When looking for the best cat food for hedgehogs, it’s important to realize that just because a food is marketed for them it doesn’t mean that it’s best available option. Cat food is actually a great product to feed your hedgehog, as long as you choose the right brand.
This means taking the time to digest all of the ingredients and to pick only those that offer the very best. In this article we’re going to offer you a few options for high quality cat food for hedgehogs, and then we’ll break down the ingredients.
By the end of the article you should know exactly what to look for when seeking a quality food for your pet. First though, let’s go over the nutritional requirements of hedgehogs.
What are the nutritional requirements for hedgehogs?
Hedgehogs are technically omnivores. In the wild they would mostly eat insects, they are not above taking in some fruit, eggs or other goodies as well. While hedgehogs predominately eat protein, they can also have issues if they eat too much of it.
This is also true for fat content, because hedgehogs can quickly become overweight if given too many tasty treats. So, our goal here is to find a food with a moderate protein content and low fat content that features high quality proteins, veggies and fruits. Here’s the key things we need to look for when choosing the best cat food for hedgehogs.
Low in carbohydrates
Carbohydrates have too many empty calories. While hedgies do of course need carbs, we’re not looking for a food that’s loaded with wheat and corn. Carbs should be lower down the list, after the meats.
High quality meat items
No mystery meats. Everything should be named proteins and whole meats are normally better as they aren’t as processed, meaning they have more nutritional value.
Healthy veggies and fruits
Hedgehogs need vegetable content. We’re looking for higher quality vegetable ingredients like carrots, peas, broccoli and pumpkin. Avoid ingredients like corn and wheat. These are mostly fillers and they have little nutritional value.
Fat content of under 20%
Hedgehogs can quickly become obese if given fatty foods regularly. A fat content of 20% is likely the max your food should have. If you’re using a wet food that is meant as a supplemental or food, then the fat could “possibly” be a little higher since they won’t be eating it all the time.
Protein content of approximately 35%
Try to limit the protein of the food to somewhere in this range. Too mange protein can be problematic to hedgehogs. If you are feeding them something supple-mentally like a can food that has more than this though it likely won’t be an issue as long as it’s a treat and not their meal.
Small kibble pieces (Hedgehogs have tiny mouths!)
Some foods have very large kibble sizes, and your hedgehog could struggle to chew them. Opt for a food that features smaller pieces to make it easier for your hedgehog to chew and digest.
Should I feed my hedgehog wet or dry cat food?
Most hedgehog parents feed their hedgies dry cat foods. While they do enjoy wet foods, these are normally reserved as treats or for supplemental feeding. Wet foods can have too much fat and protein for normal feeding, and sometimes they can give hedgehogs diarrhea if they eat too much of them.
At the end of the list we’ve included some good wet foods you can give to your hedgehogs with their dry food. Choosing one that matches the dry food you’ve picked is normally recommended.
How do you make sense of the ingredients label?
Some pet parents may be confused by ingredients labels. It’s important to know how to read them to make sure you’re getting a high quality food. Manufacturers are required to list ingredients in order of their prominence in the food.
So, when looking at ingredients lists for cat food we’re looking to see a high quality, meat protein first. If meat items don’t show up until later in the list, this food is likely very low quality.
Most food from big box stores will be undesirable. You should also be wary of meat items which are vague in their description, as they could be literally be anything. Only accept foods which clearly state the source of the proteins. Here’s what the ingredients label information means.
Chicken – This is a whole meat item, and a good ingredient.
Chicken Meal – This is a heavily processed dried meat item. It’s not bad per say, but it’s not as good as whole meat items.
Poultry by-product meal – Ground up various chicken or possibly other bird parts that are left over and can’t be sold for human consumption. Avoid.
Potato protein – This is a questionable item, because it’s used to up the protein level of the food. This means that a lot of your protein may actually be coming from potatoes instead of meat. As long as it doesn’t appear to high up the list it’s okay but not the best.
Corn meal – Cheap filler ingredient. This provides nothing but empty calories. Ditch any food which features corn or corn meal in the ingredients list.
So, what kind of ingredients should we be looking for here? Chicken is a popular meat for hedgehogs, but other suitable proteins will do as well as long as they are high quality.
It might also be a good idea to have some healthy veggies in there like peas, carrots or beans, but you can always add those later by feeding your hedgie some no salt canned vegetables. The idea is to get adequate amounts of high quality meat proteins while limiting starchy items, limiting fat and removing empty calories like corn.
Alright, now that we know the basics, let’s get started with our recommendations for the best cat food for hedgehogs.
The Best cat food for Hedgehogs
Feed one of these foods, or a similar food to your hedgehog for their main diet. These foods are all within the acceptable nutritional levels for hedgehogs, and they have smaller sized kibbles which make it easier for them to eat them.
# 1 – Wysong Vitality
Wysong has been making high quality pet foods since the 70s, long before anyone else likely cared about the health of pets. All of their diets are exceptional, and they have several that would be suitable for hedgehogs, but their Vitality fits nutritional needs of hedgies almost perfectly, making it our top choice.
The only downside to this particular food is that they use a lot of meat meals. There’s nothing wrong with this ingredient, but it does lose a little nutritional value in cooking when compared to whole meat ingredients.
However, this food has an excellent nutritional ratio for hedgies of 36% protein and 16% fat. It also features ingredients that most hedgehogs will readily eat including chicken and turkey.
Wysong offers many healthy and affordable food options, and you can get the best price by going directly to the manufacturer. If you’re looking to save a little cash, then you can also knock off another 10% on the price if you sign up for their auto-ship program. Click here to learn more about this great food.
Note: If you’d prefer a grain-free food, then move on to our next option.
Protein – 36% – Fat 16%
Wsong Vitality Ingredients List
Chicken Meal, Chicken, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Potato Protein, Chicken Fat, Flaxseeds, Beet Fiber, Natural Flavor, Sesame Seeds, Montmorillonite Clay, Crab Meal, Whey, Salt, Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, Tomato Pomace, Calcium Propionate (a preservative), Choline Chloride, Coconut Oil, Organic Barley Grass, Blueberry, Dried Kelp, Yogurt (Whey, Milk Solids, Yogurt Cultures), Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Dried Kale, Dried Spinach, Dried Carrots, Apple Pectin, Fish Oil, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Chicory Root, Yeast Culture, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid [source of Vitamin C], Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Bacillus licheniformis Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus niger Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus lactis Fermentation Product, Pepper.
#2 – Halo GrainFree Cat Food
Halo makes an excellent dry cat food which hedgehogs can enjoy. It should however be noted that while some of their dry foods are grain free, they are not starch free. They all feature potatoes.
This is not really a problem for hedgehogs, but some pet parents have a problem with this ingredient for whatever reason, and I thought it important to make note of it. Where Halo’s dry foods excel though is that they are one of the few manufacturers who use high quality whole meats for their dry foods rather than lower quality meals.
This food is highly digestible, and it also features smaller kibble pieces, perfect for tiny hedgie mouths. Their dry recipes are very low in fat, making them a good choice for inactive or overweight hedgehogs who need to shed a few pounds.
Exact nutritional information will vary for different flavors, but they should all be within reasonable levels for hedgehogs. Click here to read the reviews and learn more about this excellent dry cat food for your hedgehog.
Protein -32% – Fat – 13%
Halo Dry Grain Free Chicken Ingredients
#3 – FROMM Four Star Cat Food
FROMM makes some very high quality cat diets, and their four star line falls nicely in the nutritional range for hedgehogs. The Salmon variety as pictured above is the lowest in fat, but none of them exceed our 20% fat guideline. So, if your hedgehog simply will not eat salmon or it gives them issues with their stools, then there are several other flavors to try including chicken, duck and beef.
The kibble size for this food is quite small, making it easy for hedgehogs to chew and digest. Their food uses very high quality ingredients, but they do use salmon meal. There’s nothing wrong with this ingredient, but it’s not quite as good as Halo’s all whole meat offering. Click here to read the reviews and learn more about this excellent food.
Protein – 32% – Fat 15%
FROMM Four Star Salmon Ingredients List
Salmon, Salmon Meal, Pearled Barley, White Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Pea Protein, Dried Whole Egg, Dried Tomato Pomace, Fish Broth, Salmon Oil, Safflower Oil, Potatoes, Flaxseed, Chicken Fat, Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Apples, Chicken Cartilage, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Cranberries, Blueberries, Salt, Chicory Root Extract, Alfalfa Sprouts, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid, Parsley, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamins, Minerals, Probiotics.
Best Wet Cat Foods For Hedgehogs
Feed one of these foods as a supplement to your hedgehog’s normal dry food diet. Hedgehogs do love wet foods, and they can be good for them, but in some cases too much wet food can give them issues with diarrhea.
#1 – Wysong Archetype Rabbit
Wysong’s Archetype is a high quality freeze dried raw food for cats. It uses only whole meat products, and it’s composed of over 95% meat. They don’t use any fillers, and the only other ingredients are healthy veggies like broccoli sprouts and some vitamins.
It’s an excellent diet, and freeze dried meat is very palatable. We have chosen the rabbit flavor, because it has the best protein and fat combination for hedgehogs.
However, if your hedgehog is not particular active, then you might opt for option number two on our list instead, because the Archetype, while an excellent food, is at the top of our guidelines.
If you are unfamiliar with freeze dried foods, you can feed them as is or re-hydrate them with water. This gives you the convenience of a dry food, but with the superior taste and health qualities of a wet food. Supplementing a wet food gives your hedgehog much needed liquids and can improve their health.
If you are in the market for a freeze dried diet, then you’ll be interested to know that Wysong is actually very affordable as far as raw diets go, but you’ll also be able to save an additional 10% on each order by signing up for Chewy’s auto-ship program. Click here to learn more about this great food.