Rat Munchies: Healthy Treats for Pet Rats

Two of my girls eating yogurt.
Two of my girls eating yogurt.

Do you have a pet rat? Thinking about getting one? Know someone who has one? Either way, in any sense, rats will enjoy many different treats and foods, but as always, there are some better than others.

First off treats should never encompass more than 10% of a rat's diet because most treats are fatty, which can cause health concerns if the number of treats fed to a rat is extremely excessive.

And, never feed your rat chocolate, caffeine, or dairy (in the form of cheese, milk, or ice cream).

You want to stick to healthier treats like dried fruits, plain yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, and yogurt treats.

You always want to watch how much and how often you give rats certain treats. As, seeds are fatty for rats, and fresh produce can cause diarrhea. Yogurt, fresh or dried, can, also, affect a rat's stomach causes diarrhea.

My favorite place to find rat treats, is at the grocery store. In the baby food isle and in the organic food section. In both sections you can find organically dried fruits, usually in mixtures such as cranberries and apples.

Petstores supply decent treats for rats. Kaytee makes ‘Healthy Bits,' crunchy treat balls composed of seeds, nuts, millet, and oats. Kaytee, also, creats a line of ‘Healthy Toppings' in flavors such as papaya, banana, and carrots, Yogurt treats such as Kaytee's ‘Yogurt Dips' and Nutriphase's ‘Yogurt Drops' can be fed to rats sparingly.

On occasion, I will buy plain yogurt for my girls. Putting just a tablespoon or so in bowl and letting them have at it. It's truly a treat for them, as they seldom get any.

Fresh fruits and veggies:

Strawberries

Blueberries

Raspberries

Prunes

Plums

Melon

Apples

Applesauce

Bananas

Grapes

Celery

Broccoli

Squash

Cucumber

Zucchini

Carrots

Sweet Potatoes

Peas

Beans

  • Horse Chestnut
  • Laurel leaves
  • Oak leaves
  • Onions
  • Privet
  • Rabbit Mix (containing antibiotic ingredients)
  • Ragwort
  • Raw Kidney Beans
  • Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Speedwell
  • Sweets
  • Toadflax
  • Toffee

Avoid the Following Foods

  • Bindweed
  • Bluebells
  • Bulbs
  • Buttercups
  • Chocolate
  • Clematis
  • Crocus
  • Deadly Nightshade
  • Elder
  • Evergreen Plants
  • Garlic
  • Hemlock
  • Henbane

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Comments 139 comments

READ 8 months ago

BE CAREFUL WITH MANGOS AND ONLY FEED THEM DRIED OUT MANGO IS KNOWN TO CAUSE KIDNEY CANCER IN RATS

MAKE SURE TO READ: https://pethelpful.com/rodents/Rat-Nutritional-Inf... BEFORE FEEDING YOUR RAT


Danielle 4 years ago

Are grape leaves ok for rats?


Becky 4 years ago

I love the male rats but before I had my last one neutered, he bit my granddaughters arm. Not sure why. He was just laying on the couch with her


erynl33 4 years ago

Hi. So I got 2 boys from 2 diff pet stores about a month ago...they clicked and became rly good friends. i was researching sneezing too much and got scared when one sneezed (the wiped his face) and made a slight chattering noise, and i brought him back to the petstore and told them they needed to deal with this and take him to the vet bc they sold me a sick animal. my other boy who is fine was xtra depressed while he was gone for about a week. went to the vet, got SMP TMZ i think its calls. when i got him home he was still doing the same thing...brought him back and told them their prescritpion wasn't working, take him back to the vet. so about 4 days later i got him back, he had a DOXYCILIAN prescription. still seems to be sneezing crazily and now im noticing my other one is sneezing (not as much as my other one) do you think this could be caused by the stresss of being apart back and forth twice? also there is a tiny dot of poly on both their noses, is this normal in small amounts?


thekath 4 years ago

rats can eat dairy. they shouldn't eat too much cheese or milk or ice cream because they are high in fat, but a tiny bit can be a yummy treat every once in a while. Also, yogurt is dairy, so please be sure to keep that in consideration when you say rats should not be fed dairy.


Hannah 5 years ago

I found this page trying to figure out if it's safe for rats to have milk. This page that you put up says it isn't, but most others say it is. Why do you think that rats shouldn't drink milk or eat dairy products?


kitkatkittykat5000 5 years ago

da rat luvr, I agree mostly with Breezy, but you do know that you can't get rats from pet stores right?


Breezy 5 years ago

@Tara - I wouldn't suggest peanut butter as it is very thick and tends to be oily, both of which are bad for rats. Maybe in small quantities.

@Da Rat Luvr - You'd have to talk to a doctor about him being allergic, and as for the basement, you'd need to consider factors such as temperature, humidity, light, etc.

@Cozz - Rats have different preferences just like humans. Grapes are round and can be hard to bite into, try cutting them or breaking them for the rats. Your rats may just not like them. Also, some types of grapes are more acidic then others. I do not believe it is the color.

@Shawn - Blueberries should not be a regular part of his diet as they are fattier then rat food/blocks and are a treat, he may lose interest if they are available for too long.

@Kaela - It's all based on preference. Females tend to be a bit more emotional/volatile/reactive, probably due to hormones. They are also more likely to fight with other females. Males have rather large balls for such small animals, and some people do not like this. They tend to be a bit more friendly though. My little rat Breezy(a dumbo dwarf rat, apparently pedigree or something) is a guy, and so have almost all of my rats been, but that's just my personal preference. The females tend to take longer to adjust to me/my house and they tend to build up worse grudges or opinions that last longer then the males do. Females do tend to be a bit more playful, at least they did to me.


Kaela 5 years ago

My question is are females better or are males?


Shawn 5 years ago

I just got a pet rat after hamsters and he's so much fun and he really likes blueberrys could that be a normal part of his diet?


Da rat luvr 5 years ago

I was also wondering if you knew any ways to pursued my parents if my brother isn't allergic to rats because some people in the family won't come if we get rats could we bring it into the basement for a short amount of time and not let them know about it?


Cozz 5 years ago

Hi! I have two boy rats I bought from a pet shop. My last lot of rats came from this pet shop and they lived long happy lives that was 3 years ago. I got my two boys and within 3 days try were snuffling with a snotty nose yet no discharge and sneezing. Took them to the vet now they have liquid antibiotics which I inject into bread and give it a fine coat of peanut butter (no choking) they are doing a lot better. :) and they are crazy for broccoli after tonights play session I rewarded them with a piece each. I clean my rats cage daily and they have (like my Indian ringneck Jake) a decent small amount of rat food and a supply of fresh veg like tomatoes, broccoli cauliflower apples grapes celery carrots capsicum green beans and corn. Although they never touch the grapes... Is that weird? They used to lick the green ones and Munch into them but here there are only seeded green ones so we bought red seedless instead. Is it the colour?


Da rat luvr 5 years ago

So I've been trying to get my parents to let me get a rat and I've been doing TONS of research looked at rats at petco and petsmart and I've found a good rat food and I know good rat treats I know what toys and what bedding to put in their cage and know how to litter box train them but my brother is allergic to dogs and cats what's the chance he'll be allergic to rats?


Tara 5 years ago

We just got two males rats! Is a peanut butter a safe treat for them? We're thinking about putting a small amount on cherrios or some plain ceral?? Thanks


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 5 years ago from Georgia Author

As a treat unsalted sunflower seeds are fine.


Pinkpony 5 years ago

Can I give my rat sunflower seeds if they are unsalted?


rexy 101 5 years ago

ur ideas have really helped i used the pet treats and now she does tricks!!!


antoinette 5 years ago

There's nothing wrong with feeding a rat chocolate as long as it's only a very small amount. In fact a little bit can have health benefits. 2 of my rats had a recurring respiratory problem, but after feeding them one small chocolate drop a day (the kind you decorate cakes with) they've were much better and they didn't get fat.

Garlic is also fine in small amounts and has health benefits (if they'll eat them, I've not had a rat that will touch the stuff!)

Sweet potato is on the list of good foods here, but people should note that raw sweet potato is not good for rats.

There are also a few common foods that have been missed out on the 'avoid' list, like raw red cabbage, raw brussel sprouts, green bananas and rhubarb. Peanut butter is also best avoided as there is a risk of a rat choking on it.


Plink/Sweetpea 5 years ago

Hi,

I read on various websites that garlic can be good for rats...is this not true? Is there a form in which they can eat it?


Goldiegirlx2 5 years ago

Hi :)

I had pet rats as a teenager, an I got 3 boys 18 months ago to join my little family. I have 2 kids 5yr an 3yrs an they love our fur babies. One of the boys Eric passed on at the beginning of last year. An last week troy just snapped for some reason. He started bitting an drawing blood. He wouldn't let me put my hand in to feed or get his brother gandolf out. I ended up having to have him put down :( after he attacked my 3yr old when he tried to feed them a treat "to make troy happy" both of them love both my kids so I'm not sure what made him turn an neither did the vet. Any ideas?

I also have a female Lilly who is 8 months old they have had babies together last year an I kept a girl Hannah to keep Lilly company. But now not sure what to do about gandolf, do I get him a friend as he is now on his own an never been on his own or do I leave him on his own due to being 18months old an not wanting to stress him out??

Any ideas or thoughts would be great thanks :)


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