Keeping mice as pets can be such a wonderful experience, but also a minefield when it comes to caring and feeding. It can be difficult to know what exactly to feed them and how certain foods can affect their overall health and wellbeing.
It’s true to say that most fruit and vegetables are perfectly safe for mice to consume, but what about tomatoes specifically? Many of us buy these with our regular shopping or grow them in their garden? Are these acceptable?
So, can mice eat tomatoes? Yes, mice can eat tomatoes. Fruit and vegetables are widely accepted by mice and there is no fear of causing them any harm by providing them with a tasty snack. The general consensus is that mice absolutely adore tomatoes and would quite happily eat this fruit all day long.
In fact, mice tend to eat fruit like it’s their last meal and will generally not stop eating tomatoes until they are completely full. I guess you could say there are far worse types of food they could be eating and bingeing on. After all most of us are told frequently that we don’t get enough fruit and vegetables in our diet.
For humans, we hardly see tomatoes as a tasty snack, but for mice, this is a huge treat and they will quite possibly gorge themselves on these bright red, sour, and fruity delights.
How many tomatoes are safe for mice to eat?
The absolute bottom line is, mice love to eat tomatoes. No matter how many you supply them with they will be sure to eat the lot. For the most part, tomatoes are a very healthy fruit that for humans is an important part of daily health and generally quite good for us. There is no upper limit as such which could have a severe negative effect on our health.
For mice, tomatoes are not particularly bad for their diet and there are far worse kinds of unhealthy foods they could get their hands on.
One serious consideration if you are feeding your mice tomatoes is exactly how much of this foodstuff their bodies will tolerate. They are built much smaller than us humans and therefore their bodies react very differently.
Many mouse experts and veterinarians believe that mice should only eat tomatoes in moderation. You would definitely not want your mice eating tomatoes as the main part of their diet (as much as they would love to!). These are an ideal treat for your mice but not a staple diet.
Tomatoes are high in sugar and therefore an overload can cause your mice some problems. Feeding a high sugar content to mice can cause their blood sugar levels to crash and could result in some unwanted insulin problems if eaten in large quantities over a period of time.
To avoid this scenario try to limit the number of tomatoes you feed your mice and manage these like treats rather than using every day at feed time.
Should I feed my domesticated mice tomatoes?
It is perfectly fine to feed your domesticated mice tomatoes. These fruits, as with any type of fruits are not off the table completely, but it is always a wise idea to limit intake. Too much fruit, particularly those like tomatoes with a high sugar content can cause severe health issues if fed frequently over long periods.
As mentioned previously, insulin issues are a high possibility for mice who are given tomatoes in large quantities. The high sugar content can be too much for their delicate systems to manage. Mice aren’t aware of this and therefore it is down to the responsible owner to calculate what quantity may be ok if consumed.
Insulin issues usually occur when excess glucose which is present in the bloodstream reduces the ability of the cells to absorb and utilize that blood sugar for much-needed energy. In humans, this can more often than not result in diabetes, a potentially lifelong condition.
To avoid this scenario with your mice, always consider this type of fruit as a treat not a daily occurrence for the health and wellbeing of your pet.
How can you feed tomato to mice?
There are several main ways you can feed mice tomatoes. You must always ensure you keep this in moderation as large quantities of this fruit are not suitable for mice. It is however a great way to provide them with a tasty treat every once in a while.
- Chopped Tomato Flesh – this can be an ideal way of feeding tomatoes to your mice. Chop up the tomato flesh into small manageable chunks and feed to your mice using a tablespoon. 1-2 tablespoons are usually enough, but be aware your mice are likely to be hounding you for more because they just can’t get enough!
- Slices – Tomato slices could be a great way to feed your mice a tasty treat. They usually prefer the flesh as opposed to the skin so don’t be surprised if they only eat the inner part of the tomato. Some mice are less worried and will wolf the lot down including the skin. The slice can be handed to them or left in their cage. Either way, it isn’t likely to last very long!
- Stems and Leaves – Mice aren’t usually fussy eaters and although they much prefer the flesh of tomato it is not unheard of for them to start munching on the stems and leaves of these plants. This is more relevant to wild mice who will tend to eat anything they can get their hands on if they get hungry or desperate. You can try giving your mice these parts of the plant as a test to see if they like them, but the fruit itself is usually the real winner!
Can all rodents eat tomatoes?
Mice can absolutely eat tomatoes and love to do so, however, not all rodents can eat such fruits. Most rodents do cope with this foodstuff well, but gerbils and hamsters do not do well with tomatoes.
Tomatoes come from the nightshade family and although most living beings can tolerate this well, gerbils and hamsters must avoid eating tomatoes. Tomatoes have quite an acidic content and are made up of a high volume of water. Unfortunately, these consist of far too much water for their tiny bodies to handle.
However, this does not appear to be the case with mice and they can eat and eat this fruit until their heart’s content without any immediate cause for concern. As mentioned previously though, high quantities of tomatoes are not good for mice in the long term thanks to the high sugar content and the risk of contracting blood sugar issues.
How can I stop wild mice from eating my tomato plants?
This a very good question and one that keen gardeners around the world struggle with consistently. Domesticated mice love tomatoes and wild mice love them equally as much. Where you may be able to limit the intake of tomatoes for your pet mice there are no limits for wild mice and no one to restrict their intake.
As a result of this many budding gardeners are disappointed to see that once again their tomato trees have been destroyed by mice. This is an unfortunate situation, but one that is inevitable.
Mice can hunt down tomato trees as if their life depends on it and once they know where to go for their tasty snack there is no stopping them! They are similar to hedgehogs in this way, as both species are known for being opportunists when it comes to finding food.
This can be highly frustrating for gardeners who would for the most part like to see their tomatoes mature and use them for themselves in cooking. Fortunately, there are a few ways in which you can help salvage your tomato plants from hungry, persistent mice.
This is an old remedy to discourage mice and rats to stay away from crops and plants. Three to five mothballs is usually enough in a bag attached to a stake. This is an all-natural rodent repellent, but it isn’t waterproof so you will need to ensure you replace the bags frequently for them to be effective.
These can be a great hassle-free way to stop mice from getting at your much-loved tomato plants. They are easy to buy and assemble ad won’t affect the growth of your plant in any way. These cages will completely prevent mice and other rodents from being able to get at the fruit.
Most rats and rodents are very put off by strong herbal type’s scents and therefore putting herbs in the vicinity of your tomato plants can be a fantastic natural deterrent. Try to plant a border of herbs around the base of your tomato plant to act as a barrier. Mint, Echinacea, basil, garlic, and thyme will usually do the trick.
Pesticides and traps
You can if you so wish try to eliminate mice and other rodents getting to your tomato plants by using harsh pesticides or even traps. We don’t recommend this as a great option as it is not regarded as humane. The natural deterrents are usually much more successful and kinder.