I've heard that rats like yoghurt, I don't have any though.

Is cows milk from a saucer safe for them?

NB: They are Rattus norvegicus (Fancy Rats)


4 Answers 4


Yes, but it's very fatty for them, so I'd recommend in very small amounts ie a couple of licks each. I let mine clean off the lid to a yoghurt pot when I have them. Some probiotic yoghurts are very good for them, but again in small amounts as too much can lead to diarrhoea.

  • Your answer reads like you have experience and your bio looks like you have lots of experience. Welcome to pets.SE, your answer could be improved with a couple of supporting references. References provide an avenue for readers to learn more, and reading between the lines here it seems like Rats may be lactose intolerant. Jan 20, 2015 at 0:58
  • Thank you for the welcome - and for the remembrance to add references. Rats aren't actually lactose intolerant, they react to lactose in the same way we do, a little is fine, but too much leads to diarrhoea - link. It's one of those myths that people keep perpetuating re: mice & rats being 'allergic' to cheese.
    – Piper
    Jan 20, 2015 at 2:42
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    The primary symptom indicator of lactose intolerant is diarrhea after consuming to much lactose (milk sugar). Your link indicates that rats are ok with up to 20% lactose, they are intolerant of lactose great than 20%. Being lactose intolerant does not mean you can't have lactose, you just have to moderate intake. Jan 20, 2015 at 14:21
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You can give rats a little milk as a treat, but I can see that getting a little messy being delivered in a saucer.

If you're looking to treat your rat, but you don't have any yoghurt then there are other things rats like.

Peas. Rats love eating peas. Mine will sit there quite happily peeling the skin off and eating the insides. Frozen peas make a great treat on a hot day.

Fruit makes for a tasty snack too. Banana slices either dried or fresh will get gobbled up in a flash. I like to feed mine the occasional honey coated banana chip as a treat or a reward for good behaviour.

Rats adore peanuts. You can buy bags of unshelled nuts and hand them out as treats. The rats will love cracking open the thin shells and digging the tasty peanuts out.

Supporting reference : Rat Forums


It is better to give them yogurt (but rather as a treat) than milk, because yogurt is usually fine for people (or animals) even those that are lactose intolerant.

Basically most mammals (including humans) lose the ability to digest lactose as adults. How much is OK depends on the individual.

Sometimes I give my rats some yogurt or some white cheese even without any diarrhoea related problems.


Rats can drink tiny amounts of milk as long as its not the full fat milk and a bit of yogurt is good for them too, In my opinion fairtrade yogurt is the best because it can be less fatty for them.

  • 2
    you can improve your answer by adding more details and provide a link to reliable sources. Jan 3, 2018 at 17:58
  • Full fat or fairtrade will not matter with dairy products. It's the lactose that tends to be the problem. Please link to a reliable source when making claims. Jan 5, 2018 at 9:07

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