Pet Rats – Food and Snacks

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Food and Snacks

There are 2 different options when it comes to their basic everyday diet. The first is Lab Blocks and the second is to make your own mix.

There are quiet a few myths out there about what rats need, can have and can’t have to eat. So here are some of the facts:
Rats are able to make all the Vitamin C they need, having said that extra vitamin C in their diet can’t hurt them.
Rats are unable to vomit or burp, this is due to a flap that they have in there stomach that covers their esophagus.
Rats grind there teeth together in order to stop them from over growing, having hard things to chew can assist but are not really needed.
Rats are omnivorous meaning like us they eat fruit, veg and meat. (eating meat will NOT make your rat become aggressive at all)
Lab blocks and homemade mixes should only make up around 60- 80% of a rats diet the other 20-40% should be fresh fruit and veg.
Female Rats that aren’t desexed should have a higher soy content in their food to help prevent things like mammary tumors.
Rats have a partially predatory nature which is what makes them so smart.

Lab Blocks For Rats

Lab blocks are a nutritious complete diet for rats in a pellet form. Their are quiet a few brands around, depending on where you live might limit what you are able to get though, ask people around your area what lab blocks they know of and their opinion on them so you get a better idea before deciding.

List of some Lab Block Brands:

Nutritious Complete Homemade Diet Dry Mix For Rats…

Ideas on what to put in your homemade nutritious complete diet mix. Don’t trust the pre made ones, they tend to be packed full of things that rats wont eat or that aren’t good as a staple diet and may cause over weight or mal-nourished rats.

List of Good food Ideas to put in the Mix:
Lentil Soup Mix
Rice Bubbles/Puffed Rice
Corn Flakes
Sun Flower Seeds
Premium Puppy/Small Dog Bickies (30g protein)
Kitten Bickies
Just Right Cereal Varieties
Rolled Oats
Dried Fruits (bananas and cranberries are the best)
Un-salted Soy Nuts
Roasted Soy Beans
Pearled Barley
Flax Seed
Toasted Wheat Germ

Treats/Snacks for your Fur Babies

As for snacks Rats are pretty much bullet proof when it comes to what they can or cant have….pretty much anything we can eat, they can eat too. And like us some things are better to be given in moderation , if ever. Bellow is a list of foods you can give as Treats and Snacks, like any treats and snacks they should be given every now and then. These should only make up 20-40% of their diet 🙂

List of ldeas for good Treats and Snacks:

  • Apple
  • Baby Food
  • Baby Porriage
  • Baby Teething Rusks
  • Banana
  • Berries
  • Beef
  • Bluebarries
  • Blackberries
  • Broccoli
  • Bok Chou
  • Bones (Chicken and meat)
  • Carrots
  • Chicken
  • Cherries
  • Cooked Beans
  • Cooked Corn
  • Cooked Sweet Potato
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Dried Tomato
  • Fish (cooked, Remove Bones)
  • Garlic
  • Grapes (red grapes are better then the green)
  • Hazelnuts (in the shell)
  • Honeydew
  • Liver
  • Macadamias (In the Shell)
  • Meal Worms
  • Melon
  • Oyster
  • Parsley
  • Pasta Cooked
  • Peas
  • Plums
  • Pop corn (plain is best)
  • Porriage
  • Prunes
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Puppy food rolls
  • Raisins
  • Raspberries
  • Rice Cooked
  • Rock Melon
  • Salmon (cooked/in can, remove bones)
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Sprouts
  • Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Walnuts (in the shell)
  • Watermelon
  • Wet Kitten Food
  • Table Scraps
  • Tuna (cooked/in can, remove bones)
  • Yogurt
  • Yogurt Drops
  • Yogurt covered dried Fruit

Treats/Snacks to avoid

There are a few foods to avoid and then there are other foods which aren’t completely proven to be bad, they are considered to be just myths and or haven’t had enough scientific research done to prove either way. Some people say its not worth the risk but you will find most rat owners consider them to be fine, just in tiny amounts and to introduce it slowly to their diet. It all comes down to personal preference. My fur babies get yogurt and porridge every now and then and they are fine.

List of foods to Avoid:
Raw Dry Beans or Peanuts—contains anti nutrients that destroy vitamin A and enzymes needed to digest protein and starches, and causes red blood cells to clump.  Roasted peanuts are fine.

Raw Sweet Potato—contains compounds that form cyanide in the stomach.  Canned sweet potato is cooked and is fine.

Green Bananas—inhibits starch-digesting enzymes

Green Potato Skin and Eyes—contain solanine, a toxin

Raw Bulk Tofu—can contain bacteria; packaged raw tofu is safe

Oranges — d-limonene in the skin oil, which gets into the orange juice during squeezing, can cause kidney damage and kidney cancer due to a protein that only male rats have in their kidneys.

Carbonated Beverages—rats can’t burp

Fried Food – of any kind

High Fat and Sugar Foods– any types of junk food really

List of foods to Be-careful with:
Dried corn can contain high levels of fungal contaminates which has been shown to cause liver cancer in rats. Corn also contains high levels of both nitrates and amines. These two compounds can combine in the stomach to form nitrosamines which are carcinogenic.
Fresh cooked corn is fine in small amount, it is also best to try to avoid brands of lab blocks which have corn as the first ingredient

These food also include high nitrates and it is suggested that they be given only every now and then and only in small amounts
Turnip greens

Make sure you always check all the food that you feed to your rats for mould or any signs of being off before giving it to them. Food that is off or moldy can contain deadly toxins, cutting off the spoiledor mouldy section is no good as the toxins are usually under the visible section. To avoid food going off or mouldy try not to buy big batches of food that will last more then a month for dry food or a week for fresh food. Always check used by and best before dates, and keep food in air tight containers.

Meal Ideas for your Fur Babies…

Meal Idea 1 – Breaky


Scramble the eggs on their own and add some chicken. Serve at room temperature

Meal Idea 5 –

Mixed Veggies cooked
Soy Milk
Chicken cooked

Boil the potatos and mash with the soy milk. Mix it all together and serve at room temperature.

Meal Idea 2 –

Salmon or Tuna (cooked/in can, bones removed)
Rice Cooked
Mixed Veggies (cooked)

Mix it all together and serve at room temperature.

Meal Idea 6 – Kitbix

Baby Porriage
Wiskers Kitten Food
Water or Soy Milk

Mix it all together so its of a porriage consistency.

Meal Idea 3 –

Chicken cooked
Pasta cooked
Mixed Veggies Cooked

Mix it all together and serve at room temperature.

Meal Idea 7 –

Meat cooked
Mixed Veggies cooked
Jar of Baby food (always check the jars ingredients)

Mix it all together and serve at room temperature.

Meal Idea 4 –

Pasta cooked
Mixed Beans (canned)
Chickpeas (canned)
Mixed Veggies cooked
Spaghetti Sauce (small amount)

Mix it all together and serve at room temperature.

Meal Idea 8 – Fruit n Veg Salad

Chopped up Fruit
Choped up Veggies
Chopped up Salad

Check out the list above for what fruit, veg and salads are okay and mix it all together.