Humans love peanut butter and animals big and small also love peanut butter. So, does that mean that rats can eat it, or should they be kept well away from it? That’s the question on the cards and in this article we ask and answer, Can rats eat peanuts? While also discussing peanut butter, the magical substance that keeps kids happy, content, quiet and well fed!
Can Rats Eat Peanuts?
You might be surprised to learn that rats can not eat peanuts. In fact, they are on the list of foodstuffs that are toxic to rats and should be kept away from them (see our guide to Pet Rat Nutrition). This list is actually rather large, which is a big sunrise considering rats are seen as animals that can and will eat anything. And peanut butter is one of the most troublesome foods on that list.
It won’t cause instant death, so there might not be anything to worry about if your pet rat has consumed a little without your permission (they can be sneaky little guys, so that’s always a possibility). However, regular consumption can cause serious nutrition problems.
That’s because it has been discovered that they can destroy the vitamin A in the body, while also eradicating healthy enzymes that are needed to keep your pet rat in tip-top shape. These enzymes are also used to break down proteins and starches, which makes up a large portion of a rat’s diet. So, without those enzymes that food is not broken down, the vitamins and minerals are not extracted and damage can be done.
What’s more, consumption of peanuts by rats may also cause their red blood cells to stick together, which, as you can imagine, can cause all kinds of potentially serious issues.
In other words, you should definitely not feed peanuts to your pet rat and should do all that you can to make sure they stay well clear of them at all times. It is just not worth the risk.
Can Rats Eat Peanut Butter?
This is something that most small animals enjoy and it is even used in traps for that very reason. However, as you might suspect, peanut butter is basically just cooked and blended peanuts, and because rats can not (or rather, should not) eat peanuts, it’s just not good for them.
So, as tempting as it might be to let your pet rat have a lick of peanut butter, knowing just how much most animals love this stuff, it is not advised. It’s a solid protein source, but it’s also very high in fat and, more importantly, it only takes a small amount to get a concentrated hit of peanuts. And when you consider how damaging peanuts can be, as discussed above, this is not advised.
So, to recap, just incase you missed it: Can rats eat peanuts and peanut butter? No! Keep your little furry friends well away from these foods if you want them to be as healthy as can be.