Pet Rats: What Do They Eat?

Pet Rats: What Do They Eat?

Here we can see, “Pet Rats: What Do They Eat?”

It’s not difficult to feed pet rats, but there are a few things you should remember. Rat diets should always make up the majority of your pet rat’s meals, but you should also include a variety of fresh foods.

Rat specialists advocate several homemade meals that rat specialists advocate as an alternative to prefabricated foods, but you must follow the recipes exactly and provide your rats with a range of fresh vitamins. A meal devoid of supplements may become nutritionally unbalanced, causing issues for your rats (however, some lower quality formulated rat diets are also lacking in nutrition). The easiest and best approach to giving a balanced meal for most owners is to combine an excellent rat block with some fresh treats as supplements.

Food from the store

When buying food for your pet rat, search for a diet designed exclusively for rats. This will almost always be a pellet or block-type (basically a giant pellet) diet, as these have traditionally been the best rat diets (although there are some concerns with pellets). Loose seed mixes can provide a well-balanced diet for rats, but only if they consume everything in the mix (which many do not). If you feed a rat a block of food or pelleted food, the rat will not be able to pick and choose which pieces they want to eat. These rat blocks can be kept on hand at all times for your rat.

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Pellet diets are often recommended for pet rats, but if you can’t locate a decent rat-specific food, a rat and mouse diet that satisfies the same general parameters (e.g., low calorie, low fat) is a reasonable compromise. Avoid hamster, gerbil, and other rodent diets because they are not a good substitute. The nutritional needs of these diets are different, and they often include alfalfa, which is hard for rats to digest.

Other Foods for Pet Rats

Eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, and other fresh foods is beneficial to rats. This is fantastic news because it’s a lot of fun to share your food with your rat. Keep in mind that rat portion sizes are quite modest (a teaspoon or a half-inch cube), so avoid giving them excessive amounts of fruits or vegetables at each meal if you don’t want diarrhoea. The following is a list of possible treats to try, bearing in mind that feeding a diverse diet is the best approach to ensure optimal nutrition and health:

  • Fruit: apples, cherries, grapes, bananas, strawberries and other berries, melons, plums
  • Vegetables: broccoli, potatoes, peas, carrot, cooked sweet potato, kale, parsley, bok choy, squash
  • Cooked liver and other very lean cooked meats
  • Whole wheat pasta and bread
  • Cooked beans (including soy)
  • Yogurt (especially with live cultures)
  • Brown rice
  • Unsweetened breakfast cereals
  • Mealworms
  • Small dog biscuits
  • Special treats (given only occasionally): whole nuts in the shell (almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts), sunflower seeds (high in fat), carob chips
  • Leftovers from your meals are OK in moderation
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Foods to Avoid

On the other hand, there are some foods that you should avoid feeding your pet rat:

  • Chocolate
  • Raw beans
  • Raw sweet potato
  • Cabbage and Brussels sprouts
  • Green potatoes
  • Sweet, sugary treats and any other human “junk food”
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Green bananas
  • Wild insects (due to parasites and pesticides they may contain)
  • Poppy seeds
  • Do not feed any foods with d-limonene in it to male rats (lemon and orange peels and juice, mango, black pepper, nutmeg)

User Questions

How do you bond with a pet rat?

Rats are intelligent creatures who prefer being around people. Hold yours in your hands and play it softly at first, in brief bursts, until it calms down. Keep your rat’s cage in a quiet, safe location so that it is constantly at ease. Allow them to run about and reward them; these are excellent motivators for pet rats.

How do you get a pet rat out of hiding?

Pet rats may hide if the environment is too bright or too noisy. You can use food treats to entice it out, but it’s best to let your rat stay where it’s most at ease and go out after the crowd has dispersed.

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Do rats eat vegetables?

Rats will eat the vegetables and fruits in a garden, but if that is their sole source of food, they will eventually move on to a location that fits their animal protein and fat requirements. A rat colony will not survive in a compost pile made entirely of garden waste.

Do rats recognise their owners?

Rats form lifetime ties with their human companions. Rats recognise their owners and respond to their sight and sound, as any rat owner will tell you. They are quite gregarious and enjoy spending time on the couch, on people’s shoulders, or in their laps with human family members.

Do rats like to cuddle?

They’ll even groom their human friends as if they were other rats in their “rat pack.” Pet rats are extremely affectionate and like the warmth and contact of their caregivers.


I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.


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