Can Rats Eat Cheese?

This is the food that is mostly associated with rats but do they like to eat it?  Is it a good choice for them?  

If they can eat cheese, what type should you feed them and how much?

 Can Pet Rats Eat Cheese?

Yes your pet rat can eat cheese but it has to be one that is okay for them to eat.  

 Can Eat

  • Cheddar
  • Gouda
  • Colby
  • Edam
  • Red Leicester
  • Emmental
  • Appenzeller

Even though your pet rat can eat these types of cheeses, you still have to watch how the cheese affects your pet rat.  If they have diarrhea, they may be lactose intolerant.  They are not generally lactose intolerant but some are different and have this issue.  Make sure that you make a note if a certain cheese gives them diarrhea so you will not give it to them again.

cheesy rat

Cannot Eat

  • Cottage cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Mascarpone
  • Mozzarella
  • Feta
  • Brie
  • Queso blanco
  • Camembert
  • Gorgonzola
  • Ricotta

Although the mild hard or semi-hard cheeses are okay for your pet rat, you must avoid any strong cheeses, soft cheeses, and moldy cheeses.  Never feed your pet rat any of these types of cheeses ever.  The reason that your pet rat can have the hard or semi-hard cheese is that this type of cheese undergoes a washing process. The process removes the excess whey, which makes them lower in fat and lactose.  

How Much Cheese And How Often

Cheeses on the approved list should only be given as an occasional treat, generally no more than once a week and only a small quantity.  

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Well Balanced Diet

Although your pet rat can eat cheese, it should not be a part of their regular diet.  It should be given as a special treat.  Your pet rat’s diet should include a rat block and plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits.  They need a well-balanced diet in order for them to stay healthy and at a healthy weight.  By doing this, your pet rat will be healthy and with fewer health issues.  Having a well-balanced diet is an important part of caring for your pet rat.  Remember, your pet rat is omnivorous and will generally eat a variety of food.

greedy rat and cheese

Conclusion

  • Cheese is high in fat so this is another reason to not give them too much cheese.  It is not good for their overall health.
  • The approved cheese should be produced from goat or cow’s milk and be plain with no nuts, certain greens, or chilies.  It needs to be plain cheese.
  • Soft cheese, which should never be given to your pet rat, is too chewy and since they do not have the molars to break the food down before they swallow means that they could choke on this type of cheese.
  • Your pet rat cannot vomit so it they eat blue cheese, which contains mold that is poisonous for your pet rat, they may eventually die because they cannot vomit it back up.
  • Some pet rats do not like cheese because of the pungent odor it gives off.

 The ASPCA advises that you should not give any cheese to your pet mouse so if in doubt, talk to your veterinarian to be sure.

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