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Old 12-14-2010, 01:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
margolia.wind's Avatar
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Default Handling/snuggle routine question

This is an obsessive question, but as you might have noticed - I'm a bit of a worrier. And I want to make sure that things are going okay.
I've had Mopsa for about a month now (a bit more, even!) and she is just over 2 months old. I've never had hedgehogs before so I have nothing to judge her behaviour against except what I read here.
It feels like things are going very well. She never stayed balled up, ever since I brought her home. She unballs in seconds literally. She doesn't seem particularly prone to biting (though she's nipped me once or twice maybe). She doesn't seem to be fond of petting (I heard that is a 50/50 thing?) She does huff and jump a lot at my every movement still, but she doesn't prick up her quills at me - I just appear to be always annoying her. I know that that is probably to be expected so it's not that I'm concerned about her behaviour, but just wanting to make sure that what I'm doing with her is ensuring that her behaving is natural hedgehog-way and not my mistakes.

So I clean the cage in the morning - this time varies from 9-11-ish, depending on when my first class is. I take her out momentarily to make sure she's warm (as she gets woken up by my cleaning anyway as she only sleeps under the wheel...).
Then the room is generally empty all day while I'm at school. I come home and take her out sometime between 6-9, I'd say - it's not as regular as I want it to be because of the hetic time of year.
She won't ball up, but will sit on my hand for a bit, but she so obviously prefers having somewhere darker that I don't keep her there longer than 5/10 minutes, usually. Then I sit with my school work and give her a blanket and a treat. She will scratch around in it a bit briefly and then pretty quick fall asleep on my lap. I seem to disturb her a lot, but I am as still as I can be while she's there and try not to move quickly.
I keep her out as long as I can.
Then when I need to do things more active or whatever, I pick her up again and try to clip toenails (minimum success). Then she has another treat and goes back home.
She does not seem interested in moving around or anything - just in sleeping on me.
Sometimes if other people are over she seems more frantic and scratches about longer instead of settling down.
I have a playpen for her, but thus far she has seemed totally uninterested in it. She is very active at night, however and always totally responsive.

Is this all okay? I just want to make sure as our routine has become fairly repetitive and I'm not sure if I'm doing anything wrong. Because she's such a grump with me even at the best times, I'm finding it really hard to judge whether she's becoming more friendly (she was never very unfriendly to start) or whether she is particularly upset...

Please let me know if there' s anything in particular I should be aware of.
Sorry for yet another super long post.

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Old 12-14-2010, 01:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling/snuggle routine question

Far as I've read, sounds like things are going smoothly, nothing seems out of the ordinary or 'strange' about her behavior. If anything I'd call her a light grump, you want to see grumpy, wait till I get some videos of Hester up, but she's the same way when out, she might settle down but she'll react to any movement or touch.

Petting is a 50/50 thing, from what I've read and heard, you basically end up at one of three options. 1. The hedgehog enjoys it. 2. The hedgehog will tolerate it and maybe huff here and there. 3. The hedgehog hates it. Hester is a 3, Loki is a 2, once he's settled in, I can pet him, he doesn't react like he enjoys it nor does he react big time, but he'll huff here and there at my hand.

But all in all, looks good.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling/snuggle routine question

It sounds like everything is going ok.

We've had Col. Mustard for about 5 months now, and I'd say it took us maybe 3 months to be able to pet her a lot and move during our bonding time without annoying her, but if I have her on my lap and start moving a lot, eventually she will get huffy. Mustard is a cuddler so her only interests when out are finding a cozy place to snooze and mealworms, so Mopsa is probably acting normal.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling/snuggle routine question

Sounds normal to me. Sounds like both my hedgies. I put a radio in their room this morning. Hoping that will get them more used to everyday noises, so that when they're out with me, they won't be jumpy with every little thing.


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