small, as they will likely try to squeeze through mid-sized openings). A nice plastic container, large enough to give them space to move around, maight be best. And, they need to be kept warm, so keep them near the heat vent but not near the air-conditioning!
For fun, you can put a "large, sturdy wheel" in their cage and some empty toilet paper holders. Because they have such bad eyesight, they use sense of smell to connect and bond. This could mean no perfume, ladies. It could mask who you are...especially if you change scents, frequently. I'm sensing from my reading that these little guys are nice pets for apartments. Or folks who don't have the time or desire for the more high-maintenance pets - cats, dogs, horses, and such.
Question is: who out there has a hedgehog and will you bring it to BlogPaws West? W00t!