Feeding Your Rat

Your rat is an omnivore, which means he eats both plant and animal material. Your rat requires a simple diet composed of a complete fortified food, fresh water served in both a sipper bottle and tip-proof dish, and veggies and fruits in moderation. Like humans, rats are prone to eating when bored, so it’s important to provide healthy foods in proper amounts.


Supply grass hay to stimulate natural foraging and nesting, which helps in the prevention of obesity. Many rats especially enjoy Oat Hay, which often contains tasty immature seed heads.

Hay Selection

Use our Taste & Texture Guide located on every hay package to determine your pet’s taste and texture preferences.

Oxbow Farm-Fresh Hays and Compressed Hays:

Fortified Food

A complete, age-specific fortified food like Oxbow Essentials Adult Rat Food or Essentials Mouse & Young Rat Food is the best option for your rat.  These specially designed foods are formed into the ideal shape for nibbling, which promotes healthy teeth.  

Food Selection

Always choose an age-appropriate food formulated specifically for rats.  Our Essentials Mouse & Young Rat Food is ideal for rats under six months of age, and our Essentials Adult Rat Food is recommended for adult rats.  


Mixes with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit because rats have a tendency to select those tempting morsels over the healthy food pieces.

Veggies, Greens, and Fruits

Veggies, greens, and fruits are an important part of your rat’s daily diet. These items offer important vitamins and nutrients, contribute to hydration, and provide enrichment to your pet’s daily routine. Check with your qualified exotics veterinarian for a full list of appropriate veggies, greens, and fruit choices. A good starter list of varieties to offer and avoid includes:


Romaine, kale, parsley, apples (without seeds), strawberries, bananas, peas, and squash


Leeks, chives, and onions


Treats are great for encouraging interaction between you and your pet, but they should only be given after basic daily foods have been eaten. Offering too many treats can cause your rat to refuse his healthy, essential foods. It’s important to remember that not all treats are created equal! All Oxbow treat varieties are designed to be as wholesome as they are delicious.