How Much Does a Pet Rat Cost to Own?

pet rat cost to own

Before you make the leap and buy a pet rat, it is important that you know how much owning one really costs.

There are a number of expenses that most people don’t consider before making this decision. This information will help you determine if this is the right choice.

Initial Cost of Buying a Rat

You can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $20 for a single rat. The amount you spend on your rat will depend on the breed, as there are numerous options. Some breeders charge more than others, which is why it’s a good idea to look around. It is recommended that you get a pair of rats to keep together.

There is also the cage that you’ll need to keep rat in, which can cost up to $200 or so. You’ll want to get a wire cage with solid flooring, as a wire floor is not good for the rat’s feet.

If you are going to keep two rats together, you will need a cage that measures at least 72 by 36 by 44 centimeters. This will ensure that they have an adequate amount of space. The bars of the cage should not be more than 17 millimeters apart—otherwise, your rats could get their heads stuck while trying to get out.

You might actually be able to save a little money by adopting a pet rat. If you can find a local shelter that has these animals, you could get one for free. Take the time to explore some of the animal shelters in your area before spending any money.

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pet rat money

It’s also a good idea to ask friends and family if they have any rats you can buy from them. If not, they might be able to point you in the direction of a good breeder. This can be a highly effective way to find an excellent deal on a new pet rat.

While you can always go down to your local pet store to buy a rat, it is recommended that you take the time to look around. You will most likely pay more than you need to at pet store.


It is crucial that you put the right type of bedding in your rat’s cage. Natural paper bedding is best for these animals, and it costs approximately $10 for a package that will last about one month.

While using pieces of cloth for your rat’s bedding is certainly an option, it can quickly cause their cage to stink. Toilet paper is another option to consider, as it is fairly cheap and widely available at any grocery store.


You can probably get away with spending around $10 to $20 on food for your rat each month, depending on its dietary needs. Keep in mind that not all of these rodents eat the same thing.

It is important that you look for pellets and other food that is made specifically for rats. Take the time to look at everything that is in the food so you know that your pet is going to get what it needs to stay healthy.


A litter box is another necessity for anyone who wants to own a pet rat. This will help keep your rat’s cage clean and minimize the smell. If you have two rats in a big cage, it is a good idea to put two litter boxes in it.

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Training your rats to use a litter box won’t take that long, and it is definitely worth the effort. These animals are actually fairly intelligent, and they have a reputation for being very trainable.

You shouldn’t have to spend more than $10 on each litter box for your rats. You’ll also have to get pellets for the litter box, which cost about $20 for 4-5 week’s worth.


Toys that are made for rats tend to be fairly inexpensive, and there are ton of them to choose from. It is important that your pet has numerous toys in its cage at all times. This will help keep them stimulated, which is essential to their mental and physical health.

In addition to regular toys, you should also provide your rat with one or two places for it to hide in its cage. These animals can be somewhat timid, so it’s a good idea to give them some nice spots to go into.

There are tons of interesting and easy DIY rat toys that you can make at home. If you want to save some money, you should look into this option. If you choose to buy these toys at a pet supply store, you shouldn’t have to spend more than $5 on each one.

pet rat sitting hand


It will be necessary for you to occasionally get a checkup for your pet rat. A standard checkup for these animals will run you anywhere from $40 to $50, depending on the veterinarian.

Rats often develop tumors, which can form on any part of their body. If your pet rat has a tumor, getting it removed can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Having a male pet rat neutered costs up to $100.

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  • The rat itself should only cost you $10 to $20, depending on where you get it from.
  • Consider adopting a rat from a local shelter to save money.
  • You can get a month’s worth of rat bedding for only about $10.
  • Food for your pet rat will only cost $20 at the most.
  • Litter for rats costs around $20 for a little over a month’s worth.
  • It is important that you provide your rat with numerous toys to play with.
  • Most rat toys don’t cost more than $5 each, though you can make your own at home to save a little money.
  • A standard checkup for your rat at the vet costs about $50 at the most.
  • Rats are prone to developing tumors, which can cost a lot of money to have surgically removed.