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Feeding pet rats

Many people will not think of rats as pets, but if cared for properly these cuddly little creatures can become lovable pets. It is a common misconception that rats eat out of bins and can eat anything, but they only have small digestive systems which can upset easily.

Unless you really understand the needs of a rat’s diet then it is difficult to supply a diet based entirely on fresh food, therefore always purchase pre-packaged food specifically designed for rats. Do not buy small animal pet food as this may contain different ingredients. Choose rat food which does not contain too many nuts and seeds and is more protein based, as nuts can cause irritation to the skin and fur. Burgess, Science Selective and Reggie Rat all provide top quality rat pet food based on vegetables or chicken. They also contain all the nutrients your rat needs to be healthy. Some fresh food can be given, but try and limit this to fresh green vegetables. They can also be given dried cereals and uncooked pasta on occasion. Fruit and sweet goods should be avoided in most instances. Small portions of banana and apple can be given from time to time, but ensure there are no pips left in the apple. Avoid high acidity fruits such as oranges, limes and lemons. Rats do like treats and can cope with small amounts of human food, but ensure portions are monitored.

Rats only need to be fed once a day, with night time being the most suitable for them. Feed at a similar time each evening to create a routine. Like a lot of small animals, rats will hide their food so ensure you check for buried food after each feed. Their cage should also be cleaned regularly and a fresh supply of water be given daily.


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