Can Rats Eat Cheese? All You Need To Know

Can Rats Eat Cheese? In cartoons and movies, you must have seen that cheese is rats’ all-time favorite snack, and they love eating it frequently. But cheese is a milk product, and many small animals cannot consume milk products for various reasons.

So, is it true that rats can safely eat cheese or just a blatant myth? Rats are generally very opportunistic eaters and can munch on everything you serve them.

Still, you must choose food items that are entirely safe for them as they are susceptible creatures, and any ignorance regarding their diet can harm their health. Let us learn more about whether rats can eat cheese and some amazing facts about cheese and the dietary habits of rats.

Can Rat Eat Cheese?

Yes, rats can eat cheese in moderation. Cheese is essentially available in different forms, flavors, and sizes, distinct from one another depending on their ingredients and processing methods.

can rats eat cheese

All kinds of cheese have the same primary constituency and can be fed to rats in moderation as occasional treats. Many of the small animals are lactose intolerant in general. They can suffer from digestive disorders if they consume milk products.

Still, rats don’t show any signs of lactose intolerance on occasional cheese consumption, which is why a low cheese intake is entirely safe for them.

However, more complex varieties of cheese have low lactose content and are preferred over the softer variants to keep the rats away from any possible health concerns.

Moreover, it is essential to feed clean and hygienic cheese to your rats as moldy or rotten cheese can cause severe health diseases in them and won’t provide any health benefits at all.

Cheese Nutritional Stats and facts

Cheese is a whole food, and that’s why it has several health benefits. Still, we can’t eat it in large amounts because its high nutritional values can cause excessive nutrition deposits in the body and result in a fatal disorder.

All varieties of cheese have their distinct nutrition profile, which must be considered when the serving needs to be in moderation.

However, hard cheese is preferred over the tender and soft textured cheese varieties for better nutritional benefits and minimal unusual disorders.

Different nutritional constituencies of various varieties of cheese are mentioned below:

Cheddar (1 ounce)

Calories – 120

Carbs – 1 g

Protein – 7 g

Fats – 10 g

Calcium – 200 mg

Sodium – 190 mg

Cheese, Cheddar, Food, Aged Cheddar

Gouda (1 ounce)

Calories – 110

Carbs – 1 g

Protein – 7 g

Fats – 9 g

Calcium – 200 mg

Sodium – 200 mg

Cheese, Grated, Discs, Raclette Cheese

Feta (1 ounce)

Calories – 60

Carbs – 1 g

Protein – 5 g

Fats – 4 g

Calcium – 60 mg

Sodium – 360 mg

Greek Feta Cheese, Feta, Dairy Product

Mozzarella (1 ounce)

Calories – 85

Carbs – 1 g

Protein – 6 g

Fats – 6 g

Calcium – 144 mg

Sodium – 138 mg

Pizza, Food, Mozzarella, Cheese, Slice

Brie (1 ounce)

Calories – 100

Carbs – 1 g

Protein – 5 g

Fats – 9 g

Calcium – 150 mg

Sodium – 170 mg

Cheese, Brie Cheese, Food, Cheese

Swiss (1 ounce)

Calories – 100

Carbs – 1 g

Protein – 5 g

Fats – 9 g

Calcium – 150 mg

Sodium – 170 mg

Cheese Platter, Food, Snack, Grapes

Health Benefits Of Cheese For Rat

Cheese is a nutrient-rich dairy product that benefits humans and animals in many ways when consumed in moderation and under the right circumstances.

Cheese, Swiss Cheese, Dairy, Milk

Cheese production requires rigorous milk processing in certain conditions to enhance its nutritional value. This amplified nutrient profile has various advantages over the consumption of simple milk.

  • Cheese is a great source of protein, calcium, and fats which helps in the improvement of bone strength, muscle building, and providing necessary energy for basic body functioning.
  • It also has minerals such as phosphorus, riboflavin, and zinc that assist in the prevention of various deficiencies and diseases.
  • It contains high amounts of vitamin A, K2, and B12 necessary for our body to function well and perform their respective tasks properly.
  • The cheese is highly nutritious if made from the milk of 100% grass-fed animals. Researches say that this pure variety of cheese has high amounts of Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that helps prevent heart diseases, obesity and reduce organ inflammation. Full-fat dairy products like cheese have the maximum nutrition compared to any milk products and efficiently benefit the body.
  • The essential nutrients like calcium present in cheese helps in maintaining strong bones and cavity-free teeth.
  • Fermented dairy products like cheese and yogurt also ensure a healthy cardiovascular system and smooth functioning of the neuromuscular system.
  • The presence of anti-inflammatory properties helps to keep away bacterial infections and gastrointestinal inflammations that could cause several digestive issues.
  • Although cheese has numerous benefits, people having lactose intolerance, casein allergy, and having high blood pressure, could be prone to many disorders by eating cheese.

Can Baby Rat Eat Cheese?

Yes, baby rats can eat cheese in their early childhood. Rats are considered mammals just like us, meaning that newborn and baby rats drink milk from their mother in their initial stages, making them lactose tolerant, and digesting lactose becomes an easy task for them.

Cheese, Dairy Product, Cheese Loaf

However, their lactose digestion capability decreases as they age progressively, and dairy products need to be fed moderately.

They don’t get lactose intolerant completely but have trouble digesting large dairy products. They still could safely digest a small amount of lactose easily and avoid issues like indigestion, inflammation, and diarrhea that may be caused by lactose intolerance.

Keep the lactose content very moderate in your rat’s diet so that their health doesn’t get harmed.

Baby rats need more lactose in their prime growth period, which is generally fulfilled by mother’s milk in infancy and feeding of dairy products in their early childhood as advised by your vet.

Are Cheese Safe For Rat?

Cheese is safe and fatal to rats depending on the product’s variety, frequency, and quantity. As it is well established, we should feed cheese occasionally, and only a tiny piece per serving is recommended every time.

Rats, Color Rats, Rodent, Fur, Head

If we further choose the safest cheese varieties that don’t possibly have any chance of creating a nutritional imbalance in your rat’s health, they would be the best.

Hard cheese is better for small animals than soft cheese for various reasons, and you can prefer the choice of cheese for your rat from the ones listed below.

Rats are generally not lactose intolerant, but as every animal is different, some rats can be sensitive to lactose and have issues digesting it.

So, it would be best if you looked out for any signs of uneasiness and indigestion in your rats when you introduce cheese to them. These rigid or semi-hard cheese varieties are the safest for rat consumption:

  • Gruyere
  • Cheddar
  • Red Leicester
  • Emmental
  • Gouda
  • Colby
  • Appenzeller
  • Red Leicester

Certain cheeses are unsafe for rats because of their ingredients and their processing techniques while making them. Also, few varieties are forbidden for rats because of their chewy texture, which may be a choking hazard.

Due to the absence of gag reflex in rats. These are the cheese varieties that are recommended to avoid due to their unsuitable nutrient profile for rats:

  • Cream cheese
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Cottage cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • Gorgonzola
  • Feta
  • Mascarpone
  • Mozzarella
  • Queso Blanco
  • Ricotta
  • Stilton
Rat, Color Rat, Black, Dear, Wolf Down

Is Cheese Good For Rat?

Yes, cheese made with safe processing methods and grass-fed animal milk is suitable for rats. It can give them the maximum nutrition possible and is adequate if fed in moderation.

Rat, Female, Color Rat, Rodent

However, choose only hard, and semi-hard cheese varieties recommended above as other soft cheeses could be fatal for your pet rats.

Cheese having artificial ingredients or additives can be unsafe for rats and must be strictly avoided as they could unknowingly harm your rat’s sensitive health.

Rats can also consume vegan cheese varieties that are processed and solidified using catalysts like palm oils, fungi, nuts, or herbs instead of milk proteins and other thickening agents.

Is Cheese Bad For Rat?

As said, every healthy food is dangerous for health if fed excessively. Similarly, cheese proves to be fatal if it is fed in excessive amounts and can even cause death.

Animal, Attractive, Beautiful, Brown

All rat species are different in their nutritional needs, and the quantity of cheese that is suitable for their diet can be advised to you by your vet.

It is necessary to exercise caution while feeding high-calorie dairy products like cheese, milk, and ice cream to your pet rat because they don’t require many calories to sustain a healthy life. Excessivethis nutrients may cause further damages to damage their health.

For example, a rat only needs 60 calories per day to contribute to a balanced diet. Still, common cheese varieties like Cheddar, Brie, Gouda, and Swiss have more than 100 calories in a single piece.

Excessive calories in cheese and the high-fat content can lead to weight gain and obesity, which may be why several fatal health problems in rats.

Do Rat Like Cheese?

Rats are not very fond of cheese as it has quite a milky yet salty taste in general which is not a lot delicious when fed directly to rats. Rats do certainly like eating cheese, but they don’t love it as there are tastier choices out there that would be preferable.

They would go for sweeter treats usually, and many sweets are suitable for rat consumption out there. Cheese should be fed to them in moderation as occasional treats as it would provide them enough nutrients to be considered healthy for them.

Rats would eat cheese because you served it to them just like any other food. They don’t like to eat cheese more than any other regular food they eat daily.

Cheese, Breakfast, Food, Cheese, Cheese

How Much Cheese Can A Rat Eat?

Ideally, rats should be served at most 1 ounce of cheese per meal because some nutrients in cheese would be fatal for their health and create certain complications if their intake is excessive. One ounce of cheese is pretty enough for a rat considering its small size.

Cheese Platter, Cheese, Buffet

However, it is necessary to observe any allergies or signs of lactose intolerance in rats whenever you introduce dairy products. If your rat faces difficulty digesting lactose, cheese is forbidden for them.

Every rat is different and has its body requirements, so consulting your vet about the accurately suitable dosage of cheese for your rat would be the best and eliminate any possible chances of disorders caused due to dairy products.

How Often Can A Rat Eat Cheese?

Cheese has lots of fats, sugars, and calories in general, making its frequency of consumption occasionally. Feeding it in moderation prevents any disease regarding excessive nutrient deposition in the body.

The ideal frequency of feeding cheese to your rat is once a week. Make sure that you choose the cheese that is safe for rats and try them and determine which one is your rat’s favorite, so they don’t feel forced when they consume it as an occasional treat.

How To Feed Cheese To Rat?

There are no such specific directions of feeding cheese to your rats because raw cheese is the only kind of cheese that is suitable and safe for rats.

Cheese, Dairy, Dairy Product

Cooked, boiled, grilled, fried, etc., are not safe or recommended for rats because no external processing is necessary or healthy if the food is fed to rats.

Rats have sensitive digestive systems, and any preservatives, artificial additives, and chemically enriched ingredients are harmful to their body and can cause toxic health issues.

Ensure that you feed only a hard or semi-hard cheese variety to your rat only once a week as an occasional treat. The quantity in each serving should be at most 1 ounce and not more than that.

Ensuring that the cheese is entirely natural and free from bacterial /fungal infestation is necessary. These are the only directions that need to be considered while feeding cheese to your rat.

Can rats eat cheese strings?

Cheese strings are a shredded form of cheese that looks like pull-away strands, making it easy to consume. If the source cheese is itself suitable for rats to eat, the cheese strings derived from it are also safe to eat for your pet rat.

Pasta, Parmesan, Linguine, Cheese

The cheese strings should be completely natural and free from any preservatives and additives if they are to be fed to rats.

Can rats eat American cheese?

American cheese is a type of cheese with a very high fat and cholesterol content, making it unsafe for rats to consume. It is a variety of soft textured cheese with a creamy and salty taste that isn’t suitable for rats.

It usually has loads of preservatives, chemical additives, herbs, and flavor-adding agents that make it a fully processed product strictly for human consumption.

Milk, Cheese, Cheese Slices

Can rats eat cheddar cheese?

Cheddar is the most common and readily available cheese suitable for rats and humans because of its balanced nutrient profile that contains all nutrients in moderation and not in abundance to cause any over depositions or in the body.

Cheddar, Cheese, Dairy Product, Food

Rats can safely eat Cheddar cheese as it is a hard cheese that is usually manufactured with 100% natural milk and has no harmful additives. However, the frequency and quantity of the serving should be in moderation to avoid any digestive disorders.

Does Cheese Affect The Digestive System Of Rat?

Rats can easily consume dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese in small quantities because of the high-calorie content, which can cause rapid weight gain and obesity if fed excessively.

Cheese, Fromage, Elegant, Home, Quaint

Moreover, rats are also not very good at digesting lactose, so you should include dairy products in their diet in a pretty limited amount.

Suppose you feed the appropriate variety and quantity of cheese occasionally to your rat. In that case, the rat’s digestive system won’t have any ill effects and would easily digest the cheese and the lactose content to assimilate all the nutrients.

However, if you feed any forbidden cheese or categorized harmful for rats in improper quantity and on an unusual frequency, your pet rat would suffer from digestive issues like indigestion, gastrointestinal stasis, inflammation, constipation, diarrhea, etc.

And if this unhealthy practice of feeding cheese to your rat is kept consistent, it may lead to the death of your rat.

Final Thoughts

If you are searching for a binary answer, Yes, rats can eat cheese but considering the context and conditions for the choice is also mandatory. Rats are messy eaters and would probably gobble down everything you keep in front of them.

But as a responsible pet owner, it is your responsibility to choose the most nutritional and suitable food to keep them healthy. Rats have sensitive digestion, and many kinds of foods are worse for their health and can cause fatal diseases.

But, as you are the one that controls their dietary habits, serve them healthy, nutritional, and safe foods that won’t cause harm to their health.

Not all types of cheese are equally suitable for the healthy and balanced diet of your rat; few types of cheese contain ingredients and additives in them that are harmful to rats due to which avoiding them is the best option we have to prevent any digestive disorders, choking difficulties, and other various problems.

If you want to feed cheese to your rat, stick to the list of safe cheese types and choose from them and make sure to keep the frequency and quantity in moderation. The recommended and ideal quantity is up to 1 ounce per serving and only once a week


Can rats eat cream cheese?

No, rats cannot eat Cream cheese as it is soft and has an immoderate amount of nutrients like fats and calories that may harm the rat’s health.

What cheese can rats eat?

Red Leicester

Can rats eat swiss cheese?

No, Swiss cheese is not safe for rats to eat because it has high sodium content and the processing technique through which it is made.

Can rats eat cheese puffs?

 Cheese puffs are corn wads covered with cheese-flavored powder, suitable ingredients for a rat diet. So, cheese puffs can be fed to rats but in minimal quantities.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!