? asked in PetsRodents · 7 years ago

What can rats eat and not eat?

Could they eat …


Raw Mr. Noodle?

Little pieces of bread?

Fishy crackers?

Also please tell me things they definitely shouldn't eat, or some other foods that they really like :) thanks!

7 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    A list of foods that are not recommended or could cause harm to your rat

    raw dry beans or peanuts—contains antinutrients 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

    wild insects—can carry internal parasites and diseases

    raw bulk tofu—can contain bacteria; packaged raw tofu is safe

    orange juice—forbidden for male rats only, 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. Pieces of the orange fruit are okay if you wash the orange-skin oil off of it after peeling it.

    Foods to feed with caution

    carbonated beverages—rats can’t burp (but they can fart!)

    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. Other foods high in nitrates include beets, celery, eggplant, lettuce, cucumber, radishes, spinach, collards and turnip greens.

    Spoiled or moldy food can contain deadly toxins. Never give nuts, grains, vegies or other food that looks or smells odd or spoiled. Don’t buy too much food ahead. Molds can grow even in sealed plastic bags. When cutting up veggies, cut off the dried part that has been exposed from previous cutting and throw it away. If you see mold growing on a food, throw the whole thing away. Do not attempt to cut away the moldy section. Invisible mold filaments penetrate deep into the food.

    Foods with special properties

    These foods have some antibiotic properties: banana, prunes/plums, garlic, tea, eggplant, raspberries, onion, mustard.

    These foods may have some anti-virus properties: cranberries, prunes/plums, strawberries, onion.

    These foods are good for arthritis: clove, dates, ginger, garlic.

    Taken from Debbie D's Rat Health Food. http://ratfanclub.org/diet.html

    An excellent recommendation from a past member:

    No added sugar,

    No added salt,

    None, or very limited amount (if it can't be avoided) of additives, preservatives and colourants.

    No pips/seeds (or pits as you seem to call them )

    Nothing greasy or fatty

    No chocolate

    No caffein of any sort

    No sweets/candy

    My personal rule when feeding rats: low salt, very low sugar, low protein and low fat.

    Quinoa is a super grain with extremely good properties, it is an almost complete protein derived from a plant.

    Berries are an excellent source of antioxidant, amla being the absolute best. (indian gooseberries) Blackberries, raspberries, goji berries, cranberries (no sugar!) blueberries make excellent treats for rats.

    Blueberries were shown to improve the memory in elderly rats, in a study made 12 years ago.

    Pomegranate seeds are high in antioxidants as well.

    Sweet potato is high in antioxidant and rats love it. Must be cooked.

    Flax Seeds! It's not a grain but it sure packs a lot of nutrients. It's high in the b vitamins as well as rich in the omega 3 fatty acids. It's also low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fat and fibre. If you are looking for a dietary supplement, ground up some flax seeds for your rats. It contains phytoestrogens like the soybean so it might not be something you want for your spayed rats. But definitely a good supplement for your intact girls.

    Kale. It's packed full of nutrients as well antioxidant. It boosts the immune system. In humans it helps enhance the defence against viruses, bacteria and toxins. A study shows kale to improve coronary artery disease risk factors. It lowers the bad cholesterol while raising the good.

    Source(s): It may be long, but PLEASE read! Rat Owner. :) go to http://www.ratshackforum.com/ for more help with rats!
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  • Sheena
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    oh no, Julia, they shouldn't have tea.

    a lot of people don't realise this, but tea is very high in fluoride, which rats should not have. likewise, if it's in your mains water (check with the council) then you will need to provide bottled water for the rats.

    otherwise, a lot of that list is good. although a lot of those foods aren't actually bad, but originates from a specific list. but it won't do any harm to stick to those guidelines at all.

    I really recommend getting a copy of the Scuttling Gourmet.

    it's an excellent book on rat nutrition, that goes really in depth, advises on how to feed during different life stages and medical conditions, and also features a lot of different great recipes for rats.

    it's also got a really good list of foods that are good for rats and foods that should be avoided. I keep mine in my bag, so when I'm going through the reduced veg at the supermarket, I can check new foods against the list.


    Denise, garlic is BRILLIANT for rats. it really boosts their immune system. my rats have garlic powder in their dry mix, and they get a sliced clove of garlic in their fresh food daily.

    this picture cracks me up, because it's while Keekee was still getting used to eating garlic, so she made a funny face every time she got a piece in her mouth.

    rats are very intelligent, and if they smell a food on another healthy rat, they'll be more likely to eat it.


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  • 4 years ago

    If the poison has not digested entirely from the rat, the cat can get sick. It depends on the amount left in the rat's stomach after ingestion, and how much is in the rat's system. A cat will likely not die, but can be made sick, depending on the age/health of the cat.

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  • Denise
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    All well and done but I will sum it up for you rats can pretty much eat what humans eat but you should feed onions, chocolate, salt, bread, garlic,ice berg Lettus, cabbage, no peanut butter they can choke. No spicy foods, no greasy foods.Foods they can eat: fruit, veggies, Romain Lettus not ice berg Lettus. Low sugar cereals, pasta noodles raw or cooked. Dog bones I give my ratties dog bone as a treat. Mix veggies is good. Don't give a lot of food as your ratties will get fat. Also give bottled water as tap water isn't good for them it has floride in the water.

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  • Cheese isn't that good for them and neither is any food with fatty things.

    my rats loved raw pasta, popcorn(stove popped, no butter, salt, or anything) Microwave popcorn is bad for them. bell peppers, plain raw cheerios and other cereals like that etc.

    Bread turns into sugar which could make them gain weight (rats gain weight easily) but im sure a few little pieces should be fine. Some name brand rat foods arent actually good for them like they say they are! the artifical coloring and things on the food isnt good for them and could actually hurt them and make them sick.

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  • 7 years ago

    The rats that lived in this house when we bought it ate anything & everything, including parts of the damn house!!!!! Luckily they were also partial to rat poison so now we no longer have rats!

    I think if you're thinking of keeping rats as pets it would be best to buy a commercial rat pellet as they provide a balanced diet without adding stuff they don't need.

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Very good question, hopefully we get some good answers

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