We often get questions from customers who are worried that cats may hurt hedgehogs visiting the garden. The truth is that whilst they may love hedgehog food, 8 out of 10 cats (probably more like 9 out of 10 actually) are way too smart and lazy to tangle with a spikey visitor.
But don’t just take our word for it, here’s a story that came in from our customer Vic this week, You really couldn’t make it up.
Scoffy the cat got his name because, well, he likes to scoff – pretty much everything. Scoffy really loves his food.
When Vic started to feed hedgehogs in the garden it was clear that measures would need to be taken to ensure that the hedgehog food got scoffed by the hedgehogs, not Scoffy.
A Home and Roost Predator-Proof hedgehog House provided one solution. Vic now has at least 4 well-fed hedgehogs visiting the garden. And Scoffy seemed fine with the situation.
Turning the Tables
Vic began to notice that as well as getting through lots of hedgehog food. The cat food in the kitchen seemed to be disappearing pretty fast too.
Suspicion fell on Scoffy – was he being even scoffier than usual?
Then Vic took a look at the footage on his night camera and discovered who the real culprit was.
Yes, right under the poor cat’s nose, the brazen hedgehog is climbing in through the cat flop to polish off Scoffy’s supper, And Scoffy isn’t even protesting!
But There’s More
Then last week Vic came downstairs in the morning to be greeted by this in the Scoffy’s basket.
Yep, not content with eating the poor cat’s food the hedgehog has gone ahead and given birth to a full litter of hoglets in Scoffy’s bed.
You really couldn’t make it up.
The new family couldn’t stay there. Scoffy had been patient, but every cat has his limits. Vic was rightly concerned that if he just placed the family outside in a nesting box the mother might be disturbed and reject the babies.
So he called South Essex Wildlife Hospital where mother and babies were settled into a safe environment and are doing well.
The Moral of the Story
This is a great, true story which has plenty to teach us.
- Cats almost certainly won’t attack hedgehogs in your garden, but they will eat your hedgehog food, given half a chance. Protect it with a hedgehog feeding station.
- Hedgehogs won’t give your cats or dogs fleas, but they will eat your cat food!
- Do your very best not to disturb a nesting mother hedgehog – if disturbed there is a real chance she may reject her litter. If you are worried you may have disturbed a nesting mother, call your local hedgehog rescue straight away.
- Hedgehogs are supremely adaptable and are becoming more and more comfortable with living around humans, and making the most of the opportunities humans offer them. We can all help hedgehogs by making our gardens welcoming and safe for them.
Thanks to Vic for sharing this lovely story, and thank you for reading. If you have your own tale of the amazing adventures of your pets and wildlife we would love to hear it. Drop us a line at [email protected].