One of the most important parts of taking care of a pet is knowing exactly what type of nutrition your pet should be getting to be healthy. If you don’t learn this basic information, you could be causing your pet’s life to be shortened or them to be unhappy. For that reason, we’ve put together a comparison list of the top five best rat food options that are available on the market right now.
Pet rats, as you might already know, are becoming more popular, and that means that there are bound to be more new owners out there who are trying to find the best food for their little friends! These options might be the perfect fit.
Top 5 Rat Food Comparisons Chart
Rat Food Reviews
1. Kaytee Fiesta Mouse and Rat Food
The first food option that we have on our list is a unique blend from a popular and reliable brand of pet care products, Kaytee. Do you think it packs enough nutrition perfect for your little friend? Let’s find out!
The Kaytee Fiesta Mouse and Rat Food is a great blend of food that is specifically formulated for mice and rats by the experts from Kaytee. The food has probiotics, prebiotics, as well as assorted fruits and veggies. It is also naturally preserved to keep it fresh.
The mix also includes delicious grains and seeds so that your pet gets the right blend of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in their diet every single day. This foot is available in two-pound and 4.5-pound bags.
- Shapes And Textures Support Dental Health Through Natural Chewing Activity
- Prebiotics And Probiotics To Support Digestive Health
- Assorted Fruits And Veggies For Added Enrichment And Variety
- Rich In Natural Antioxidantsfor General Health & Immune Support
- Naturally Preserved For Ideal Freshness
The shape and size of the food included in this rat food are ideal for ensuring that your rat’s dental health is taken care of. As they chew on the food, any buildup on their teeth will go away, and their teeth will also get stronger.
Another bonus of this food is that it supports good digestive health for your pet. The mixture is formulated with both prebiotics and probiotics, so you can be sure that everything in your rat’s system will move along nicely.
Though this rat food has a great blend of ingredients, it should still be supplemented with some other rat pellets or fresh food to make sure that they get the perfect blend. Because this mix has a lot of high-fat treats in it, you don’t want your rats to overeat just those parts (which they will do!)
2. Envigo Teklad Global Rat Food Pellets
With this food, Envigo (formerly Harlan) has created a well-balanced food pellet that tastes good to rats at the same time. Perhaps, this is what you have been looking for?
This food is a lab pellet, which means that a blend of ingredients that are good for rats are blended together to create this single super pellet. This is a good way to feed rats because they cannot pick and choose what they will and will not eat. Hence, you can monitor their diet better.
This food has 14% protein and 3.5% fat, both of which are within the proper range for your pet rats to eat.
- An Envigo (Formerly Harlan) Teklad Laboratory Diet.
- Envigo (Formerly Harlan) Teklad 14% Protein Rodent Diet
- Nutritionally balanced and exceptionally consistent.
- Repackaged by Nesom Distributing for your companion animals.
- Globally recognized as one of the best quality rodent diets available.
The best thing about this food is the fact that it is a perfectly formulated, 14% protein pellet. This means that your rat cannot pick and choose what they want to eat, so you can be sure that this is the amount of protein that they are getting when they eat this food.
Another benefit of going with this food is that it comes in six differently sized bags! Whether you want a small bag to try this food out or you’re ready to commit to a big bag to save some money and effort from buying at the store, you’ll find that the size of bag that you need is available.
Some rats will only eat this food very reluctantly, and that is probably because there is so little variety in the food. To avoid this issue, make sure to supplement with fresh produce and fruits from time to time. Keep it interesting!
3. Henry's Wild Bites
These peanut bites are made fresh daily. They are specially formulated for a variety of pets including flyers, squirrels, mice, and rats. Then again, are they the right choice for your pet?
These are an all-natural, preservative-free food for rats that must be frozen as soon as you bring it home. The treats taste very good to rats, and they have a good balance of nutrients so that you aren’t giving your pet too much of any one thing.
Because these treats are high in fat, they should be given to your pet in moderation. If you want to feed them these blocks daily, you should break them into smaller pieces to make sure that you do not overdo it.
- Baked fresh to order Squirrel Diet
- Delicious peanut blocks, 100% nutritionally complete
- All natural; no preservatives, colors, flavors, or fillers. Soy free.
- Extra zinc and vitamin E to promote healing and immune function for your Squirrel
- FREEZE IMMEDIATELY - NO PRESERVATIVES
One of many rat owners’ favorite things about this food is that it makes a great treat for your rat a few times a week. It is easy to feed them, and they’ll enjoy eating something different from their day-to-day food with this snack.
Another nice thing about this is that the food is supplemented with extra zinc and vitamin E. These vitamins will boost your rat’s immune system and help them be healthier than ever before.
This natural peanut snack is best used as a supplement food to another rat food. While this food is nutritionally complete, it is a bit high in fat, so it can be easy to accidentally overfeed your rat on the fat front if you aren’t careful.
4. Oxbow’s Essentials - Adult Rat Food
Oxbow’s is known for making a lot of great pet care products, but does this pet food make the list as one of the top rat foods? Let’s take a close look at what it offers to find out.
This adult rat food is made by a reliable and well-known brand known as Oxbow’s Essentials. The food itself is made to be a complete diet, which means that while you can still supplement your pet with some other foods to keep things interesting, you do not have to. This food is all that they need to eat to live a happy, healthy life!
It’s safe to say that this particular rat food is one of the most popular ones. While that might not seem like a selling point, it should be! Rat owners take a lot of care to choose good food for their pets, and if this one is popular, there is a good reason for that.
Another good feature of this food is that it is low in fat but still has a complete, balanced nutritional profile. This is good because it is very easy to overfeed rats on the fat front since they love to eat things like sunflower seeds, which are rich in fats.
One problem that you might have with pellet foods like this one is that not all rats will like it. Most rats will prefer a mixed food that they can pick what they like out of, but that doesn’t provide a well-balanced diet the same way that a pellet food does.
5. Envigo Teklad Rat Food Diet Global 2018
This is another version of the popular Teklad Rat Food from Envigo/Harlan, but is it as good as the 2014 version? Will your little friend love it?
This particular food is different from the previously mentioned 2014 version because it has a higher percentage of protein. While the previous version has 14% protein, this one boasts 18% of protein.
As you might know, it’s recommended that rats eat around 15% protein. While this is higher, it’s great for many rats, especially those that need to put on weight or are nursing. Even if you just have an average-sized rat, 18% protein is still safe to feed them.
This food has 18% protein as mentioned, but the additional nutritional profile that Envigo built with this food is very well balanced, so you can be sure that when your rats eat these pellets, they are eating a very healthy and supportive diet for their whole body.
This food also comes in very large bags that will last for many months. Most rat owners only need to buy this food every six to eight months, even if they have more than four rats! You can even save money by stocking up with this food.
One negative to this food is that it can be hard to find. This particular pellet food isn’t often carried in stores unless you have a great specialty shop nearby, so you might need to purchase it online.
Rat Food Buyers’ Guide
Buying pet food is always difficult, and it can be even harder when you are buying food for a more obscure pet that the clerks at your local pet shop might not know as much about as they would a dog or a cat.
To help you be better equipped to choose the best rat food of 2018 for your pet, we’ve put together a buyer’s guide that is complete with guidelines you can follow to determine if a certain food is a good choice for your pet or not.
The first thing that you should take care to know more about when choosing your rat’s food is quality. There are some pet food companies out there that, sadly, take advantage of pet owners. Rather than putting their all into quality control, these companies are only concerned about making money.
For that reason, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a reliable food company when buying food for your beloved pet rat. Otherwise, you’ll have no idea what you are ultimately feeding your pets!
That’s right. Taste matters! Rats are incredibly intelligent creatures, and they have preferences on taste just as much as you do. And, yes, we’re serious. Rats actually have taste buds as humans do, so they can tell the difference between sweet, sour, bitter, or other tastes. If they don’t like the taste, they may not want to eat it!
Of course, you cannot taste your rat's food to decide this. Taste is an important thing to consider on today’s buying guide because you may choose a food option that seems to check all the boxes but your rat just doesn’t like eating. If that happens, don’t worry! Just try another one and find what kinds of tastes your rat does like.
Even though you want to be able to say the sky is the limit and buy your pet whatever they need to be happy, that usually isn’t the case. It’s okay to have a budget! Research pet food before you bring home your first rat so that you can be sure that you can afford to get good-quality food at the right price.
Depending on how much rat food you need, you might be able to make a better choice on which to buy depending on the sizes of bags that are offered. As mentioned before, buying in bulk can often save you money, so finding food that is sold in jumbo quantities can help you save a few bucks.
On the flip side, you may want to find food that is sold in sample quantities to test out some foods without spending a lot of money. Small bags will save you from wasting big bucks!
It’s important that you find the proper balance between price, quality, and quantity when buying rat food. Does it make sense to spend twice as much money on rat food A than you would for double the amount of rat food B?
Finally, and most importantly, we get to nutrition. No matter what value, budget, or taste you find in the rat foods that you consider, you absolutely must get food that matches your rat’s dietary needs.
Rats need to eat foods that can offer the following:
- Low protein (about 15%)
- High fat (around 5%)
- Low simple carbohydrates
- Lots of grains, fruits, and vegetables
Many rat owners feed their rats dry food along with some fresh produce to give them the mix of nutrients that they need, but it's important that the dry food provides a great base for the rest of the diet.
Rat Food FAQs
1. What Do Rats Eat?
Beyond rat-specific food, you might be wondering what else your rat can eat. As mentioned, a lot of owners supplement a dry rat food diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. So, which ones can they eat?
The best fruits for rats include:
When serving fruit, you will want to remove all seeds and cut the fruit into bite-size bits. Also, be careful not to feed too much fruit to your rat as it can lead to diarrhea.
As far as veggies go, your rat might enjoy:
- Cooked sweet potato
- Bok choy
- Cooked green beans
- Cooked mushrooms (in moderation)
- Avocado (in moderation)
- Non-spicy peppers
Your rat might like one of these vegetables more than the other. Hence, you should experiment and find out which will work best!
There are also quite a few foods that you should NEVER feed your rat, and these include:
- Citrus fruits (especially bad for males)
- Raw sweet potato, beans, squash, artichoke, tofu, onions or Brussel sprouts
- Green bananas or potatoes
- Red meat
- Junk food that is high in sugar (i.e., chocolate, sugary drinks, cake, candy)
- Avocado skin or stone
- Carbonated drinks (rats cannot burp)
- Apple seeds
- Blue cheese
- Cabbage, spinach, or rhubarb
- Hamster food
- Poppy seeds
2. When Do Rats Eat?
Rats are mostly nocturnal creatures, so you’ll find that feeding them in the evening or at night is best. At that time, they’ll be the most alert since they are more wide-awake during nighttime hours.
Still, it’s best if you give rats 24/7 access to both food and water so that they can eat whenever they feel like it. If, however, your rat starts to hide food around the cage, cut back on how much food you leave out. This hoarding is usually a sign of a rat being over-fed.
3. How Long Does It Take a Rat To Digest Food?
Most digestion happens in rats within the first one to two hours, but it is possible that food will still be working its way through their system up to 4 hours after ingesting it.
4. How Much To Feed a Rat?
It can be hard to figure out how much to feed your rat at first but don’t worry; you can constantly make adjustments to your feeding plans. If you start to notice that your pet doesn’t have enough energy or is gaining weight, you can make the necessary changes to their diet without any problems.
If you are planning to feed your rat a commercial food, try following these rules:
- Set out a small bowl of blocks once a day according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- Supplement with treats as outlined below
- If your rats start hoarding food, feed them less
- If your rats eat very quickly when you put food out, increase their food amount by a little bit as they might not be getting enough
- If rats are pregnant or nursing, plan to give supplemental calories
5. How to Feed a Baby Rat
If you have a baby rat that has been orphaned by its mother or it cannot eat from her for one reason or another, you might be panicking about how to handle this situation.
Here’s what you can attempt to do:
- Check for crescent milk bellies. You might not think that the mom is feeding the baby, but she may be doing so when you aren’t around. If you’re positive that the baby’s belly is flat and not full of milk, continue following these steps.
- Go to the store and buy soy-based infant formula or kitten milk replacer. You will also need a one-milliliter syringe.
- Heat the milk up to just below room temperature, and no warmer!
- Hold the baby curled up in your hand, and let the milk drop out of the syringe and onto your hand.
- Hold your skin where the milk is near the baby until they suckle it from your skin.
- Do NOT put the milk directly in their mouth as this may cause pneumonia, which is a sure cause of death for your baby rat.
At first, you’ll notice that the baby is only eating very small amounts—maybe one or two drops. And that is perfectly okay! Feed them every two hours for the first week. They will eat more and more over time.
Once you feed them this way, you need to stimulate their bodies so they can pee and poop as seen in this video:
Among all of these great options for the best rat food, we have found that the Envigo Teklad Global Rat Food Pellets 2014 Version stands out as the best option. Not only are these pellets very easy to feed to your pet rats, but they also give just the right amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates for your pet. With this food, they can get all the nutrition that they need.