Pouched rats love to enjoy a variety of different foods, but knowing just how, when and what to feed them can be confusing for first time owners. Being able to find out what they eat naturally in the wild can be difficult due to limited studies in this area of how they live naturally in the wild.
The list of foods on this page are suggestions of foods that are safe to try, although whether your pouched rat will like them will differ from pouched rat to pouched rat.
All foods in the following lists should be fed alongside a readily available supply of a dry mix consisting of a good quality rat mix (avoid hamster food as it is high in fat) combined with a fruity parrot mix (with chilies removed). fresh fruit and veg should be fed daily and any uneaten food waste removed daily.
My rule of thumb is if it is not a food that they could naturally find in the wild then it is best to avoid… you are unlikely to see a pouched rat fishing so fish is not a food recommended for them especially oily fish like tuna. Foods high in or with added salt, fat or sugar are to be avoided along with any dairy foods containing milk e.g. Yogurt, cheese, cream etc
- Apple – All pips should be removed
- Apricots – Stone should be removed
- Avocado – Skin and stone should be removed
- Cherries – With stones removed
- Figs – In small amounts
- Kiwi – Without the skin and in moderation
- Melons – All varieties
- Peach – With stones removed
- Persimmon (Sharon Fruit)
- Plums – With stones removed
- Aubergine (Egg plant)
- Bean sprouts
- Beetroot – This may change colour of feces. Do not feed the pickled beetroot.
- Bok Choy
- Broad beans – Cooked only
- Brussels sprouts – Cooked only
- Butternut squash
- Canneletti beans
- Chick peas – Cooked only
- Courgette (Zucchini)
- Green beans – Cooked only
- Kidney beans – Cooked only
- Mange tout
- Peas – Frozen or fresh
- Peppers – All colours. Check they are not too spicy first
- Potato – Cooked only
- Pumpkin – Cooked only
- Savoy Cabbage
- Soy beans – Must be cooked
- Spring greens (Spring cabbage)
- Sweet corn – Frozen, fresh, on the cob or off
- Sweet peppers
- Sweet potato – Cooked only
- Lettuce – In small amounts
- Sugar snap peas
- Tomato – This will change the colour of their urine.
- Water chestnuts
Seeds and Nuts
Be aware to check the freshness of nuts and that they come from a reputable source to risk exposure to Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungus that grows on soil, plant debris and rotting vegetation.
- Almonds – Unsalted only and in moderation
- Cashews – Unsalted only
- Pistachios – Unsalted only and in moderation
- Peanuts – Unsalted only and in moderation
- Pumpkin seeds – In moderation due to high fat content
- Sunflower seeds – Unsalted only
- Walnuts – Whole or unshelled
- Chicken – This is the healthiest meat.
- Chicken bones – Great for gnawing on.
- Bread – Whole wheat is best and fed either in small pieces or toasted
- Dandilion leaves – Make sure they are well washed and free from pesticides
- Dry rolled oats – With no added sugar or salt
- Eggs – Raw, poached or hard boiled
- Pasta – All varieties dried or cooked
- Rice – Brown rice is the better option
Do not feed wild caught insects due to a risk of them carrying disease or internal parasites
- Morio worms