How Much Do Rats Cost?

Keeping pet rats is becoming more and more popular nowadays and for good reason! Despite their dubious reputation as vermin, rats, or fancy rats as enthusiasts call them, make great little pets and are actually highly affectionate, friendly, and easily trainable.

One great aspect of adopting a pet rat from a shelter is that they usually have regular check-ups and so are most likely in a healthy condition. Image Credit: sipa, Pixabay Depending on the breeder, a pet rat will usually cost you no more than $20.

Still, its a low initial outlay, and many breeders may even offer a small discount if you buy more than one, so you may get them for under $10 in these cases. We highly recommended going and visiting the breeder and making sure the parents are living in a clean and healthy environment. The total cost of supplies youll need before bringing home a pet rat will largely depend on how many you plan to have.

For the purposes of this article, well keep estimates under the assumption of a pair of rats, as this is the most common situation, and there is no real difference in cost in owning one or two. Once youve got your pet rats cage, toys , and other initial outlays covered, there arent many other large expenses to be concerned with. Depending again on how many rats you own, your main annual cost will be food , treats, and bedding.

Luckily, rats and other small rodents do not require vaccinations, but a checkup with the vet will cost around $30. Credit: Lauredin, Shutterstock If your rats cage is kept clean and healthy, there is usually little concern about external parasites. Males also tend to get abscesses which sometimes require medical attention, plus rats of the same sex may fight and get injured.

For a single rat, you can expect to pay around $5 per month on the cheaper side and up to $15 for more expensive food. It will significantly lower your food costs to buy in bulk, especially if you own multiple rats. Firstly, the most obvious step would be to only own 2 or 3 rats and make sure they do not breed or fight, so purchase only males or females.

There are many would-be rat owners who decide that these pets are not for them, and you can easily find second-hand cages on eBay or dedicated Facebook groups. As mentioned earlier, insurance is not a necessity, and it makes more sense to put a small chunk of money aside for any emergencies. You can expect to outlay roughly $200-$300 initially for a cage, bedding, food, and accessories, plus around $10-$20 for the cost of a rat.

Annual expenses can often vary fairly widely, but you can expect to outlay around $400-$500 per year, depending. With all this in mind, the first year of owning a rat can easily cost you up to $800, but this will be significantly less after the initial equipment outlays. They make great pets that can be easily tamed and youll find yourself quickly becoming attached to these little critters!

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway.

How much money do rats usually cost?

Pet owners prefer them for their curious, cuddly nature and easy care. Rats aren’t mice; mice are their smaller counterparts. Typical costs: Rats cost between $10 and $20 each, depending on the rat’s age and temperament.

Are rats cheap?

Rats are relatively cheap to buy and keep, especially compared to other popular pets. You’ll still have to spend some money on initial costs like their housing, and there are other expenses to consider including food, toys and possible vet fees.

Is a pet rat worth it?

Rats are very low maintenance pets to own. They are very comfortable in their own environment and can go long periods of the day without much attention. If you are the type of owner that is away for long periods of the day then pet rats may be a good choice for you.

Yes, it is often a misconception that rats are a cheap pet. But we researched how much rats cost per month on average, and found that to not always be the case!

Regular bedding that is safe for rats is going to cost anywhere from $17-20 for a bag that will last you a month or longer, if you have a cage the same size of a Critter Nation. Giving them varied fruits and veggies in moderation is good for them as well, and as a bonus is a negligible cost, as you can grab anything rat safe from the fridge or counter and cut it up for them.

Essential cage accessories, such as a water bottle and some kind of hide or hammock for them to sleep in, are only going to cost you about $20-30. I recommend having some enrichment toys inside of their cage as well, whether that is some ropes, ladders, or other things for them to climb on and interact with. If the rats are neutered or spayed, the adoption fee goes up significantly, to cover the cost of the procedure.

I say cheapest because while they cost almost nothing upfront, pet store rats can be known to rack up the vet bills. Rats are very prone to URIs (Upper Respiratory Infections) and so will likely need to visit the vet to get check ups and prescribed medication. Plan to spend around $75-100 a visit, or more if your rat requires more attention, such as an overnight stay.

The data I found in my research said tumor removal will be $35-150, but the real cost is usually higher than this from what Ive seen. From there, you can use tissue boxes, cardboard, and other things around the house to create a fun environment for them to explore. Another great option to buy for a free roam area is a cat tree, which varies in price from $50-150.

Spaying/Neutering Spaying and neutering rats is an option many people go for, whether to reduce the chance of tumors later in life or to curb aggression. If you decide to spay or neuter your rat, be prepared to spend $50-100, barring complications. It is best to have at least $200 put away for each rat you own, in case of accidents or sudden illness, and to replenish the fund as soon as possible if you use any of it.

Please pay a vet to diagnose and prescribe treatment instead of using home remedy methods, as this can cause more harm than good. There is also the option of building a DYI rat cage (though this probably wont save much money when you factor in the materials plus all the work)! While the upfront cost is more expensive, if you buy the bigger bags of food, it will save you in the long run.

Supplies

The initial cost of buying a rat is not great, but you need to consider the fact that your pet rat will be a whole lot happier when kept with other rats. We recommend having at least a pair to keep each other company, but the more the merrier! Of course, you’ll also need to purchase a cage, bedding, feeding bowls, and accessories. These extras can be expensive, but you’ll only be buying them once!The idea of a pet rat sounds great to a lot of pet enthusiasts, but often it doesn’t work out quite as they planned. Maybe the responsibility is just too large, their rats have had babies they want to give away, they moved into a new home, or their cat has caught on about the new meal hanging around the home! In any case, there are often owners looking for new homes for their pet rats and are happy to give them away for free. Check out your local SPCA or a pet adoption website.One great aspect of adopting a pet rat from a shelter is that they usually have regular check-ups and so are most likely in a healthy condition.Depending on the breeder, a pet rat will usually cost you no more than $20. As mentioned earlier, rats are highly social creatures and so you’ll want to get a pair at least. Still, it’s a low initial outlay, and many breeders may even offer a small discount if you buy more than one, so you may get them for under $10 in these cases. We highly recommended going and visiting the breeder and making sure the parents are living in a clean and healthy environment.