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Rats are omnivorous animals. Many people have queried what do rats eat? The answer is that they can eat anything from trash to pet food. When they don’t find their preferred food, they have a tendency to eat whatever they can find. In general, rats are considered very picky eaters, but in the case when they don’t get access to the food they like, they can survive on a wide diversity of meals.

Often these cute creatures get attracted to the food source that can help them rely on for a long period of time without expending much energy and effort. But when hungry, they will chow down whatever they get in their access or forepaws.

In pressing situations, they can eat anything that they find including compost, trash, or food specially designed for pets. Sometimes, they are also reported to scavenge on their own fecal material. But all these stuff are alternatives for them; these are not their first preference.

In this article, we will discuss the food source that attracts more rats eating food, to make you understand what rats eat, what they actually like to eat, and their eating habits.

What Do Rats Eat?

Still wondering, what do rats eat, without any proper answer for your question. Rats are omnivorous animals that can scavenge on anything. Though they are picky eaters but can survive on anything. They are opportunistic feeders who never turn their noses up for any free meal.

As mentioned before, they have preferences, but when their preferred meal is not readily available, they can scavenge on anything from trash to even their own fecal matter.

Read also: 24 Safe Foods for Rats and Avoid as They Are Toxic for Rats

In wild conditions, they generally feed on seeds, vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, etc. But sometimes, in the absence of the above stuff’s availability, they hunt on small insects like ants.

How You Can Attract a Rat to a Home?

Often rats face trouble in locating food sources outdoors, so they tend to sneak inside your houses to feed on the buffet you are offering. This is more common in colder months when they try searching for more energy giving food in fewer efforts. Also, in colder times, their natural food source dries up and makes them venture inside your home for both shelter as well as food.

What do rats eat at home? Well, they can eat anything that people munch on. So there are several kinds of stuff available in houses that can attract this little creature to venture inside your home.

You can offer them oats, grains, cereals, rice, vegetables, etc. Also, the packed dog feed or other pet feed can attract them inside your house. Sometimes, they can rummage through open cans of garbage, and feed on fats that are not thoroughly cleaned from floors, utensils, appliances, or countertops.

What Do Rats Eat in Your Backyard?

What attracts rats in your yard? Like other animals, rats are often attracted to your yard for three things that are water, food, and shelter.

In order to attract rats in your yard, use this fact and place some bricks or piles of debris for shelter purposes. Pet bowls, leaky faucets, birdbaths, etc. in your yard can attract them to fulfill their water requirements and to quest their thirst.

Read also: Can Rats Eat Dog Food? What You Need to Know

But what do rats eat in your backyard? For this, you can offer grains, vegetables, rice, cereals, etc. in your yard. Also, some garbage, fallen pet food, or fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetable gardens, etc. can attract these rodents in your yard.

What Does Rat Eat in Your House

Pet rats like other rats can be feed with a variety of foodstuffs. There is no major difference in the diet of pet rats and wild rats. The only difference is the care. Humans used to feed their pet rats with the best quality feed and offer proper care. while these all are not possible in wild conditions. Wild rats have to search for their food.

The things you can feed your pet rat include a combination of fruits and vegetables. You should also offer your pet rat pellets and rat cubes for energy. Fruits and vegetables are good for providing a fiber diet essential for gut health. But there is also a requirement for rat pellets and cubes to provide energy to this cute creature.

Fruits and vegetables that are safe for your rat eats are pears, apples, bananas, citrus fruits, cabbage, broccoli, stone fruits, celery, parsley, carrots, endive, berries, fresh corns, peas, etc., and many more.

Grains and seeds can be given to your pet rat up to a limit. Feeding your rat eating food with too many grains and seeds will result in obesity and other associated health issues. since rats are more prone to obesity, so avoid giving grains and seeds in high amounts.

Read also: Pet Rats: Best Take Care Of Fancy Rats For Beginners

You can give grains, cereals, bread, biscuits, seeds, cooked pasta, and rice in the form of a treat. These all lead to obesity in rats, hence you must take care of what rat eats while feeding these kinds of stuff.

You should always provide full access to fresh water all the time. In the case when you need to change your rat’s diet, change it gradually. A sudden change in diet can negatively impact rats eating food health.

The things you should not feed your pet rats include blue cheese, green potato skins, and green bananas. orange juice, raw artichokes, mango, raw dry beans or peanuts, raw sweet potato, raw red cabbage, avocado, sticky food of rat-like peanut butter, seaweeds, etc. The above food items can prove risky for your rat.

What Not to Feed to Pet Rats?

There are several kinds of stuff that are safe for humans but can be dangerous for rats. These foodstuffs should be avoided. these are:

  • Blue cheese
  • Seaweed
  • Green bananas – inhibit starch-digesting enzymes
  • Sticky foods such as peanut butter, some candy, and dried fruits – pose a choking hazard
  • Green potato skin
  • Rhubarb
  • Licorice – suspected to cause neurological poisoning in rats
  • Avocado
  • Orange juice
  • Raw sweet potato
  • Mango
  • Raw artichokes
  • Raw red cabbage and Brussels sprouts
  • Raw dry beans or peanuts

What Do Fancy Rats Eat?

The diet of the fancy rats is not much different than the pet rats. They also have a tendency to eat the same foodstuff as pet rats eat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do rats eat garden plants?

We’ll explain how rats can damage garden plants and ways to protect your garden.

What diseases can rats transmit to humans?

We’ll discuss the health risks associated with rat-borne diseases and prevention.

How can I rat-proof my compost pile?

We’ll provide tips on maintaining a rat-free compost pile.

Are there natural methods to deter rats from my backyard?

We’ll explore natural repellents and deterrents for rats in your backyard.

What should I do if I suspect a rat infestation in my home?

We’ll outline steps to take if you suspect a rat infestation and when to seek professional help.


In conclusion, understanding what rats eat in your backyard is vital for effective pest control. By taking proactive steps to prevent rat attraction and infestations, you can protect your property, health, and enjoy a rat-free outdoor space. Remember that early intervention is key to managing rat-related issues in your backyard.

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