As any rat owner will tell you, rats are very intelligent and curious creatures. Part of satisfying that curious streak is to provide an interesting and diverse range of food, and to make your rat have to forage in order to get it.
Rats should be fed twice a day, and any food uneaten from the previous feed should be removed. A mainstay of your rat’s daily diet should be a commercial pelleted rat food – take care not to use foods designed for other small furries as rats need lots more protein than other species and might be deficient if not fed a proper rat diet.
Variety is key for rats, so supplementing their basic diet with small amounts of fruit, vegetables, hard-boiled egg, grains and seeds can be a great way to enrich them. This should be done in moderation however, to prevent obesity issues. This is especially true for high fat foods, which rats love. Although variety is important, new foods should be added to your rat’s repertoire slowly, to avoid digestive upsets and give time for your rat to trust a new food.
Although, as omnivores, rats can eat many types of food, some foods you should avoid include:
Scatter feeding, putting the food around their cage for them to find, is a great way to stimulate your rats, making them work for their food. It can be more difficult to check how much they are eating, so careful examination of what remains at the next feed is important.
All rats need access to fresh, clean drinking water continuously. If you have multiple rats, it is best to have multiple drinking bottles, to avoid competition and make sure if one fails to work, there is still water access.