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Old 01-11-2011, 12:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default hedgehogs are solitary animals but appears lonely?

So I know hedgehogs are solitary animals but I've been observing Annabell for the past couple nights & can't help but think she appears 'lonely.' She is eating & pooping regularly. When I take her out of the cage she can easily run across my living room floor without any issue and she's warm to touch. So it's not a health thing. The thermostat reads 23.1 *C, and is on the opposite side of the cage than the CHE, so her cage is nice and warm.

What is happening:
When I put her back in her cage, she just kind of 'sits' in the middle of the cage for a while, then goes & eats, then lies under her heat lamp pressed towards a stuffed animal in with her. Or she'll sit in her litter box with her face to the corner (she does this when she's upset). When she was lying near the stuffed animal, I laid it on it's side and rested the face onto Annabell's back, and she didn't move away or such. She will stay this way for a long time. If I put my hands in the cage she will move towards them and try to bite my finger tips. (hands coming from above she tends to nip at, hands coming from beside to pick her up she's okay with. she has and alwayts had, an issue with finger tips and wanting to bit them for some reason)

I got Annabell from the breeder when she was three months old, back in September. At the breeder's she was caged with her mom, single wheel & one hidey hut. So she's been with me 4 months now.

Here's some pictures to give a bit of a sense of what I'm talking about.



Any thoughts?
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: hedgehogs are solitary animals but appears lonely?

I can't offer advice that's really helpful, but my hog when it's time to wake up, will just run about her cage, then just sit in a spot for a while. She'll be grumpy if you bother her during this, so I think it's just her time. So I leave her alone. Maybe she's just having alone time?
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: hedgehogs are solitary animals but appears lonely?

Does she have a wheel in her cage? Does she use it?
When you watch her in her cage do you have the lights on? Many hedgehogs won't come out/play when the lights are on. They can be very secretive!

It could also be that 23.1C is too cold for her (it is 73.6F). It is recommended that the cage is kept between 73-79F, but I know some hogs prefer the temp range to be more like 75-79. You may try bumping up the heat a degree or two to see if that makes a difference in her activity.

Lastly, she looks like a big hog (hard to tell from pictures). When she balls up does she completely fit in a ball (legs and arms inside)?

I hope we can figure it out
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: hedgehogs are solitary animals but appears lonely?

Just some thoughts...

Does she have a hedgie bag? Does she normally sleep in the little house I see in the pic?

Maybe she wants a different place to rest or enjoy her 'alone time'? Snarf will go behind his wheel for his alone time a (and when he's really ticked at me ) He does the same thing as Ophelia's hog - when he first wakes, he sits awake but barely moving...sometimes smack dab in the middle of his cage...looks very strange. He'll do it when he's on the floor, too - does a lap of the livingroom, then just sits. I always feels so sorry for him but I think he's just ...you know...sitting.

Do you take her out during the day/evening? How does she respond?
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: hedgehogs are solitary animals but appears lonely?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissC
Maybe she wants a different place to rest or enjoy her 'alone time'? Snarf will go behind his wheel for his alone time a (and when he's really ticked at me ) He does the same thing as Ophelia's hog - when he first wakes, he sits awake but barely moving...sometimes smack dab in the middle of his cage...looks very strange. He'll do it when he's on the floor, too - does a lap of the livingroom, then just sits. I always feels so sorry for him but I think he's just ...you know...sitting.
That's very similar (middle of the cage sitting) to what Annabell does.

Trying to answer everyone's questions:

Annabell is in a C&C cage, 2 x 3 squares, so quite large. The thermostat is hung on the opposite wall of the cage than the CHE, so conceivably the coolest area in the cage @ 23.1*C.
In her cage she has the stuffed animals in the picture, some other toys, fake flour she hunts for mealworms in, food & water dishes, litter pan with litter she loves to role in, CWS wheel which is used nightly & her hidey hut. In the hut is a small fleece blanket from the breeder, fleece strips & a fleece touque. Oh and some kibble which she munches on during the day.

When out of the cage, I take her out and put her in the touque on my lap under a blanket. She cuddles for a while then get's fidgetty to get down. Once on the floor (living room is hedgie safe) she generally runs across the floor to play in/use her litter box and then hides in an igloo also in the floor with another fleece touque inside.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: hedgehogs are solitary animals but appears lonely?

I don't know...sounds like she's got it pretty good to me. I wanna move in!

I really think they just sometimes 'sits and thinks'. I know it looks distressing - Snarf will sit under our coffee table - it looks so pathetic cuz it's so tall compared to him so he's basically sitting in the middle of the floor. He's quite relaxed though as he will sometimes slowly nod off and fall over.

It sounds like our hedgies are quite similar and we seem to be doing much the same things with toys, cage, light, heat...so I vote we blame THEM!
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: hedgehogs are solitary animals but appears lonely?

I don't know...sounds like she's got it pretty good to me. I wanna move in!

I really think they just sometimes 'sits and thinks'. I know it looks distressing - Snarf will sit under our coffee table - it looks so pathetic cuz it's so tall compared to him so he's basically sitting in the middle of the floor. He's quite relaxed though as he will sometimes slowly nod off and fall over.

It sounds like our hedgies are quite similar and we seem to be doing much the same things with toys, cage, light, heat...so I vote we blame THEM!
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: hedgehogs are solitary animals but appears lonely?

oh & her weight as of last night is 522 g. So yup she is a big girl, her mom & dad were also big though. She came to me at 450 g about. She is able to roll up no problem. Part of her wight gain comes from her extremely picky eating habits. The only low calorie food she likes is (was? it was the breeders) Science Diet, which I don't want to give her.

Miss C, thanks for letting me know you're hedehog does the same thing. Makes me feel better.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: hedgehogs are solitary animals but appears lonely?

I swear Snarf's sole purpose in life is to turn me into a worrywart.

You mentioned 'fake flour' to dig for mealies in - what is it? what's it like? is it messy?
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: hedgehogs are solitary animals but appears lonely?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissC
I swear Snarf's sole purpose in life is to turn me into a worrywart.

You mentioned 'fake flour' to dig for mealies in - what is it? what's it like? is it messy?
I did?
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