Want to know your options when it comes down to the best wet cat food for hedgehogs, either wild or as pets?
We get quite a few hedgehogs passing through our yard during the summer months. I for one welcome them, I find hedgehogs fascinating and interesting animals (I am a huge animal lover, mind). So, I do my bit to ensure they have access to food and water.
First of all, wet cat food is fine for hedgehogs (source). Which is great, if like me you have cats. You will always have plenty of wet food in the cupboard.
There are a few things you need to be aware of when feeding hedgehogs cat food, however;
Firstly, it’s not recommended you give them fish flavors. Second, baby hedgehogs will benefit most from high protein content, and there are a few other things to be aware of as I’ll cover for you in this article.
What Kind of Cat Food Should I Feed My Hedgehog?
You can feed hedgehogs both dry and wet cat food. Dry foods are typically higher in protein, but typically they do not include the overall balance of nutrition wet food does. More importantly, dry food doesn’t have the scent and taste that wet food has.
The main thing to be aware of is that you need to avoid fish flavors. I’ve explained why in more detail below, but basically it causes tummy upset for the poor little hedgehogs. We don’t want that, now do we?
So, when choosing the best wet cat food for hedgehogs you’re looking for wet cat food that has between 5-15% protein, which they almost always have. And, a meat flavor, as this most closely resembles the flavors and ingredients a hedgehog would get from their diet.
The best thing is, Hedgehogs enjoy wet food a lot more than dry. I bet you can say the same for your cats too, right? Which, leads on to another point I want to raise – you have to make sure your cats and local neighborhood cat’s can’t get at the food you’re leaving out for the hedgehogs.
2 of The Best Wet Cat Foods for Hedgehogs
Here are two food options that will make hedgehogs in your yard very happy. Both are Friskies, but different varieties.
Friskies Gourmet Meat Variety Pack
This is a huge value pack of 24 x 5.5 oz cans of wet cat food that will be well received by the local hogs passing through – they might even be sticking around after they realize this is being left out every night.
It’s three meaty flavors, no fish in sight. There are 8 cans of each of these flavors;
- Gourmet Grill
- Chicken Dinner
- Beef in Gravy
I looked through the nutritional content and it has a decent balance of ingredients that will suit a hog. The only issue you’ll have is keeping the cats away!
Friskies Poultry Variety Pack
This is another huge pack of 32 x 5.5 oz cans. I find the small 5.5 oz cans to be the best choice as either all or half a can will be enough for an evening. This way you’re not going to have an open can hanging around for days too.
There are four flavors, again, I choose this pack because it’s all meat and no fish. You get;
- Turkey and Cheese
- Turkey in Gravy
- Chicken in Gravy
I’m not going to go too much detail into the finer points of this from a nutritional standpoint. It ticks all the boxes for good hedgy food, so I recommend checking it out if that’s what you’re looking for.
Related: Here are the best cat foods to use as shrimp bait – very different foods to what you need for hedgehogs.
What Is a Hedgehogs Nutritional Requirements?
Being insectivores and omnivores, hedgehogs mostly eat whatever they can find in the wild. They love mealworms and most insects, as well as munching on a wide range of fruits and vegetables.
From these kinds of foods, they get a decent balance of nutrition. When kept as pets, experts recommend aiming for a diet consisting of around 20% protein, 5-15% fat, a good source of fiber, and some variation in what they are being fed.
Feeding wild hedgehogs is a little different. We can hope they are going to get most of the nutrition they need from scavenging around our yards and the land nearby. But putting out a little food with good nutrition and high in protein is going to really help them out.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Fish Cat Food?
Hedgehogs can eat fishy cat foods, and for the most part they will do so if you put some out for them. But as you may have read or heard, fish-based cat foods and fishy flavored wet foods are not advisable.
The main reason for this is because fishy foods are known to give hogs diarrhea. At least, it’s a lot more likely to than meat flavors. Plus, it makes for some seriously smelly poop, which is the last thing you want on your back doorstep!
Talking with a hedgehog enthusiast on a forum, another couple of interesting points were raised regarding hogs and fishy foods;
Firstly, it’s just very unlikely a hedgehog will come across fish as part of their natural habitat which is why it can cause an upset tummy.
Secondly, if they get used to eating fishy foods it might make it more likely they will be drawn to streams and other water sources by fishy smells. Which is a potential hazard for sure.
As you can see, more than enough reasons not to give a hedgehog fish-flavored cat foods. Stick to the meat-based flavors I recommended above, please!
In Summary – What You Need To Know
If you’re looking for a short answer as to what the best wet cat food for hedgehogs is – just check out the two cat foods I listed in the middle of this post.
The reason I chose these two is that they are affordable, have all the nutritional content a hedgehog needs, and most importantly they don’t have fishy flavors as this can cause stomach issues for hedgehogs.
Depending on how many hedgehogs you have passing through your garden at night. A few spoonfuls of these foods and you’re going to be making new friends – and more importantly helping the local hog population out!