Thankfully, the reputation of rats is rapidly changing due to how many viral videos have been shared on social media showing just how cute and loving pet rats can be.
This has resulted in a spike in the number of people keeping rats as pets over the last year or two with more people than ever adding a pet rat of their very own to their family.
With there being such a high number of new rat keepers out there, we have also noticed a spike in the number of people reaching out with various questions about caring for their pet rat.
Most of these questions seem to be based around what you should actually be feeding your pet rat and after publishing our article on if rats can eat mealworms, we started to notice a number of people asking about if rats can eat crickets or not.
Now, depending on where you source your crickets, the answer will change from place to place and there are a number of things that you have to factor in about feeding your pet rat crickets so we wanted to publish this article to try and help as many of our readers as possible.
Can Rats Eat Crickets?
The short answer to this question is yes, rats can eat crickets with no issues whatsoever.
Crickets are a great source of protein and other nutrients which makes them the perfect treat for your pet rat to enjoy every now and again.
Most rats seem to really enjoy eating crickets as a treat food and they will happily eat as many crickets as they can get.
Due to the macronutrient breakdown of crickets not being optimal for rats, they should only ever be used as a treat food option rather than a main food source though.
This is where your self restraint will come into play as many rats really do enjoy eating rats but you will have to control how many they are able to eat but more on this below.
How Many Crickets Can A Rat Eat?
The number of crickets that you are able to give to your pet rat will depend on the rest of the food that your pet rat has within its diet.
For the most part though, two to three crickets per day no more than three days per week should be fine for the vast majority of healthy adult rats.
This allows you to give your pet rat crickets as a treat food while still leaving plenty of their diet for core food sources for a rat to balance their macronutrient intake ratios.
We have seen a number of rat keepers give their pet rats far more crickets than this and although this can be fine in some situations, it really should be avoided.
The usual recommended rat macronutrient breakdown falls somewhere in the following ranges:-
- 75- 80% Carbohydrates.
- 12 – 20 % Protein.
- 4 – 6% Fat.
Due to crickets being so high in proteins and low in carbohydrates and fats, a rat really can’t have many of them in quick succession without causing problems with their macronutrient breakdown.
Can You Give A Rat Live Crickets?
We usually recommend against giving your pet rat live crickets unless you have raised the crickets yourself and know that they are safe.
Many wild crickets have some sort of pesticide, herbicide or other chemical on them these days so we would never recommend that you go out and catch wild crickets to feed to your pet rat as the risks are just not worth it.
For the most part though, rat keepers who want to feed their pet rat crickets as a treat food will be much better off going with freeze dried crickets designed for use as reptile food.
They are cheap, easy to store, and last a long time without issue making them perfect for your rats.
On top of this, they have been bred specifically for use as a food source for pets so they are free from pesticides and herbicides helping to make sure that they are safe for your pet rats.
In addition to this, freeze dried crickets tend to be freeze dried soon after being fed helping to make sure that they have the highest possible nutritional value too.
This helps to make sure that your pet rat is getting as many vitamins and minerals as possible from the cricket helping to increase the nutritional profile of its diet.
Nutritional Value Of Crickets For Rats!
Crickets are a great source of protein for rats as well as being a good source of many other nutrients too.
As we touched on earlier in the article though, crickets are far too high in protein to be used as a primary food source for your pet rats and should only ever be used as a treat food.
They are particularly high in the following vitamins and minerals:-
- Vitamin B12.
As you can see, there are a lot of great vitamins and minerals in crickets which is one of the reasons that they make such a good treat food for pet rats.
They are an especially good source of calcium which is important for many different bodily functions in rats including keeping their bones healthy and strong.
Crickets are also a good source of fat for rats although they are not as high in fat as some other common rat treat foods such as sunflower seeds.
This helps to make them a good option if you are looking for a treat food that is not too high in fat but still provides your pet rat with some essential fatty acids that they need.
Freeze dried crickets are also a good source of fiber for rats which is important for keeping their digestive system healthy.
Do Rats Like Eating Crickets?
Most pet rats seem to really enjoy eating crickets as a treat food and plenty of people within the rat keeping community use crickets and grasshoppers as a treat food for their pet rat.
The crunchy nature and unique taste of the crickets will probably be one of the main reasons that most rats seem to enjoy them so much as there is nothing quiet like crickets in most pet rats diets.
That said, wild rats will often eat crickets, grasshoppers and various other insects as a regular part of their diet if they get the chance.