Did you know that according to studies, cats cause more deaths to other animals than car accidents or accidental poisoning? The predatory instinct of cats is no surprise, it has contributed to the extinction of up to 33 species around the world.
Wild or feral cats are the primary cause of this high incidence, but the fact that domestic cats have a significant degree of responsibility is also striking.
More than 20 billion mammals are hunted by cats every year according to studies conducted in North America, this figure is alarming, the question arises, can a cat kill a hedgehog?
In a nutshell, it is very unlikely that a cat can kill an adult hedgehog, no matter if the cat is wild or domestic, usually, a cat learns very fast that it is useless to approach a hedgehog or even grab it, as it often gets a bloody nose or paws due to the hedgehog’s thorns.
The hedgehog’s defensive reaction when it balls up, spiking, is usually enough to scare the cat away. Any animal who has had bad experiences with a spiny animal stays away.
However, this does not apply to baby hedgehogs, those who cannot see, and with still soft and undeveloped spines, a cat, if the mother of the hedgehog is simply not there, and for example, looking for food. A cat poses a real threat to a very young hedgehog.
How does a hedgehog protect itself?
A hedgehog has hard spines all over its body except for its belly. When it encounters danger, it will curl up into a ball and turn into a prickly ball, turning the spines outwards to protect itself.
When frightened, its head bends toward the abdomen, and its body curls up into a ball, curled up like a thorn ball, covering the head and limbs, and erecting spines to protect itself. Unlike porcupines, hedgehogs cannot shed their spines.
Could a cat eat a hedgehog?
Cats do not eat hedgehogs, this is not technically possible due to the thorns. Most probably a cat will try to pull the hedgehog down to its lower abdomen which is the most sensitive area for the hedgehog. Cats are predatory however they are not smart enough to turn these hedgehogs over to eat them.
Can hedgehogs live with cats?
Although it is possible for cats and hedgehogs to live together, it is desirable to keep them in separate rooms to prevent mutual injuries and infection of skin diseases. The appearance of the two animals, who would otherwise be enemies, getting along with each other is very cute and healed.
But, if you face a cat and a hedgehog from the beginning, it may cause unexpected injuries, so you need to be careful. If you are thinking of living with a cat and a hedgehog, you have to look at their personalities and think about how to raise them.
In conclusion, Cats and hedgehogs can live together. Normally, small animals such as very young hedgehogs can fall prey to wild cats, so this is not the case if it is said that there is no danger. For a cat and a hedgehog to live together, a calm cat is ideal.
However, no matter how quiet a cat is, if something triggers the change to the wild, it can suddenly attack the hedgehog, so if you wish to keep the cat with the hedgehog together, raise it. You have to be careful with the method.
It is also a very good idea to keep a cat and hedgehog from being alone and out of reach of their owners.
Precautions when raising cats and hedgehogs together
There are a few things to keep in mind when raising cats and hedgehogs together.
Be careful not to let the cat fight with the hedgehog
Cats and hedgehogs, while usually quiet with each other, sometimes can fight.
If a cat and a hedgehog are fighting, it is very possible that a small hedgehog will be hit or bitten by the cat and will be injured.
In addition, hedgehogs not only threaten when they get angry, but they can also defend themselves with their spikes, so cats stuck in the spike can also get hurt, so be careful.
Beware of hedgehog skin diseases
Hedgehogs are weak skinned animals by nature, so if cat mites, fleas, lice, etc. move, it will be a serious problem.
Even if a cat causes a skin disease, the medicine used for cat skin disease cannot be used for hedgehogs, so you have to go to a veterinary clinic.
Care should be taken if the skin under the hedgehog’s spines is rough and dandruff, often scratches, or the edges of the ears are rough.
Avoid having hedgehogs in the open for a while
To observe these considerations, if a cat and a hedgehog are kept together, it is not advisable to keep them at a distance.
It is preferable to keep cats in the open and hedgehogs in cages.
You may take the time to test the compatibility between the cat and the hedgehog, and if you think they are not aggressive to each other, you can schedule a time and let them play. Of course, cats must be kept indoors and only if there is no possibility of skin disease.
It is fine if they are both on friendly terms, however if the hedgehog threatens from inside the cage, or if the cat threatens to see the hedgehog in the cage, both can be very stressful.
In that situation, consider keeping the hedgehog in a separate room.
What happens if a cat fights with a hedgehog and slaps it?
Anyone who knows more about cats knows that when cats encounter something they don’t know well, they often observe a few times first. If they think it’s dangerous, they will jump up and slap.
Some people are curious. Although the cat’s soft paws hide sharp claws, the pads are still relatively soft. If the cat encounters a hedgehog, will it slap it? What will happen if it really slaps it?
First of all, we know that hedgehogs are a type of non-aggressive animals whose main purpose is defense. Their defensive system is with their fists, adopting a ball-shaped position. The hedgehog’s spines are not fully developed when young, and are basically soft, but become hard when they grow.
As a natural predator, cats are still very agile. When their paws scratch people, they often make people unable to react. Regardless of their small, soft paws, they are quite strong. So if they hit a hedgehog, it will feel like slapping a cactus.
What animal would kill a hedgehog?
The hedgehog has only a few known natural enemies. The badger and the eagle owl are the two most serious threats. Because of their powerful claws, they are also able to grab a fully packed hedgehog.
The marten, fox, and polecat, by contrast, depend on the hedgehog to at the very least open its ball partially. This is why these animals are especially a threat as predators to sick, weakened, or clumsy young hedgehogs.
By far, the greatest trouble directly and indirectly for the hedgehog originates from us humans.
The hedgehog undergoes the increasing loss of natural and suitable green spaces and the destruction of its habitat. In addition to obstacles such as fences and walls, it is mainly the roads that make life difficult for the hedgehog.