Here we can see, “Is It Safe to Feed Your Hedgehog Cat?”
Hedgehog owners and breeders have disputed what diet is ideal for feeding their prickly pals since the beginning of time (well, not that long, but since hedgehogs became popular as pets). The great food argument rages on today, with exotic vets, breeders, hog owners, and a plethora of other experts arguing about whose diet is better. Let’s dig deeper into this subject.
An Effective Substitute
Commercial hedgehog food was not always readily available in the past, and when it was, it wasn’t necessarily as nutritious as many people had hoped. Almost everyone can get cat food, regardless of where they reside, and it contains protein. Hedgehogs can eat it because it’s a little kibble. This is why many owners have chosen to feed their pet cat food instead of hedgehog kibble and may continue to do so. Another reason why people may feed cat food to hedgehogs is that after taking their new hog home, they simply continue to eat whatever the pet store or breeder recommended. Cat food is preferred over dog food since it is a smaller kibble that most hedgehogs can easily chew.
Cat Food’s Advantages
Some people have only had experience with early hedgehog food or low-quality hedgehog food, so they feed a high protein cat food instead.
They are unaffected by the protein source, and the chitin component is replaced by fibre in the diet. Instead of having to order decent hedgehog food online or drive to a specialty pet store, they can get high-protein cat food from their local grocery or pet store. Hedgehog food isn’t sold at every pet store, especially smaller ones that know that the majority of their customers don’t have hedgehogs as pets.
Requirements in terms of nutrition
Depending on where you look it up, hedgehogs are either omnivores or insectivores. This means that the majority of their diet should consist of insect protein (chitin) as well as a range of fruits, vegetables, cooked meats, live insects (such as mealworms), and other foods. They are opportunistic eaters in the wild, eating nearly everything that seems good. They hang around in gardens and have up to 44 teeth, allowing them to eat almost anything. As a result, we must consider what we feed them while they are in captivity.
Hedgehogs require protein, fat, carbs, fibre, water, and other nutrients. Protein should make up more than 20% of the stuff you eat, fat should be between 5% and 15%, and fibre should be plentiful. Dr. Graffam, who conducted an extensive study on hedgehog nutritional requirements at the Bronx Zoo in the 1990s, recommends supplementing canned cat food with additional fibre (Benefiber, baby oats, etc.) and that hedgehogs need hard foods to chew on in order to preserve their tiny teeth. Hedgehogs may eat a range of protein sources, but insects and chicken are the simplest to digest.
The Best Alternative
As a staple food, feed your hedgehog a high-quality, dry hedgehog food with at least 20% protein and double-digit fibre content. You should also check to see if the item has L-carnitine as an ingredient for heart health, or add a little amount to your diet (ask your exotic vet how much, but usually a hedgehog needs about 50 mg a day for treatment of cardiomyopathy). Exotic Nutrition’s Hedgehog Complete Food or Mazuri Hedgehog Diet is fed to many zoos, universities, parks, and museums. You should also provide live insects, cooked poultry, veggies, and fruits in addition to this meal. As a treat, a tiny portion of canned cat food can be given. Seeds, raisins, and dried fruits and vegetables should be avoided (they get stuck in their mouths).
If you can’t order your hedgehog’s food online and your local pet store doesn’t have any, the next best option is to give your hedgehog a small kibble of holistic or high-quality chicken cat food. Just keep in mind that this isn’t the best food for hedgehogs because it lacks the blood meal and chitin that hedgehog food does.
Can I feed hedgehogs cat food?
Foods like canned cat or dog food and crumbled cat or dog biscuits should be avoided. You’ll need to soak the biscuits in water first if the hedgehog is extremely young—around the size of an apple. Wildlife food vendors can also provide high-quality, meaty hedgehog food.
Can hedgehogs have cat nip?
Hedgehogs are not known to be harmful to catnip, so it is not necessary to include it in their diet. A small amount of dried catnip or fresh leaves will not damage your cat, but too much can cause stomach issues, including diarrhoea and vomiting.
Can hedgehogs eat cat food in gravy?
Hedgehogs can be fed cat food in gravy as long as it provides all of the nutrients that your hedgehog needs. Although it is not as popular as jelly-based dishes, there is no harm in giving it to kids.
What should I feed my hedgehog every day?
One cricket or giant mealworm, or two to three medium-sized mealworms, should be included in each dish. Dry insect food can make up 15 to 25% of your hedgehog’s daily meal if you don’t feed live insects. Live food and dry bug food should not be provided on the same day to avoid overfeeding.
Are balls good for hedgehogs?
Ping pong balls, lattice bird or cat balls, or little balls with bells inside are popular among hedgehogs. Make sure the balls aren’t too heavy and can’t be eaten or destroyed easily. A ferret treat ball is another type of plastic ball. A treat will appear when the hedgie pushes the ball around.
I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.