Nutrition is a very important part of ensuring your rat stays healthy.
The diet plays a very important factor in health, condition, and longevity.
A good variation in feeding routine greatly improves your rats enjoyment of their meals and ensures that all nutritional needs are met.
This page will give a brief insight into the nutritional requirements needed as your rats progress throughout their lives.
Lovecraft babies enjoying their weaning porridge…
Kittens require soft food and higher copper and protein levels in order to reach their full potential. Feeding kittens will have an impact on the rest of their lives, if over-fed they will grow to fast and be prone to suffering from obesity, if under fed they will be stunted and suffer from deficiencies. So it is important to find the balance point.
Important indicators are the coat and tail.
When lacking in vitamins and minerals a rats tail normally goes square edged or “Match stick” this is useful as the rats tail being one of the extremities of a rats body is usually the first indicator of the rats condition.
The coat also gives us clues as a rats coat shouldn’t be too long, If a rats coat is getting long it is normally a sign that a protein boost is needed to re-kick start the moult.
Rusting is a common sign of a boost of cooper being needed.
You can find much more detailed information here on feeding kittens:
Rats love a variety of herbs, vegetables and fruit….
Once your rat has reached the majority of its length they will usually slow down and start putting on muscle tone this is more obvious in bucks rather than does (with bucks generally having a bigger frame than does) It usually appears that the rat is getting fat.
Its healthier for a rat to be very slightly underweight as this is healthier than a rat suffering from obesity.
Luckily through scatter-feeding, weighing out your rats mix and substituting mix for vegetables twice a week can help keep your rats weight under control.
It is also beneficial to weigh your rats regularly to monitor their weight. This will notify you of any sudden weight gain or loss and is a useful record to keep.
Protein meals will still be needed but not as much as kittens, usually this is cut down to once a week.
Regular supplementation of Dr. Squiggles and such like will still be greatly beneficial to your adult rat and ensures the daily nutritional targets are still being met.
A streamline Lovecraft doe in excellent fitness showing good muscle tone.
Tartan tails Scunnerbug Felix still fit, active and in great condition at 19 months of age.
Elderly rats slow down quite a lot and tend to eat less because of this it is important to ensure the quantity of food the rat is eating is of high calorie and filled with nutrients to keep muscle condition. Soft food such as baby food, pureed fruit and vegetables, porridge and rat nuggets soaked in puppy/kitten milk, mashed avocado, coconut milk/cream and malt paste (feed as a supplement commonly used for ferrets)
Pasta is good as well if weight gain is needed as well as banana, cous cous is a favourite and is very easy to eat for older rats.
As rats get older some prefer them to hold a little extra weight compared to when they were young and adults. This is because with age a rats immune system can weaken and they can quickly deteriorate. Holding a little extra weight means there is more of a cushion for the owner to notice the weight loss without having a dramatic effect on the rats health.
Its important to feed kidney friendly meals as well as supplements such as Dr. Squiggles and a calcium supplement.
You can find a bountiful amount of information here: