General Rat Information

Species Name: Rattus norvegicus

Average Lifespan: 2-3 years

Classification: Omnivore

Nutritional Overview: A complete, fortified food such as Oxbow’s Essentials – Adult Rat provides the ideal balance of healthy nutrients and vitamins.  Avoid feeding mixes containing seeds, fruits and nuts, as these foods can lead to selective feeding.  Rats enjoy occasional treats, such as appropriate greens and freeze-dried fruits and veggies, and can be fed 1-2 fruits or veggies a day.  Supply grass hay to stimulate natural foraging activity and to aid in nesting.  

Care Overview: Choose a wire cage with a solid bottom that allows your rat enough room for climbing and playing.  Rat habitat essentials include a large exercise wheel, water bottle, wheat straw litter and woven hay accessories for enrichment and play. 

Interesting Facts about Rats:

  • Rats are extremely social and intelligent
  • Rats can be taught tricks and games such as “fetch”
  • Rats have excellent memories  and can be taught to respond to their name   
  • Rats use their tails to regulate body temperature

For more information about rat nutrition, health, housing and behavior, click on the links on the dropdown menu to the left.