Rat Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi friends, I could use some advice on food and weight loss.

When I first got my rats, I measured how much food that they ate to make sure that they wouldn't get fat. They were already about a year and a half when I got them (their original owner was moving and couldn't take them with her, so I took them in). After about 6 or 7 months of measuring their food every day, I learned that rats are supposed to be able to self-regulate how much food they eat, and that most owners just let them eat whenever, so I started to just have food available for them when they got hungry. I also switched them to Oxbow, because everyone seems to agree that it's one of the best food options for rats (I had them on Selective Science before).

Now, one of them is getting really fat, and the other one is kinda skinny (my skinny guy had some health problems earlier this year, so his skinniness is more likely due to those issues).

They're both males, so they tend to be a bit more on the lazy side. They never used a wheel no matter how much I tried to coax them to use it. When I let my chubby guy out to free roam, he would rather just chill in my closet under his favorite blanket. I've tried getting him to try climbing up or down the stairs, but he sits in a corner and pees instead. They're also going to be 3 years old in January, so they're also probably nearing the elderly stages of their life span.

Should I try limiting their food again? Should I just let them be since they're getting old anyway? Any recommendations for getting my boy to be more active?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
When he gets really old he will probably drop the excess weight anyway.In the meantime you could try hiding the food around their freerange area to encourage foraging,but if he’s smart he may let his cage mate run around and do the stashing whilst he just sits and watches!Another trick to get a lethargic rat to move is to get the kind of cat lure that has a rod with a long ribbon of fleece( or you could make your own with a bamboo stick and a strip of cloth) and then I tie an organix sweet corn ring on the end( dont know if you have that brand over there,they are toddler snacks with no salt or sugar flavoured with natural veg and fruit powder)and get the rat to chase it.It is hard though as I think being overweight is often genetic in rats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
My guess is the measuring of food caused him to eat everything in sight because he was always hungry, and now that he's being free fed he's still exhibiting that behavior, thus the weight gain. But in my opinion, since they're so old, I wouldn't put more stress on him with a diet. Your rat probably isn't going to lose weight with just exercise at that age either. I'd just let him be the way he is and not try to change him at this stage in his life. You could try feeding him less calorie-dense treats, if you are feeding him treats, but I wouldn't go beyond that.

Science Selective and Oxbow are comparable so whichever you can get is fine. I don't think you should have any weight issues with your future rats knowing that they can be free fed.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top