Rats like to eat. And as omnivores, they can eat both plant matter and animal-based foods. This is when they do best. But not all foods are safe and healthy, even for some that fall in such categories. What about avocados? Can you offer them? Here is what you need to know.
So, can rats eat avocados? Rats can eat the flesh of an avocado and generally enjoy doing so. Although avocado is high in fat and calories so should be fed sparingly and in moderation. Equally, the skin and pit (seed) are toxic to rats and must be removed before serving and avoided at all costs.
The flesh is the green, soft and edible part of avocado, if you were wondering.
It’s the part that we often associate with avocado.
We do naturally dispose of the pit (seed) and skin when eating it.
But when feeding to rats, it may seem easier to provide the avocado in the shell or just offer the entire thing.
This is a big mistake. It’s a potentially dangerous and fatal error.
And it should never be done.
Feeding avocado certainly does come with its caveats. But it can be fed if done so appropriately.
Let us now explore how to do so!
Is Avocado Healthy For Rats?
Avocado can be a healthy addition to the diet of a rat, so long as only a small amount is consumed and very infrequently. This is assuming only the flesh is served.
Let us now take a closer look at the nutrition offered by this green fruit.
Nutritional Content of Avocado
|Of which are sugars||0.66 g|
|Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)||0.13 mg|
|Niacin (Vitamin B3)||1.7 mg|
|Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)||0.25 mg|
|Vitamin K||21 µg|
|Vitamin C||10 mg|
As the U.S. Department of Agriculture analysis shows, avocado is abundant in a range of nutrients.
From a vitamin perspective, it provides very decent amounts of Vitamin C, K and almost the full range of B-Vitamins.
From a mineral perspective, it is an incredibly rich source of potassium and magnesium.
All of which can help to support the health of a rat and its metabolic processes.
And when we say “raw,” we mean a ripe avocado with nothing added.
Minimally processed, store-bought, and offered fresh.
So far, so good.
But are you surprised?
Avocado is a fruit, after all.
But it is, in fact, very unique compared to others.
Not just in taste and in texture.
But in the type of energy, it provides.
And it provides a lot of energy.
As you can see from the table above, 100 grams of avocado provides 160 calories, almost 15 grams of fat, and 8 grams of carbohydrates.
That’s a lot for a rat!
But you may be thinking that’s a lot of avocado to provide.
Well, consider that the average avocado weighs between 5-7 ounces (150-200).
So, in one-half of an average-sized avocado (which is actually quite small), there is going to be too much energy for your typical rat.
Serving sizes will be crucial.
We will shortly explore this in the following few sections.
Do Rats Like Avocado?
Rats generally enjoy eating avocado when provided. They tend to have quite a taste for this particular fruit.
“I feed my rats avocado all the time… they love it”
Reports one rat owners over at the Rat Forum.
But, there is, of course, the possibility that not all rats will enjoy avocado if provided.
In fact, if it is new food to the diet, chances are they are unlikely to take to it right away.
And here is why.
Rats are naturally cautious of new foods.
It’s a survival mechanism to keep them from eating dangerous or toxic substances.
And it has served them well.
Besdies, they cannot vomit or generally save themselves after something poisonous has been consumed.
So, at first, a rat will only eat a small amount of a new food they come across or provided.
When they know it is safe, after a period of time without issues, they will go back for more.
So, if you are newly feeding avocado – you may get the wrong impression the first time around.
It generally takes at least a couple of servings of new food to really get a feel for what a rat enjoys.
You may even find that even after multiple offerings, your rat never comes around to the taste of avocado.
Rats do have their preferences, after all.
That being said, the general observation is that an avocado is a desirable treat for these rodents.
How Much Avocado Should You Feed A Rat?
Avocado should be fed to a rat in very small serving sizes and not very frequently. More specifically, 1-2 small chunks every 2-4 weeks is advised.
This equates to about 15-30 grams of flesh from a fresh avocado. Or in other words, 1/3rd or a quarter of an avocado half.
It’s essential to remove any leaves, along with the skin and the pit (central seed), prior to serving.
These contain a fungicidal toxin called Persin, which can be fatal for smaller animals such as a rat if consumed.
Rats are particularly susceptible, according to the research.
We’ve already touched upon the fact that rats are intelligent in their eating.
They will not eat foods they consider or perceive as poisonous or dangerous.
But for rats that have not been offered this food before, they are likely to consume some of it provided.
It takes them time to learn, after all.
Or they may do so accidentally.
And there are no nutritional benefits of the skin or the pit (seed) for a rat.
These parts are essentially just fiber.
And in fact, their high fiber content could result in other digestive issues if consumed (as a rat could struggle to break them down).
One other thing to consider about offering avocado is the other foods you may provide on that particular day.
Due to being high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, it’s generally not advised to offer a lot of other fruit or energy-dense foods.
Otherwise, their energy would likely be too high.
And if this happens too frequently, a rat is likely to gain weight.
They are prone to obesity, after all.
So, if you do want to offer some avocado, stick to other vegetables on the day of serving.
Cucumber, for instance, is ideal here.
Then from there, you can provide the rest of the daily nutrition in the form of their balanced pelleted feed.
It should be around 80% of the diet anyway.
Remember, pellets are nutritionally balanced and ensure that they get all the vitamins and minerals for these rodents to thrive without those excess fats and carbohydrates.
How To Feed Avocado To Rats
Like most other fruits and vegetables, feeding avocado to a rat is pretty effortless. You just need to be willing and able to cut it up into smaller chunks.
When looking for an avocado, it’s best to seek out larger ones for this purpose. These are generally easier to cut up.
At the same time, you want to look for a ripe, soft avocado that has not started to go off. It should not be hard nor crunchy in texture.
The flesh should be green when you cut into the avocado and not showing any signs of discoloration (browning or blackening).
If you are not sure how to dice an avocado or cut them up into cubes, there are plenty of instructional videos on YouTube which can teach you how.
Just make sure you end up with small cubes.
You’ll only be wanting to serve 1-2 at a time.
It’s generally best to cut up the avocado just before feeding – and not leave it out too long before you offer it.
Otherwise, it will begin to spoil.
This way, you can also check that it is not too hard or difficult for your rat to eat.
Once prepared, you can offer a cube (or two) to your rat!
One of the best ways to offer a cube of avocado is to hide it in their cage.
This way, your rat will have to hunt around and use their sense of smell to find it.
It’s great for providing mental stimulation and promoting their natural foraging behaviors.
Searching and scavenging are what these rodents do.
So if you can tap into that while keeping them in captivity, that’s great.
Make it quite a challenge to find.
Perhaps even cut a cube up into even smaller pieces and distribute further.
Otherwise, you can look to purchase a treat-dispensing toy for your rat.
This serves the same purpose – making it an entertaining way and a challenge to eat.
It’s great for preventing boredom.
This is the best treat dispensing toy to get from Amazon – many rat owners swear by it!
Avocados are a nutritious treat for rats. They tend to love eating it. At least once, they have been exposed to it a few times.
We are talking about the flesh here, of course.
The skin and pit/seed – there is one place for them and one place only.
And even with the flesh, be sure to be mindful of the serving sizes.
Less is definitely more with this particular fruit.
One cube can go a long way.
Just be sure to keep any leftover avocado in an airtight and sealed container to prevent any spoiling.
It can happen fast.
With these considerations in mind, you can safely offer this food and support the health of your rat.
Rats can eat a small amount of guacamole, so long as minimal ingredients are added. There must be no added fats, preservatives, or other additives. Making guacamole with just the avocado’s flesh and mushing it up is generally the best way to go.
Wondering what else a rat can eat? Check my other feeding guides below:
- Can Rats Eat Pineapple?
- Can Rats Eat Carrots?
- Can Rats Eat Cucumber?
- Can Rats Eat Eggs?
- Can Rats Eat Meat?
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.