One would think that the appetite of any living being would normally be proportionate to its body structure. While this fact may stand true in most cases but the rat certainly seems like an exception. The size and diet of this mammal are quite incompatible. Rats are known to have an insatiable appetite. It is said that a rat has the capacity to consume food equivalent to one third of its body weight within 24 hours.
Although each species has its known food preferences, in general rats can gorge on anything and everything they come across! Essentially rats are categorized as omnivorous scavengers but their teeth are endowed with the skill to gnaw anything possible, be it paper, clothes, wood, plastics, water pipes, electric cables and other building materials. Thanks to this characteristic feature of theirs, rats can be a complete nuisance to man and its property.
Broad speaking, rats feed on grain, livestock feed, meat, candy, milk, vegetables, poultry, eggs, seeds, fruit, nuts, snails, other rodents, soap, leather and furs. Water is a very essential component in the diet of a rat. A rat requires 1/2 to 1 ounce of water everyday for sound health. In case if the water requirement of a rat is not met adequately, it may prove to be fatal for the mammal.
Apart from this fundamental diet, each species has its own food likings. The two most common varieties, the brown and black rats also vary in their food habits. While the brown rats are fond of meat and fresh grain; the black ones like vegetables, fruits and grains. The black species is more of a vegetarian with preference for chopped apples, sweet potatoes, melons, prunes, pineapple, cookies, doughnuts, sweet chocolate candy, peanut butter and tomatoes. The water requirement of both species is almost the same that is anywhere between half to one ounce of water on a daily basis.
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