Can rats eat celery? That’s a great question. Feeding your rat is usually not all that difficult – rats can eat many different kinds of food, including many different fruits and vegetables. Nevertheless, there are foods that are dangerous for them to consume and it’s great that you’re being a responsible rat owner and doing your research. Having a healthy rat starts with ensuring that they have a healthy diet.
In the wild, rats eat anything they can get their hands on. Even if it’s not good for them, they will still eat it. This is why it’s so important that you do the research and find out what is good, and what is not good for them to have. In today’s guide, I’m going to go over everything you need to know about feeding celery to your pet rat.
If you’re in need of a quick answer, this is it: Rats can eat celery but it’s not the best vegetable for them to eat. It does contain a decent amount of fiber and antioxidants but since it is made up almost entirely of water and doesn’t contain all that many other nutrients. There are many better vegetables that they can eat. Giving your rat some celery once in a while is not a problem, but it shouldn’t be a staple of their diet.
Is celery dangerous for rats?
Celery is not dangerous for rats. The only risk is that your rat might get diarrhea if you feed them too much of it since the plant contains so much water.
There’s nothing in this vegetable that’s toxic to your rat. Some people mistakenly believe that since celery contains nitrates that it’s carcinogenic. It’s true that celery is quite high in nitrate, but nitrate on its own is not carcinogenic.
It’s only when nitrate combines with amines that it forms nitrosamines which is a known carcinogenic. Luckily, celery contains a negligible amount of amines, so it’s not really something you need to be worried about.
The bigger issue with celery is that it almost entirely made up of water and doesn’t contain many nutrients. It’s not particularly rich in vitamins and minerals when you compare it to other veggies.
Also, since it’s almost entirely made up of water it contains a negligible amount of calories. It’s true that too many calories will make your rat fat and is therefore bad, but rats do need calories for energy, and foods like celery that have almost no calories are therefore not the best option.
In fact, celery has so little calories that for a long time it was even considered a calorie-negative food. The idea of calorie-negative foods has since been debunked and proven to be a myth, but the point still stands that it contains a negligible amount of energy.
For these reasons, this vegetable shouldn’t be your first choice when it comes to feeding your rat. There are many other healthier alternatives available that your rat will benefit more from.
Feeding celery to rats
If you do want to give your rat some celery you have to make sure that you wash it thoroughly. Celery has been identified by the Environmental Working Group as being one of the vegetables with the largest amount of pesticides on it. These pesticides can be harmful to your rat, so make sure that you wash the plant thoroughly.
Research has shown that the most efficient way of getting rid of pesticides on vegetables is by soaking them in a mixture of baking soda and water. It’s a quick and convenient way to ensure that you get rid of most of the nasty stuff.
Once it’s been washed properly make sure to cut up the plant. Do not feed them a whole stalk. Rats are small animals and a single stalk is already too much for them.
Benefits of giving celery to rats
I’ve said before that celery is quite low in many nutrients. That’s true, it’s not very rich in vitamins and macronutrients, but it does have quite a lot of antioxidants and fiber.
Antioxidants are very important in fighting free radicals, and studies on rats have shown that due to its high antioxidant content celery can have varied healing effects. Also, the fiber in the plant will help aid your rat’s digestion.
So, while celery is not the greatest vegetable on the planet for your rat, it does offer certain benefits, and giving your rat a little bit of celery once a week might be beneficial for them.
Can rats eat celery leaves?
Celery leaves are completely harmless for your rat, so yes, they can eat them. They might not be the most nutritious, but they’re not dangerous. Just like the celery itself, the leaves are low in calories, devoid of many nutrients, but a decent source of fiber.
I’ve mentioned quite often in this article that there are other vegetables available that your rat will benefit more from than celery. Because of that, you might be curious about which those are. Here are some vegetables that are great for rats:
- Cucumbers (pickles are also an option in tiny amounts)
- Romaine lettuce
Now, those are not all the veggies that are safe for your rat. If you want a complete list, I recommend you take a look at my rat nutrition guide. It contains a detailed list of all the veggies that are safe for your rat to eat. Also, it will teach you about the ideal diet for your rat and a list of foods to avoid.
Fruits are also an important part of your rat’s diet. If you need some ideas for healthy fruits to give to your rat, here you go:
What can rats not eat?
The link above gives you a more complete list of what your rats can not eat, but here are some of the most important foods to avoid:
- Raw beans
- Peanut butter
- Citrus fruits