Rats are omnivores, so they need both meat and vegetables in their diet. A good quality, complete dry mixture that provides essential nutrients should form the basis of your rat’s diet.
There are many rat complete mixes available to purchase. However, finding one that meets their exact requirements is tricky. You may wish to make your own rat food to make sure they have a well-balanced, healthy diet that will meet their needs throughout their lives.
It’s important your rats have access to daily, fresh, clean water. Ideally, provide this in two bottles at each end of the cage in case one breaks.
Rats are foragers and enjoy searching their cage looking for food. Consider scattering some of their food around the enclosure rather than feeding in a bowl. Also split their daily feed allowance between early morning and early evening, this is when they are most active and foraging.
Your rats will also enjoy a few tasty treats a few times a week. These can be hidden in their cage or used for hand feeding time.
If you would like to have a go at making a healthy mix for your pet rats, below is a basic recipe that will suit rats of all ages. Once you’ve made your mix, store it in a suitable container with an airtight lid. Note down the date you made the mix, and aim to use it within three months.
6 scoops rabbit/rat muesli
1⁄2 scoop dog kibble or rat nuggets
Handful of healthy treats e.g., seeds/nuts, dried fruit, banana chips, dog biscuits, dried noodles
3 scoops healthy, low salt/sugar breakfast cereal or other grains
1⁄2 scoop uncooked wholemeal pasta