Can a rat eat cheese? Is there evidence to show that what’s shown in cartoons is true?
Rats may eat cheese, although only a few kinds are safe for them to eat. There’s more to rats and eating cheese, and you’ll find out as you read on.
3 Key Facts About Rats and Cheese To Keep In Mind
It’ll be helpful to view these three things below before you feed your rat with cheese.
Rats are lactose intolerant
Lactose is a type of sugar that gives rats diarrhea. Cheese contains this sugar that is dangerous for your rat and can lead to its death.
If you must feed your rat with cheese and products with lactose, then avoid them as a daily diet. Introduce the foods as treats on occasions instead.
Rats Can’t Vomit
Unlike cats, rats cannot vomit whatever they have eaten. If cheese or something from a rat’s food upsets its stomach, there’s a high risk of death for it.
Cheeses with mold, especially blue cheese, can upset your rat’s stomach
You should avoid these cheeses. There are three mold cheese: blue, red, and white cheese.
What Are Some Important Classes of Cheese?
We may classify cheeses with:
Source of Milk: Where you get milk for cheese determines the amount of fat or nutrient in the cheese. For example, cheese from goat’s milk would contain less fat than cheese from cow milk.
Likewise, cheese from Yak’s milk is more nutritious than cow and goat’s milk.
The Texture of Cheese: The texture of cheese refers to how hard or how much moisture the cheese lacks.
It’s how hard your cheese is at the time of consumption. The process of production and how long you allow the cheese to stand on shelves (age) affect its texture.
Fats and Cholesterol: These two occur in cheese. Low-fat cheese is low in cholesterol levels, while high-fat cheese is high.
Mozzarella, cream cheese, low-fat cottage cheese, and cheddar are the best cheese to stay healthy. Muenster, Feta, and American Processed cheese are the cheese to avoid for their high fat and cholesterol.
Low fat cheese?
If you feed your rat with moderation, there are varieties of cheese that are harmless to it. The safest thing for your rat is that you maintain a regular cheese with low fat when you feed it.
Some cheese that your rat can eat includes Vegan cheese, Mozzarella, Cheddar Cheese.
Others include Italian Parmesan, or sweet cheese.
General Precautions to Keep Your Pet Rat Safe
We’ve talked about things to consider before giving your rat cheese. Here are precautions to take to ensure its safety:
1. Make a list of what is harmful to your rat, and what isn’t. Separate a list of what puts it at the risk of diarrhea, fattening, or other health issues.
2. Place the list beside its cage for everyone to see.
3. Tell everyone that has access to your rat the need to maintain its health and balanced diet.
4. Tell everyone about the list of what to consider before feeding your rat.
5. Supplement your pet rat’s diet with vegetables and raw fruits.
6. Consider vegan cheese instead. An alternative that’s cholesterol-free and made with plant milk, nuts, and other things. A non-dairy alternative.
7. Protect your rat from people that are not comfortable with rats. Keep it in the cage and always close your window until when you are available to watch over it yourself.
8. Allow your rat to have a say in what’s good for it. Rats are intelligent rodents, and they get used to new foods their way.
Rats eat only a small amount of any new food, then wait to see if it’s safe before they accept it as food.
9. Plan for veterinary care. Ensure that you have access to a veterinary doctor for the safety of your rat. It’s essential to avoid self-medication at all times unless it’s based on the guidance of a doctor.
10. Keeping the rat’s cage and environment clean is crucial. Ensure the removal of your it’s droppings and left-over food particles from its cage.
11. If you’ve other pets, like dogs and cats in the house, ensure that you keep your rat’s cage high from the ground. It’s best to make a proper introduction between the pets if you’re able to achieve it.
To keep your rat healthy, it’s necessary to design a healthy diet and maintain a clean environment.
It’s fine to share your favorite cheese with your rat, but it’s best to choose the cheese with caution, and watch the ration it takes from it.
Mozzarella can be a great option for your rat. It lacks saturated fats found in most of the other cheese.
Excellent Tricks to Teach Your Pet Rat
Now that you know why Jerry Mouse always falls for Tom Cat’s cheese-in-the-mousetrap trick, here are other tricks you can teach to your rat.
Teaching your rat tricks is not as hard as you think. It is an eternally curious animal, smart, and loves to learn.
If you include treats in your training sessions, it will learn quickly.
Here are a few neat tricks to teach your smart cheese-loving furry friend:
*Coming to You When you Call its Name
Teaching it to come to you is one of the easiest tricks, which is quite useful if you want to get its attention.
Before starting, have its favorite treat handy (a small piece of cheese will do).
Bring your rat to an open space, maybe a spare room in your house. Then sit down as close to its level.
Have your pet rat close to you, less than six feet away.
Then call out its name and offer your hand, first without the treat.
Once they come investigating and sniffing your hand, then give the treat immediately.
Repeat a process a few times and take intermittent breaks.
Once it gets used to this, move your pet rat further away from you, then repeat the process.
It will start associating its name with the treat and will come racing to you once you call its name.
*Training It to Perch on Your Shoulder
Your pet rat is a curious animal and likes to ride on your shoulder. It might even want to play with your hair.
It works better if it has established trust in you and is already used to you.
First, hold your rat firmly and talk to it slowly and soothingly while putting it on your shoulder. Do this while sitting down comfortably.
Once it is perched on your shoulder, give it a treat immediately. It is to reinforce and reward your rat for doing a good job.
Some rats are excitable and jumpier than others. In case your rat is like those, then hold it firmly.
If your rat is making squeaking sounds, grinding its teeth, and seems afraid, do not hold too long training sessions. Just do it for a few minutes every day until it gets used to it.
And always give it treats while on your shoulder so that it would not grow bored.
Do not keep it on your shoulder for long periods since it might want to pee or poo, and will do the deed on your shoulder.
*Teaching it to Stand Up
For this to work, look for a place without any distractions: no other people, no sound, or other animals.
Have your rat’s treats handy. Show the treat to your rat without giving it. Say the word “stand” or “up” and motion your hand going up and down.
Your rat would want to grab it by standing on its hind legs.
Once it does this motion, reward the behavior by giving the treat immediately.
Repeat the process and keep getting the treat higher and higher.
Keep doing this every day for a week. Once it gets used to it and says “stand” or “up,” it will do so.
Your pet rat can play fetch too. Think first what it’s favorite plaything is. Is a store-bought bouncy ball, or a paper ball tied to a string? You will need it to train your rat this trick.
Throw the plaything while it is watching. It will come running since it’s its favorite.
Use encouraging phrases like “well done!” or “good boy/girl.”
Do this a few times, then include the word “fetch!” after throwing the plaything and before it grabs it. This repetitive motion will make your rat memorize the word “fetch” with the motion of grabbing the plaything.
Finally, once it grabs the object, reward the behavior by giving it a treat.
*Jumping Through Hoops
First, get a small hoop, about eight inches in diameter. You can buy this in a department store, or you can make one. Be creative.
Then hold the hoop in front of your rat and point at it.
If your rat goes through it, reward the behavior by giving it a treat. Say encouraging words, like “good job!” or “good boy/girl.”
If it doesn’t want to go through, gently nudge it forward and give it a treat immediately.
Repeat the process while putting the hoop farther and higher. Do this every day for a week.