Are you looking for the best cat food for hedgehogs? You are not lost as we wrote this article review with your hedgie pet in mind. Our goal is to make sure that your hedgie friend eats the suitable nutrition by helping you make informed decisions on the best food.
Hedgehogs are insectivores which mean that some useful nutrients they thrive in will not be present in the ingredients list of many pet foods. And although these small spikey pocket pets were traditionally fed cat foods, there are quality hedgie foods that offer ideal dietary ingredients.
Just so you know the African Pygmy hedgie is the most popular type of hedgies that is tamed. While in the wild, hedgies feed on tiny animals, mealworms, earthworms, slugs, worms, snails, caterpillars, millipedes, young mice, some fruits & veggies, and ground beetles.
So, which cat food should your pygmy consume?
Table of Contents
Dietary Needs of Hedgehogs
Pet hedgies grow well on a diet that is high in protein content, rich in chitin, and low in fat. And unlike their wild cousins, they hardly hibernate and are less active, yet voracious which makes them susceptible to obesity. As such, you should be careful when feeding your pygmy.
Pet pygmy hedgies should consume between 12% to 15% fats and 28% to 38% proteins. As we mentioned earlier, monitoring the amount of food your pygmy eats prevents obesity which can lead to diabetes and liver disorders.
What to Look for in Hedgehog Food
Given the dietary requirements mentioned above, it is crystal clear that one should be extremely careful when choosing food for your pet hedgehog. So, we did the hardest task and came up with the buying guide for the best hedgehog food.
Here is what to look for in hedgehog food:
- High-quality protein sources
Ensure that meat protein sources are the first two ingredients. Since hedgies are insectivores, feed them chicken, lamb, and chicken meal as they are easily digestible. If you find hedgehog foods with multiple protein sources, they are the best due to their variety of amino acids.
- Right kibble size & texture
Compared to cats, hedgies have a small mouth which means that the kibble should come in small sizes or with a texture that is easy to break. While too hard foods can injure their dental formula causing eating problems, soft foods can lead to tooth decay and gum diseases.
- Suitable protein & fat ratio
During your hedgie’s growth & development, he needs different fat and protein ratios. Nursing hedgehogs and growing infants should consume 30% to 35% proteins. As for hedgies that are in the maintenance level, protein content should be moderate or less than above.
Make sure you read the ingredients list thoroughly!
7 Best Cat Foods for Hedgehogs
Choosing the best cat food for hedgehogs is not a walk in the park given how hard it is to find the finest food for cats themselves. We conducted comprehensive research to make sure that your pet hedgehog gets the best nutrition from the diet you feed him with the buying guide above in mind.
Most of the foods featured here contain everything your pet needs. Here are our 7 best cat foods for hedgehogs:
Review of the 7 Best Cat Foods for Hedgehogs
In this review, we dived deep to look at the nutritional value of each cat food for hedgehogs that makes it feature in the list of our best diets. We also include the pros and cons of each cat food. By the end of this review, you will have one food or two that your pet hedgehog enjoys.
1. IAMS Proactive Health Adult Dry Cat Food
At the top of our list is the Proactive Health Adult cat food chicken recipe from IAMs. With real chicken as the first ingredient, this diet contains enough amino acids to keep your hedgie healthy. To support healthy digestion in your pygmy hedgie, the diet contains prebiotics and natural fiber.
This IAMs’ well-balanced chicken formula includes the right calcium and potassium ratios to help nourish your hedgie’s healthy heart. Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids help promote healthy skin and shiny spiky fur.
- Easily digestible
- Affordable pricing
- High-grade ingredients
- Complaints about packaging
2. Blue Buffalo Healthy Living Dry Cat Food
Our runner’s up for the best cat food for hedgehogs is the Blue Buffalo chicken and brown rice recipe. It contains real chicken as the first ingredient and a high protein (34%) source, 18% fat, wholesome grains, fruits, and garden veggies for a balanced diet.
Your pygmy hedgie also benefits from omega-3 & 6 fatty acids and natural fiber to promote skin and coat health as well as smooth absorption and digestive health. The formula contains dried meal worms which are ideal for hedgies, vitamins and minerals, and no artificial additives.
- High-quality ingredients
- Right kibble size
- Good texture
3. Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Dry Cat Food
This Feline formula with roasted venison and smoked salmon from Taste of the Wild is fantastic as it offers optimal amino acid profile that keeps your hedgie healthy and strong. It contains ingredients that are safe for your pygmy hedgie like fruits & veggies plus minerals & vitamins.
The recipe is rich in nutrients and highly-digestible with proprietary probiotics and a blend of fatty acids for skin and coat health. Protein makes up 42%, fat 18%, and fiber 3% of the food.
- Affordable price
- High-grade ingredients
- Easily digestible
4. Chicken Soup for the Soul Cat Food
$42.96 in stock
If you prefer feeding your pet hedgehog wet cat food, you cannot go wrong with this choice. With chicken as the first ingredient, the diet contains amino acids that your hedgie needs to stay hale and hearty.
Other ingredients useful for your hedgie’s health include turkey, chicken liver, and whole grain brown rice. Although wet foods have low protein content (11% for this), it is enough for a hedgie, as well as 5.5% fat and 1% fiber contents.
- Good value for quality food
- Delicious & aromatic
- High-quality ingredients
- Shipping problems
5. Earthborn Holistic Primitive Feline Dry Cat Food
This turkey meal recipe from Earthborn Holistic is an incredible pick cat food for hedgies. It is crafted without gluten or grains and contains plenty of protein and fiber that suits your hedgie’s digestion.
The formula features a blend of proteins from chicken, salmon, herring, and whitefish meals that is ideal for hedgehogs with proteins making up 40%, fat 18%, and fiber 3% of the food.
This cat food for hedgehogs also contains a blend of vitamins, veggies like carrots, and fruits that support your pet hedgie’s healthy immune system. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and glossy coat and has no grains or potatoes which do not make up your hedgie’s wild diet.
- High-grade ingredients
- Low price
- Complaints about quality from Amazon
6. Halo Natural Dry Cat Food
$22.70 in stock
If you are looking for high-quality cat food for hedgehogs that is both safe and nutritious, this dry seafood flavor recipe from Halo Purely for Pets is a great option. With protein (32%) derived from white fish and salmon, this diet is ideal for hedgies as it is for cats with sensitive stomachs.
This food has been crafted with highly digestible ingredients with zero grains, including dried egg product and dried blueberries which make up their wild diet. Like the rest in the list, the recipe is low in calories and contains 16% fat and 5% fiber contents.
- High-grade ingredients
- Non-GMO food
- Inconsistency in batches
- Complaints about quality on Amazon
7. Purina Beyond Simply Natural Cat Food
This dry chicken & whole oat meal flavor recipe for cats from Purina Beyond is an ideal pick that contains all vital nutrients your pet hedgie needs. It includes chicken as the first ingredient which is an excellent protein (33%) source, followed by chicken meal and whole barley.
The food has been crafted with natural probiotics to support digestive health with low calorie, while fat and fiber content making up 15% and 4% of the diet which is perfect for hedgehogs. It has no artificial additives, corn, wheat, or soy which is unsafe for hedgies.
- High quality pet food
- No fillers
- Fair price
Cat Food vs. Commercial Hedgehog Food
Which diet should you feed your pet hedgie between cat food and commercial hedgie food? Let us compare them both and see what each has to offer and you will make the decision yourself.
First things first, from vets to breeders, nobody understands how much of what hedgies should consume specifically. What we are trying to say here is that if you are looking for the accurate commercial hedgehog food, you never will find it. It does not exist!
Now, commercial hedgehog foods can be a good choice but due to its high nutrition, the chances of your pet pygmy becoming obese are high. As such, this food should be fed as a random treat rather than a routine diet.
Also, keep in mind that specialized foods are meant for precise hedgehog breeds which might not be your breed. Another disadvantage of commercial hedgehog foods is that it is expensive and not easy to find in pet food stores.
Cat food, on the other hand, contains a suitable ratio of protein to fat which is an insectivores’ dietary requirement. It is also high in fiber content. Unlike commercial hedgie foods, dry cat food is easily accessible and made with high-quality ingredients under certain food safety legal requirements. As such, it is recommended that you feed your pygmy friend with mix different kinds of adult cat foods.
What can hedgehogs eat?
Need the answer? Here is a list of the foods that your hedgie can eat:
- Meats such as Lamb, Turkey, Chicken, Kidney, Pheasant, Liver, & Beef
- Fruits like Kiwi, Berries, Pawpaw, Apples, Cherries, Bananas, Watermelon, & Peaches
- Veggies such as Carrots, Peas, Corn, Leafy greens, Cucumber, Courgette, Broccoli & Green pepper
Make sure you feed corn and peas and corn is very tiny amounts because they can unbalance the levels of calcium & phosphorous in the hedgie’s digestion. As for meats, cut them into small pieces and do not cook with seasoning or oil.
What to avoid feeding hedgehogs
These foods should be avoided in your hedgehog’s diet:
- Citrus fruit
- Raw meat
- Raw egg yolk
- Junk food
- Nuts & seeds
- Spicy food
While most of these foods are toxic to your pygmy, others such as nuts and raisins are linked to choking hazards. Also, do not feed your hedgie insects you that you have caught yourself. Why and they are insectivores? That is because they may have digested poisons.
Can hedgehogs eat fish?
Yes, hedgehogs can have fish as it is extremely high in protein content as long as there is a balanced calcium to phosphorous ratio (Ca:P should be 1:1 or 2:1). Be advised, however, that digesting fish causes abnormal odor in your hedgie’s stool.
Finding the best food for hedgehogs is never easy as compared to cat foods that they can eat. And if you get it, the high price tag or incompatibility with your hedgehog’s species will put you off. As such, feeding your pet hedgie with the best cat food diet is the most way to make him thrive.
All the foods featured in our review above are ideal for your African Pygmy Hedgehog as they comprise most of their dietary needs. Our Editor’s Choice is the Blue Buffalo Healthy Living Dry Cat Food as it contains dried meal worms on top of other ingredients they like.
Hopefully the article was informative! Adios!
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.
Hi there! My name is Ben Domb, an owner of two pets and I am one of the co-founders of OurPets HQ. I have several years of experience as a pet care professional in the New England region having spent time in various roles including a stint at a veterinary hospital in Upstate New York, Syracuse area. I am a certified pet care professional and mostly spend my time researching pet nutrition and sharing my thoughts in various blogs and columns. With quarantine and COVID restrictions, I have been spending a lot of time a lot with my dogs and cat and loving it! I also run a small consulting business providing advice to parents on pet nutrition, and especially safe homemade options to try. You can reach me at email@example.com