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Cat Food for Hedgehogs: Our Top Picks

David Fields
Last Updated on
by David Fields

If you own a hedgehog, you might already know that cat food needs to make up at least 80% of its diet. It is full of nutrients, vitamins, and protein that they need to stay healthy and maintain a strong immune system.

Hedgehog food usually lacks the amount of nutrition they need and uses low-quality ingredients. For example, some manufacturers use meat derivatives and cheap fillers in their commercial hedgehog food. What hedgehogs need is food that is easy to digest and more natural to support their muscle and heart health.

Cat food is also easier to find compared to hedgehog food in pet stores and on the internet. If you’re searching for the best cat foods for hedgehogs, take a look at our list of the best cat food for hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs Cat Food Comparison Table

Top 5 Hedgehogs Cat Food
Blue Buffalo
Overall Best Cat Food
  • Food form: Dry
  • Flavor: Chicken
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Best for Young Hedgehogs
  • Food form: Dry
  • Flavor: Chicken, Brown Rice, & Pea
Wellness Complete Health
Best for Overweight Hedgehogs
  • Food form: Dry
  • Flavor: Chicken
Halo Dry Cat Food
Best for Energetic Hedgehogs
  • Food form: Dry
  • Flavor: Chicken
Blue Buffalo Weight Control
Best for Older Hedgehogs
  • Food form: Dry
  • Flavor: Chicken

How We Picked the Hedgehogs Cat Food

With the wide variety of cat foods on the market, we narrowed down the list by first looking for recipes with wholesome ingredients and a real, named protein instead of meat by-product. We prioritized cat foods that contained plenty of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals while providing a balanced diet.

We also looked for cat foods that contained at least 5% of fiber and omega 3 fatty acids, which promotes healthy skin. We avoided any cat foods that included chemical preservatives or “meat and bone meal” and others that had too many fillers or empty calories.

We read several customer reviews for each product and narrowed down the list until we had our top 5 that supported different types of hedgehogs.

Blue Buffalo Healthy Living stood out as our top cat food for hedgehogs overall because of its extensive list of natural and wholesome ingredients, a boost of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, real meat, and affordable price value.

Hedgehog Eating Food

Reviews: Best Cat Food for Hedgehogs

1. Blue Buffalo Healthy Living Cat Food For Hedgehogs:

Overall Best Cat Food
Blue Buffalo
Overall Best Cat Food For Hedgehogs
The Blue Buffalo Healthy Living cat food is our choice for best overall because of its high protein content, an essential supply of vitamins and antioxidants, and high-quality ingredients.

It is also the best dry cat food for hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs need a lot of protein in their diet, and the Blue Buffalo Healthy Living cat food provides 34% of crude protein. The first three ingredients listed are deboned chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice.

There are many types of fruits and vegetables included in this dry adult cat food that provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. All those essential vitamins and minerals are in the LifeSource Bits, exclusive to Blue Buffalo cat foods.

There are very few cheap fillers and artificial flavors included. Compared to other types of cat food, there are no chicken by-product meals, meaning it is more natural. It also comes at an affordable price for a 15-pound bag. However, be aware of its higher fat content, which may cause your hedgehog to gain weight if not monitored.

Pros
  • High protein content
  • Uses natural ingredients like whole grains and real chicken
  • Contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Includes omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids
Cons
  • 18% fat content

2. Chicken Soup for the Soul:

Best for Young Hedgehogs
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Best Cat Food for Young Hedgehogs
Young hedgehogs need a lot of nutrition and vitamins to help them grow and develop a strong immune system.

The Chicken Soup for the Soul is the best choice for them because it contains rich nutrients, DHA for eye and brain development, and high-quality ingredients.

It also comes at a great price value for a 13.5-pound bag compared to other brands.

This dry kitten food is perfect for a growing hedgehog because it is easy for them to eat and contains the protein, vitamins, and fat they need to develop and grow. It contains wholesome ingredients such as chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, and brown rice.

This cat food from Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food also includes omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which promotes healthy skin for your hedgehog. There are also cranberries, spinach, and prebiotic fibers in the ingredients, which boost your hedgehog’s immune system and allow them to digest better.

However, it has a fishy smell which may be unappealing compared to other cat food brands.

Pros
  • Contains rich antioxidants and superfoods
  • Made of high-quality ingredients
  • High in protein
  • Includes Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids
Cons
  • Unappealing fishy smell

3. Wellness Complete Health:

Best for Overweight Hedgehogs
Wellness Complete Health
Best Cat Food for Overweight Hedgehogs
For overweight hedgehogs, the Wellness Complete Health cat food is perfect for helping them lose weight based on its lower calorie content, loads of nutrients, and moderate protein and fat.

It is a grain-free recipe that does not fill up your hedgehog with empty fillers but with protein, fruits, and vegetables.

Deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal are the main ingredients of this dry cat food. It does not contain any corn, wheat, by-products, soy, or artificial flavors. It also contains tons of vitamins and minerals to keep your hedgehog’s immune system strong while providing a balanced diet to help them lose weight.

However, it is manufactured inside a facility that processes grains, so there is a chance grains may get mixed in unknowingly.

Pros
  • Great quality and natural ingredients
  • No by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavorings
  • Includes flaxseed for fiber and omega 3 fatty acids
  • Boosts immunity and whole-body health
Cons
  • Manufactured in a facility that processes grain

4. Halo Dry Cat Food:

Best for Energetic Hedgehogs
Halo Dry Cat Food
Best Cat Food for Energetic Hedgehogs
For your energetic hedgehog, the Halo Dry Cat Food is the best because it uses only real whole meat, contains low-calorie ingredients, and does not include any fillers or grains.

This cat food supports eye and heart health for your hedgehog and gives them the energy they need to run around and maintain their muscles.

It is highly digestible due to its holistic whole meat ingredients. The fruits and vegetables are also non-GMO, meaning they are all-natural.

Halo prides itself in using ethical sources for its ingredients, such as avoiding factory-farmed meats. This dry cat food from Halo also has a tasty and crunchy texture for hedgehogs to enjoy.

The main ingredients include chicken, chicken liver, dried egg product, dried peas, and dried chickpeas. However, it does contain soy protein concentrate, which is a known allergen.

Pros
  • Contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Ethically-sourced ingredients
  • No wheat or corn
  • Easily digestible
Cons
  • Contains the allergen non-GMO soy protein concentrate

5. Blue Buffalo Weight Control:

Best for Older Hedgehogs
Blue Buffalo Weight Control
Best Cat Food for Older Hedgehogs
Older hedgehogs typically need less protein than younger ones to keep their delicate kidneys healthy.

The Blue Buffalo Weight Control Cat Food is the best for older hedgehogs because it contains micronutrients, a large amount of fiber, and less protein.

The high-quality protein includes deboned chicken and chicken meal with just 30% minimum of crude protein and 10% minimum of crude fat. This cat food includes omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to support your hedgehog’s healthy skin. Blue Buffalo also uses whole grains and garden vegetables,, and fruits.

Blue Buffalo also includes their LifeSource Bits in their recipe, which is a blend containing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for improved health. However, this dry cat food is somewhat more expensive compared to other brands.

Pros
  • Low protein content
  • Natural and wholesome ingredients
  • Contains omega 3 and omega 6
  • Includes LifeSource Bits with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
Cons
  • More expensive compared to other brands

How Dry vs Wet Cat Hedgehog Food Differs

We picked all dry cat foods for our list because of their higher protein and fat content, but wet cat food provides water to keep hedgehogs hydrated. High-quality wet cat food has about 80% water. Since hedgehogs typically drink water on their own, dry kibble works well for them so they can receive more protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Wet cat food typically has about 80% water and 10% protein, while dry food contains about 10% water and 45% protein. Wet meals are also higher in fat content, which can lead to an obese hedgehog with kidney issues. Dry food is typically better for hedgehogs of all ages especially if they have a water bowl they can consistently drink from in their living space.

Dry cat food is also known to help clean their teeth and keep them sharp as hedgehogs crunch on the kibble. Wet food, due to its consistency, tends to stick to the teeth and potentially cause tooth decay in the long run.

What to Look for in Food for Hedgehogs

It’s vital to read the list of ingredients on cat food bags when looking for the best food for your spiny pet. Hedgehogs need lots of protein, so the first thing you should look for is the protein content. You will want cat food that contains over 20% of protein, between 30-45%.

The protein in the ingredients should be clearly stated and located at the beginning of the list. Chicken and turkey are the easiest for hedgehogs to digest. Chicken also contains a little bit of L-carnitine, which is a chemical vital for a hedgehog’s heart health.

The best cat food should also have a lower fat content for your average hedgehog. Aim for cat foods that contain between 5-15% of crude fat. Look for cat food that has a high fiber content as well, at least over 5%. You can also add supplemental fiber by mixing insects in with the kibble.

Basic Diet for Hedgehogs

You want to keep your hedgehog’s diet as close to the wild as possible. They need a lot of protein, which they would get from insects, snails, and worms in the wild, as well as mushrooms, roots, and berries.

Hedgehogs should eat about 80% of cat food daily, which provides much of that essential protein and vitamins. You can mix in supplemental ingredients such as insects, vegetables, fruit, and roots if your hedgehog likes them.

Hedgehogs need to eat easily digestible foods, so experts recommend feeding them proteins containing the ingredient L-carnitine. Make sure the cat food you choose is high in fiber as well.

Hedgehog Treats

Hedgehogs love protein and need a lot of it in their diet, so wet cat food can be a tasty and healthy treat for them. Boiled or cooked eggs also make great treats because they taste good and have the right balance of protein and fat.

Hedgehogs also enjoy silkworms, crickets, and wax worms as occasional treats. Commercial hedgehog food can also act as occasional treats as long as you feed them a limited amount at a time and if it includes high-quality natural ingredients. However, make sure not to give them too many snacks as they will not maintain a balanced nutritional diet.

Hedgehog eating

What to Avoid Feeding Your Hedgehog

You should avoid giving your hedgehog seeds, raisins, and dried vegetables and fruits because it may get caught in their throat and cause them to choke or suffocate. Peanuts, mealworms, and seeds also may cause bone disease in your hedgehog because it can create an imbalance of phosphorus or calcium, especially in younger hedgehogs.

Do not feed your hedgehog any cat foods with unspecified meat products in the ingredients. Never feed them milk or bread either, which is difficult for hedgehogs to digest and contains empty calories. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, and their bodies cannot break down the proteins in milk.

Hedgehogs also should not eat too many live insects, though they may love them. This is because they will not have a balanced diet if they eat too many insects. They still need vitamins and minerals from fruits and veggies.

There are many other foods that hedgehogs should not eat, including:

  • Canned, processed, or raw meat
  • Avocados
  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Nuts
  • Chocolate

If you have any more questions about what your hedgehog’s diet should look like, talk to a vet or a local exotic pet expert.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can hedgehogs eat cat food in gravy?

If your hedgehog has difficulty eating dry cat food due to their young age or ailing teeth, you can soften the cat food with water or gravy that contains animal protein. Make sure it is a meat-based gravy that is not high in fat content. However, keep a close eye on your hedgehog if you feed them a small amount of gravy to make sure they can digest it before giving them more.

How much cat food should I feed my hedgehog?

The amount of cat food you feed your hedgehog depends on several factors: age, weight, level of activity, gender, and health. Most hedgehogs should eat about 1-4 teaspoons of dry cat food per 24 hours. The average is 2 teaspoons for an adult hedgehog that is not pregnant.
Baby hedgehogs and pregnant or nursing mothers should constantly have food accessible to help them grow and get enough nutrients. Mix in supplemental fruits, roots, vegetables, and insects with the cat food.

Can hedgehogs have cat treats?

Most cat treats are safe for hedgehogs to eat as long as they contain natural ingredients. If any cat treats have cooked fish, chicken, or turkey, that should be safe for your hedgehog. However, make sure to completely avoid any treats that contain dairy, as it will cause immense discomfort for your pet.

Can hedgehogs eat wet cat food?

Experts and breeders typically discourage pet owners from feeding their hedgehogs wet cat food. This is because wet cat food does not have enough protein and fiber for your hedgehog’s diet. On the other hand, dry cat food has a much higher protein and fiber content, which your hedgehog needs to digest better and maintain their health.

Are hedgehogs good for the garden?

Hedgehogs are great pets to keep in the garden where they can feast on snails, slugs, worms, and caterpillars that may potentially harm your plants. However, if you plan to keep your hedgehog in the garden, do not use pesticides or other insect pesticides, as this will harm your pet’s digestive system.

You can create a nest for them to stay in with leaves, compost, or logs. This wilder part of the garden will also attract insects and other invertebrates for the hedgehog to eat. Make sure to leave out their food in a bowl with fresh water and replace them each day to lower the risk of disease and to keep your hedgehog happy and healthy.

When should I put out my hedgehog food?

Hedgehogs are nocturnal, meaning they are most active and look for food at night. Put their food out in the early evening, right after the sun goes down, which is when they begin searching for food.

You can feed them in the morning as well, depending on how active your hedgehog is and their age. However, if you have an overweight hedgehog and want to help it lose weight, give it limited portions to lower its calorie count.

Related Article: Best cat food for bengals.

About David Fields
David Fields
David Fields is a long-time animal lover and has been blessed to share his life with many companions. A short list includes ragdoll cats, siberian husky and greyhound dogs, an African Grey parrot, many fish of all sorts, and a pandemonium of parakeet. He writes most of the articles on iPetCompanion and is regularly featured on other popular websites on the Internet.
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