Cat Food, Cross Species Eating

Can Hedgehogs Eat Cat Food?

Can Hedgehogs Eat Cat Food?

Hedgehog owners relied on cat food as a substitute diet for many years due to the lack of specialized hedgehog food. Cat food provided adequate protein and manageable portions for hedgehogs. However, with their growing popularity as pets, dedicated hedgehog food pellets have emerged to meet their nutritional requirements.

Veterinarians now recommend these pellets, supplemented with a variety of insects, for a well-rounded diet. While hedgehogs can consume cat food, it’s advisable to consult your vet to ensure your pet receives the optimal diet for its growth and health.

Hedgehogs Eat Cat Food

Can Hedgehogs Eat Wet Cat Food?

Hedgehogs can consume wet cat food as an occasional treat, but it’s not recommended as a primary part of their diet. Wet cat food is generally higher in fat and moisture content than what hedgehogs require for their nutritional needs. A balanced diet for hedgehogs typically consists of dry hedgehog kibble, insects, and vegetables. Feeding them wet cat food regularly may lead to dietary imbalances and potential health issues, so it should be given sparingly if at all.

Type of Food Hedgehogs Eat in the Wild

In the wild, hedgehogs primarily consume a diet consisting of insects, small invertebrates, and some plant matter. Their natural diet may include beetles, worms, slugs, caterpillars, and other similar creatures. Hedgehogs are opportunistic feeders and will also eat fruits, berries, and occasionally small amphibians or reptiles when available. Their diet is diverse, reflecting their omnivorous nature in the wild.

Type of Food Hedgehogs Eat in the Wild

Pros and Cons of Feeding Cat Food to Hedgehogs


  • Cat food is readily available and easy to purchase, making it a convenient option for hedgehog owners.
  • Cat food contains sufficient protein, which is a crucial component of a hedgehog’s diet.
  • The small kibble size of cat food is suitable for hedgehogs to handle.
  • Many hedgehogs find cat food palatable and readily consume it.
  • Cat food is often more affordable than specialized hedgehog diets, making it budget-friendly.


  • Cat food lacks some essential nutrients required for hedgehog health, potentially leading to deficiencies.
  • Some cat foods may be high in fat, increasing the risk of obesity in hedgehogs.
  • Cat food may lack sufficient fiber, which can impact hedgehog digestion and bowel movements.
  • The soft texture of cat food may not provide the necessary dental stimulation for hedgehogs.
  • Prolonged reliance on cat food can result in chronic health problems in hedgehogs due to the nutritional deficiencies it may cause.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my hedgehog eating only cat food?

Hedgehogs may eat only cat food if it’s readily available and they find it palatable. However, it’s important to provide a balanced diet with specialized hedgehog food to meet their nutritional needs.

Can I feed milk to the hedgehog?

It’s not recommended to feed milk to hedgehogs as many of them are lactose intolerant, which can lead to digestive issues. Stick to water as their primary source of hydration.

Can you feed fruits and vegetables to hedgehogs?

Yes, you can feed fruits and vegetables to hedgehogs in moderation, but they should primarily consume a diet of insects and specialized hedgehog kibble for optimal nutrition.

How do I stop my cat from eating hedgehog food?

To prevent your cat from eating hedgehog food, try feeding your hedgehog in a separate, enclosed area or at a different time when your cat isn’t around.

What should I not feed to hedgehogs?

Avoid feeding hedgehogs foods like bread, milk, sugary or salty snacks, and any toxic plants or insects. These can be harmful to their health. Stick to a diet designed for hedgehogs to ensure their well-being.

Can rats eat cat food?

Yes, rats can eat cat food, but it should not be a regular part of their diet. Cat food is high in protein and fat, which can lead to obesity and nutritional imbalances in rats. It’s better to feed them a balanced diet specifically designed for rats, supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Can rabbits eat cat food?

Rabbits should not eat cat food, as it is too high in protein and fat and lacks the necessary fiber that rabbits need. Cat food can lead to serious digestive issues and nutritional imbalances in rabbits.

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