Hedgehogs Live with Pets? (Rats, Ferrets, Dogs, Cats check)


The pygmy hedgehog is the most popular species of hedgehogs kept as pests. If you keep a  hedgehog as a pet, you will be interested in knowing how this animal can coexist with others. As much as hedgehogs are generally peaceful, they can be quite messy especially when disturbed.

So, can  hedgehogs live with rats? Hedgehogs cannot live with rats. It is highly recommended that you keep your hedgehog as far away as possible from rats and other animals. This is because hedgehogs are not social animals and introducing them to others will hardly have any benefits for them. Putting a hedgehog and a rat in the same living environment can cause serious consequences.

These animals could potentially transmit illnesses between themselves and cause severe damage. Furthermore, there have been cases of rats chewing on hedgehog quills which can cause infections and devastating injuries. This is why it is not recommended to keep hedgehogs and rats in the same living area.

Hedgehogs are very reserved animals and can serve as great pets. However, you might be tempted to keep them alongside other pets for various reasons. This is why it is important to know if hedgehogs can coexist with other animals.

Hedgehogs are solidarity animals and cannot thrive well when kept in the same environment as other pets. However, depending on the kind of pet you want to keep, the coexistence with hedgehogs varies. If you have to keep a pet, it is important to know if it will affect the survival of a hedgehog.

Rats

You should never house your hedgehog with other small balls like rats. As much as hedgehogs could get along with rats in a common play area just fine, it is not a good idea to keep them together. In fact, it is easier and safer to keep them apart. As mentioned earlier, hedgehogs are not social animals, and exposing them to others will hardly benefit them.

The biggest risk of keeping hedgehogs and rats in the same place is that rats could cause damage to hedgehogs by chewing on their quills. This will leave the hedgehog injured and in a bad condition.

Furthermore, these animals can pass illnesses between themselves. This is done when they engage in fights over food and other essential supplies. Rats have sharp nails that can easily harm your hedgehog.

Ferrets

Ferrets and hedgehogs can never interact and keeping them in the same room is a suicide mission. This is because ferrets are very energetic animals and are high prey drive predators. They can easily pounce on the hedgehog and hurt it while you think they are only playing. No matter how much you know your ferret, it is not recommended to keep them near hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs are more threatened by ferrets than they are by cats and dogs. Therefore, you should never have these two animals out at the same time, neither should you keep their cages in the same room. If you own a hedgehog and a ferret, it is very important to ensure that your ferret’s cage is sealed and completely escape-proof.

Dogs

Compared to ferrets, dogs have a better coexistence with hedgehogs. However, you need to be careful and protect your hedgehog against any risks posed by dogs. You need to be more careful when dealing with breeds of dogs that can hunt small mammals and those with obsessive behaviors.

If you would like to introduce your dog to your hedgehog, you should have at least two people present; one to control the dog and the other to hold the hedgehog. It is also recommended that you have the dog on a leash so that its actions can quickly be put under control.

If your dog is highly energetic, a high hunting drive, or is very likely to be irritated by one or two pokes from the hedgehog’s quills, you should never introduce them. Therefore, always prioritize your hedgehog’s comfort and safety in such situations. No matter how curious and eager your dog is, it is not a good idea to let it freely interact with your hedgehog.

Cats

Unlike dogs, cats can coexist peacefully with hedgehogs, especially when the cat discovers that the hedgehog is covered with quills. No matter how aggressive or stubborn your cat is, it is more likely to ignore the hedgehog once they get a poke on the pads of their feet or on the nose.

If you would like to introduce them to each other, you should hold the hedgehog in your arms and let the cat come up and investigate it. You should also have a person standing nearby to remove the cat if the investigation gets wild and messy. Some owners let the cat get a few quills in the nose to learn a lesson. Depending on your preferences, it is important to keep them apart right away if they don’t get along.

Will Hedgehogs Eat Rats?

The coexistence of rats and hedgehogs is always a wild one. These two animals don’t get along due to the damage hedgehogs are likely to suffer. However, there have been concerns as to whether hedgehogs eat rats.

Hedgehogs are very unlikely to eat rats. However, due to their curious reputation and the dentition of a true carnivore, hedgehogs can attempt to eat dead or injured rats. There is very little evidence of hedgehogs eating rats, but these largely assumed cases have a valid point. There are verified reports of hedgehogs catching small birds, toads, and even lizards. From this, you can agree that the talk of hedgehogs eating rats should not be dismissed.

With rats not being on their menu, it will help to know the kind of foods that hedgehogs enjoy. Here are some of the ideal hedgehog foods and the nutrients they offer.

Mealworms

Freeze-dried or live mealworms are a reliable source of chitin for hedgehogs. Furthermore, live worms give hedgehogs mental stimulation that they need to move around. They also make hedgehogs work harder to catch their food, improving their physicality.

It is recommended that you feed them live worms at least twice a day — in the mornings and evenings. You should also ensure that the live worms are clean to avoid causing infections.

Crickets

Crickets are also available as freeze-dried or live. They also provide hedgehogs with chitin and mental stimulation required to move around. However, unlike mealworms, you need to do gut-loading before feeding crickets to your hedgehog. This ensures that they are full of nutrients.

Waxworms

Waxworms are also ideal foods for hedgehogs. Live ones have high levels of fat, but low chitin content compared to mealworms. Therefore, it is recommended that you serve them as treats to your hedgehog. You should also serve waxworms in low quantities to avoid feeding the hedgehog excessive fats.

Vegetables

Contrary to what some hedgehog owners think, vegetables are good food for hedgehogs. Fresh green beans, fresh tomatoes, and cooked squash are some of the vegetables your hedgehog can enjoy.

However, it is important to avoid some types of vegetables that can negatively affect your hedgehog. In particular, you should avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and carrots. You should also avoid dried vegetables that have similar effects.

Fruits

Your hedgehog will also enjoy small amounts of fresh fruits. You should serve them in small portions as treats. Some of the common options are berries, bananas, apples, and berries. However, it is important to avoid dried fruits that lack vital nutrients. It is also important to cut the fresh fruits into tiny sizes for easier consumption.

Cooked Meat

Though rarely used, cooked meat is ideal for pet hedgehogs. Low-fat, high protein canned cat or dog food, as well as cooked chicken meat, will be a delicious meal for your hedgehog. However, you should offer this meal once in a while because your hedgehog could easily start rejecting other meals. Thrice in a week is the recommended rate.

Will Rats Kill Hedgehogs?

It is not recommended to keep rats and hedgehogs in the same location. Apart from the fact that these animals can transmit illnesses between themselves, there are other safety concerns that strain their relationship.

Rats can prey on and kill hedgehogs. Bigger rats are known to be more energetic and have sharp nails, making it easy to attack hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are naturally slower than rats, and the shift and fast movements of rats make them more vulnerable. This is why it is important to keep these animals apart.

The safety of your hedgehog is very important. With rats posing serious danger to them, it is important that you find ways to protect hedgehogs. Luckily, there are several ways you can help protect hedgehogs against rats, they are:

Use Pesticides

The most reliable way of getting rid of rats is using pesticides. You should apply pesticides in areas rats are more likely to hide. Areas like the attic and under chairs are good hiding places for rats. However, when applying insecticides, it is important to avoid causing harm to your hedgehog.

If you are using food bait traps to get rid of rats, you should avoid placing them in areas your hedgehog can reach. When spraying pesticides, you should remove the hedgehog until the area is safe enough.

Check Your Compost Heap

As much as compost heaps are an excellent eco-option for your home garden, they can be a haven for rats. These heaps offer shelter and food for rats. You should never put cooked food on such compost heaps. If you notice persistent rat problems around the hedgehog cage, you should also stop putting raw food waste at compost heaps.

You should also check the heap on a regular basis to ensure there are no rats or their nests. Furthermore, if the compost heap is so close to the hedgehog cage or fence, you should consider moving it to a more open area. If the situation doesn’t change, you should consider swapping the compost heap for a more manageable compost bin.

Secure Food Waste Bins

If you keep your kitchen waste bins outside the house, you should ensure that they are secure. Many times, rats and rodents tip over food waste bins to checks their contents. If the hedgehog cage is close to such bins, they could be the next target. This poses a great danger to your hedgehog.

Store Food Safely

If you are storing hedgehog, pet, or bird food in sheds or garages, you make sure that it is safe and sealed. Rats are willing to chew through anything for food, and such foods could be a good target. Therefore, it is important to store food in secure containers to avoid rat rampage. Hedgehog cages stored in similar areas could also be under attack, threatening your hedgehog’s survival.

Clean Up

You should not leave unused food lying around your hedgehog. You should clean up the leftovers from the hedgehog cage to prevent targeting from rats. You should also clean up food particles that drop while transferring food from one point to another. Rats have a high sense of smell and can fish out food particles from the remotest of places.

Leaving unused food, especially in the hedgehog cage poses a great risk. A rat will come for it and potentially cause damage to your hedgehog. Therefore, thorough cleaning is highly recommended to avoid such occurrences.

Wrap Up

hedgehogs are solitary animals and being in the presence of others can be very inconvenient. Rats and hedgehogs cannot live together due to several reasons. For example, due to their predatory nature, rats can cause damage to hedgehogs. Furthermore, these animals can also pass illnesses between themselves, affecting the hedgehog’s health.

As much as it is possible, hedgehogs are unlikely to eat rats. However, rats can prey on and eat hedgehogs. This is because rats are more predatory in nature and have a stronger body. Therefore, it is important to keep rats away from your hedgehog. There are also several ways you can protect your hedgehog from rats, some of them include using pesticides, cleaning the house, checking the compost heap, among others.

Bal Kang

Hi I'm Bal together with my daughter Jinnee, we've created this website about hedgehogs. We've learnt a lot looking after our hedgehog Hynee and share our knowledge, tips and tricks.

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