Eli asked in PetsRodents · 1 decade ago

What do you feed YOUR rats?

Do you use rat blocks, seed and pellet mix, fresh fruits, vegetables, meat? Mine eat mostly nutritionally complete lab blocks with "treats" every day of different fruits and vegetables. I'm curious about what the most common and least common pet rat diets are, and what results have you seen in your rats from their diets? Do you leave a dish of food inside the cage all the time or do yours have a feeding schedule? How much do they eat each day?

Thanks yall.


Interesting! Thanks for your replies. One of mine became obese on seed/pellet mix and they NEVER ate the pellets. I tried several different brands of blocks before I found one they loved. I know they aren't supposed to like them but they do! And supplementing with fresh treats doesn't stop them from hoarding their blocks. Guess I'm lucky.

I adopted a new rat today and she is extremely obese. My others are happy with their diet but I'm just garnering information to try and figure out an individualized feeding plan that works for all of them with their unique dietary needs and new social heirarchy.

Thank you again!

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    My rats have a staple diet, then its supplemented with fresh veggies and fruits some days.. And a homemade mix others.

    The staple I use is Harlan Teklad lab blocks 2016. I make sure these are ALWAYS in the food bowl.

    About twice a week I add a little bit of homemade mix to the bowl as well. I do not like pet store mixes. They are high in fat, do not cover many dietary needs, and some have been known to cause tumors... So I use this: http://www.ratsrule.com/diet.html

    Then about every other day or so I add 1/2 to 1 cup of fresh veggies and fruits... Including broccoli, green peas, carrots, grapes, blueberries, raw coconut, squash, ect. I try to change it up slightly each time so they don't get bored.

    Really, with a high quality lab block, supplementing the diet with a mix or veggies isn't necessary.. But still recommended.. This way they don't get totally bored eating the same old food every day.

    If you have an obese rat I suggest getting Harlan Teklad 2014.. Its lower protein for the fatter rats.. I'm not sure what lab blocks your using currently.. But there are a lot of bad ones out there.. Kaytee brand included (they think they cause tumors, and in no way cover dietary needs).. Unless your using it already I suggest ordering Harlan Teklad.. I can not find them in stores, and most can't. But its worth it in the end. Another good one is Oxbow.. Its supposedly higher quality than Harlan.. But rats tend to not like the taste.. Mine included. Mazuri is about the only acceptable brand you'll find in pet stores.. However, if you compare its information with a high quality block like Harlan.. Then you realize it still doesn't compare...

    As for schedule.. As I said, I make sure they ALWAYS have the blocks in there bowls. Since rats are active, they constantly run food energy off and need to replenish it. Its good to make sure foods are in there consistently...

    As for the rest.. Its given in the evenings.. I think I said the mix is given about twice a week.. And veggies every other day to every 2 days.

  • 1 decade ago

    I always *tried* feeding my ratties just lab blocks, but they never ate them :: lol :: .. I guess I'd get sick of eating a "nutritionally complete" block of grossness every day too, haha! =^_^=

    What I ended up doing was getting the seed and pellet mix of food, and then supplementing their diet with plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, and a little of whatever we were eating for dinner. (Well, ok, the last bit I only did for my most recent rat, may she rest in peace...)

    As far as results ~ when I was attempting to just give the lab blocks, my rats were pretty unhappy. Like, they didn't want to be petted, and were kind of ... I guess the right term would really be grumpy. Once I switched to foods they liked, and they were eating well every day (in addition to lots of out-of-cage play time!) they were super happy and content.

    In terms of a schedule - not really (?)... Each of my rats had one dish for their dry food, and then a dish of their fresh food (that got changed every day). I would fill up the dry food dish once in the morning, and they ate about 1/4 to 1/2 c of dry food per day. The other dish I would fill up whenever I had a few extra scraps of something fresh, so about 3x a day I would put in a little something fresh. Not really on a schedule though.

    They liked taking their food from the dish and hiding it in their "house" though (their little hidey hole area inside the cage), so it's hard to say exactly how much they were eating each day. Sometimes I would clean out the cage and there would be SO much food stashed away, I was amazed that they were still alive :p ... other times there would be hardly nothing hidden. Rats are funny like that!

    My main guiding principle was ~ rats are omnivores. In the "wild," they will eat pretty much whatever they like and believe is delicious. There are only a couple of foods you need to avoid with them, but otherwise they're very versatile, and, just like humans, each rat has it's unique preferences. So what is great for one rat may not work for YOUR ratties. Take your time, and try something different each day, and pay attention to your rat's reaction/s: do they sniff it and leave it, do they bolt away from it and try to bury it, do they immediately eat it, do they hide it in a special place in their cage to nibble a little each day~? After a few months you should have a good idea of what your own rat likes and doesn't like, and can use that as a springboard for rounding out their diet.

    Hope that helps! =^_^=

  • Aiden
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I feed my rats mainly a seed mixture, along with fruits, veggies, cheese, and some meats. I don't feed them blocks, but they are good for their teeth. Though, the blocks are so bland, you should combine blocks with another seed mixture. My rats are healthy and have shown no bad signs from having that diet. I keep the seed mixture in the cage all day, but I remove other uneaten snacks at the end of the day. My four boy rats finish a cup of food usually in 3-4 days.

    Source(s): rat owner! :3
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Yes you can feed the rats in your house but dont let them bite your fingers that will hurt a lot.

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  • 1 decade ago

    mine get lab blocks. and they will sometimes get a bowl of veg, meat, dog biscuits ect

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