If you have a pet rat, you can’t feed it just anything. These animals need to be given certain food to stay healthy and happy in the short and long term. 

When you know what your new pet can and cannot eat, you will have a much easier time caring for it properly.

Can You Give Hamster Food to Your Pet Rat?

The dietary needs of rats and hamsters are not the same, which is why they owners are supposed to give them different food. While it might be tempting to do this if you own both of these animals, you’ll want to think twice.

While hamster food is not inherently toxic or immediately dangerous to rats, it won’t provide them with all of the nutrients they need. The high quantity of corn in hamster mixes could result in your rat getting a fungal infection, which can be quite serious.

Rats typically have a difficult time digesting hamster food properly, which is another reason to not give it to them at all. Digestive problems with these animals can range from fairly mild to severe.

Nutritional Needs of Rats

Anyone who owns a pet rat will need to be aware of this animal’s nutritional needs.

Rats require a ton of protein in their diet in order to keep their muscle tissue strong and healthy. One of the biggest mistakes that people make with feeding their pet rat is to not give them enough of this particular nutrient.

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Your rat might need a protein supplement, but you’ll want to consult with your vet before starting them on one. You also need to be careful about not overloading your pet with protein, as this can be bad for their overall health.

hamster food

Finding the Right Food for Your Pet Rat

It is crucial that you find the right food to give your pet rat on a daily basis. There are many different options available on the market, so you’ll need to review your options before making any final decisions.

You can either give your rat a specialized seed mix, or pellets. Either way, the food needs to be specially formulated to for a rat’s dietary requirements. You shouldn’t buy any food that is advertised as being for hamsters or gerbils.

When you are looking at the various rat food options on the market, it’s important to read the label of each one. You’ll want to know exactly how much protein is in the food. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you precisely how much protein your rat needs each day.

A lot of veterinarians recommend pellets for rats, as they are highly nutritious. Pellets are also a good option because most rats will gobble all of them up every single time. This means that you won’t have to worry about any food going to waste.

Take the time to go online and do some research into different rat food products. It’s also a good idea to read the reviews for each one, as this will give you a better idea of which you should buy.

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rat eats seeds

Tips for Giving Your Rats Hamster Food

If you decide to give your rat any hamster food, there are a few good tips that you’ll want to keep in mind.

1. Look for High-Protein Foods

Take the time to find a hamster food that is very high in protein, as this is a dietary requirement for rats. Skimping on the protein will only serve to harm your pet’s health in a big way. Keep in mind that most hamster foods don’t have the amount of protein your rat needs, so finding the right one can be challenging.

2. Monitor Your Rat Closely

When you start giving your rat the hamster food you’ve selected, you’ll need to monitor them closely for the first week or so. If you notice any signs of illness or a negative reaction, take them off the food immediately.

Some of the possible symptoms your rat might exhibit when eating hamster food include diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. These are all clear indications that you should switch them to a different food.

3. Don’t Overfeed

Overfeeding your rat is never a good idea, regardless of whichever food you decide to give them. While these animals are not particularly prone to obesity, they can put on extra pounds if you feed them too much on a regular basis. The fact is that overfeeding will significantly shorten your pet’s lifespan.

Can My Rat Eat Guinea Pig Food?

Guinea pigs should be kept on a diet of mostly hay, which will not satisfy the nutritional needs of your rat. The fact is that your rat is unlikely to eat very much of this food, even if you put it right in front of them. These two animals have different dietary requirements, so they cannot eat the same thing.

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It’s also not recommended that you give your pet rat any gerbil food either. Gerbils require a lot more magnesium than the average rat. Giving your rat this food will not help with maintaining their overall health.


  • The fact is that most hamster food will not satisfy the full nutritional requirements of your pet rat.
  • Rats require a lot of protein in their daily diet.
  • Your rat could benefit from a protein supplement, but you’ll need to consult with your vet first.
  • You can give your rat pellets or a seed mix, but it must be specially formulated for these animals.
  • If you want your rat to eat hamster food, you’ll need to look for a product that is loaded with protein.
  • Always check the label of each food before settling on one to give your rat.
  • Keep a close eye on your rat after giving it any amount of hamster food. If you notice any symptoms of illness, stop giving it to them immediately.
  • Overfeeding your rat is never a good idea, as it can lead to obesity and numerous health issues.
  • If you aren’t sure how much to feed your rat each day, consult with your veterinarian.
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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".