The reputation of rats is slowly changing and this is resulting in more and more people keeping rats as pets that in turn results in more people reaching out and asking questions about what they should be doing to offer the best care for their pet rats. One of the best things about having a pet rat is that they will usually eat a huge range of different things without issue so they are generally very easy to feed but we do see people reaching out with questions about specific types of food.
We have seen more and more people specifically reaching out to ask if rats can eat mealworms or not recently and we have seen some incorrect information being recommended on social media when people have been reaching out. Due to this, we wanted to publish our own article going over rats eating mealworms in the hope that we will be able to help as many of our readers as possible offer their pet rats a more interesting diet.
As we see such a range of different questions about integrating mealworms into your pet rats diet, we have decided to answer them in this article and add our table of contents below. It will make it easier to navigate our article and better understand what you should be using as treat foods for your pet rat. If you are brand new to keeping rats, we would highly recommend the Rats: Practical Advice From The Expert Book as it offers a ton of high-quality information on keeping pet rats and is less than $10!
Can Rats Eat Mealworms?
Rats can eat mealworms with many rats seeming to really enjoy eating mealworms but don’t be surprised if your pet rat takes a minute or two to workout that the mealworm you give it is actually food the first time they try mealworms. We would only recommend that you give your pet rat mealworms as a treat due to being too high in protein as a primary food source for rats though.
One common problem with mealworms is that many people don’t like the idea of live feeding their pet rats. This usually rules out live mealworms for many people although we would usually recommend live mealworms for your rats if possible. Still, many people do choose to use freeze-dried mealworms instead with many rats still really enjoying having them in their diet.
If you do choose to go with freeze-dried mealworms then you have the advantage of the mealworms lasting considerably longer than live mealworms will last too. This does score freeze-dried mealworms points over going with live mealworms as the majority of our readers probably can’t get through a full pack of mealworms before they go back unless they have a large number of pet rats.
Mealworms Nutritional Value For Rats!
Although mealworms are an excellent source of protein for your pet rat, they are almost pure protein and far too high in protein to be the only food your pet rat has in a day. Your rat should usually have around 16% of its daily calorie intake as protein with the rest being fat and carbohydrates.
Provided you are using a high-quality rat food for your rat’s main meals, this can easily allow you to add treats such as mealworms into their diet without causing problems with their macronutrient intake though. If the bulk of your pet rats food is kitchen scrapes then its macronutrient intake might already be off so we would recommend a rat treats as the treat food option as they are more inline with what a rat should be eating when it comes to its protein, fat, and carb breakdown.
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, mealworms contain a large amount of magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, and manganese as well as various other vitamins and minerals in trace amounts. They are a particularly good source of Magnesium and iron too while also helping to offer your pet rat a nutritionally balanced diet in a number of other key areas too.
Should You Feed Your Rats Mealworms?
The majority of rat owners should at least try their pet rats with mealworms as a large number of rats really do seem to enjoy them and will happily eat them as a treat food option. A small number of rats do seem to be indifferent to mealworms but this is rare and most rats will often try to get as many mealworms as possible but remember that portion control is important due to their high protein content.
Most adult rats can probably have between one and five mealworms for a snack depending on their size and the other foods you are planning to give them that day. Remember, balancing the high protein content of the mealworms is a take spread out over the full day, not just that meal so you can provide a main meal low in protein later in the day to account for giving your rats mealworms.
Most high-quality rat foods have been designed to be as balanced as possible making it very easy for you to add a range of different treat food options into your pet rats diet too. This usually allows you to try mealworms with your pet rat without having to worry about any potential problems with their diet and giving them too much protein and not enough fat or carbohydrates.
That brings our article going over if rats can eat mealworms to an end. We hope that we have been able to help our readers better understand that rats are able to eat mealworms and that they can be a very popular treat food with rats but they should definitely be used in moderation. They are just too high in protein to be used as a core food source for your pet rats and it is usually too much effort for most people to try and balance their rat’s diet around using mealworms as a core food source when store-bought rat foods have essentially already done it for them presenting a quicker and easier option so mealworms are usually only used as treats.