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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I downloaded the dry cat food list and I would like to hear about you experiences with the differnt types of Royal canin food - because that is what I am able to get.

I started to feed my hedgie, Bodil, with Science hill light cat food, but was told that cat food was bad for hedgies (something about some unhealthy substances). Then she got hedgehog food from Vitakraft - but as I understand it here, it is not very good.

So now I'm very confused.
She's also smells very bad, and I think it probably is because of the feed from Vitakraft :?
 

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If Royal Canin is what's available to you, I'd get one of the brands on the list and start offering it immediately. Vitakraft is the worst brand of hedgehog food that is offered, and most hedgehogs refuse to eat it when they're offered something else. Make sure the protein content of the cat food is around 30-35% (I noticed that one brand, the Indoor Light 40, has 40% protein which is too high), and the fat to be lower than 15%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, I'll do that as the first thing tomorrow! :eek:

A danish hedgehog breeder send me her own hedgehog mix:
50 g dried insect mix
100 g chopped organic peanuts
100 g dried meal worms
100 g dried sweet (organic) fruit (cut / cut into small pieces)
50 g raisins (organic)
100 g Royal Cain babycat
and a handful of dried carrots cut into small bites

what do you think about this mix?
 

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Raisins are DEADLY to hedgehogs. That food, to be completely honest, sounds very dangerous. Too many dried mealworms can cause bowel impaction, things like nuts and dried fruits are a choking hazard, and raisins/grapes can cause kidney failure.

I would definitely just go with the royal canin. People on this forum recommend dry cat food because, so far, it has been the best food commercially available and readily accessible for hedgehogs. If the breeder is selling this food mix to people who buy her hedgehogs, or feeding it to her own hedgehogs, you should link her here:
http://hedgehogcentral.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=40&p=41667&hilit=grapes#p41667
It's a list of things that are toxic/dangerous for a hedgehog to eat, and includes both grapes and nuts.

I hope that didn't sound too harsh. I just don't want anything bad to happen to your hedgehog!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No hard feelings :)
Actually it's not "my" breeder, but I'll show her the link and these posts.

I will buy som Royal canin tomorrow.
But what about the Science hill? Do you know if it's good, okay or bad?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What I heard about why hedgies not may eat cat food:
there is too much Fe in and because hedgies are insectivores they're not built to handle too much Fe.
Is it true?
 

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I'm wondering if there would be a correlation between high levels of iron and high levels of protein (from meat), and that's why cat food was said to be bad? If that's the case, then that's why we aim for cat foods with lower levels of protein, because we know that too much protein causes liver damage (or was it kidney damage? I'm severely lacking sleep right now... :lol: ). When looking at cat foods, it's best to get ones with protein percentages of 30-35%.

(And I apologize if I'm not making sense or if my answer was plain wrong, I was just guessing, lol.)
 

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Hedgehogs are insectivore by classification but are omnivorous by diet. I really wish people would learn to keep those straight.

Since there has been very little done in the way of nutritional studies on pet hedgehogs, I doubt that we know if there is too much or too little iron in their diet. I'm also very leery of anything coming from European breeders. US breeders have about a 15 year headstart and a much larger knowledge base to work from. I've seen too much coming from European breeders that's actually based on the European Hedgehog, which is totally inappropriate for pets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, thanks. Now I know :)

I bought Royal canin indoor 27.
And then I'll try to sell all my packs of Vitakraft to some european hedgehog-rescuers. In Denmark the european hedgehogs is illegal to have as pets, but some people rescues and helps sick and damaged hedgies and release them afterwards :)
 

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Lilysmommy said:
I'm wondering if there would be a correlation between high levels of iron and high levels of protein (from meat), and that's why cat food was said to be bad?
To my Google Knowledge, a toxic compound called ketone is produced when protein is broken down in a human body, but our kidneys dutifully get rid of it, so everything is cool. :cool:

But if there's too much protein, kidneys get overworked and, when they fail to flush out all the toxins, excess ketones will build up in bloodstream causing a variety of health issues including coma and death in the worst scenario.

Ridding of ketones takes a good amount of water too, so a high protein diet can lead to dehydration. Furthermore, the ketone built-up increases acidity in blood, which in turn requires a significant amount of calcium to normalize. So there may be a correlation between protein intake and calcium, but I'm not sure about iron.

Of course we can't be sure if the same is true with hedgehogs, but it's fair to assume it is. This is probably why the foods excessively high in protein are bad for our hedgies.

I too find much of the hedgehog info coming out of Europe too reliant on the studies conducted on European Hedgehogs and seems often inaccurate and/or inapplicable to our pet African Pygmy Hedgehogs. :(

As a footnote, chitinase, the enzyme which breaks down chitin in insects, is present in the digestive tract of the animals classified under the insectivora order such as shrews, moles, hedgehogs, tenrecs, etc. So theoretically they can digest both live and dried insects alike. However, considering that typical moisture/water content in live insects is over 60% versus less than 10% in dried insects, it's quite possible that chitinase doesn't work properly and may cause an impaction in some hedgehogs when dried insects are fed in a large amount and/or on a regular basis (contrary to the popular belief that the drying process destroys the enzyme). This is why I'm leery of feeding too many dried insects to our hedgies. If you choose to feed dried/processed bugs, please be careful and exercise moderation.
 
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