We feed our herd a variety of dry cat foods. You want to feed your hedgehog a nutritious blend of dry cat foods that have a high protein content and a low fat content. Our hedgehogs also like fruits and veggies, mealworms, baby food, and canned cat food occasionally as a snack (usually we offer treats 3-4 nights per week).
We have experimented with different brands of cat foods over the last few years, and will probably change in the future as we learn more and new products are developed. We believe the protein content should be greater than 20% for the average healthy hedgehog. Most breeders use 28-35% protein sources for nursing moms and growing babies.The fat content should be between 5 and 15% for the average hedgehog. A higher fat content is beneficial to nursing moms and growing babies but food for an average adult hedgehog should be on the lower side of fat content.
Here is a list of some acceptable treats to offer:
*PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE ARE OFFERED SPARINGLY AS TREATS ONLY*
Unseasoned meats: (baked, boiled, browned or roasted) beef, chicken, duck, lamb, turkey, fish, etc.
Fruits: apple, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherry, cranberries, honeydew, kiwi, papaya, peach, pear, plum, pumpkin, raspberries, squash, strawberry, watermelon
Veggies: asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, carrot, celery, cilantro, corn, cucumber, green beans, green pepper, peas, spinach, sprouts, sweet potato, turnip, zucchini, leafy greens
Unseasoned eggs: scrambled, hard boiled, etc. (it’s recommended they be cooked)
Baby food: all flavors should be fine, meat flavors and sweet potatoes are popular
Wet cat food: choose one without by-products or unhealthy preservatives and feed in moderation, they are usually very high in protein and fat
Cottage cheese and non-sugary yogurt: hedgies are lactose intolerant, but some like this in very small amounts.
Insects: mealworms (freeze dried or live). Be careful offering freeze dried insects, too many can lead to bowel obstruction and constipation. Superworms, waxworms, crickets, roaches. *please do not offer your hedgehog bugs that have been captured outdoors as it is hard to know if they have been exposed to harmful pesticides and fertilizers.
Some treats that are unacceptable to offer are:
Anything citrus: oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, pineapple, etc.
Most dried fruits: these can be choked on, and can get caught in the roof of the mouth or stuck in the teeth
Raisins: besides the fact that they are dried fruit, grapes and raisins are toxic even in very small amounts.
Avocados: toxicity unknown
Onions, garlic, chives: these contain poisonous sulfur compounds that are dangerous in large amounts – it’s safest to avoid them
Rhubarb leaves: they’re not good for dogs, so it’s safe to guess they aren’t good for hedgies either
Human junk food: these are high in fat, salt, preservatives, and many other things bad for hedgies.
Chocolate: same as for human junk food.
Peanuts and other legumes: these can get caught in the roof of the mouth and are easily choked on.
Pits and seeds: these can be toxic (depending on the fruit) and are a choking hazard. Hedgies are not rodents, they aren’t made to gnaw open seeds.