If you’re like us then you love to give your rats healthy and nutritious treats, but knowing what is suitable isn’t always easy. So we’ve created a list of foods that aren’t suitable for rats and foods that you should never feed rats.
If you’re interested in foods that can be given in moderation as well as some foods that are commonly asked about which are actually fine for rats then check out our post – Can Rats Eat Grapes? Plus 25 More Foods Classified.
Foods NOT SUITABLE For Rats:
We define foods as not being suitable for rats due to a few reasons… Firstly if the food is too difficult to chew and could pose a choking hazard, secondly if there are a wide variety of sub-foods that have unclear effects on rats and third if a food has properties that cause gastric issues such as loose stools or diarrhea.
RAW RED CABBAGE:
Red cabbage is high in thiamine destroying nutrients, thiamine is a key component in vitamin B which is a critical vitamin for all living mammals.
Leeks are very difficult to chew for rats since they break down into stringer sub-sections easily. This can make leeks a potential choking hazard, and means they're generally not suitable for rats.
This is an item that will and has caused great debate and contention, this is because certain mushrooms when cooked are fine for rats... However in our opinion there's far too many types of mushrooms out there to be able to definitively say mushrooms are fine.
Not all mushrooms are known to be safe for rats, so we're keeping this in our not suitable list for now. However, if you want to give your rats regular cooked white cap mushrooms then this should be fine.
Artichokes inhibit digestion of protein which can cause deficiency. Protein is vital for the healthy renewal of cells, which in high cancer risk rats is vitally important.
Green / Unripe Banana is often given to rats as it’s harder than the ripe version which can cause possible choking, however raw bananas can inhibit starch digestion which for rats is particularly worrying as they have diets high in carbohydrates.
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Foods To NEVER Feed Rats:
We define foods as not being suitable for rats due to a few reasons… Firstly if the food is too difficult to chew and could pose a choking hazard, secondly if there are a wide variety of sub-foods that have unclear effects on rats and third if a food has properties that may be outright harmful in excess.
Foods you should never feed rats include foods that cause poisoning, choking or have effects that may cause long lasting issues such as neurological damage such as raw and green potatoes.
RAW SWEET POTATO:
Raw sweet potatoes contain cyanide, however cooked sweet potato doesn’t. Sweet potato is a great low-gi food that can stave off diabetes when replacing other higher-gi foods.
Green potato skins are bad for most animals as they contain small trace amounts of cyanide, additionally modern agriculture techniques involve the spraying of many pesticides, cooking potatoes removes most of these horrible, cancer causing chemicals. However cut away any green bits.
Chilies are an extreme gastric irritant, many rat owners have reported their rats initially enjoying chili, until the heat kicks in and then we've heard stories about rats having respiratory distress and rubbing the heat and spice from the chilies into their eyes causing further issues.
If you feed your rats any apple, make sure there’s no seeds inside. They are high in the poison cyanide, which is fatal in rats even in small doses that people could survive.
Rats can’t burp, so carbonated drinks are a bad idea generally.
Peanut butter is sticky, stodgy and wet… This forms a perfect choking hazard in rats, which we explained earlier in the post is a bad thing as rats do not have the ability to vomit and clear any obstructions.
Citrus Juice isn't suitable for Male Rats specifically... D-Limonene from Citrus Skin gets into the Juice which reacts poorly with a special protein male rats have. This can cause kidney cancer in the long-run and immediate kidney damage.
Mango is alike Citrus Juice in the fact that it also contains D-Limonene. So it's off the menu for Male Rats, but is perfectly fine to give to Females.
If you’ve ever fed any of these to your rats by accident, don’t worry if they’re not unwell, just remember that these foods should either be limited or strictly off limits in future.
Finding out which foods are safe for rats is a learning process, and we’ll try to update this resource as often as possible!If you think we’ve missed anything, please let us know in the comments so we can update the list.