Pet rats might be begging you constantly for your food, but should you actually give them human food? Is human food dangerous or toxic for rats?
Pet rats can eat most human food. The exceptions are junk food that is unhealthy to humans or any other food that an average person would not eat. There is also some specific food that is toxic to pet rats and that they should avoid at all costs.
But which human food specifically is or isn’t good for pet rats? Here’s everything you need to know, with helpful lists.
What Human Food Is Poisonous To Pet Rats?
Even though pet rats can eat quite a lot of human food, there are still a few that they should absolutely avoid! Especially if they’re toxic or poisonous.
Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of poisonous food for pet rats:
- Carbonated drinks
- Raw beans
- Cabbage and
- Raw potatoes
- Raw sweet potatoes
- Sugary Treats
- Junk Food
- Brussels sprouts
- Green bananas
- Poppy seeds
- Citrus fruits
- Green potato
- Raw peanuts
- Carbonated Drinks
And of course, any hygiene and nonedible products like soap, bath bombs, leather, and candles, are also toxic to pet rats.
Not only that but be sure to avoid high-fat food as well as sugary treats. And anything that is salty or prepared/fried in oil.
What Human Food Is Actually Good For Pet Rats?
Now for human food that pet rats can actually eat, you have several options! They might not be the most nutritious or a perfectly healthy pet rat diet but they’re good options to treat your pet rat now and then.
In general, most fruits and vegetables are safe (and a good addition to their diet).
Here’s a list of safe and good human food for pet rats:
- Low Sugar Baby Food
- Cooked Or Dried Pasta
- Eggs (great as an occasional treat!)
This is not an exhaustive list, but it covers most of the things that you might have around the house!
So if you’re feeling like giving your pet rat a treat, pick something from above.
Is It Healthy To Share Your Food With Your Pet Rat?
You can share your food with your pet rat (as long as it is safe as we talked about before) but I would not recommend sharing from the same bite.
This is a bit unhealthy for both you and your pet rat.
Your pet rat uses their tongue to clean their entire body (including their private areas!) so you’d be sharing a bit of his unclean drool when sharing food.
Not only that but you might have touched or eaten something before that is toxic to your pet rat. For example, just leaving some lipstick on your piece of food and your rat being exposed to it.
This is a safety hazard for your rat!
So in general I would recommend not sharing your food with your pet rat from your plate. And if you really want to share some safe human food, give them their own plate!
Do Rats Like Human Food?
Most rats like human food very much! They aren’t very picky eaters, so they’ll try to steal your food most of the time.
Anything from Pizza, cooked steaks, and even sandwiches is fair game to them.
This is why I highly recommend not leaving dirty plates around!
When you’re done with your meal, be sure to clean up your plate and put it in a place your pet rat can’t reach. Otherwise, they’ll be sure to try and “clean it” for you!
This is especially true if you let your pet rat out of your cage constantly or just like to have your pet rat free roam.
With that said, it can depend on the pet rat.
Some rats love a specific type of food, like spaghetti (watch the video below!) while others just love their fresh fruit and vegetables.
So do try out a few different types of food and see what your own pet rat likes and dislikes! You never know, your pet rat can be a very picky eater.
Can I Feed My Pet Rats ONLY Human Food?
Technically you can feed your pet rats only human food. The question is… is it worth it to do so?
Feeding your pet rat only human food will make your life harder for yourself because they need a very balanced diet. This means having the right vitamins and the right nutrients for your pet rat.
And if you buy good pet rat food (I recommend Oxbow), they will have a perfect diet already laid out to them! Just complement that with a couple of fresh vegetables or fruit now and then and you’re good to go.
And if you’re training some tricks with them, be sure to give your pet rats some tasty treats now and then (without exaggerating of course!). I highly recommend low-sugar yogurt as a treat.
Can My Pet Rat Have Fries?
In general french fries and other season or fried potatoes shouldn’t be given to your pet rat. They will fatten them up and might cause health issues pretty quickly.
With that said, if your pet rat sneakily ran off with a fry while you weren’t looking, there’s no need to panic. This happens sometimes and they’ll be just fine!
Just keep an eye on them to be sure they’re feeling well.
In general, also remember that pet rats tend to hoard food! So if you find them running away right after you give them some food, you know they’re most likely stashing it for later.
And if you’re still wondering how to build a very healthy diet for your pet rat, check this article: Creating A Healthy Pet Rat Diet For Your Rat!