Can mice eat grapes? I’ve you’re new to owning a pet mouse, or even if you’ve already had one for a while, it can be tricky to know exactly what they can and can not eat. At first glance, it might seem like they can eat anything. After all, these tiny rodents are omnivores and can benefit from eating fruits, vegetables, and animal products.
However, while it’s true that pet mice can eat a lot of different kinds of food, they can not eat everything. There are foods that you should not give your mouse, and it’s for exactly that reason that it’s so important that you do proper research before introducing new food to your mouse’s diet.
In today’s guide, I’m going to go over everything you need to know before you feed grapes to your mouse. I will discuss whether or not they can safely eat it, if they derive any benefits from eating this fruit, if there’s anything you need to worry about, and much more to give you the most complete answer possible.
If you’re in a hurry and want a quick answer, I’ve got it here for you: Mice can eat grapes and you can safely give them small amounts of this fruit as an occasional treat. Red grapes are slightly better to offer due to their higher antioxidant content, but the green variant is also fine to give. Do make sure to wash the fruit properly and not to overfeed them.
However, I do recommend that you read the entire article rather than only the short answer. It won’t take too long, and I promise you’ll learn something new!
What’s in a grape – Are they healthy for mice?
The first thing I always like to take a look at to determine whether or not a specific food is safe for mice to eat is their nutritional content. There are small differences in nutritional content between white and green grapes but these differences are mostly in their antioxidant content.
With that being said, let’s take a look at what’s inside these juicy little fruit balls. 1 cup contains the following:
- 62 calories
- 82% water
- 16 grams of carbs
- 15 grams of sugar
- 1 gram of fiber
- 0.6 grams of protein
- 0.3 grams of fat
As we can see from the list above, grapes are quite low in calories, fat and do not contain a whole lot of protein. They do contain a good amount of fiber which helps your mouse’s digestive system. On the other hand, it also contains a relatively high amount of sugar. Because of that, you have to make sure that you do not overfeed your mouse on this fruit.
But those are just the macronutrients. Grapes also contain a good amount of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals & antioxidants). They’re particularly rich in Vitamin K, but also contain a decent amount of Vitamin C and B. On top of that, they’re a great source of many different antioxidants, particularly the red variety.
So, with all that being said, there’s nothing in a grape that’s harmful to your mouse and it actually contains many beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. However they’re relatively high in sugar, so make sure not to overfeed.
Are grapes are toxic to mice?
Before I started writing this article, I naturally did a lot of research. During this, I came across some websites that claim that grapes are toxic to mice. Naturally, I was intrigued by why they claimed that. Unfortunately, none of them cited any studies or sources on why they claimed that grapes are harmful to mice.
Perhaps they believe that grapes are bad because of the high water content of this fruit, which might cause diarrhea if you overfeed them. However, the strange thing is that the same websites often list cucumber as a safe food to give to your mouse even though it contains even more water. Or maybe it’s because grapes are toxic to dogs and they assume that the same applies to mice. We’ll never know because they do not cite any sources or studies and do not explain why they believe grapes are toxic.
On the other hand, I did find studies that show the benefits of giving this fruit to your mouse. Also, on the Fancy Mouse Breeders Forum and the Wood Green Animal Shelter’s website grapes are listed as a fruit that is safe for your mouse to consume.
It’s up to you who you want to believe but personally, I believe that one person started claiming that grapes are bad online due to some anecdotal experience and that other websites blindly copied it. Many mouse owners have offered their pet this fruit without any issues but some mouse owners do not feed it because they’d rather be safe than sorry. To read more discussion about this topic, you can check out this forum thread.
Ultimately, the decision whether or not you want to give grapes to your mouse is up to you.
What about the seeds?
You can buy grapes with, or without seeds. Generally speaking, mice are not very interested in eating the seeds, so buying the seedless variety might be better. However, while most mice will not really want to eat the seeds, it’s not a very big deal if they do eat them accidentally. Unlike apple seeds, they do not contain any cyanide so if they ingest a grape seed it will not poison them. However, while the seeds might not poison them, it’s possible that they choke on them.
For that reason, I recommend that you buy seedless grapes. If you only have access to variety with seeds, then you can feed them those as well. You can then just remove the seeds.
With or without skin?
Some pet mouse owners wonder if they need to remove the skin before offering the grapes. While some people might do it, it’s not necessary. Mice are very capable of eating this fruit with the skin included. Also, the skins of many fruits, including grapes, contain a lot of beneficial nutrients. Therefore, I recommend leaving the skin on, rather than cutting it off.
Before you give this delicious fruit to your mouse you do have to make sure that you properly wash them if you do not remove the skin. If you do not, your mouse will ingest the pesticides that are present on it. I recommend washing the fruit in baking soda and water. It’s been scientifically proven that this method is most effective at removing pesticides. If you do not have baking soda, make sure to wash them thoroughly under cold water.
How many grapes can mice eat?
Mice are small animals and their diet should mainly consist of pellets with fruits being only a small part of their diet. Since they are such small animals and fruits should be a small part of their diet they can only eat a very small amount of grapes. I suggest that you feed your mouse no more than half a grape every few days. If you give them too much it might cause diarrhea and weight gain.
Also, make sure that you give your mouse a variety of different fruits, rather than giving them only one particular kind of fruit every single day. While grapes might be good for them in moderation, it’s much better to give them a large variety of all kinds of different fruits.
If your mouse doesn’t seem to like grapes very much or you’re simply looking to spice up their diet a bit with some other fruits, I’ve got some ideas for you. Try giving your mouse some of these foods to see if he likes them more.
- Apples (Remove seeds)
- A piece of a hard-boiled egg
Finding out what kinds of food your mouse likes and doesn’t like is very fun. Not all mice like the same things, and while some mice might love grapes, other might not care for it all that much and would rather eat something else. Luckily, since mice can eat so many different kinds of food you’ll always find something that your mouse will enjoy.
Can mice eat raisins?
Raisins are dried grapes so I figured it would be appropriate to discuss them here as well. Rats can eat raisins, but since raisins have an even higher sugar content than grapes you should only give them a small amount of it.
Some specialized mice foods even contain raisins, so you can be quite sure that there’s no harm in them eating a little bit of raisin from time to time.