If you’re wondering if you can give tomatoes to your pet rat, you’ve come to the right place. I always have tomatoes at home. Both me and my partner like to eat them with anything. So, obviously, we hope that our ratties like them as well. Like any other food, we always check if tomatoes are safe for them or not.
In general, pet rats can eat tomatoes. They are a refreshing treat filled with vitamins that make for a very healthy snack.
Some people prefer to give them almost whole, others like to cut them in small pieces and give it the ratties. You can also take out the seeds and skin if you feel it’s safer. I like to keep it simple and let them play with their treats!
Benefits of Tomatoes For Pet Rats
Generally speaking, there aren’t lots of food that rats can’t eat. Tomatoes and other vegetables and fruits are very good for them. But don’t forget to give it to them in moderation! Rats are very gluttonous and they’ll only stop eating once the food is over or if they’re not into it.
I can certainly vouch for this when my ratties just look at their dry food and splatter it around because they want something yummier!
So yes, tomatoes are not only good for rats but very good. They have lots of vitamins (like Vit C, Vit K, etc) but they also have substances known to lower the risk of prostate cancer death in male rats.
On another note, vitamin C is something very important for your rat, since they can’t produce it enough. So boost up their system!
Should You Give The Whole Tomato?
Well, it depends on how big the tomato is. But generally speaking, no. Even a cherry tomato is too big for them to eat in one sit.
You can either give them halves or quarter pieces of a tomato. Of course, you can cut the tomato in tiny pieces, but rats like to explore their food and to work it out by themselves, so I’d say that the half cherry tomato is good enough!
Alternatively, if you do want to keep them entertained for a bit, you can give them a whole tomato. Let them play and nimble it for a few minutes then take it out again. Rats are very curious and will have some fun and exercise with the tomato for a while.
It’s also important to note that different foods will result in different droppings. Tomatoes are very watery, so it will be more than normal if you find wet droppings the next day. Your ratties are fine, they’re just not used to eating liquid or watery foods and so their system will behave differently.
How Many Tomatoes Should You Give
As I said, everything is good, but in moderation. Rats are small, so we should give them food, according to their size. The best way to go is with cherry tomatoes, so half of one per adult rat should be more than enough!
If you’re like me, who only has normal sized tomatoes at home, then cut the tomato in slices and cut each slice in half. A quarter of a slice per rat will leave them satiated. You should be able to tell, very easily how much to give them.
Remember that giving them tomatoes in smaller doses might also avoid some messiness. Tomatoes have seeds and lots of juice and our ratties can be messy with their food! What I mean to say here is that you’ll have lots of fun cleaning up their cage.
Take also this time to teach them to come for you or teach other tricks. Rats should be rewarded when they do something right and tomatoes are a good treat if they like them! I like to bring them treats, call for them and wait for them to come running to me.
Sometimes they’ll just stay nearby us, eating their new delicacy. Other times, they’ll take it, hide it somewhere on the cage and come back for more. Naughty ratties, I’m onto you!
Do All Rats Like Tomatoes?
Rats, just like people, have their own tastes. Some will like it, others will not. In general, though, most of them won’t be a fan of the skins.
This happens with many foods, actually. You might have noticed how much they’ll pick and throw away this or that food. And, for some reason, they’ll avoid the skins. They’re spoiled. They like the juicy and delicious part of any food, but the skin? That’s too much work!
You can take the skin out if you wish. But they’ll be able to work around it and it’s always a good exercise for them.
Back to the issue at hand, if you’ve already tried to give different treats to your ratties, you might have noticed that they like or prefer different things. For example, my ratties were never big fans of broccoli or zucchini. Apple though? They’ll savor it until the last piece.
It’s all a matter of observing them and seeing what they’ll eat or leave on the side. Some rats will eat everything and others can be pickier. In this matter, they’re just like us, I’m sure there’s some food that you can’t even look at!
Can Rats Eat Tomato Seeds?
They are not toxic, but they can be a choking hazard. Rats are usually smart though and a lot of them will just avoid eating seeds. They’re too small and don’t seem to be tasty at all.
If you don’t want to risk it, take the seeds out before giving the tomatoes to your rats. It also depends on how big the seeds are, smaller tomatoes will have smaller seeds, so you should be good.
As I said, rats are smart and usually, they won’t stuff their food in their mouth without examining it with their hands or teeth. If they feel it’s not worthy, they’ll throw it out. If they’re interested, they’ll munch on it.
Again, be ready to clean up the cage when they’re finished with the tomatoes. They’ll leave a mess out of it. Juice, skins, seeds and mushy bits. Not only will the cage become all dirty, if you leave it for too long, but it will also start to smell and attract flies. Even though they can make a mess, rats like to have everything clean, so they won’t enjoy the carnage they left behind either!
Can Rats Eat Tomato Sauce?
It depends on the tomato sauce. If you pick up some tomatoes and turn them to a sauce, without adding anything to them, it’s basically the same as eating a piece of tomato. If your rat is sick and having some difficulty with eating, this is a good way to give them food.
As for tomato sauce that you buy on the supermarket or you make yourself, with some condiments added… You can give them a drop or so. But I’d say to not give them a lot. It will be more caloric for them and too salty. For us, it might not make much of a difference, but they are way smaller and too much salt can be bad for them.
Nowadays you can find tomato everywhere and even grow some at your home or apartment. Maybe your neighbors grow them and you can ask for one or two. I’d say to stick with the tomatoes and avoid the sauce.
Again, rat’s prefer to explore their food and use their hands. Giving them liquid food should be reserved if they really need it. Sauces and fruit purees bought in the supermarket tend to have too many calories for rats. Plus they’ll love half of a cherry tomato more than a bit of sauce, I can guarantee!
What You Need To Know
Tomatoes are great for rats! But give it to them in moderation and just once in a while. Rats love treats and veggies, but they can also get tired of the same foods. Give them different treats now and then, so they’re always interested in eating them.
Half of a cherry tomato for an adult rat is more than enough and don’t forget:
- They’ll make a mess out of it, but have lots of fun while eating it.
- Don’t freak out you notice softer droppings! If your rat isn’t used to fresh and watery food, their system will behave accordingly. It’s nothing bad, just normal.
- Have fun as well, watching them in delight with this refreshing treat!
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