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Much like humans, rats need a healthy, balanced diet. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of misinformation out there and it can be tricky to choose the best food and know how much to give your rats.
Most pet shops stock a nugget food aimed at rats, but these are largely regarded in the community as very poor food for rats. Nutritionally, these nuggets are usually lacking, and they’re not very interesting for rats to eat. Some brands have even been linked to an increase in tumours in rats too, so be very careful and do your research if you really want to feed a nugget. If you really insist on a nugget based food, Science Selective is generally regarded as alright.
Rat Dry Mix Food
A shop bought mix or muesli is a popular option, and is much more interesting for your rat. Read the ingredients carefully and look out for low quality ingredients.
The most popular, for very good reason, is the complete mixes from Rat Rations. We buy our mixes from there regularly. Because we use a straits based mix, we also supplement with Daily Essentials and Calcivet.
Home-Made Rat Mix
Lots of rat keepers make up their own mix. This means you have lots of control over exactly what you feed your rats. You can adjust the mix to suit a range of ages, or any dietary requirements you have in the cage.
We’ll be covering making your own mix in more detail soon on Rattie Ratbags, but Isamu Rat has an excellent guide.
How much should I feed my rat?
The exact amount to feed differs from rat to rat. Start by offering 15g of food per rat and adjust as required. If they’re leaving food, cut back a little. Most owners settle somewhere 15 and 20g of food per rat.
How do I feed the rats?
You can offer food in a bowl, but this can encourage your rats to stash food, and isn’t very interesting for them.
Scatter feeding is excellent for rats. They’re natural foragers, so scattering the food around the cage and in the base substrate mimics their natural behaviour. This also prevents selective eating if you’re feeding a mix, as the rats will eat what they find when they find it.