What Do Rats Eat

What do rats eat? More like, what don't they eat? As one would imagine, rats recognize a rather diverse menu of edible possibilities, which makes it no wonder they inhabit alleys, warehouses and congested cities such as, most famously, Manhattan. They will try-if not eat-just about anything that's put in front of them, but if you plan on keeping a rat as a pet, you'd be wise to make some wise selections instead of just turning it loose in the garbage.

The Mix
Rats can't eat nuts and seeds because they can cause spots and skin problems for the animal. Feeding it too much green food will cause digestive problems and diarrhea. If you feed your rat human food, try not to serve foods high in calories, sugary or contain too much fat, as can lead to obesity and shorten the animal's lifespan. Specially prepared rat food mix should provide the right nutrients for your pet.

Additionally, rats' teeth never stop growing, so they need to gnaw hard material to prevent overgrowth. Wood gnaws, apple wood, seed sticks, crunchy biscuits, and dog biscuits fit this particular bill.

The Produce
Not a huge fan of the processed stuff? Good call. Rats, like humans, should eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Broccoli, cooked sweet potato, carrots and parsnips are good veggie choices, while fruits such as berries, bananas, grapes and plums are safe fruit bets. Try to avoid are produce that contains too much fiber, such as cabbage, raw sweet potatoes, and raw greens, with the exception of broccoli.

The Question That May Have Brought You Here To Begin With
Generally speaking, rats do not eat their young. Unlike some mice, rats are generally responsible and nurturing when it comes to protecting their offspring. However, a 2008 study conducted by the University of Oxford and Georgia Mason at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada found that rats are much more likely to eat their children if their cages are cleaned too often. So, if your rat just gave birth to some youngsters, let her make her mess, to save the lives of the innocent.

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