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Favorite Pet Rat Treats

Updated on February 9, 2012

Favorite Treats for Pet Rats and Other Rodents

Meet my pet rat, Rascal!

Rascal and our other rats LOVE food. Below I've listed some of our favorite treats. Some are healthy, every-day treats and some are for eating once in a while. Some may even extend the life of your pet rat! (You can read about those below.)

Vote for your favorite treats or find great treat ideas for your pet rat. Then, suggest your own favorite pet rat treat. What do YOU think should be on this list and why? If you would like, grab the pet rat treats list as an RSS feed or widget for your own blog or Squidoo lens.

Try Some of These Favorites - for rats and other small pets

Can Soy Prevent Mammary Tumors? - and how to add soy to your rat's diet

Soy Products
Soy Products

According to rat experts, soy products help prevent mammary tumors and decrease pain perception.

Feed your rat lab blocks with soy protein or add it as a daily treat:

  • MISO - spoon a little into a treat bowl
  • EDAMAME - my rat Rascal and my two love birds LOVE edamame
  • SOY POWDER - make into a paste with water and spread on a favorite treat
  • SOY MILK - clip a ceramic dish onto the side on the cage and fill with some unflavored soy milk each day (vanilla and chocolate soy milk have a lot of extra sugar)

I can't guarantee that a rat won't develop mammary tumors by eating soy every day but from what I've read it sure seems like it can help.


Rat Fan "Rat Health Food" "Pet Rat Care--Mammary Tumors" "Double Your Pet Rat's Life Span"

What Is Inositol? - the life-extending component of brown rice and how to add it to your rat's diet

Brown Rice
Brown Rice

Inositol is a component found in high-fiber foods such as brown rice, wheat bran, and sesame seed that may be effective in extending the life of rats by helping prevent cancer and by promoting better health.

To add Inositol to your rat's diet:

  • Cook some brown rice and spoon a small bit into your rat's food or treat dish. Eat the rest or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Give your rat a small hunk of whole-grain bread. No need for a dish, they'll snatch it and run!
  • Buy powdered Inositol at your local health food store and sprinkle it in your rat's water. It reportedly has a sweet taste that rats love.

Rats need iron to absorb this mineral so make sure they're getting enough iron in their daily feed or supplements. As always, I cannot guarantee these findings are true, but the info seems legit to me!

SOURCES: "Double Your Pet Rat's Life Span" "Recent Discovery By Cancer Researchers Can Double the Life Expectancy of You Pet Rat's Life Span"

American Cancer Society "Inositol Hexaphosphate"

It's easy to made homemade rat treats. I found this one at

If you want to make smaller treats (for smaller rodents) reduce the baking time by a few minutes.

Tools Needed

large mixing bowl

greased cookie sheet

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: a lot


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup dried mixed fruit (non citrus) chopped into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup apple juice (or other non citrus fruit juice)


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 250 F (120 C).
  2. 2. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. 3. Shape mixture into small (1/2-inch) balls.
  4. 4. Place balls on greased cookie sheet.
  5. 5. Bake 45 minutes.
  6. 6. Let treat balls cool completely. They should be nice and crunchy once cool.
  7. Store in a sealed bag or container in a cool dry place.
4 stars from 1 rating of Baked Dried Fruit Treats

Don't Give THESE Foods to Your Rat!

foods toxic and unhealthy to pet rats

Some foods your should never give rats under any circumstances. While safe for humans these foods can be harmful, toxic, or even deadly for birds. Others are okay in very small amounts but should not be fed more than once or twice a week.

This list is not exclusive, but keep your rats away from these common foods:

  • Alcohol

    Some curious pets like to drink out of glasses--keep wine and other alcoholic beverages inaccessible. Alcohol depresses organ systems and can cause fatalities.

  • Bananas, green only

    Green bananas inhibit starch-digesting enzymes.

  • Beans, raw or dry

    Share well-cooked beans with your rat but never uncooked or dry beans. These contain hemaglutin, which is very toxic, anti-nutrients that destroy vitamin A and enzymes needed to digest protein and starches. This causes clumping of red blood cells.

  • Caffeine

    Keep caffeinated beverages such as soda and tea out of rat reach. Consumption can lead to cardiac malfunction, fast heartbeat, arrhythmia, and cardiac arrest.

  • Chocolate

    Chocolate act like a poison to rats causing first foaming at the mouth (rat's can't regurgitate) and diarrhea and then seizures and death.

  • Citrus, skin and juice only

    D-limonene, a coumpound in citrus skin that also contaminates the juice during squeezing, can cause kidney damage and kidney cancer in male rats. Clean citrus fruit after peeling it to remove remaining oil.

Photographic Print">Amendola, Elise

Buy at

Carbonated beveragesRat's can't burp!Corn, dried onlyDried corn can contain high levels of fungal contaminates shown to cause liver cancer.Fatty meats and foodsContinuous excessive fat consumption can cause at best oily fur and at worst diarrhea, fatty liver disease, and death. Excess fat also interferes nutrient absorption including calcium..Insects, wildPet rats generally only get a hold of wild bugs if the bugs get inside the house. Wild insects may carry internal parasites and diseases.Potato eyes, skin, and green potatoPlants in the nightshade family have healthy fruits but toxic leaves and stems. Potatoes, as part of this family, are safe unless green appears near the skin. Always keep your rat from accessing potato eyes, potato skin, or potato that is green or located near this green color, as they contain the toxin solanine.Sweet potato, rawRaw sweet potato contains compounds that form cyanide in the stomach.Spoiled produceSpoiled produce, or even produce and other foods not visibly spoiled but still old, contain deadly toxins and can have unseen bacteria and mold spores, causing digestive upset and possibly death.Sticky foodsThese can cause choking.Water, fluorinated and/or chlorinatedFluorine can cause brain damage in rats, and chlorine is also toxic. Only use filtered tap water or non-fluorinated bottled water.

Reader Tips and Thoughts

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    • profile image

      glutenallergy 6 years ago

      Our rats just adore cherry tomatoes. I love how they gently take them from me when I offer them. As for water, I was unaware of needing to use filtered water. We will do that from now on.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I'm finding your lenses on pet rat care to be very helpful. We love our little guy so much and any tips for extending his life and keeping him happy are most welcome.

    • Didijudy profile image

      Didijudy 6 years ago from Canada

      They are cute and you don't have to walk them everyday!! Great lens!!!

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 7 years ago

      Pet rats are the best! Lensrolled to my pet rat lenses.

    • profile image

      GetSillyProduct 7 years ago

      When I had my second pet rat, there was a health food shop down in the town where I lived and I used to get my rats food exclusively from there. It had everything I needed, from staples like various nuts and seeds to the more yummy treats like dry fruit and soy yoghurt covered banana pieces.

    • profile image

      BarbaraHeidenreich 7 years ago

      Thanks for the comment on my lens : ) I must admit I am not too active on squidoo but wanted share a link to a rat training clip from some of my zoo animal training consulting. I thought you might appreciate it.

    • Jayszeman profile image

      Jayszeman 7 years ago

      Hey, that's my hand in the picture.

    • GoodinDevelopme profile image

      GoodinDevelopme 7 years ago

      My sister had a pet rat named Bubonic (Bouy for short) when we were kids. He was actually really affectionate. Of all our rodents: hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, et cetera, he was definitely the best. Enjoyed your lens, was fun.

    • QuirkySue profile image

      QuirkySue 7 years ago

      I had a pet rat when I was a kid. It sure sounds like yours is spoiled rotten!

    • mini cheong profile image

      mini cheong 7 years ago

      LOL, Rats are so awesome :D