Can Rats Eat Pumpkin or Squash? [What About The Seeds?]

Pumpkin is one of the most delicious, most versatile fruits on the planet. It can be used in drinks, soups, cakes, and much more. If you’re a pumpkin fan and have rats as pets you might wonder – is it possible to share some of this delicious fruit with my pet rat?

The short answer to the question “can rats eat pumpkin?” is this: Yes, rats can eat pumpkin. It’s perfectly safe for them to eat as long as you don’t give them too much of it. The seeds are also safe for them to snack on, but they are quite high in calories and fat, so make sure that you only give them a very small portion.

So, that’s the short answer, but before you run off and feed pumpkin to your pet rat, stay with me for a little bit so that I can explain in some more detail the do’s and don’t of feeding pumpkin to your pet rat safely. I will teach you everything you need to know from precautions to how much of this delicious fruit you can feed to your rat.

Pumpkin nutrition

Pumpkin is quite rich in many different nutrients. 1 cup of raw pumpkin contains the following:

  • 30 calories
  • 7.5 grams of carbs
  • 0.6 grams of fiber
  • 1.6 grams of sugar
  • 0.1 grams of fat
  • 1.2 grams of protein
  • 106 grams of water

On top of that, it’s quite rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The same 1 cup serving of raw pumpkin contains:

  • 8567 IU of Vitamin A
  • 10.4 mg of Vitamin C
  • 1.2 mg of Vitamin E
  • 1.3 mcg of Vitamin K
  • 0.1 mg of Thiamin
  • 0.1 mg of Riboflavin
  • 0.7 mg of Niacin
  • 0.1 mg of vitamin B6
  • 18.6 mcg of Folate
  • 9.5 gram of Choline

Can rats have pumpkin?

Your rat will probably be quite happy to hear this because he can indeed eat pumpkin! Fresh pumpkin is an amazing treat for pet rats because it contains a good amount of beneficial nutrients. If you have some spare pumpkin, feel free to share it with your rat.

Is pumpkin good for pet rats?

Pumpkin is quite rich in many different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while not containing anything that’s damaging to your pet rat. On top of that, it’s a great source of fiber that will aid your rat’s digestive system.

So, yes, pumpkin is definitely good for rats but you do have to be careful not to overdo it. Pumpkin is not particularly high in calories, but rats are small animals and should not eat too much of anything – including pumpkin.

If you feed your rat too much of this fruit at once negative side effects may occur such as diarrhea or bloating due to the fruit’s high water content, so be careful, and feed in moderation.

Do rats like to eat pumpkin?

Most rats absolutely love eating pumpkins. Rats aren’t very picky eaters in general, but each rat does have its own preferences when it comes to food. Some rats will absolutely love eating pumpkin while others might not care for it at all.

Since pumpkin is safe for your rat to eat, the best way to find out is by offering them a piece of pumpkin to see how they react to it. It’s very likely that your rat will love it and can’t get enough of it!

If your rat is one of the few rats that doesn’t like pumpkin and just ignores it, don’t worry. Just make sure to remove it from their cage because otherwise, it’ll start rotting.

Can rats eat pumpkin seeds?

Yes, your rat can eat pumpkin seeds but do make sure that they are unsalted and not treated with any sweeteners. Rats do not need a lot of sugar and salt in their diet so plain pumpkin seeds are the only acceptable option.

Also, you have to be very careful not to overfeed your rat on pumpkin seeds. The seeds are very high in fat, which can easily lead to weight gain in rats. Only feed them a single seed at a time, not a whole bowl full.

How much pumpkin can I give to my rat?

That’s an excellent question. As I’ve said before, you have to make sure not to overfeed your rat on any particular food so it’s important to know how much they can safely eat.

Baby RatNone
Adult Rattwo 1-inch chunks

When you look at the table above you might think that that’s a very small amount. And it is for us humans, but keep in mind, rats are tiny creatures and they need a diet that consists of pellets and many different kinds of fresh fruits and veggies. You can’t stuff them on pumpkins because if you do they will miss important nutrients that they get from the other parts of their diet.

If you’ve never fed pumpkin to your rat you should keep an eye on your pet after you feed it to see if any negative side-effects occur. If you notice that you notice that your rat develops diarrhea or bloating after eating pumpkin it’s best to not feed it anymore and instead feed it an alternative fruit. If everything goes well, you can keep feeding pumpkin to your rat.

How often can rats eat pumpkin?

I recommend that you do not feed your rat pumpkin more than 2 or 3 times a week because it’s such a rich food. The same applies to squash.

Healthy alternatives to pumpkin for rats

Rats can eat many different kinds of fruits and veggies so if your rat doesn’t seem to be very interested in eating pumpkin, do not despair! Try giving them one of the fresh foods from the list below instead.

This list is by no means exhaustive. If you want to learn more about what rats can eat, I highly recommend checking out my complete rat nutrition guide. In there, I discuss most of the popular foods and whether or not rats can safely eat them. In addition, it goes over the ideal diet for your pet rat.

Frequently asked questions

Can rats eat pumpkin guts?

Pumpkin guts are the inside of the fruit and are completely safe for your rat to eat.

Is pumpkin toxic to rats?

No, pumpkins do not contain anything that’s toxic to your pet rat. The only thing that you need to watch out for is that it can act as a laxative if you feed too much of it to your furry friend.

Can rats eat pumpkin pie?

Rats can eat pumpkin pie but it’s not recommended. It’s quite high in sugar and rats do not need a lot of sugar in their diet. If you do choose to feed pumpkin pie to your rat, make sure that you only give them a very small portion to avoid excessive weight gain.

Can rats eat canned pumpkin?

No! Canned fruits contain preservatives and way too much sugar.

Raw or cooked pumpkin for rats?

Both raw and cooked pumpkin is completely fine for your rat to eat. I prefer feeding it raw because the cooking process destroys some of the precious vitamins and minerals. If you also choose to feed it raw, make sure to wash it properly to get rid of anything that might be on the skin of the pumpkin such as pesticides.

Can rats eat squash?

Yep, squash and pumpkin are nutritionally almost identical so everything in this guide also applies to squash which means that your rats can enjoy it safely!

ThePetFaq Team