Posted: September 13, 2011, 11:50, p.m. EDT
Q: I bought a hedgehog from a pet store a few weeks ago. She was not very socialized, but I have been working with her a lot, and I think I’m starting to win her over (dried mealworms are helping a great deal). I’ve started to notice that every time I take her out, she poops and pees all over me. I’m aware that she is not litter trained, but it seems like she has figured out that when she poops, I put her back in her cage. I have been training dogs for years, and they have similar behavior. Have you heard of or dealt with anything like this? Or could it possibly be a nervous reaction?
A: Baby hedgehogs often relieve themselves when you pick them up, especially when they have just eaten or when you wake them up. This behavior is not common with adult hedgehogs. You did not mention your hedgehog’s age, so I’m guessing that she is on the young side. If the hedgehog is still nervous, she might also relieve herself wherever she is.
To avoid a mess, wake up the hedgehog, hold it briefly, and then place it back in its cage. Once the hedgehog is up and walking, it will usually go to the bathroom. As the hedgehog gets older and becomes more relaxed when taken out, it will have more control over its bladder.
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