Hedgehogs are quickly becoming the internet's favorite new animal.
But before you rush out to get your own spikey little bundle of cuteness, there's a few things that are important to know.
Hedgehogs need to be socialized.
When a hedgie gets scared, he or she will roll into a ball and may emit a soft hiss created by sucking in a gasp of air. This position makes the quills stand up, but they will not release them like porcupines are known to do. Pick up your hedgie carefully with a towel and rock him or her very gently to coax it out of its curled up position. Sometimes a treat or a light sprinkle of warm water helps a hedgehog open up. Since they are related to moles, hedgies depend on there keen sense of smell to interact with their surroundings more than their eyesight. If yours doesn't respond at first- that's totally ok! Be patient and gentle, with everyday interaction eventually your little guy will get used to your hands and smell.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal.
Even though your hedgie may seem like a lazy little lump during the day, night time is a whole other story. Invest in a silent wheel- hedgehogs run up to 10 miles in one night so a squeaky wheel can be noticibly noisy.
Hedgehogs are carnivores.
Many hedgies live happily on a diet of cat food (kitten food for little ones). However, they are known to enjoy insects like meal worms as tasty treats!