Dry cat food has recently become a popular food for hedgehogs but should hedgehogs actually be eating dry cat food? Or should this be strictly off the menu?
In this post, we will take a close look at the opinions of animal nutritionists and vets as well as doing a comparison between popular cat food and hedgehog food brands to see which comes out on top.
In a few short minutes, you should understand all you need to know about dry cat food for hedgehogs.
So can hedgehogs eat dry cat food? Hedgehogs can safely eat cat food as part of their diet. Many hedgehog owners choose to feed their hedgehog dry cat food instead of hedgehog food. Dry cat food is preferred to wet cat food as the protein and fibre content is much higher.
Read on to find out…
Can Hedgehogs Eat Dry Cat Food? (More Info)
Hedgehogs can eat dry cat food as part of their diet. Many veterinary outlets actually recommend dry cat food for hedgehogs as a quality protein source. Source:
A good quality dry cat food is usually high in protein and fibre and meets most if not all of the basic nutritional requirements for hedgehogs.
The dry and hard nature of the food also helps to keep their teeth strong and clean, which is an added bonus.
It’s important to purchase a high-quality product as many lower-quality products won’t meet the nutritional needs of your hedgie (we will share our recommended brand with you shortly)
Let’s now take a look at if it’s better to feed your hedgehog dry cat food or dry hedgehog food?
Is Dry Cat Food Or Dry Hedgehog Food Better?
It’s often confusing and hard to understand if dry cat food or dry hedgehog food is better for your hedgie?
For this reason, we decided to put 2 of the leading brands side by side and do a comparison.
This should give you a better understanding of the nutrients each product contains and which one is actually better suited for your hedgehog.
First here’s a breakdown of the recommended basic nutrients % a hedgehog needs…
- Protein – 28-32%
- Fat – 12-15%
- Fibre – 15%
Note: This is a general rule of thumb and applies to a hedgehogs diet as a whole and these numbers don’t need to be accomplished solely in their base diet of either dry cat or hedgehog food.
The 2 brands we have decided to compare are Vitasmart hedgehog food and Bluebuffalo cat food as these 2 brands are high quality and in our opinion the best on the market.
Check the results of the comparison below…
Comparison Between Dry Cat & Hedgehog Food
|Name||Vitasmart (Hedgehog Food)||Bluebuffalo (Cat Food)|
|Crude Protein||38.0% min||32.0% min|
|Crude Fat||8.0% min||14.0% min|
|Crude Fibre||9.0% max||7.0% max|
|Moisture||14.0% max||9.0% max|
So what’s the verdict? In our opinion, both the dry cat food and hedgehog food are really good choices for a base food for your hedgie.
They both offer really healthy amounts of protein, fat and fibre that fall pretty much into the percentage guidelines we mentioned above.
You will have to add other forms of food to your hedgehog’s diet such as small amounts of fruit and greens in order to fill in the gaps and increase their fibre and calcium intake.
Having said this both products do contain other nutrients such as omega 3 to help keep your hedgie healthy.
If you really want us to pick a winner, then we would have to pick the Vitasmart hedgehog food simply because it offers slightly more protein and fibre as well as containing less fat.
You can see the exact hedgehog food we recommend you feed your hedgie and the best place to purchase it from online in our easy to follow guide here…
What’s The Best Dry Cat Food?
There really are lots of choices when it comes to dry cat food. There are many low-quality products with poor ingredients and poor nutritional value as well as many high-quality products that make a great choice for your hedgie.
With all things considered, we think that Bluebuffalo cat food is a great choice of dry cat food for your hedgehog.
It’s got everything your hedgie needs in its base diet and the ingredients are superior to most other brands, with extra nutrients such as added omega 3.
Ultimately, the brand you choose is up to you but Bluebuffalo is a brand you should check out and give a try.
How Much Dry Cat Food Should I Feed My Hedgehog?
Many different hedgehog owners and breeders will have differing opinions to how much dry cat food you should feed your hedgehog.
We think the best advice we can give is direct from a veterinary source so we will use the thoughts of veteriankey.com
They suggest that adult male hedgehogs will eat 2-3 tsp of their base diet (in this case dry cat food)
They also state that adult females generally need less protein than adult males, young hedgies may eat as much as an adult and lactating or pregnant females can even eat more than these portions.
You should also supplement your hedgies diet with fruit and veg so they get a variety of nutrients.
Some fruit and veg are extremely good for your hedgie and some you need to stay away from at all costs!
You can see if we recommend feeding your hedgehog these common foods below in our free guides…
Can Hedgehogs Eat Wet Cat Food?
When it comes to feeding your hedgie wet cat food, in our opinion you should stay away from cat food in this form.
Dry cat food is much healthier for various reasons and it offers higher nutritional value than wet cat food.
Wet cat food is notorious for being low in fibre, which aids with digestion. The protein offered is wet cat food is also very low compared to dry cat food.
We have included a table below that shares the nutritional data for wet cat food by Bluebuffalo compared to dry cat food by Bluebuffalo…
Comparison Between 'Bluebuffalo' Dry Cat Food & Wet Cat Food
|Name||Bluebuffalo | Wet Cat Food||Bluebuffalo | Dry Cat Food|
|Crude Protein||10.0% min||32.0% min|
|Crude Fat||9.0% min||14.0% min|
|Crude Fibre||1.5% max||7.0% max|
|Moisture||78.0% max||9.0% max|
Can Hedgehogs Eat Fish Based Cat Food?
For a long time now, it’s been thought that hedgehogs shouldn’t eat cat food that’s fish flavoured/based.
Many big and reputable websites claim that you shouldn’t feed your hedgehog fish flavoured cat food including the RSPCA in the UK. Source:
Recently though, many other authorities and outlets have now claimed that this is just a myth that has grown over a long time and simply isn’t true.
One such site is vale wildlife, who states that it’s fine to feed fish flavoured cat food to your hedgehog and they do it regularly. Source:
Giving fish flavoured cat food to your hedgie is really down to you and what you feel like an owner.
We have recently shared a full list of the foods your hedgehog both can and can’t eat…you can check out the full food & diet guide for FREE here…
Can Hedgehogs Eat Cat Food In Gravy?
Feeding your hedgehog cat food in gravy is another topic that creates differing opinions between owners and experts.
The experts at Vale Wildlife suggest it’s fine to feed your hedgie cat food in gravy.
In our opinion, this isn’t something that you need to do as high-quality dry cat food is all your hedgehog needs as long as you offer them a healthy and balanced diet in other areas.