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Hedgehog New Owner Questions If you are a new hedgie owner, this is the forum for you!

View Poll Results: Which is better?
Chinchilla 4 57.14%
Hedgehog 3 42.86%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 12-13-2013, 11:48 AM United States
Mircat Mircat is offline
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Default Hedgehog or Chinchilla?

For those of you who have had both chinchillas and hedgehogs:
What is the personality difference?
Which is easier to care for?
Which is more handleable?
Which cuddles more, and which plays more?
Which bonds more to their owner?
Any other information would be great. I already have a chinchilla so I'm looking for mainly hedgehog info from owners that can compare both of them. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2013, 12:32 PM United States
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PpunkTheHedgehog PpunkTheHedgehog is offline
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Hahah, just kidding. Mostly. (not really. i want them all.)
I only have a hedgehog, and while I have played with Chinchillas and adore them, I have not owned one. I'm not sure I could pick and choose between the two anyway, they're both great in the own right. Hedgehogs have a tendency to be grumpier than many other pets, although perhaps that might just be due to their habit of curling up into a ball of death when they're unhappy, while chinchillas are always super soft and fuzzy, even when unhappy. It's very obvious when a hedgehog is unhappy, sometimes I think with many other small pets that is harder to tell if you can't pick up on body language well.

I do think that while every hedgehog and chinchilla is different, chins tend to play more, they are more hyperactive than hedgehogs. Although hedgehogs, while being more grumpy, tend to be very content just sitting on the couch watching TV with you =]
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2013, 02:13 PM United States
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smhufflepuff smhufflepuff is offline
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I suppose that's a bit like asking if a giraffe or hippo is a better animal/if one would be better as a pet. And you can't really answer that straight out.

You have to consider the general personality ranges of each. You have to consider their dietary, housing, "play"/exercise, medical, social, (and so on) needs. And how those do or do not mesh with your needs and abilities. For me, the answer is simple: hedgehog. But "hedgehog" could be the wrong answer for someone else. And both points are valid because it depends on the human.

And then, at least with hedgies, there's a pretty big range in terms of their personalities. Take your questions, for instance... and I'd totally have to say "it depends":
Which is more handleable?
Which cuddles more, and which plays more?
Which bonds more to their owner?

Allow me to share.
Handleable? Satin, Tex, and Marlee are easy to handle. Satin would stand up and let me put my fingers under her to scoop her up. Neither Tex nor Marlee stand, but they let me scoop them up without much fuss. Bella allows me to scoop her, but she huffs at me until she is firmly in my hands; she will sometimes bite me. Tex never huffed nor bit. Satin bit when I smelled like a swimming pool. Marlee goes after the armpit area and needs to be redirected daily. With my mother, apparently, sweet Satin turned into a biting-attack-diva hog. Long story short, if you were me holding on to someone like Satin, Tex, or Marlee, you'd say it's very easy to handle a hedgehog. But if you were my mom holding Satin, you'd say that it's impossible to hold them without protective oven mitts.

Cuddles more? Satin, Tex, and Marlee were and are devout snugglers. Satin had her preferences, but would snuggle with most people. Marlee will snuggle with anyone any time. Tex and Marlee will snuggle for hours if allowed. Bella does not snuggle. She will stand on you for a few minutes and announce she is done. If you do not listen she will absolutely make her demands known by either trying to run away on her own, pooping/peeing on you, or biting. Long story short, if you had Tex or Marlee, you'd say hedgies cuddle forever; if you had Bella, you'd say hedgies are skittish and do not cuddle. at all. ever.

Bonds more? All four have bonded to me, but differently. Satin had a running list of favorites that went: me, hedgiedaddy, aunt Mirranda, then others. Texie bonded to me and hedgiedaddy. Marlee prefers me to hedgiedaddy in terms of picking her up, but will snuggle with anybody. I can't say Bella likes anyone better than others... It's more like she dislikes me the least, then dislikes hedgiedaddy the second least. Long story short, if you had Texie, you'd say that hedgies bond very strongly with their primary caregiver(s) - in fact, he became despondent when we could not hold him; but if you had Bella, you might start questioning if hedgies bond with anyone at all.

A note: Bella is a bit of a special-needs girl. She was a rescue with an uncertain past. She is very tightly wound. More so than your average hedgie. But you never know, you could end up with a hedgie just like her. I love her immensely... she is a sweetheart.
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--> Marlee Twyla Hufflepuff <--
--> Bella Stormrider Hufflepuff <--
--> Tex Buckaroo Hufflepuff <--
--> Satin Mirranda Hufflepuff <--
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  #4  
Old 12-13-2013, 02:35 PM United States
Mircat Mircat is offline
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Thanks for the info guys, I know my question was pretty loaded! I do hope I get more insight from others as well.
My chin I suppose is and isn't cuddly. When he's in his cage all drowsy he'll let me pet him and give him scritches and love. However once he's out he gets all hyper and either wants to go back in his cage or wants to run around.
I would say he is handleable because he does stay still in my arms, but its only ever for 1-3 minutes. Its so sweet when he does though! When he's in his cage I can scoop him out no problem, but he barks and runs away from others. Outside of his cage, he'll run but for the most part lets me catch him and pick him up.
I guess he's bonded to me. He dislikes my mom and boyfriend and will not stay still at all with them.
He poops everywhere so he's not easy to clean. My room is often full of chin poop everywhere. Its bad because my apartment complex does inspections :/
He likes to play. When he's out he'll climb on me and use me as furniture and an elevator. We have this thing where if he cant climb somewhere he'll look at me because he knows I'll help him up.

I would very much enjoy a hedgehog I think. I'd love for a pet to stay still on me, nap on me, or just cuddle up on me. Also, I heard hedgehogs don't poop nonstop like chins? I have the opportunity of adopting a 6 month old hedgie, and he sounds sweet but I've yet to meet him. How's the process of hedge bonding compared to chins?
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2013, 08:44 PM United States
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PpunkTheHedgehog PpunkTheHedgehog is offline
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Again I have never owned a chin XD My hedgehog pooped seemingly nonstop when I first got him. Literally, there was no controlling it. My mother was appalled at how much he pooped, and couldn't believe I could love an animal that not only wouldn't come out of his death ball but also pooped nonstop whenever he did hahah

But as he grew older, it's certainly slowed down. A lot of owners use liter boxes in their cages, but they really don't liter train like other animals do. Some hedgies do I'm sure, but mostly we just put it under their wheel, because that's where they poop the most. So they're not really liter trained, but their pooping does slow down. Expect to be pottied on though at least that's how it's been for me.

The bonding process really depends on the individual hedgehog. Some seem to just be really friendly from what I've heard, I've only had this one hedgie, and he has been just a very cranky hedgehog. Which of course, to me, is a challenge so that when he does let me do certain things like rub his belly or touch his ears, it's just that much better than a pet that always lets you do that. It's more special but I hear a lot of hedgehogs love belly rubs. I think Ppunk is just a grumpy gus. hahah

From my experience, you can't let hedgehogs roam like you can chins. They will quickly find a very small crack, somehow wedge their fat butt in there, and go to sleep without you ever knowing. Mine has gotten himself under couches and heavy nightstands, where we didn't even think an animal half his size could fit, but you'd be surprised. It's not fun to try and get him out of these areas, because he is very comfy and wants to sleep, which is dangerous if it's not warm because he could go into hibernation. So, play time with my hedgie is very supervised, and he really doesn't roam more than a few feet away from me before I have to scoop him back up.


You should check if your apartment allows exotic pets. I see chins in mainstream pet stores all the time, but some states have made hedgehogs illegal, so while I don't live in an apartment and don't know how it works, I'd hate to hear that they do an inspection and have a problem with an exotic pet D: I mean, I don't see why they would. Hedgehogs are so quiet and no more of a problem than chins, but I also don't understand why they're illegal in some states soo... that's just me hahah
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Rest In Peace Ppunk. We will always miss you, sweet, grumpy boy.

Welcome little Natalia! We look forward a long, happy life with you.
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2013, 10:41 PM United States
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So far, I brought my hedgehog, Pompeii, home this Tuesday. He has not once balled up when I held him. So far, he has only balled up once, but that's when I didn't know he was hidden under the blanket and I kind of smacked him. I felt so bad and guilty. But really, he is a huge sweetheart.

Pompy (Nickname), will never sit still. The only time I can cuddle with him is when he was currently sleeping and I picked him up. He loves to run and run and run. Big escape artist here. I haven't been pushing handling him because I just got him, and I can feel his heart racing while I hold him. But he is getting better. I am working on him calming down while I hold him. Sadly, every time I hold him he licks me which leads to him biting me, I'm working on that too. Hopefully, he will learn how to snuggle

Clean wise: The only problem I have is cleaning his wheel every day. I get a little sick when I see the poop and pee, but I'm getting used to it. Since the very first day I got him, he has been potty trained. Which means no hidden poop anywhere! Although I have to use my candles every other night so it doesn't stink, it'll be fine. He has been 'searching' for a new hide out spot throughout his fleece, so I have to be careful were I put my hands.

In a nut shell, I think hedgehogs are great. If you have a good wheel, they are quiet 97% of the time. They don't stink if you clean their cage often. Basically for me, so far, they are GREAT!
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2013, 11:59 PM United States
Mircat Mircat is offline
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We have inspections by the government workers who run the apartments, every year. Before all that we'll have a couple inspections by the regular managers. Well, like I said having a chin is not very easy to clean. Theres poopy everywhere most of the time. I have to clean every day if I want it to stay clean. And when I clean, he comes out that same night and makes a mess all over again. Sometimes I don't let him out after I clean and it makes both of us feel bad. His cage is pretty big, and hard to hide as well. I threw a cover over it during last inspection, and luckily they didn't notice. The regular manager saw that it was a cage but he's really nice so didn't say anything. All this has me worried. In the past I've only had hamsters so they're easy to hide. But now that I got a taste of a larger and smarter pet I realize they weren't as rewarding. I love my chin and like I've described I think he's already kind of bonded to me after 7 months together. However, sometimes I wonder if I should rehome him and get a easier to maintain pet like a hedgehog.
Please correct me if I'm wrong but with a hedgehog, they don't need to roam my room right? I'm thinking I could have one in a 2x2 storage grid cage which I can just collapse or put things into during inspection, and keep the hedgehog in a bonding pouch on me until they're gone?
I feel horrible for considering this, and I keep giving it much thought as well as discussing it with my family. Given my situation, should I rehome my chin to a good home and try my luck with a hedgehog instead?
My concern is being able to hide evidence of the pet, it being easy to clean and care for, and also it being rewarding. My chin isn't the most cuddly but I know he loves me. I'm afraid of getting a pet that's ideal for my situation but isn't going to be friendly. I'm content if the hedge will just sit on my lap or cuddle. In fact, I'd prefer it because my boy only stays for a bit then it's go go go.
So please, I'd really like advice.
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  #8  
Old 01-17-2014, 06:40 PM United States
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Chinchillas and hedgehogs are very different
For one chinchillas are MUCH more expensive and take more time to care for then hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are a lot easier to care for. Neither hedgehogs or chinchillas like to be handle that much.(Neither of them are big cuddlers) Another thing is their life span, Chinchillas can live up to 25 years! While hedgehogs live less than chinchillas. Chinchillas are more playful and active than hedgehogs. Hedgehogs need a large cage but don't take up as much space as chinchillas so if you live in an apartment or small house I would say to go with a hedgehog. Both pets can bond strongly with their owners and both make FANTASTIC pets for the right person. Just be sure to do your research before you get either one and decide which suits your lifestyle.
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