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Old 08-30-2011, 11:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hedgehog still acting like she lives in a shoebox.

I haven't had my hedgie long but have a feeling that since she was born (she's under a year old I was not given a definite age) she has never been exposed to more than her food, water bowl, and undersized plastic container.

She now has a much larger home, lined with fleece, an igloo to sleep in and a few toys and a litter box. She's taken very well to using the litter box on the far side of her cage however she rarely leaves the igloo. She even drags her food and water dishes very close to the opening of the igloo. It's as if she still wants to be in a much smaller space.

Her toys never move, and as far as I can tell she's never tried the wheel either. I'm thinking she may be still adjusting to her new home. But how can I encourage her to play and exercise?
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog still acting like she lives in a shoebox.

Your hedgehog probably got used to small places but since she was always exposed having a place to hide is bringing her comfort however she was used to having everything so close so she's going to be a bit skidish and frightened overall and breaking old habits might be difficult.

As for the wheel place her on it and block her from getting off so she is force to try to get around and she might realize immediately what the wheel is or you can place her on the wheel and very slowly and gently rock it a bit and she should catch on
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog still acting like she lives in a shoebox.

She may still be adjusting so she tries sticking to a smaller area. Whenever we have guests Loken can tell and will move his igloo so the opening is right near the dishes. I read something a few years back when I was researching for mine that sometimes they will stay close to their hides because it has their scent and they feel secure and that each night they may venture out a tiny bit more then run back. I took it as they are testing the waters for dangers. If she has a favorite treat (or even kibble) you could try making a trail that hopefully she will follow. I used to put treats on the wheels too. I'd leave them every few inches because sometimes when they get in that frame of mind they will be a little more brave
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog still acting like she lives in a shoebox.

My Hazel was in a small enclosure for 7 mths with her previous owner and had some pretty neurotic habits. When I got her in her larger enclosure she still did the exact same path/routine she did in the old one Kind of heart breaking to watch. She did come around and now uses her entire home including the second level Takes a little time for them to get used to the new environment.
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog still acting like she lives in a shoebox.

Indeed the best way to look at it is by the instincts of a "Prey Animal", she was used to a certain amount of space which with no enclosure probably left her frightened as a normal and very insecure.

The change to a new environment and a larger habitat will take time, to her she will not venture far or want to because she never had to and it isn't safe as she gets comfortable it will happen. She will get to a point and I know a wheel will really help and once she realizes it purpose I am willing to bet it will help her comfort and exploratory nature
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog still acting like she lives in a shoebox.

When I moved Chloe to a large enclosure I found the same thing. I had a few hiding places for her, but she stuck to her bed, and her litter and took a few days to wheel.

To get her to use the rest of the space, I got a few small treat bowls and put a mealie in each one. I placed them in different areas each day, and she started to explore to find them. So what ever treat your hedgies likes best I would suggest this if it seems like a long time and your little one is still the same.

Hope this helps
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog still acting like she lives in a shoebox.

I'm wondering if I will encounter the same thing when I bring my little guy home next Monday. I know his current owner has been keeping him in a somewhat small plastic bin and I will be moving him into a MUCH larger Super Pet cage.

Hissy-Fit-Hazel, I noticed that you have pictures of your hedgie with a Kong toy in your signature pictures. Does she like it? I considered picking one up to hide mealies in during playtime. What size is it?
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog still acting like she lives in a shoebox.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lehaley
I'm wondering if I will encounter the same thing when I bring my little guy home next Monday. I know his current owner has been keeping him in a somewhat small plastic bin and I will be moving him into a MUCH larger Super Pet cage.

Hissy-Fit-Hazel, I noticed that you have pictures of your hedgie with a Kong toy in your signature pictures. Does she like it? I considered picking one up to hide mealies in during playtime. What size is it?
Its possible like I mentioned, hedgehogs are prey animals and once they've settled to a domain of safety and security and they are given a larger one many will take time to feel comfortable exploring however its nothing to worry about.

In regards to the Kong most people use the Kitty Kong there is a Small Animals Kong as well that is the same size from what I have seen.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog still acting like she lives in a shoebox.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWCOGAR
In regards to the Kong most people use the Kitty Kong there is a Small Animals Kong as well that is the same size from what I have seen.
Thanks! I'll probably pick one up.
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