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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been all over this forum lately! Sooo many questions as I am still a new hedgehog owner (I got my little guy in October.)

So here's the story. When I first got Wilbur, he would sleep all day, run all night, eat only when I'm not looking and he wouldn't dare wheel / play in front of me. Pretty typical hedgehog behavior so I wasn't alarmed or discouraged.

Fast forward a few months...

Wilbur is incredibly social. He is so social that he only wheels 1-2 hours a night, and instead, does all his wheeling during the day. The problem is, he only wants to use the wheel when I am sitting in his playpen with him (don't get me wrong I am totally grateful that he's a social little guy.) The moment I get out of the pen, he will either stop and sit still in the wheel looking all sad, or get off the wheel and try to climb out of the pen to get to me (I promptly pick him up to end the climbing as I know it's dangerous.)

I try to only take him out for 1 hour a day because I don't want to disturb his sleep cycle as it seems like it is already a little off from being nocturnal, but then I also feel guilty because I want him to get his exercise!!!

I have installed a night vision camera to make sure he's not just fooling me and wheeling when I'm asleep, and he's definitely not. He does get up throughout the night to explore and eat and wheel a *little* but he really only wants to run when I'm around during the day.

I've read conflicting opinions when it comes to changing your hedgies routines and making them more active during the day as they're suppposed to be resting. My question is, if he seems to be doing this by choice, is it okay to have him up for 2-3 or more hours a day? Or should I cut down his human time to encourage more activity at night which is what should be coming naturally?

To answer some questions that may come up: he has a rigid light schedule, absolute darkness / silence at night, cage temperature is always 75-78 degrees, toenails clipped, etc. So nothing that should be discouraging him from wheeling at night.

I've never heard of this with a hedgie before! Wondering if anyone else has experienced this?
 

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This is what I would do:

Keep the light schedule absolutely the same. But maybe get him out earlier so he can be with you longer. What time you do normally have him out?

Yes, it's bad to intentionally change your hedgehogs natural schedule. But if he's doing it on his own, not much you can do about it. I think here it's better to work with him than against him. At least to a reasonable degree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is what I would do:

Keep the light schedule absolutely the same. But maybe get him out earlier so he can be with you longer. What time you do normally have him out?

Yes, it's bad to intentionally change your hedgehogs natural schedule. But if he's doing it on his own, not much you can do about it. I think here it's better to work with him than against him. At least to a reasonable degree.
I usually take him out at about 5:30 for an hour and then put him back to bed. Lights stay on until 9:30.

He used to wake up from about 10:30 - 5:00 AM running around, etc. Now he will wake up at around 12 - 2, exploring his cage but not running in his wheel very much.

Sometimes I feel guilty and keep him out for longer because he's so hyper, so his playtime can end up being as long as 3 hours if he's running a lot. :) It makes sense to try to pull him out a little earlier so he can still play without being too tired to get up later on. Maybe ill try switching him to a 3:00 PM playtime and see if what helps at all
 

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Wow, that's actually way earlier than I was anticipating you saying. Many people wait until later in the evening to get their hogs up. No, I wouldn't go any earlier than that if that's the case. But don't restrict his time out of the cage to an hour just because. Keep him out for a couple of hours, or longer if he's still active.
 

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Floyd is kind of like that. He recently switched his wheeling habits and loves to wheel when we're on my bed. Today he was running around with his tail up, sprinting like crazy in the wheel. Soon as I put him in a cage he hides.

I think he started feeling more comfortable with me on my bed than in his cage and doesn't feel like he is the boss in his cage anymore since I always bother him when he's there.

I am a night person too so we are kind of living together.. I am on my computer and he is in the cage. He comes out to eat every hour or so.. and goes back to hide.
 

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I get my hedgie up after dinner for cuddles in front of TV then put her in her play pen for the evening. She does a similar thing now where she will only run around and play while I'm around then as soon as I go she stops and goes all shy. She seems more confident if I play too. Also, I stay up late so I know she gets more active in the early hours of the morning.
 

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Oh, and if there is food available she will get up during the day to stuff her face. Probably not natural either but if she chooses to do that I guess that's ok.
 
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