Hedgehogs have become a popular choice of a pet today due to their small and compact size. However, if you plan to add them to your pet family, it is always best to know beforehand if they would get along. Two unhappy and rival animals can be a task for you to manage.
So, typically, do cats and hedgehogs get along with each other? Well, the good news is, yes, they can. Though they may need some of your supervision, both the animals can peacefully co-exist if introduced properly.
However, let us tell you one thing. Hedgehogs and cats can never be best buds or companions. Both of them have different temperaments and ways of existing. That said, let us dig deeper to understand better with regards to their compatibility and behavioral traits.
Hedgehog and Cat Temperament
Hedgehogs are usually pretty calm and quiet creatures who appreciate being left alone. If you have a pet hedgehog at home, you will have a fair idea of how they love to snuggle around the corners all day long. Since they are nocturnal animals, they prefer being out of their cage when it’s dark.
Hedgehogs are not known to be violent animals, but they can use their spines to protect themselves from a potential predator.
Cats are more curious and active as compared to hedgehogs. As you would know, they are known to be curious about everything possible around the house. Therefore, they need a companion to play with or rather annoy them constantly.
That said, both hedgehog and cats can stay under your roof without much of a hassle. The reason being? Cats would be extra careful around the hedgehog’s spines and will thus maintain a safe distance from them. Whereas, hedgehogs naturally being all calm and composed, will never get in the way of the cat.
Well, do not be surprised if one day you see your cat ignoring the hedgehog even when they are together.
Can Cats and Hedgehogs Live Together?
As we mentioned earlier, both the animals are pretty harmless to each other. However, you will never believe the level of patience and the mutual respect they both have for each other.
Cats being all playful and curious creatures may try to explore and understand a hedgehog’s personality. They will be fascinated with the arrival of their new exotic furry friend. However, after realizing their natural self, cats will leave the hedgehogs to themselves.
You may have the fear or concern that your cat may attack the tiny hedgehog, but you need not get stressed. Hedgehogs have a special defense mechanism that comes in handy for them. Below, we have mentioned a detailed overview of hedgehogs’ defense mechanism to understand better.
Self-Defence Mechanism of Hedgehogs
So, if you recently got a hedgehog home and concerned about their safety around your pet cat, then it should be the least of your worries. Hedgehogs have around 5000-7000 spikes covering their back. These tiny creatures with quills are self-dependent and can protect themselves without your help.
The chances are fairly low that your cat may pound at them for no reason whatsoever. Do cats and hedgehogs get along under the same roof? Yes, they do, merely because of the defense capabilities, a hedgehog possesses.
A hedgehog’s sharp quills act as a shield from the sharp teeth of the cats. They can at any time roll into a ball if they sense threat or danger near them. Cats being quick learners, will keep a safe distance from these scary quills and think twice before getting in their way.
Can Hedgehogs and Cats Be Friends?
Even with their most obvious rivalry, dogs and cats may share a great bond if they live together. Although, it is very unlikely to see a hedgehog and cat sharing a similar bond of companionship. Does this raise the question do hedgehogs like cats? They are mostly neutral when it comes to being social with other animals, let alone cats.
Hedgehogs, in general, are pretty shy and finds it hard to make friends with larger animals. As a result, they may mostly end up ignoring or avoiding your pet cat when they are around.
On the rear side, cats may try to offer a friendly hand towards them but may not force this friendship because of the fear of getting pricked. Since cats usually pick on other rodents, they may try to keep a safe distance from their spiny housemate.
Well, do not lose hope yet. In certain rare situations, your hedgehog may show interest in laying around his furry friend. You may even find them lazing around in your garden or lounge. So it is not impossible that they can have an amiable relation, but the possibilities are low.
Do Hedgehogs and Cat Each Other’s Food?
Your hedgie may find its way to your cat’s food bowl easily because they love wet cat food! So if you find your cat’s bowl empty, you may just be confused with who ate it.
Hedgehogs are omnivorous animals and love to feast on anything that moves. So your prickly little friend will have no complaints about sharing your cat’s food. Also, if you are a veteran hedgie owner, you may be aware that cat food is a common meal choice for them.
Apart from the meat and chicken, your pet hedgehog may also need some greens and veggies included in its diet.
On the other hand, you should make it a point that your cat does not secretly sneak in on their spikey friend’s food. Being carnivores, cats need more of a meat-only diet that is rich in protein. So feeding on their friend’s food once in a blue moon is fine. However, it would help if you made it a point that it does not become a habit.
Things to Keep in Mind if You Are Hedgehog Owner
With all the details mentioned above, you may wonder that your tiny friend is safe around the cats. Well, not entirely! It is the pet owner’s sole responsibility to make them feel that they are in safe hands.
Hence, below are few pointers that will help you out managing both the pets in your house:
Make Them Feel at Home
Before you introduce your spikey friend to your pet cat, ensure that that they feel comfortable in your presence. Try to make them feel at ease to don’t sense fear or danger when you are around.
By doing this, you will be able to hold the hedgehog securely in your hand. This way, they will feel an instant connection with you in no time.
Introduction and Interaction
Be patient while introducing your hedgehog to your cat. Since both will feel new to this situation, make both the animals feel comfortable in each other’s presence.
Both Hedgehogs and cats have a distinct sense of smell. Therefore, you should help them grow accustomed to each other by making use of this particular trait. To ensure they become familiar with each other’s scent, rub a cloth on your hedgehog and make your cat smell.
This knack will go a long way in making both the pets feel safe and friendly in each other’s presence.
Adopting a gradual, slow-and-steady approach, both the hedgehog and cat can live together without any struggles.
Even if both your pets have got accustomed to each other, never leave them alone and unsupervised. Your pet cat, out of curiosity, may try to paw at or even pick up the hedgehog in their mouth. You should avoid this situation at any time since both of them may get injured.
Your pet hedgie should never be left alone roaming around the house. Even though they have their protective shield on, they are smaller in size than their fellow beings.
You can, of course, allow your pet cat to mingle freely with the hedgehog but never leave them to be by themselves.
Once you are over the awkward introduction of both your pets, leave them to be together in their natural self. Of course, you can always leave the hedgehog near the cat without the cage after establishing a safe bond between them.
Never force them to be together. If either of the pets feels threatened or fearful in each other’s presence, it is better to avoid further interactions.
Do hedgehogs like cats, and can they survive under the same roof? Of course, they can until kept under strict supervision and monitoring. However, hedgehogs are vulnerable animals, and hence you should be extra careful before welcoming them to your pet family.
No reason should stop you from adding adorable hedgies as your pet. With a careful introduction and proper interactions, your pet hedgehog and cat can co-live happily together.