Healthy Diet for Rats

Rats require:

A healthy and balanced diet that meets any nutritional need they have

Most commercial pellets are packed with nutrients and roughage to keep your rats full and healthy. However, avoid overfeeding them. An obese rat is prone to health problems.

Variety

Rats may get fed up with the same type of food. Offer them with treats and occasional variations such as fruits and vegetables. Rats are omnivores, it’s fine to feed them either plant-based or meat products as long as they’re not toxic to them. Cooked eggs and seeds can also be part of their daily rations.

Clean and fresh drinking water

As with all animals, rats also require constant hydration. Keep their drinking water fresh by supplying clean water every day. Make sure your rats are never thirsty.

Non-stale and fresh food twice a day.

Replace uneaten food with new ones. Remember to avoid overfeeding them.

Eating their own feces

Don’t panic when you see your pet rat eating their newly excreted feces. It’s totally natural and this allows them to absorb the necessary nutrients and minerals. Preventing them from doing so may lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Foods placed in open bowls

Heavy and shallow ceramic bowls are preferable to avoid tipping over.  Also, metal bowls produce ultrasonic waves, which can disturb their sense of hearing. Placing food in open bowls allows your pet rats to carry their food or handle it with ease.

Companionship for Rats

Rats require:

Companionship

Rats are social animals. They can easily get lonely if they live alone. Rats are nocturnal, and they are most active during the night. Even if pet rats have human companionship, they’ll be alone once humans sleep. Rats need the companionship of other rats.

If they have been left alone for a long period of time, abnormal behaviors may arise.

Dominance

If two unfamiliar adult rats are introduced and placed in the same cage, aggression may arise. Once they establish a dominance hierarchy, the levels of aggression may drop. Take note that fighting between rats who live in the same cage is a rare occurrence.

Protection from Predators

Rats are often the prey in the animal food chain. It is imperative that they have protection from any sound, sight, or smells of predator species – cats, dogs, birds, ferrets, etc.

Proper Handling

Gentle contact on a regular basis allows rats to bond with their humans. Give them treats as often as possible to reward them for their company. With good handling, rats can also trust their humans enough to be trained. Avoid handing them into other unfamiliar people since this will stress them out. Do remember also that rats are nocturnal; it is best if they are handled when they are awake.