Caring for rats, naturally

The way that you care for and interact with your rat should reflect their natural behaviour as a prey species. How does this influence their behaviour of rats in the home?

  • Scavengers and hoarders – both of food and objects to chew
  • Love to burrow underground
  • Live in sociable groups
  • May mask signs of illness – making it difficult to tell when they are ill
  • Nocturnal and like to play at night

Use this understanding to find ways to keep them happy and healthy…

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rabbit-eating

Why our rat foods are second to none

Rat diets don’t just deliver nutrition but taste and enjoyment too. Rats are active chewers and need to do so to keep their constantly growing teeth trimmed.

  • Wholegrain goodness – for active chewing
  • No added sugar – tasty because of the flavour of high-quality natural ingredients
  • Nutritionally balanced with all the vitamins and minerals they need

Frequently asked questions about Rats

What do rats like to play with?

Rats are super smart which means they enjoy a great range of puzzles, games and toys! They love exploring piles of natural wood twigs and gnawing on natural chews. They also need plenty of exercise and are excellent climbers, enjoying sisal rope or special climbing frames. If you opt for a wheel, make sure it doesn’t have spokes and is big enough for a rat to use without bending their back as this can lead to injury.

What can rats eat?

Rats are omnivores and need to be fed a nutritionally complete rat food. This will contain all the vitamins and minerals they need to keep healthy. As rats can be prone to obesity, it is particularly important to choose a diet that does not have any added sugars. If your rat has become used to a sweeter diet, it can take a while for them to get used to the taste of something healthier. You can also feed your rat a small daily ration of treats. We have some great options available in our Science Selective and Tiny Friends Farm ranges, or there are some healthy veg that can be fed.

Can rats be kept alone?

No, rats are a social pet, and they should be kept in single sex pairs or small groups known as a mischief! Introducing a new rat takes time, and we suggest asking your local pet retailer for their expert advice. Ideally it is easier to introduce a young rat of 6-8 weeks of age. They should not be any younger as they are more likely to become injured should things go wrong, but an adult rat can also be difficult to introduce. Never put a new rat straight into the cage with the others. Make sure you give them time to get used to each other’s smell and site by keeping the new rat in a separate cage in the same room, and gradually bringing these closer together. This can take several days or even weeks.

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Need to know more?

For more detailed information about Rats, you can contact us and we will get back to you with our experts’ advice. However,
if you have any concerns about the health and well-being of your rat, you should seek veterinary advice immediately. The RSPCA has also provided many helpful rat guides you can find here.