In this article, we will answer all questions on hedgehogs and cat food.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Cat Food?
Hedgehogs can indeed eat high-quality cat food that provides them with a proper balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber.
Check the label for a ratio of 34% protein to 15% fat content. If you do not have the proper cat food available, you should be supplementing their diet with additional meal items, so they receive the correct vitamins and nutrients.
Cat Food Recommendation For Hedgehogs
When choosing the best cat food for hedgehogs, you want to ensure you pick a high-quality, poultry-based brand. In addition, it should contain a high protein content with a low percentage of fat. Some of the best choices include Purina One and Iams.
Consequently, cat food should only make up about 80% of their diet. The other 20% should be a variety of fruits, vegetables, and insects. This arrangement will give your hedgehog the balance they need to remain healthy and active without worrying about weight control.
You can also provide cooked chicken, slugs, and worms to round out their meals. If you are worried about their daily fiber content, you can give your hedgehog baby oatmeal which is a great option that is easy to chew and digest.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Wet Cat Food?
Although you will find many great types of dry cat food kibble to give your hedgie as part of their mealtime, you may wonder if they can eat wet cat food as well. When it comes to cat food in a tin, this form should be there for your pet as a treat only and not as a regular staple of their diet.
Moist cat food will not contain the total amount of fiber that your hedgehog needs daily. If you do not have any other food sources, wet cat food will be fine, but you should ensure you supplement additional fiber into their meals.
Alternatively, very young hedgehogs will prefer moist or wet cat food over dry kibble. So instead of choosing a tin of soft cat food, add a bit of warm water to a bowl of dry kibble and let it sit to soften up. This method is the best way to provide everything your pet needs in an accessible form to eat.
How Often and How Much Do Hedgehogs Eat?
When and how much your hedgehog eats will vary, depending on their age. If you are concerned about your pet’s weight, you should consult your veterinarian for the best advice.
On average, a hedgehog will eat two to three teaspoons of dry cat food, which makes up approximately 80% of their complete diet. Be sure to include an assortment of healthy fruits, veggies, and insects for the best nutrition possible.
Alternatively, some hedgehogs will eat once or twice a day, while others may graze all day long with a few bites here and there. You can offer one teaspoon of food in the morning and one in the evening with some periodic snacks in between.
If your hedgehog eats all his rations right away, do not offer him more as this can introduce too many calories and create weight gain. Therefore, if you have a pet who eats frequently, you want to ensure you do not overfeed them. Too much food can cause obesity, diabetes, and other health issues.
What Not To Give Your Hedgehog
Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, so they cannot digest milk products properly. Do not give them any milk even if you think they are thirsty. A shallow bowl of fresh water is more than sufficient for them.
Bread has very little nutritional content for hedgehogs and does not provide them with the energy they need. You will not help their diet by offering baked goods to them, even as a treat.
A hedgehog’s digestive system cannot process starchy vegetables well. Because of this, you should avoid giving your pet potatoes or celery. Any other greens and veggies should be cooked so they are soft enough to chew and they will not choke on small pieces.
Never let your hedgehog eat grapes or raisins. Similar to dogs, grapes and raisins are toxic to your hedgie and can be lethal. Fruits should not be in large quantities, either, because they contain a lot of natural sugars, which can upset them, causing weight gain and diabetes.
Other items that should not be in your hedgehog’s dish include avocado, citrus fruits, nuts, seeds, and other processed human foods, like chocolate or junk food. Be sure to talk to your vet before giving your hedgehog different menu items.