ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tips on How to Feed and House Your Pet Rat

Updated on October 9, 2012

Rat Husbandry: How to Care for Your Rat

If you are considering getting a pet rat, you should know the proper way to house and feed your rat. This will help optimize their health and ultimately their lifespan. Continue reading to learn some of my tips on how to feed and house your rat. I am also open to other suggestions from rat owners!

My rat, Nibblet.
My rat, Nibblet. | Source

How to Feed Your Rat

You should provide your rat with a high quality rat food. I recommend a pellet over a seed mix. My personal preference is Regal Rat by Oxbow. Pellets are nutritionally complete, meaning that they include everything that your rat needs to be healthy. Seed mixes claim to be nutritionally complete but you must consider that your rat may not eat certain parts of the mix.

Some may frown at the thought of feeding their rat only pellets. Seems too boring and bland and without variety. Don't fret, rats can enjoy treats also. One popular treat are yogurt drops. They also love fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. My rat so far enjoys peanuts in the shell, apple, banana, and rice. It certainly can be tempting to feed them table scraps as well, and I must admit that I am guilty of doing so. Just don't overdo it on the table scraps if you do decide to be so generous to your rat.

You can't forget about water! Of course rats need plenty of water, but how should you offer it? I feed my own rat with a water bottle, but some rats will drink out of bowls. If you chose a water bottle, make sure to get a high quality one that doesn't leak. If you chose a bowl, pick one that is heavy enough that they can't tip it over and spill it.

How to House Your Rat

Your rat will need a place to live that is large enough. Rats need plenty of room to explore and hide and do all of their business. So make sure you select a cage for your rat that is sufficient in size. Make sure you provide your rat with plenty of hiding places, shelves to climb, ladders, hammocks, tubes, toys, etc. I would recommend purchasing items made of plastic or non-porous materials. You can also use cardboard boxes, but dispose of them regularly as they will become soiled. I like to make my rat shelves and lofts out of cardboard.

The type of bedding or substrate you put in your rat's environment is very important. It is not recommended that you use wood shavings, as they can cause upper respiratory problems for your rat. Instead, select a recycled paper bedding. I recommend Carefresh.

Make sure your rats have plenty of fun in their new home with toys. Rats enjoy chewing so choose something that they can nibble on for a while. One good idea for a homemade toy is to stuff a toilet paper roll with treats and tissue paper and close off both ends. Your rat will have to work for their reward and be entertained for a little while anyways.

Have Fun With Your Rat!

Don't forget to play with your rat outside of their new cage regularly. Always supervise them closely when you take them out to play. And don't forget to have fun with your rat! They are very intelligent and gentle pets. Enjoy!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • annstaub profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Round Rock, TX

      I own one rat and have cared for many as a veterinary technician in an animal hospital. 30 is quite an extreme number! For that many, you would probably need lots of very large cages or an entire room.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi. Umm did you have any experience with rats? Did you ever keep any as pets? What size cage should I buy for 30 Rats?

    • annstaub profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Round Rock, TX

      Teri - I also had hamsters as a kid. I know many people aren't so sure about them as pets, but compared to hamsters they are so much better! I currently own my first rat and have cared for many in a hospital setting. They are actually rather intelligent. When I allow mine to come out to play, she doesn't try to run away and stays nearby me. Thanks for reading!

    • TeriSilver profile image

      Teri Silver 

      6 years ago from The Buckeye State

      I had hamsters when I was a kid ... no tails, and that was OK. Rats ... not so sure, maybe it's the word "rat." We're in the country so we get an occasional field mouse in our house; they are small and rather cute (but not in my house, thank you). I try to "shoo" them outside if at all possible, but with 4 cats on patrol in our place, a mouse just becomes another play toy to them!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)