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Home > Cats > Do Hedgehogs & Cats Get Along? Vet-Approved Reasons & Tips

Do Hedgehogs & Cats Get Along? Vet-Approved Reasons & Tips

cat and hedgehog

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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In the wild, cats and hedgehogs likely wouldn’t get along well with one another. They would fight for territory and food, among other things. However, things are a little different when these animals are domesticated and living in captivity. Can hedgehogs get along with cats in a household or while living in a rescue environment? The short answer is yes, they can. It takes a bit of patience and encouragement to make it happen, but the possibility is there. Here is what you should know about helping a hedgehog and a cat to get along in the same household.


Why Hedgehogs & Cats Can Get Along

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, which means they sleep during the day and are active at night. Similarly, cats are crepuscular, so they tend to be the most active during dawn and dusk hours. Therefore, cats and hedgehogs are mostly not awake and alert during the same hours of the day.

Therefore, a cat and a hedgehog are not likely to come across each other often. If they do, one or the other will probably be laidback and snoozing, so there are not many opportunities for these animals to clash.

Hedgehogs are not aggressive creatures. They like to keep to themselves, and if they see a cat, they are likely to just hang out and see what happens rather than curiously make an introduction. On the other hand, cats tend to be more curious. They are likely to approach a hedgehog and find out what the animal is all about.

In the end, cats and hedgehogs should leave each other alone. Hedgehogs are too big to be prey for cats, and they are not aggressive enough to become rivals either. However, territorial cats might be a bit aggressive around your hedgehog. Therefore, it is important to make proper introductions so your cat does not look at your new hedgehog as a threat and vice versa.

hedgehog eating cat food
Image By: pasSsy, Shutterstock

Supervised Introductions are Necessary

You must properly introduce a cat and hedgehog to ensure that they will get along in the long term. Always supervise the interactions until both the cat and hedgehog get used to each other and can live in the same room without causing problems. If your cat shows signs of aggression toward your hedgehog, you must be there to correct the behavior.

It should be known by both the hedgehog and the cat that human companions in the household will not put up with aggression of any kind. Playing is okay, but scratching, clawing, hissing, and lunging should always be prohibited. You should be there to direct the behavior of both animals as they meet for the first few times to ensure that they behave as you expect them to.

Start by holding your hedgehog in your arms where they will feel safe. Let your cat hang out around you and check out the hedgehog if they aren’t displaying any aggression. Once the cat has sniffed the hedgehog and is used to their presence, you can put the hedgehog down and allow the two animals to interact with each other.

an adorable hedgehog licking its nose while being held
Image By: Julia Jane, Shutterstock

Keeping the Peace as Time Goes On

Once your cat and hedgehog learn to live in peace together, you shouldn’t have to be there to supervise their interactions. However, it is important to make sure that both animals have access to their own dedicated space where they can retreat to when they want to be left alone. It is also a good idea to keep the animals in separate rooms when nobody is around to keep an eye on them.

Spending time with both pets at least once each day will help keep the peace because it will ensure that they are used to being around each other, and they will learn how to share attention and space cordially. Keep in mind that hedgehogs are solitary animals and don’t need to make friends with other animals. At best, your hedgehog will tolerate a cat, but don’t expect them to become best friends.

cat and hedgehog eating
Image By: Yanapav, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

Living with a cat and a hedgehog can be a fun experience, but the experience comes with plenty of responsibility. It is never a good idea to leave a hedgehog and a cat alone together in the same space, especially if they have not met before. But if you are committed and patient, you can enjoy a peaceful life at home with these two animals by your side.

Featured Image Credit: Szilvia Pap – Kutasi, Shutterstock

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