What is anointing

Anointing is a possible response that a hedgehog will exhibit when they encounter a smell that they are unfamiliar with. In such an event the hedgehog will possibly bite or chew at the source of the smell, then they will froth at mouth to create a lather. Next they will deposit their foamy saliva on their quills by contorting their bodies. I have seen a many a hedgehog contort their bodies until they fall over, some become so entranced that they become unaware of their surroundings at the time.

Why do hedgehogs anoint

No one is quite sure why hedgehogs anoint. There are many theories out there which try to explain this behavior. A couple of theories are:

  • The hedgehog is trying to mask their scent to better hide from predator.s
  • The foam acts as a toxin to the hedgehog's enemies, causing irritation.
No matter what the real reason is that our spiny friends anoint, it is a perfectly normal behavior, and can be quite amusing to watch.