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Home Forums Champions’ chat Feeding?

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  • #13853

    Is it better to put food inside or outside…want to avoid cats eating the food?

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    Hi deetee

    It is personal choice up to a point. But also personal choice for the hogs – some don’t like going into boxes, etc. If you want to watch them feeding, then it is probably better outside, unless you have a camera inside the box. (I am taking it that you don’t mean inside your house – that would not be a good idea – it isn’t good for hogs to become too habituated to humans, for various reasons. But if you had some sort of outside shelter that would be o.k.)

    Cats are very clever at getting into boxes if they really want to. Even through surprisingly small holes. I have heard people say that they have certain sized entrances that cats can’t get into, only to find one here manages to!

    The best all round thing I have found is to put sheets of clear perspex type material onto either bricks, or I use flower pots full of soil. (3 litre one end and 2 litre the other to try to allow for a bit of run off of water – but you might need to change this depending on how big the hogs are – I only have a non-hibernator visiting at the moment – not as big as some) High enough for hogs, but low enough to deter cats. It needs to be weighed down on top, of course, otherwise the cats will just push it up. You will get the occasional cat who tries to get underneath, but it really doesn’t look very comfortable and most seem to think it’s not worth the effort and usually don’t try again. If you could put the set up against a wall and put the food as far back as possible that would probably work best. I had a hog here who didn’t like boxes, but he didn’t seem to mind the perspex arrangement as it was fairly open.

    Of course you can’t see through that as well as completely in the open, but at least it deters the cats, so maybe could be put out once you are no longer actually watching in person – if you want to leave the food out. In the past I have only left the food out for a few hours each night so I could keep an eye on the hogs and scare away any cats, etc. Feeding is supposed to be supplementary and I found with that arrangement the hogs got to know when the food was around and visited then. They then had the rest of the night to forage for natural food.

    Good luck with the hogs.


    Yes…hedgehog home…not mine 🙂

    I know they’ve been in my garden…they leave signs and I’ve also spotted some at the front at night. I’ve bought a purpose made little home which should stop anything getting in apart from hogs and I’ve bought some meadow hay, hedgehog meat and kibble with insects in. I don’t have a camera, but I suppose if I leave some food inside I’ll be able to tell whether it’s being eaten….rather than outside where the cats will get at it.

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    Hi deetee

    I was hoping that was what you meant re. the house!

    I was trying to say that those boxes cannot be guaranteed to be cat proof – even if they say they are. One tip, though, is that cats tend to empty a bowl completely, whereas hogs often leave a bit – but that isn’t totally reliable. But you also need to decide whether you want the box to be a nest box or a feed box.

    If nest box, then it’s a good idea to put a small amount of bedding in to give them the idea and then some more close by. Most hogs like to take their own bedding in.

    If feed box, I wouldn’t put any hay, etc. in, for two reasons. Firstly, they can be very messy when they’re eating (poos all over the place, including sometimes in food bowls), so it’s handy if the box is easy to clean out. Secondly it might give them the idea to nest in there. That has happened before to me, even though the box only had food in it. Then no more feed box – I had to get another one, quickly!

    Maybe you need another box – so you can have one of each!


    I tried several feeding stations before my husband built one with a maze entrance which finally foiled the very persistent cat that had decided I was a new food source. Most cats couldn’t get into my first feeding stations but a persistent tabby was so athletic that he crawled through a very small tunnel to steal the food every night. So my advice is to use a cleverly constructed station (I found a diagram on the internet) and not to put food outside as cats are bound to find food. I agree that keeping the station only for food and water is best. Hopeogs will create their own nesting sites but finding food can be more challenging, so offering a helping hand on feeding is more useful than a bed if you only have one ‘box’.

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    Of course, the very best thing we can all do for the hogs is to improve the habitat for them in our gardens and make sure they have access to as many gardens as possible. Then they can find their own natural food, which is better for them than anything we can provide.

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