A while ago I made a simple hedgehog feeding station out of a plastic storage box. This meant that the local hedgehogs could dine in the warm and dry. It also kept the neighbourhood cats from eating the food before the hedgehogs could. All except for one very slinky tortie.
I experimented with a number of obstacles to thwart this cat.
I decided to make a new hedgehog feeding box with a different design. I used another plastic storage box and the plastic tube that blank DVDs are stored in.
I cut the end off the DVD tube to make a tunnel and cut a hole in the side of the box (my first design had the hole cut in the end). I then wedged the tunnel into the hole so that half of it protruded into the box to give a narrow turning angle once in the box, and the other half protruded outside of the box.
I placed two planters either side of the entrance to the feeding box and put a water dish right in front of the entrance. Hedgehogs can get into the box either by walking right through the water dish, or by going behind the planter and making a sharp right turn into the tunnel with another sharp right turn once inside the box.
So far the feeding box has been used by several different hedgehogs of varying sizes. Leftovers are cleaned up by a robin and a pair of blackbirds in the morning. To date no cat has been recorded inside the box, indeed they no longer even try.
Hedgehogs now need to pile on the weight so that they can successfully hibernate so if you aren’t already feeding hedgehogs in your gardens now is a great time to start. I feed my visitors with Sainsbury cat biscuits, other brands are available. You can feed them wet or dry cat or dog food, or you can buy specialist hedgehog food such as Brambles. Never feed hedgehogs mealworms, peanuts, sultanas, sunflowers, bread or milk.
Fresh water should always be available and don’t forget that hedgehogs need to be able to get into your garden. A CD sized gap in your fence or gate is all that is needed. Talk to your neighbours and try to get as many gardens as possible linked up.