Water is essential to all living things to avoid dehydration. Drinking water helps to digest food, regulate the body temperature and get rid of toxins from the body. So, just like you, your pets need to drink water too.
If you have a pet rat, you might be wondering how long your pet can go without drinking water. Rats get their water from the foods they eat and the action of drinking water.
How long can a rat live without water? A rat can go for a long time without drinking water because they get enough moisture from their food. The moisture from food keeps them hydrated.
These creatures have a speedy metabolism, which causes them to need to consume food often.
While most mice can only last 2-4 days without eating, they can only last quite a while without drinking water as they usually get the amount of water and moisture they need from the food they consume.
This article will answer your questions on your rats’ water requirements, how to feed them, and other things you need to know about them.
How Rats Consume Water
Even though rats depend on water to survive, the ways they can go about consuming water can be either direct or indirect.
Rats can get their water directly from lakes, streams, puddles, and other natural water sources in the wild.
In the home, mice can get their water from the ones left behind in sinks, water in drains, condensation around pipes in the walls, or usually from overlooked sources of water such as pet water dishes.
Believe it or not, rats can survive without directly consuming water for one month or more. They extract water from the food they eat as their way of hydrating themselves.
Even foods that are too dry for humans to warrant chasing it with one or two glasses of water will contain enough water to sustain mice.
How Often Do Mice Need To Drink Water?
You should make water available to your pet mice 24/7, so it doesn’t even matter how often they drink water.
Rats are different, some will take a few sips every few minutes, while others will visit their water source for a big drink only a few times.
As long as the water is available to them and they are comfortable knowing that they always have access to water, they will drink as often as they need to.
Don’t be worried if you don’t see your pet mice drinking or if you think the water isn’t being consumed. These creatures are survivors; they will drink water when they need it.
How Much Water Do Rats Drink Daily?
As stated above, an adequate supply of clean water should be made available daily for rats. Make sure you supply water for rats in an adequately sized bottle or bowl for the number of rats in the cage.
If the weather is hot, an adult rat will need approximately 24 -35 ml of water daily. The average daily water intake, however, is approximately 10ml pet 100 grams body weight for an adult rat.
How To Provide Water For Your Pet Mice
There are two ways of providing water for your pet mice. You can use water bottles or water bowls.
Water bottles are usually used with rodents and most small pets. These bottles clinch to the side of the pet cage and hold enough water for days if needed.
You should change the water every other day so that your mice can drink fresh water. When you are introducing a bottle, keep an eye on your pet to make sure they find it easy to use the bottle too.
You will usually find a ball bearing at the bottom of the bottle locking in the water. As your rat licks the ball bearing, it spins around, and the water rushes out for them to drink.
If you keep the water bottle clean with fresh water, there won’t be any problems. Mice love drinking water from water bottles, and it also keeps their cage clean.
A water bowl is another option for providing water for your pet mouse. The advantages to using a water bowl are that it is more accessible, and if you have more than one pet mouse, they can drink from the bowl all at once.
The disadvantage of a water bowl, however, is that unless you have a heavy bowl, your pets might turn it over occasionally and create a mess.
So many expensive water bowls are made from thin plastic. It is better to avoid these bowls because your pets will start chewing through them at some point. Go for a metal or ceramic bowl instead.
Furthermore, there is the issue of bedding getting flipped into the water. You will have to be changing the water every day anyway, so this isn’t a big problem. However, expect to see some soggy bedding in the bowl.
What Do Rats Eat?
Rats love to chew on just about any food or anything at all. But what exactly do they eat? It all depends on where you live. That is because non-urban rats, city rats, or wild rats eat different things.
All rats are omnivore animals and opportunists as well. Even in rural areas, rats will eat just about anything they find edible or smells interesting, and this includes carcasses.
Wild rats tend to eat things, plants, fruits, seeds, and are more likely to be vegetarians. However, city rats love to eat meat and garbage. City rats will eat pet food and any human food they find.
Making sure your food and trash cans are secured is important. Pet foods also need to be secured if you have outdoor pets. You also need to avoid leaving your mice outdoors. Make sure openings are appropriately locked so that your rats won’t get inside after the food that is stored there.
How Long Can Mice Go Without Food?
Rats depend more on food than water. These creatures can only go2-4 days without eating anything at all. However, this does not mean that your pets need to sit down to a full fest.
These animals love to nibble. They will likely chew on a morsel or two and may even take a few bits for the road and be okay. Read more on how long rats can go without food.
Wild vs home
How long rats can survive without eating will depend solely on the environmental conditions.
For instance, in cold fall temperatures, a rat in the wild that has to run from one hiding place to another to avoid predators will surely have high energy needs.
On the other hand, rats that live in a predator-free home with easy access to plenty of food will require far less energy than their wild counterpart.
Alternative food source
Once you have sealed up all food containers and put away all scattered crumbs, do you think rats can die in two to four days? The answer is no.
If these creatures have access to water instead of food, they can survive to pass the 2 to 4 days without food. Most homes have water in abundance in this regard.
Beyond the survival mode mentioned above, rats have other means of getting food.
Most times, rats will have some small amount of food stored in some places that are hard or impossible to reach by humans.
In addition to storing some amount of food, rats can also feed off of things like live or dead insects, seeds, underground fungus, or even their faeces.
Will A Rat Die Without Eating For Days?
It depends on the rat’s organism. As mentioned above, rats are like squirrels; they like to store food.
So if they don’t have access to their food source, they will have some reserve that can last them for a while.
Most rats would likely survive without access to their food source for a week. However, no rat would last more than two weeks without eating anything.
These creatures would live longer without drinking water than they would without eating food.
Getting Rid Of Rats By Starving Them
If you are not keeping rats as pets and you want to get rid of them from your home, can you kill them by starving them of food and water? The answer is likely no.
You can’t easily kill these creatures by keeping food and water away from them because they get moisture from the food they eat, and they have food stored in hard-to-reach places.
So if you keep food away from them, they still have food to eat for a while.
What happens when they run out of the food they store? The truth is that with no food and water, rats will either leave your premises to search for food or die.
They will likely do the former. As long as there is access to plenty of food in your home, and you don’t get rid of them with other means, they will remain in your house.