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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my hedgehog, Kei, about 2 weeks ago and I'm still having trouble getting him to settle in.

Setup:
-Storage cube cage (3 cubes long) placed in living room
-have the heat around 76 degrees with infared bulbs (ordered a ceramic one since I couldn't find one locally, on its way)
-dry cat food he ate at the pet store (ordered some Wellness, on its way)
-few toys
-hide/bed with my shirts
-large wheel
-corner litter box

Problems:
-refuses to use litter box or be potty trained. Poops on the ends of the cage, if I place the litter box on one side he will go on the other, visa versa. The box does have his poop in it to lour him, he has no interest even if I place him in it.
-Still balls and hisses when we try to get him out of the cage. He will unball pretty quickly and be fine with handling, just that first pick-up is prickly. Use bare hands and it hurts, but always pick him up gently even if he does that to show he can't win. He is also jumpy, if hears a sound he will flinch-spike.
-Does not run in his wheel, only done it a few times since he has been with us
-awake some during the day and some during the night. When should he be active and when should I play with him to get him on a schedule?
-has dry skin and looses quills in his bed, not mites from what I can tell, the flakes don't move on him or in his bed. More of a recent thing and I have oiled him with canola oil (someone recommended it on here) until I can buy some aveeno bath. Any certain areas I should focus on or techniques?

His poops are large and solid, he heats and drinks normally. I just don't know why he is so fussy still and can't be potty trained...any help would be appreciated.
 

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Firstly, congrats on the new hedgie!!

Some hedgies just won't be potty trained. There's not much you can do to force him to use the litter box. You can try putting the poops in the litter box, but that's no guarantee, either.

He's probably losing quills because he's stressed and has dry skin. How old is he? If he's a baby, he might be quilling. And thus, really really really crabby. Add some flax seed oil into his food and that should help with the dry skin thing, along with olive oil in his baths. I'm not sure about the canola oil.. although, that's not to say it won't be just as good. You can also put a drop or two of the (olive/canola?) oil in when you get the Aveno oatmeal bath.

As for everything else, I would just be very persistent and stick to a schedule-- feed him, play with him, put the lights on, etc. at the same exact time every day. He's probably just really scared. Also, if you get stressed out, he can sense it, and in turn, will be stressed out too. So remember to relax.

If he's eating, drinking and roaming around as soon as he's out of his ball, he sounds just fine. Especially if his poop looks ok. He probably just gets nervous being alone in the cage right now. My guys will huff once in a while if I go to pick them up, and I've had (most of) them for over a year!

A few of us, including me, are having hedgies-not(-pooping)-on-their-wheel issues, so I'm not to sure how to help you with that. Hopefully he is and he's just not pooping on the wheel. If not, you can try spreading his favorite treat (banana, pumpkin, baby food, something soft that he likes) on the inside of the wheel a little bit.

The most important thing is to have patience! Sometimes it takes a long while for a hedgie to get used to his surroundings. Hope this helps some and good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
excellent, thank you for the quick reply

He is probably 12-13 weeks old at this point (according to the place where I bought him) and getting pretty big. I didn't have any olive oil and someone mentioned canola would work too so thats why I used it.

When they get used to you will they commonly ball/prickle? Also, should I only play with him at night?
 

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Each hedgehog is unique personality wise. Your hedgehog may or may not continue to ball up even after they bond. One of my most recently was an absolute doll, would crawl in your hand to be picked up, but yet would curl up if you actually picked him up. His quills would be laid flat, but yet he would huff like there was no tomorrow.

Not all hedgehogs potty train. I wouldn't worry about it, it isn't abnormal for them to not go in a litter box.

At 12-13 weeks your little one may still be quilling. Some of the grumpiness could be caused by that. It would also explain the quill loss and perhaps some of the dry skin. The hedgehog mentioned above had the worst dry skin I've ever seen. It would come off in large sheets. That stopped after his quilling stopped.

You really haven't had your hedgehog very long. Some can take a long time to bond. Be patient, continue to handle your hedgehog and don't let a little huffing deter you from handling him. Sometimes they learn that if they are huffy you will put them back in their cage.
 

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At night is when they're used to being awake, so I would say to play with him around then (don't force yourself to stay up really late, but you get the idea..). Here's a typical hedgie play day for me:

My husband and I get home from work, we eat dinner. We put everyone in their respective "play" areas (a playpen and a couch) when we're done (around 7ish). We clean their cages, make their food, clean their wheels. Then my husband will hold one and I'll hold one and we rotate who goes in the open playpen (we have three hedgies). Around 10/10:30p everyone is usually getting hungry and very antsy/crabby, so everyone goes in their house and has dinner (breakfast?) and does their stretches for a long wheel run ;) I'm in bed by 11/11:30 and thus, not crabby in the morning :lol: . This way, we've already eaten dinner and aren't trying to frantically play with everyone and eat and iron and shower around play schedules.. and everyone gets to be out and about for over 3 hours every day.

I agree with everything Kalandra said, too. He may very well still be quilling and really irritable. As far as the potty training goes, keep in mind that if/when he starts using his wheel, he'll probably start going to the bathroom on it. And, while it's not ideal, at least most (if not all) of his potty will be in/on/around the wheel. I put everyone's litter boxes right under/across from everyone's wheels and while the wheels are pretty gross, the stray poop usually (not always :roll: ) lands in the litter box. All of my guys will either sometimes use the litter box religiously or could care less about it. This is especially true if we let it get too dirty, and unfortunately, all 3 of them are fairly prissy.. especially for animals that jog in their own excretion :lol: so we usually have to scoop every two days.
 

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Sebian is it alright if you take your hedgehog at differant parts of the day. For example take out hedgie at 2:00 pm so he will be able to play outside in the summer for 1 or 2 hours and then take him out at 8:00 pm for 1 hour 30 mintues. Would that be alright too?
 

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The more consistent their schedule the better. That being said, if you take your hedgie outside during the summer in the middle of the day, he may or may not be interested in anything but sleeping. We take our boys out once in a while during the summer (always always ALWAYS supervised) and sometimes they'll sniff and explore but most of the time they'll just go to sleep. It depends on what level of interest your hedgie has.

Whatever you do, though, don't try to change any sleeping habits. Forcing them to stay up when they don't usually do so screws up their body AND minds and it's not fair to them. If our guys would rather sleep when they're outside (supervised!) then we'll just leave them sleep and not disturb them until we decide to go in. And when we do go in, it's straight to their cage until it's time to come out for the usual cleaning/playing.

Taking them outside for fresh air, in the summer, supervised, once in a while, probably won't hurt your little guy. You just have to be very careful and watchful (and respectful of their sleep patterns for that matter), especially if you have an albino... and they anoint on EVERYTHING... and turn themselves green... cause they thought the grass smelled good... :roll:
 

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Okay thanks that answered my question completely :D ! Yeah I am not trying to change his sleeping habits and when ever he wants to sleep I leave him alone. I n fact last night when I always take him out he cuddled with me while I watched Hope Floats (a movie). He was adorable :). I already have a take out schedule..I will bring him out at 8:00 every night and will put him back at 10:30 ish. Also some days I might take him out for like 45 minutes during the day which we can either go outside for a bit or hang out inside, matters if it is summer or winter really. And when I do decide to bring him out during the summer for a little bit I dont mind him taking a nap one bit. I think it is adorable. Even though Bruno is more active then a cuddler. I had my mom order an exercise pen for me and it is coming by christmas so then I can let him explore more and play when I dont have to keep grabbing him from going under things.
 

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i just want to say, chixwithtrix, 2 weeks is not alot of time to expect your little hedgie to warm up to you. i've had my little girl for 2 months and she always always always hisses and jumps and balls up when i pick her up, but calms when she realizes whats goin on. it might not ever change. some one explained it to me like this; when you met someone new, you dont instantly become their best friend and spill all your deepest secrets to that person, you have to gain each others trust and gradually start to confide in each other. well, its the same situation with your hedgie. you got to remember that hedgehogs are naturally shy and take alot of time and persistance to come around. but you can never give up either ! theres an entire discussion form here devoted to personality and behaviour, just keep reading through the different topics. everyone has the same issue when they first get their quill balls. it'll get better !! :D
 
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