Would Hedgehogs Make Good Pets?
As far as keeping pets goes, dogs and cats are great, but what about hedgehogs? Are some hedgehogs domesticated? Actually there have been avid animal lovers around the United States who have been keeping hedgehogs as pets for quite some time, but most people are not aware that there is a species of hedgehog that is bred solely to live among humankind.
The North American pygmy hedgehogs originated from Africa, but they have been domesticated in North America in recent years in order for people to keep these critters as pets. Although it may be difficult to believe, hedgehogs make for docile companions for humans if they are fed regularly and treated with affection. However, not everyone is cut out for life with a hedgehog, so before you bring one into your home there are a few important points to keep in mind.
For one thing, hedgehogs are not as soft and cuddly as they may appear. Hedgehogs are actually quite prickly, similar to a porcupine. Also, much like porcupines, hedgehogs possess sharp spines that protrude from their backs. Obviously, this adaptation helps hedgehogs to fend off predators. However, unlike porcupines, hedgehogs are not able to shoot quills as a method of self-defense. So handling a hedgehog can be tricky business, and you can be injured despite their domesticated nature, but at least you don’t have to worry about sharp quills being shot at your face.
Although many comparisons have been made between hedgehogs and porcupines, these two animals are actually markedly different from one another. First of all, quilled porcupines are rodents, while quilled hedgehogs are not rodents. Actually, hedgehogs are classified as insectivores, obviously because insects serve as the primary source of sustenance for hedgehogs. Keeping hedgehogs as pets can be difficult, but after seeing how affectionately hedgehogs bond with their caretakers, you may decide that they are worth the trouble.
Have you ever seen a hedgehog for sale in a pet store?