A lot of people think that rats are always hungry. After all, they’re constantly raiding our garbage cans and stealing our food. Well, as it turns out, that’s not the case. Instead, rats are only “always hungry” because we make it that way.
Are rats always hungry?
Contrary to popular belief, rats are not constantly hungry. Instead, they have a very sophisticated digestive system that allows them to extract all the nutrients they need from a limited amount of food.
However, this does not mean that rats do not enjoy eating. On the contrary, most rats love to eat and will often stuff themselves when given the opportunity.
This behavior is often chalked up to their “hamster-like” nature, but it is a result of their strong sense of smell.
When rats smell something good, they can’t help but want to eat it. So, while rats may not always be hungry, they are indeed attracted to food.
Rats in the Wild
In the wild, rats typically eat once or twice a day. So they’ll forage for food and hoard whatever they find in their nests. This hoarding behavior is what led to their reputation as “thieves.” When rats feel like their food supply is running low, they’ll go out and look for more.
However, rats will only eat as much as they need to survive. There’s no such thing as a rat glutton. If given a chance, rats usually choose healthy foods over junk food.
In domesticated rats, however, things are different. We tend to feed our rats much more frequently—sometimes even multiple times a day—and we usually don’t give them the same variety of foods they would get in the wild.
As a result, domesticated rats often become obese and develop health problems like diabetes.
One of the best things you can do for your rat is to mimic its natural diet as closely as possible.
Feed them daily with various healthy foods, and limit their access to sweets and other junk food. Your rat will be happier and healthier for it.
Will rats overeat?
It is a common misconception that rats will overeat and become obese. However, this is not the case. Rats are very efficient at extracting nutrients from food and will only eat what they need.
Studies have shown that rats on a restricted diet live longer than those with access to an unlimited food supply.
The reason for this is that overeating can lead to health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and joint problems.
So, while rats may be able to overeat occasionally, it is not something that they generally do.
Next time you see a rat rummaging through your trash can, remember that they’re not doing it because they’re always hungry. They’re doing it because we’ve made them always hungry! By feeding our domesticated rats too much and not giving them enough variety in their diets, we’ve created a population of obese rodents with health problems.
So next time you see a rat, pity it—it’s not its fault that we can’t control our junk food habits.