Water for your rat

Water for your rats

What’s the best way to provide water for my rats?

Rats need constant access to fresh clean drinking water from a suitable water bottle with a metal spout.

How much water should my rats drink?

The average daily water intake for an adult rat is around 10ml per 100g body weight.

I think one of my rats is drinking more than usual, is this important?

If any of your rats start to drink significantly more or less than usual, this can be a sign of a medical problem so you should make an appointment to see your vet.


Feeding your rats

What should I feed my rats?

It is best to feed commercial rat nuggets, available from pet shops or pet supermarkets, as these contain all the nutrients that rats need, in the right amounts.  Commercial rat mixes containing seed, grain and nuts are sometimes fed, but rats can be picky and leave bits behind, which can cause health problems. Small amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables can also be given, such as apple, carrot and broccoli. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, should be avoided because they are too acidic. Wash fruit and vegetables well to remove any traces of chemicals. Don’t give chocolate or dairy products as these can be harmful.

Because rats are omnivores (eat plants and meat) you can occasionally give them small pieces of lean meat, egg or pulses (e.g. lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas). Don’t change their food suddenly as this can upset their digestive system – introduce small amounts of new foods gradually, day by day.

How often should I feed my rats?

Feed the rat nuggets twice daily, morning and evening. Remove any uneaten food, especially the food that will go mouldy most quickly.

How much should I feed my rats?

Follow the feeding guidelines on the rat nuggets packet and weigh the food out to check you’re getting the amount right. It’s very important not to overfeed as rats can quickly become obese.

Can I feed my rats treats?

Rats like sunflower seeds and peanuts but these are high in fat so should only be fed occasionally, as treats. Feeding too many is like feeding a child too much chocolate! Sugar-based treats (e.g. “honey sticks”) should be kept to a minimum as they can contribute to obesity. Natural treats are available from pet shops which are enjoyed by rats and are healthy for them.

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