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That's a frightening question, why would you ever need to know?

I once left town for three days and my roommate totally forgot to feed my rat. When I got back, he was weak and seemed to be on his last legs. He died that night.

However, he was also an older rat, and I don't know for sure if he died of starvation or just from being elderly. Or a combination.

My rats have a "constant" supply of food (In that I refill it as soon as I've made sure they've eaten everything they have).

According to this website, they can live for 14 days without food:

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/cerc/danoff-burg/invasion_bio/inv_spp_summ/Rattus_norvegicus.html

But it also says at that point they will resort to eating each other to survive.
 

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This doesn't answer your question... in fact, it's only tangentially related.

I heard a story about a researcher who gave a rat a lethal injection of phenobarbitol and then placed it in a laboratory freezer that was filled with the bodies of many other animals. A few weeks later he heard rattling sounds coming from the freezer, when he opened it up, he found the rat, alive. Apparently it had not only survived the lethal injection, but had survived freezing by eating the other animal's bodies. And there went all this guy's research down the drain.
 

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oh yeah, that's scary stuff. heard about a guy who ran over a puppy in the middle of nowhere one time, and decided to shoot it in the head since he couldn't get it to a vet in time. he took the body to the vet so they could dispose of it, but it woke up in the freezer hours later. this story i think i remember hearing on local news. crizzazzy. poor things.

anywho, water is def more important than food in case of starvation, but yes, try weekend blocks. i doubt that 3 days of no food killed your elderly rat cj, but i'm sure that it didn't make him feel any better, and probably compounded some age problems he already had.
 

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2manyrats said:
I heard a story about a researcher who gave a rat a lethal injection of phenobarbitol and then placed it in a laboratory freezer that was filled with the bodies of many other animals. A few weeks later he heard rattling sounds coming from the freezer, when he opened it up, he found the rat, alive. Apparently it had not only survived the lethal injection, but had survived freezing by eating the other animal's bodies. And there went all this guy's research down the drain.
Weird story, but I think someone made it up. Assuming the animal did live through the injection... it would have died in the freezer. I don't think that a rat could survive in -18C/0F long term... a rats body temperature is +37C.
 
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