However, cat food is not an appropriate diet for rats/mice as the protein content in these foods is way too high. In addition, the typical healthy ratio of protein to carb to fat varies greatly in rats and cats.
Rats are omnivores, and cats are carnivores, so the contents of cat food would not provide the correct nutrient levels and might be unhealthy too.
The best foods currently available for rats from pet stores in lab block form are:
The protein level of these blocks for ratties is perfect. You can buy these rat food blocks online if they are unavailable in your local pet store.
READ ALSO: Can Rats eat Dog Food?
Aside from feeding your rats a stable block, ensure you frequently feed them vegetables, safe fruits, and other pieces from your meals. Ensure you perform a search to make sure what you are providing them is safe!
Note: Never feed your rats or mice any mixes containing seeds. Nuts and seeds should be offered as an occasional treat (every 2-3 days) as the fatty content can make your ratties more prone to skin rashes and tumors.
Can Rats eat Cat Food as a Treat?
They can. However, it shouldn’t be their foundational diet. I feed my ladies a pouch of very natural cat food to help them if they’re a bit off color, need some strengthening, or are not much interested in their “usual rat food.”
I also use cat food to hide their medicine since it has a strong smell.
Cats are carnivores, meaning they cannot continue to exist without taurine, a protein found only in animal flesh, and they need a large amount of animal protein in their diet to be healthy.
On the other hand, rats are omnivores that evolved to consume primarily fruits, seeds, nuts, grains, some vegetation, and small amounts of animal proteins, mostly from small animals, birds, amphibians, and occasional fish, insects, or water-based insects, mollusks too, etc.
Rats have evolved to live on a significantly lower-protein diet. So I sometimes make my rat food mimic what they’d usually eat in the wild. This is because their mix has a small level of animal protein in dried shrimp, and I throw in dried shrimp and occasional meat, fish, or eggs along with their dried and fresh plant-based foods as treats.
I recommend this book of nutrition titled The Scuttling Gourmet. You’d be happy you read it.
Will Wild Rats eat Cat Food?
Wild rats will eat cat food if the chance presents itself. However, it is not very good for them, according to my vet.
She told me that the government paid colossal money to work on dietary requirements because of the medical research. So they formulated these food blocks I term “rat-chops” that is perfect for them.
These rat food blocks can be purchased at local feed stores or on Amazon. They are expensive even if you find them in your local pet store. However, you can get 50 pounds for nothing at the feed store. So I would offer them those and treat them “as needed.”
Alternatively, you can feed them some lovely baby tomatoes, they keep dropping them, or try some nice shiny round nuts as a treat because they try to grab all they can, and then another, which makes them drop all, and then they start over – Hours of fun!