Can Hedgehogs Eat Cat Food?

Can Hedgehogs Eat Cat Food

Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly popular as pets, and their unique care needs can be overwhelming for new owners. One of the most common questions that hedgehog owners have is whether or not it’s okay to feed them cat food. While there are some benefits to feeding your pet hedgehog cat food, there are also some potential risks involved. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of feeding hedgehogs cat food so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your pet.

Can Hedgehogs Eat Cat Food?

The short answer is yes, hedgehogs can eat cat food. However, it’s important to understand that cat food isn’t designed specifically for hedgehog nutrition, so there are some potential risks associated with feeding your pet hedgehog cat food.

Pros of Feeding Hedgehogs Cat Food

  • Convenience: Cat food is widely available and easy to find in most stores. It also usually comes in an affordable variety of flavors and textures.
  • Variety: Many brands of cat food offer several types of formulas tailored to different age groups or health conditions such as hairball prevention or weight management.
  • Nutrition: Some brands of cat food contain a balanced blend of proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals which can provide your hedgehog with the nutrients they need.

Cons of Feeding Hedgehogs Cat Food

  • Too High in Protein: While cats require high amounts of protein in their diet, hedgehogs do not. Selecting a low-protein formula from a reputable brand may help reduce the risk.
  • Added Supplements: Some brands add supplements such as omega fatty acids which may be beneficial for cats but could be harmful for hedgehogs. Be sure to check the label carefully before purchasing any type of cat food for your pet.
  • Sugar Content: Many varieties of cat foods have added sugar or sweeteners which can cause obesity and other health problems in pets. Avoid buying those with too much sugar content if possible.
  • Inferior Quality Ingredients: Not all brands use quality ingredients when making their products. Look out for fillers like corn meal or wheat gluten which provide no nutritional value and can be difficult for small animals to digest.

Common Foods to Avoid When Feeding Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs may look like small and gentle creatures, but they have particular dietary needs that must be met for them to remain healthy. Unfortunately, not all foods are suitable for hedgehog consumption. Here are some of the most common foods you should avoid when feeding your pet hedgehog:

Grains and Legumes

Most grains and legumes contain large amounts of carbohydrates which can lead to obesity in hedgehogs. These include breads, pastas, rice, beans, peas and corn.

Fruits & Vegetables with High Oxalate Content

Oxalates are substances found in plants that can cause kidney stones in animals if consumed in high quantities. Fruits and vegetables with high oxalate content include spinach, rhubarb, sweet potatoes and squash.


Mushrooms should never be fed to a hedgehog as they contain toxins that can cause severe illness or death.

Sugary Treats

Sweets such as candy bars or cookies should also not be given to hedgehog as they lack nutritional value while providing empty calories that can lead to obesity.

The Benefits of Feeding Your Hedgehog Wet Cat Food

Wet cat food has many benefits for hedgehogs, as it is a great source of protein and moisture. It can be an important part of their diet and provide them with essential nutrients that they need to stay healthy and active.

Nutritional Value

Most wet cat foods are high in protein, which is necessary for the growth and development of hedgehogs. They also contain other essential vitamins, minerals, fats and carbohydrates. This helps ensure your pet gets all the nutrition they need to thrive.

Hydration Source

Hedgehogs naturally get most of their hydration from eating moist foods like wet cat food. Eating this type of food can help keep your pet properly hydrated throughout the day, which is important for maintaining good health.

Easy to Digest

Wet cat food is easier to digest than dry kibble due to its soft texture. This makes it a good choice for older or sick hedgehogs who may have difficulty chewing hard foods.

What to Consider When Feeding Your Hedgehog Cat Food

Feeding your hedgehog cat food can be a great way to provide them with necessary nutrients and vitamins. However, there are some things you should consider before adding cat food to their diet.


When feeding cat food to your hedgehog, it is important to look at the ingredients list. Look for a brand that has high-quality proteins as the main ingredient like chicken, beef or fish. Avoid brands with fillers such as corn, wheat or soy which have little nutritional value.

Fat Content

Cat foods typically come in both dry and wet varieties. For hedgehogs, we recommend choosing a dry kibble that contains around 12-15% fat content. This will ensure they get enough energy without overloading on calories.

Vitamins & Minerals

It’s also essential to check that the cat food you choose provides all of the necessary vitamins and minerals for your hedgehog’s health. Look for a formula that includes taurine, B-complex vitamins and omega fatty acids.

Age Appropriate

Finally, make sure you choose an age appropriate formula for your pet – kittens need different nutrition than adult cats so always double check before serving.

Overall, when selecting a cat food for your hedgehog make sure it meets their nutritional needs by having high quality protein sources, limited fats and plenty of vitamins and minerals.


In conclusion, it is generally not recommended to feed your hedgehog cat food as a regular diet. Cat food does not contain the necessary nutrients and vitamins that hedgehogs need for overall health. If you absolutely must feed your pet hedgehog cat food, make sure it is in small amounts as a treat and always consult with an experienced vet beforehand. With proper nutrition and care, your pet hedgehog should remain healthy and happy!


  • Frederick

    Frederick Faunce is an experienced and passionate hedgehog writer, blogger, and researcher. He has dedicated his life to understanding the conservation and care of hedgehogs, and is committed to educating and inspiring others to do the same.

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