Rats are very greedy animals and rather easy to satisfy with regard to food. It is still important to provide them with food that will be as balanced and varied as possible so that they stay healthy. Be careful, it is not because they are very greedy and that they accept any kind of food that they should be offered foods that are not adapted to their metabolism.
How much food?
You should know that the nutritional needs depend on many factors (age, sex, environment, health, genetics, etc.) and that it will therefore be necessary to adapt the diet but also the quantity of food according to each individual. Ideally, give your rat enough food to leave only a tiny fraction the next day.
Carbohydrates should be the staple diet of an adult rat. These are found in cereals and that is why your rat must have them constantly available so that he can snack on them throughout the day. You can find mixes already prepared in pet stores. Do not hesitate to ask your veterinarian for advice to find the one that will best suit your animal. From time to time, allow him to eat rice, cooked pasta or a piece of hard bread.
It is necessary to integrate animal proteins into your diet. These proteins are found in particular in dairy products. Two to three times a week, you can therefore give your rat food such as cottage cheese or yogurt, hard cheese (emmental, Comté, gouda, etc.). You can also occasionally give your rat a mealworm.
To fill up on vitamins, you can offer your rat fresh products such as fruits and vegetables. Pay attention to the quality of the vegetables that you will give to your rat. If possible, choose organic products, wash them with lukewarm water and dry them before giving them.
Be sure to vary the food and mix dry food with food containing water. For example, combine tomatoes and cucumbers with apples and carrots.
Also, if possible and if they can be eaten without cooking, only serve raw vegetables and fruits (potatoes and pulses should be cooked).
Rats cannot vomit, their esophagus does not allow them to pass food in the opposite direction. It is therefore all the more important to be careful what you give them. If in doubt, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. Here is a non-exhaustive list of foods to avoid:
- Citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, kiwis …
- Stone fruits
- Cabbage, onions and ripe pears (bloating)
- Head lettuce (diarrhea)
- paste foods (peanut butter, spread … etc.)
- Cow’s milk
- Spoiled food
Also watch out for apartment plants and evergreens that are toxic to rats.