Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

Can Rats Eat Cantaloupe? What You Need to Know!

Hallie Roddy

Pet rats are sort of like magicians. Once you put food in front of them, they can instantly make it disappear. Even though rats are known for eating just about anything, that doesn’t mean that they should be eating those foods. Of all the treats to give your pet rat, cantaloupe is one that many people wonder about.

Can rats eat cantaloupe? Rats are omnivores, and it is safe for them to eat a wide variety of meats, vegetables, and fruits, including cantaloupe and other melons.

divider-multiprint

A Rat’s Diet

Much of the food you feed to a rat should be rat food that comes right from the pet store. About 90 percent of their regular diet comes from rat food, and the other 10 percent should come from treats. The list of safe fruits and veggies is almost never-ending, but you should always do your research to ensure that specific foods won’t harm them.

Can Rats Eat Cantaloupe?

Pet rats love to gorge on sugary treats like cantaloupe. It is sweet and juicy, and it is closely related to their other favorite treats from the watermelon family, like cucumbers, gourds, and pumpkins. But just because it is safe, does that mean it’s nutritious?

Cantaloupe Nutrition

While cantaloupe fruit consists mainly of water, there are some other parts to it that make it a great treat for rats. A cup of fresh melon contains around 144 calories with lots of dietary fiber, nutrients, and minerals. Some of the most common vitamins are vitamins A and C that help protect your pet’s cells and keep their skin, eyes, and immune systems working properly. You can also find potassium, zinc, iron, manganese, and selenium in these fruits.

Benefits of Feeding Cantaloupe to Rats

We know that these melons aren’t going to harm our pet rats when given to them in moderation, so what benefits, if any, do they get from it?

Digestion

Because cantaloupe is low carb and contains lots of water, it is a great tool for easing digestive issues. It also helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Hydration

Life isn’t possible without the appropriate hydration levels. Because rats are active and agile, they are likely to get dehydrated more often than some other pets. Cantaloupes are full of water and electrolytes to keep them full of energy.

Immunity

Perhaps the most significant benefit to feeding rats cantaloupe is the boost in immunity. Melons help fight off many diseases for rats because it contains phytonutrients. These compounds work as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant to fight common infections.

slices of cantaloupe
Image Credit: Pixabay

Dangers of Feeding Cantaloupe to Rats

Too much of a good thing can also be a little risky. Sometimes, consuming large amounts of the same vitamins and minerals can create health issues. With cantaloupe in particular, issues with high potassium levels get in the way. Rats who eat potassium in excess amount could lead to any number of health issues, but you’re likely to see problems with digestion.

divider-rodent

Healthy Snacks for Rats

Don’t limit yourself or your pet rat to only cantaloupe. There are many different treats that rats love to snack on. They’ll also appreciate the variety.

Grapes

If the grapes are seedless, they are a perfectly healthy option for rats. Purple grapes are known for their anti-carcinogenic properties to help them live longer lives.

variety of grapes
Image Credit: NickyPe, Pixabay

Apples

Rats love a few small slices of apple as a juicy dessert. Just be sure to remove all the seeds so that they are completely safe.

Rats Eat Apple
Image Credit: Grace800, Shutterstock

Bananas

Ripe yellow bananas are an excellent source of vitamins for pet rats. However, unripe, green bananas have been known to cause digestive problems, so make sure there isn’t a green peel in sight.

peeled and sliced banana
Image Credit: t_watanabe, Pixabay

Tomatoes

Rats don’t always like the outer skin of raw tomatoes, but they do love the juicy inner flesh. Keep in mind that this is a messier treat, and you might have to give a few baths if you feed them tomatoes regularly.

tomatoes
Image Credit: Pixabay

Watermelons

It makes sense that watermelons would be safe for rats considering that they are so closely related to cantaloupes. Only give rats a small slice of these melons, especially when you want to reward good behavior.

Rat eats a watermelon with seeds
Image Credit: Kireevl, Shutterstock

A Caution to Rat Owners

An important fact to know about rats is that they lack the ability to vomit. Once they ingest something, there is no going back. Food must pass through a rat’s digestive system in order to get rid of it. Always be extra careful during feedings if you have a pet rat. Here are a few foods you should avoid giving to them because it will make them ill:

  • Raw potatoes
  • Unripe bananas
  • Rhubarb
  • Cabbage
  • Artichokes
  • Brussels sprouts

  • Avocado skin
  • Dried corn
  • Citrus fruits
  • Mango
  • Papaya

divider-mouse

Conclusion

Moderation is key when allowing your rats to have a snack. Remember that their main diet should come from the rat food you buy at the pet store, with only 10 percent, or a maximum of 20 percent, coming from human foods. If you’re unsure if a specific food is safe, do a quick search on the internet. If you still can’t find the information you’re looking for, it is better to be cautious and stick to treats that you know are going to digest well.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Hallie Roddy

Hallie has been a proud nature and animal enthusiast for as long as she can remember. She attributes her passion for the environment and all its creatures to her childhood when she was showing horses on weekends and spending her weeknights devoting her attention to her pets. She enjoys spending most of her time in Michigan playing with her two rescue cats, Chewbacca and Lena, and her dog, Clayton. When Hallie isn’t using her degree in English with a writing specialization to spread informative knowledge on pet care, you can find her snuggled up on the couch reading books or watching nature documentaries.