Safe Rat Food List: Veggies, Fruits, Nuts, Seeds, Herbs, Protein & More

by Monika Kucic
Safe Rat food list printable

Rats can eat a wide variety of animal and plant-based foods. That’s the main reason they’re so successful as a species. They easily adjust to their environment and can survive on all kinds of foods – be it berries and seeds from the woods or trash from the dumpster.

But even though they can eat such a wide variety of food, it doesn’t mean it’s good for them. If you’ve read our article on how to feed your pet rats, you know what a healthy diet for rats should look like. To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a safe rat food list with vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, protein, herbs, and grains you can feed your rats as a part of a healthy diet.

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Vegetables for Rats

Adzuki BeansLentils
Arugula (Rocket)Lettuce
AsparagusMange Tout
Bamboo ShootsMarrow
Bean SproutsMung Beans
BeetMushrooms
Bok ChoyOnion
Broad Beans (cooked!)Parsnip
BroccoliPeas
Brussels SproutsPotato
Butternut SquashPumpkin
Cannellini Beans (cooked!)Radish
CarrotRed Cabbage
CauliflowerRunner Beans (cooked!)
CeleriacSavoy Cabbage
CeleryShallot
ChickpeasSoybeans (cooked!)
Collard GreensSpinach
CucumberSpring Greens
Edamame Beans (cooked!)Spring Onion
Eggplant (Aubergine)Squash
EndiveSugar Snap Peas
FennelSwede
GarlicSweet Corn
GingerSweet Peppers
Globe ArtichokeSweet Potato
Green BeansSwiss Chard
Haricot Beans (cooked!)Turnip
Jerusalem ArtichokeWater Chestnuts
KaleWatercress
Leek (cooked)Zucchini (Courgette)

Rats can safely eat a wide variety of veggies, but there are some rules to follow.

Green, raw potatoes should not be fed as they contain a large amount of toxin called solanine.

Kidney and Broad beans or other beans high in lectin should never be fed raw because they are toxic (to both humans and rats). Always cook those beans before feeding them to your pets, or use canned beans. Green beans, on the other hand, are safe to feed raw as they don’t contain high amounts of lectin as broad or kidney beans.

Foods that are high in oxalates, such as Swiss chard and spinach, should be fed in moderation if your rat has kidney issues, as oxalate crystals can cause kidney stones.

Lettuce has a low nutritional value, so don’t feed it too often. There are better, healthier option such as Rocket salad or greens.

Safe Rat Food Chart - Vegetables Legumes
Vegetables list from our “Safe Rat Food List” printable

Fruits for Rats

Apple **Loganberry
Apricot **Mandarin *
Avocado (no skin or pit)Mango *
BananaMulberry
BilberryNectarines **
BlackberriesOlive
BlackcurrantsOrange *
BlueberriesPapaya
BoysenberriesPassion Fruit
CantaloupePeach **
Cherries **Pears
Clementine *Persimmon (Sharon Fruit)
CranberriesPineapple
DamsonPlum **
DatesPomegranate
ElderberriesPomelo *
FigsPrunes
Gala MelonRaisins
Gooseberries (cooked)Raspberry
GrapesRedcurrant
Honeydew MelonStrawberries
KiwiTangerine *
Kumquat *Tomatoes
Lemon *Watermelon
Lime *
* Regular high amounts of citrus fruits and mango can cause kidney issues in male rats
**
No stone or seeds

* Regular high amounts of citrus fruits and mango, which contain D-limonene, can cause kidney issues in male rats, so it is best to avoid giving it to your bucks. Although, if your male rat steals a chunk of your mango or sips a bit of orange juice, he’ll be fine – those quantities are not enough to do any damage

** No stone or seeds. Stone and seeds of some fruits contain amygdalin which is converted into cyanide in the stomach and may cause cyanide toxicity in large doses.

Avocado should be fed in small quantities due to its high fat content. Also, don’t feed your rats avocado skin or pit as those are toxic.

Fruit is packed with natural sugars, which are not bad for rats but should still be given in moderation.

Rat Safe food chart - fruit
Fruit list from our “Safe Rat Food List” printable

Nuts for Rats

AlmondsPeanuts
Brazil NutsPecans
CashewsPistachios
CoconutSweet Chestnuts
HazelnutsWalnuts
Macadamia Nuts

Nuts make excellent treats for rats as they are a natural source of calories, protein and fat. Offer your rats nuts in shells, so they need to put some effort in – this will make it much more exciting and enjoyable for them.

To make it even more fun, bury the nuts in their substrate or sprinkle a few throughout their cage or free-roam area for them to find.

Nuts should be unsalted and unseasoned.

Seeds

Chia SeedsPumpkin Seeds
Flax SeedsSesame Seeds
Hemp SeedsSunflower Seeds
Pine Nuts

Smaller foods such as pine nuts and pumpkin seeds make great treats for training and games. Seed, as nuts, should be unsalted and unseasoned.

Herbs & Flowers

BasilOregano
ChicoryParsley
Cilantro (Coriander)Rose Petals
CloverRosemary
CressSunflower Petals
Dandelion LeavesThyme
Mint

Adding dry or fresh culinary herbs to your rats’ regular diet is an excellent way of adding extra nutrition and variety. Herbs are also great for foraging.

Protein

CheeseCooked Plain Chicken
Cottage CheeseCooked Plain Turkey
CricketsCooked Plain Beef
EggsSardines
GrasshoppersShrimp
MackerelTofu
MealwormsYogurt
Salmon

If you’re feeding your rats with high-quality commercial food that already contains all the protein your rats need, then you don’t need to worry about adding extra protein – you can just offer it as a treat from time to time.

But if you’re feeding your rats a dry mix without added protein, you must add fresh protein to your rats’ diet. Eggs, chicken, and fish are some of the more popular choices, but you can also give the foods listed above.

Keep in mind that cooked beef should not be fed too often because it’s high in cholesterol. Chicken is a much healthier choice.

If you’re going to feed your rats with insects, use dried insects, not wild ones. Wild insects can carry diseases or internal parasites.

Grains

AmaranthQuinoa
BarleyPopcorn (plain)
BuckwheatRice (cooked & dried)
Bulgur WheatRye
CornSorghum (Milo)
CouscousSpelt
MilletWheat
Oat

Grain is a major part of your rats’ diet in a dry food mix you feed them, but if you want to give them a bit of extra as a treat, the grains in this list are good options.

Rat Safe food list - nuts seeds flowers
Nuts, seeds, and other foods from our “Safe Rat Food List” printable

Rats are pretty similar to us humans and can mostly eat the food we eat, with a few exceptions. Good principles to follow are variety and moderation. Don’t feed your rats too much fat or sugar, and make the fresh part of their diet varied – to boost their nutritional intake and make it more fun. After all, nobody likes to eat the same thing day after day!

References:

We’ve compiled this list of safe vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, protein, and grains from the most reputable sources and double-checked everything to ensure the data is correct.

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