August 05, 2010

Introducing your Hedgehog to Other Pets

Emma chilling in her box on the patio last summer

Hedgehogs are not generally social with other animals. With any creature you should introduce your pet carefully to new animals. My BF has a lovely, curious cat (who turns 6 tomorrow... happy adoption day Emma!) who can be friendly or defensive depending on her mood and on the other pet's actions. (Just like people, gee, who woulda thunk it?).

We discussed how to introduce Peggy and Emma and decided that because Emma likes to be in charge they should be introduced at my place which is Peggy's "turf". With Peg playing on the floor Emma stared with confusion and curiosity at the moving spike ball. Emma curiously sniffed at her and eventually got up the courage to "paw" Peg's back (claws sheathed) Peggy Houffed (see: Houff) and Emma jumped away. This is pretty much the depth of their interaction

We were vigilant supervisors the first several times the two met and I won't leave them totally alone yet (this may change with time but they only meet every few months so I will continue to play lifeguard for now).

So far, Emma mostly ignores Peg but is very curious when Peg plays actively and very jealous when Peg is in her owner's lap. She has been known to squish herself onto his lap, carefully avoiding a tail full of spikes. I am happy that neither is aggressive and Peg seems indifferent/unaware of Emma unless Emma taps her with her paw. Then she will Houff at Emma.

 Mission: Inter Species Non Aggression Pact successful.  

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