> Rat Diets


Essentially, rats can eat just about anything we can, but there are foods they should never have. See the Do Not Feed List below.

What do I feed?

My rats' staple diet is Harlan Lab blocks. I also feed a grain mixture as a "side dish." This mixture consists of: rolled oats, millet, brown rice, Hodgson Mills veggie pasta, Wellness Super5 Mix Just for Seniors, (protein 18%, fat 10%) and Total cereal.

Occasionally I offer them tiny pieces of fish, chicken and eggs that I eat. Plus they get a variety of vegetables. The veggies include, but are not limited to: frozen or cooked veggie mix of peas, corn and green beans, raw broccoli, kale, red leaf or romaine lettuce, cooked squashes, sweet potatoes, zuchinni and more. They also love apples and pears (no seeds), bananas and blueberries.


Do NOT feed list.

To make a comprehensive list of everything a rat could eat would take forever. So here is a list of foods they can NOT eat without problems arising.


Apple seeds - Apple seeds contain a small amount of cyanide.
Green bananas - Inhibit starch digestion
Mango - Contains d-limonene which can cause kidney cancer in male rats
Oranges - The white part on the peelings and outer layer of a peeled orange is harmful to male rats. It seems to be ok for females, but probably best to just stay away from citrus fruits in general.
Orange juice - Contains d-limonene which can cause kidney cancer in male rats


Raw brussel sprouts - Fine after cooking, though
Green potato skin and eyes
Raw artichokes - Inhibit protein digestion
Raw onion - Can lead to anemia and an upset stomach
Raw red cabbage - Fine after cooking
Raw sweet potato - Fine after cooking
Rhubarb - High levels of oxalates which bind up calcium


Blue cheese - Contains a mold that is toxic to rats
Licorice - Contains a suspected neurotoxin
Raw bulk tofu - Packaged tofu is ok for eating
*Raw* dry beans or peanuts - Peanuts you buy in a store are almost always roasted. Just make sure. Wipe or rinse off the salt. Beans need to be cooked first before giving to rats.
Raw hide - Difficult to digest and might cause blockages
Sweet feed (For horses) - There's just too much corn and molasses in this.
Wild insects

For additional information, consult the Poisonous Plants for Small Pets list.



More about diets will be coming