It can be difficult to find suitable food for your hedgehog. Specifically made hedgehog food varies in quality and isn’t always easy to get hold of.
Pet food seems like a good alternative but it is difficult to know what to feed your hedgehog and what to avoid. One question that is commonly asked is, can hedgehogs eat cat food?
Hedgehogs can eat cat food. Cat food is a good option to feed your hedgehog if you are struggling to find good food to feed them daily. The benefits of choosing cat food are that it contains lots of protein, it is fairly cheap and it is easy to get hold of.
A hedgehogs diet is made up of a mix of insect protein, protein, fibre and carbohydrates. Protein should make up about 20% of their overall diet. This is where the cat food comes in. It is reasonably balanced and suitable for a hedgehog to eat.
However, you may want to supplement their diet with some fibre and insect protein. You can do this by offering your hedgehog a mix of cat food and dried hedgehog food pellets.
You can also give the hedgehog a little of certain types of fruit and vegetables occasionally to supplement their diet with extra fibre.
If you do choose cat food as a type of food for your hedgehog then you should choose the canned or wet variety and avoid fishy types of cat foods. Where you can, choose cat foods that are cooked in jelly rather than gravy as these offer a more natural diet than gravies or sauces.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Cat Food in Gravy?
You can give a hedgehog cat food that is in gravy if that’s all you can find. What is more important is that it provides the nutritional benefit that the hedgehog needs.
Many cat foods in gravy will be delicious and your hedgehog will enjoy the food but always check the ingredients and nutritional breakdown to ensure you know what you are feeding your hedgehog and whether you need to supplement it with other foods or not.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Fish Based Cat Food?
You should avoid fish-based cat foods.
Fish is not a natural food for hedgehogs to find or eat and their digestive systems won’t be used to these oily fishes.
Although as we mentioned earlier, it is the nutritional benefit that is most important. So, if you have a hungry hedgehog visitor in the garden and only have this available then you can feed it to the hedgehog in a pinch.
What Pet Foods are Safe for Hedgehogs?
If you don’t have access to cat food easily then you can use some dog foods instead. Make sure you choose canned dog food.
Dog food is similar to cat food but has a slightly different mix of protein and other ingredients. You can also choose some dog and cat biscuit foods as a supplementary food for the hedgehog to eat.
Why Cat Food And Not Other Pet Food?
Cat food is the preferred choice for many hedgehog owners and friends of wild hedgehogs. This is largely due to how easy cat food is to get as well as it offers the type of nutritional ratios that hedgehogs need in their diets.
Other pet foods contain different types and ratios of nutrition that are tailored to the pet it is designed for.
One of these foods is ferret food. It might seem like a great type of food but it is actually a little too high in fat for a hedgehog to digest so you should avoid feeding it to your hedgehogs.
Cat food just happens to have the right ratios and be pretty good as food for hedgehogs to eat!
Can You Use Hedgehog Food Instead?
You can choose to use hedgehog food instead of cat food or any other types of pet food. This would actually be the recommended option because hedgehog food has been designed with the specific nutrition that a hedgehog requires to be healthy and happy.
These days, you can order plenty of hedgehog food options online so you won’t be stuck for food for your hedgehog.
If you need you can always offer your hedgehog a mix of hedgehog food and cat food as well as a few treats here and there.
Whilst it is best to buy and feed your hedgehog specially designed hedgehog food that offers the full nutritional range your hedgehog needs, you can use cat food if you need it. It is close enough to provide a good amount of nutrition to your hedgehog.
You may need to supplement with a little fibre and ensure that you are giving your hedgehog the nutrition they need but it is possible to have healthy hedgehogs by using cat food.