What do Rats Eat? – A Comprehensive List

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There are not many things a rat wouldn’t eat. Rats eat meat, fish, plants, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and almost everything that humans would eat. There are a few things they should not eat such as onions, chocolate, citrus fruits, or raw potatoes.

As a whole, rats are omnivores. They eat all kinds of food. The easiest way to feed them is to buy rat food or any kind of dried food for rodents at the local pet store. They eat all kinds of fruits and vegetables and there are not many things they should not eat.

Rats love all kinds of seeds and nuts, as well as fruits, vegetables, and even meat. Mealworms can be fed as a special treat. 

Brown rats that live in the wild even eat smaller mammals, animals such as birds and their eggs, as well as fish. They would eat everything eatable they find in the dumpsters, even soap, paper, or wax. 

Your pet rats should not eat soap and wax. These are some of the things your rats will love to eat. 


Rats love fruits. You can give them apple slices, pears, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, and melons. You should not give your rats citrus fruits or stone fruits or exotic fruits such as mango, papaya, or litchi. They could suffer from diarrhea after eating these fruits.


Fresh vegetables are important for the rats’ diet. You can offer them cucumber, tomatoes (even though my rats did not like tomatoes, but yours might be different), salad leaves, or paprika. Some vegetables should be cooked for the rats such as potatoes or broccoli.  

You should not feed your rats avocado, onions, garlic, or eggplants.


Rats love nuts. Any kind of nut is always very welcome. Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, or pistachios. The nuts should be unsalted.

Some rats have trouble opening a nut on their own, therefore you should crack the nut before you give them to your pets.

Cooked Rice and Pasta

This is something your rats will love. Don’t give them too much at once. My rats went completely crazy for cooked rice and ate so quickly that they had to cough a lot. Rats can get sick from eating too much rice or pasta. When they keep begging for food, it does not mean, that they are still hungry.

Human Food

Rats are omnivores and will eat almost everything you give them. But you should avoid artificial sugar, strongly seasoned food, and very greasy food. Unhealthy food will not kill your pet, but it can have an impact on the rats’ health. It is better to stick to natural food sources such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, as well as some dairy products, or minced meat every now and then.

How to Feed Your Rats

Always cut the food into small pieces so that every rat gets something to eat. You should prevent a fight over food, but still not feed too much fresh food to prevent any stomach issues.

Can Rats Eat Grapes?

Yes, rats can eat grapes. In fact, rats love many kinds of berries, and grapes are perfect for pet rats. Do not give them too many grapes to prevent diarrhea.

Can Rats Eat Chocolate?

No, rats can not eat chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine which is poisonous to rats. It can lead to heart attacks, epileptic attacks, and death. A small amount of chocolate will not kill a rat, but it is not healthy and should be avoided due to health risks for the pet rat.

Can Rats Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, rats can eat tomatoes, but only the red, and not the green part. Some rats don’t like tomatoes, but it won’t harm them in any way if they eat them.

Can Rats Eat Cheese?

Yes, rats can eat cheese. It is healthy for them to eat sugar-free dairy products two to three times a week and cheese is a very special treat. 

Can Rats Eat Bananas?

Yes, rats can eat bananas. They love fresh fruits and bananas are healthy and popular among rats.

Can Rats Eat Carrots?

Yes, rats can eat carrots. Carrots are healthy and rats like to nibble on these vegetables. 

Can Rats Eat Blueberries?

Yes, rats like blueberries. Blueberries are healthy and a good supplier of many vitamins for your pet rats.

Can Rats Eat Strawberries?

Yes, rats love strawberries. It also looks adorable when rats hold a strawberry in their tiny hands and nibble on the red fruit.

Can Rats Eat Apples?

Yes, rats eat apples. Apples are very healthy and great for your pet rats. 

What do Rats Drink?

Rats need water to drink, just like most animals do. You can either offer them a bowl with water, or a water bottle. But make sure, they understand how that thing works before leaving them alone.

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