Can Rats Have Sweet Potato? [Mystery Debunked]

Sweet potatoes are really nutritious for us humans. So, it’s for you to think whether it’s good for your pet rat or not. However, before feeding anything to your little friend, you have to be 100% sure. Otherwise, things might go south.

So, can rats have sweet potato?

Well, the answer is yes and no. Firstly, your pet rat can try out cooked sweet potatoes. You shouldn’t feed raw sweet potatoes to rats. Because they contain a toxic compound that’s harmful to their health. The sweet potato should be cooked under high temp. Otherwise, the toxic compound will still be present in it. 

Now, let’s not stop here. You need to have in-depth knowledge on this issue. And we’re here with just that. 

So, let’s start right away!

Can Rats Eat Sweet Potatoes?

Can Rats Eat Sweet Potatoes

Rats can surely eat sweet potatoes. It’s a great meal for them. Furthermore, they love the smell and taste of it. So, you don’t have to worry about whether to feed sweet potatoes to them or not.

But this is only the case for cooked sweet potatoes. Why? 

Well, you see raw version of sweet potatoes are actually toxic to mice along with rats. They are often used to repel them. 

Because rats can’t digest raw sweet potatoes. This later causes bloating in them and can even kill them. 

But cooking the sweet potatoes at high temp neutralizes the properties that are toxic. This way the sweet potato will be safe for your little fella. 

However, according to some, even after cooking the sweet potato, it might not be safe. Yes, it’ll lose some of its toxic compounds. 

But it’ll still have a few toxic elements in it. This can make the rat sick and eventually kill it. 

Should You Give Rats Sweet Potatoes?

Should You Give Rats Sweet Potatoes

Now, you know it’s alright to give rats a little bit of sweet potato if it’s cooked. But should you actually let your rats eat sweet potatoes? 

Well, you can check out the pros and cons of your rats eating sweet potatoes. This will help you realize if you should give the treat to them or not. 

Pros of Eating Sweet Potatoes

We know you want your rat to have some veggies. So, let’s begin with the advantages, shall we? 

Provides Lots of Nutritional Values

We’ve combined all the benefits under one section. Because you see, sweet potatoes are all about nutrition. 

As you know sweet potato is a starchy veggie. It contains lots of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and beta-carotene. Furthermore, your rat will also find micronutrients like manganese and vitamin B6 or B5. 

Moreover, while you cook the sweet potato, vitamin C starts increasing. This is also beneficial for your little friend. 

Cons of Eating Sweet Potatoes

Now, it’s time to look at the bad side of sweet potatoes. Take a look-

Creates Cyanide Inside Rat’s Stomach

Yes, cooked sweet potatoes are okay to eat. But do you know the risks of raw sweet potato? 

Let’s say, your little furry friend took a bite of raw sweet potato accidentally. What will happen? 

Well, after eating it, cyanide, a toxic compound will be created in its stomach. This will cause indigestion, bloating, and can even cause severe food poisoning. 

Moreover, as we’ve mentioned, even cooked ones can have a little bit of toxicity in them. This may make your rat suffer if cooked sweet potatoes are consumed in large amount. 

Scary, right? 

So, what will you choose to do?

How to Feed Your Rat Sweet Potatoes Properly?

So, you want to feed your rat sweet potatoes. But hey! You have to know a few things to do so. Otherwise, you already know the consequences. 

Now, let’s see how you can prepare the treat- 

Step 1: Clean and Cook the Sweet Potato

Firstly, take your sweet potato. Then clean it properly using tap water. You can keep the potato in a bowl of water for 8-10 minutes to get rid of the dirt.

Once the potato is clean, you can peel off the skin. You can also peel the potato skin off when it’s cooked. 

Now, take a boiling pan and add some water to it. Turn on your stove afterward and place the boiling pan on it. 

Next, place your sweet potato in the pan. Make sure it’s submerged in water. Let the potato boil for 30-50 minutes.

Also, you might think can rats have sweet potato fries?

Well, no, they can’t eat fried sweet potatoes. Because this food item contains oil, salt, and seasonings. These are all harmful to rats.

Thus, boiled or steamed sweet potatoes are the way to go. 

Step 2: Cut the Sweet Potato

You can’t serve whole sweet potato to your rats. Therefore, you need to cut it.

So, take a knife and cut the boiled or steamed potato into dice or 1 inch cubes.

Now, you might face difficulty while cutting a cooked sweet potato. In that case, you can cut the raw version and then cook it.

Anyways, once you’re ready with cubed or diced sweet potatoes, serve it. Serving 4 cubes a week is enough. 

What to Do If My Rat Ate Too Much Sweet Potatoes?

Now, you might give too many sweet potatoes at once. And if that happens, there’s a big chance the rat might get poisoned. 

Furthermore, rats don’t have gag reflexes like humans. Therefore, they won’t be able to throw up that access amount. And you’ll have a tough time getting it out. 

That’s why right after you realize the rat had eaten too many potatoes, go to a vet. The vet will surely help your pet rat to get out of this situation. 


What can rats eat?

Rats are known to be omnivores. That means they can consume veggies, meat, and fruits. However, the best diet for them is a mixture of fresh fruits and veggies. Rats love carrots, broccoli, cooked potatoes, Cooke’s liver, squash, and so on.

What foods harm rats?

There are a lot of food items that you should avoid giving to rats. Some of these include chocolate, raw or green potatoes, and citrus fruits. Furthermore, dried beans, sticky foods, and chlorinated water also cause harm to them. Therefore, do keep these away from them. And only give filtered water to rats. 

Can rats eat mashed potatoes?

It’s best not to give rats mashed potatoes. Because rats have a hard time swallowing sticky food. And mashed potato has that sticky texture and consistency. So, it’s best to just give them steamed or boiled potatoes. 

Parting Words

Well, we’re going to stop here with the topic can rats have sweet potatoes. Hopefully, the answer is all clear to you now. 

Also, just a piece of advice-

Make sure to observe your rat while they are having sweet potatoes. This will help you to figure out whether the potato might cause trouble or not. 

That’s it! Good luck with your dear pet rat!

Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan

Ryan Dugan is a dedicated pet care professional who offers top-notch services for a variety of pet species. He has a soft spot for my own feline companion, Sophie. He is passionate about animals He shares his knowledge and experience on his blog to help other pet owners understand and care for their own beloved companions. Whether you need a pet-sitting service or advice on pet care, He is the go-to expert.

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