If you are interested in buying a pet rat, it is important that you learn about the cost of buying and owning one. 

There are actually a number of expenses that most people don’t even think about before buying one of these animals. This article will give you a good idea of what you will actually spend.

Cost of Buying a Rat

The first expense that you will encounter with buying a rat is the actual cost of the animal. Some rats are more expensive than others, depending on the breed. The average cost of a rat varies from $10 to $20, which isn’t very much.

Some of the more expensive rat breeds include:

  • Silvermane: $50 to $60
  • Velveteen: $30
  • Harley: $60
  • Spotted tabby: $40
  • Marten: $40 to $50
  • Manx: $75 to $100
  • Black Eyes Siamese: $60

The pricier rats tend to be ones that are bred for shows and competitions. It is important that you get accurate pricing information on the particular breed you are interested in before spending any of your hard earned money.

You may be able to save money on this initial cost by purchasing more than one rat at once. Some places offer discounts, so you’ll want to find out about this when shopping around.


You will of course need to buy a cage for your rat, which can be fairly cheap or on the expensive side. The total amount that you spend will depend on the size and material of the cage.

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You can expect to spend around $100 on a cage to house your pet rat. There are definitely some cages that are sturdier than others, so you’ll want to take the time to look into your options. It is imperative that you get a cage that your rat cannot easily escape from. The bars on the cage should not be spaced too far apart.

It is also important that they have enough space to move around freely. Putting your rat in a cage that is too small for them can have a very negative impact on their overall health.

sleeping pet rats

Litter Box

Your rat will also need a litter box to do its business in. This will make keeping their cage clean a whole lot easier. It saves you a good amount of effort while helping to keep them healthy.

There are lots of different litter boxes available specifically for rats. You’ll want to look for a litter box that is appropriate size so that your rat will feel comfortable using it on a daily basis.

Just the litter box will only cost you $10 at the most. There is also the bedding to consider, which can consist of pellets. A month’s worth of these pellets can typically be purchased for around $20. The latter is an ongoing but necessary cost. You’ll want to spring for high quality pellets, because they are definitely worth it.


The bedding that you buy for your rat’s cage is another expense that you will encounter. You will need to purchase soft bedding that your rodent friend can drift off to sleep on without any issues. It is recommended that you buy natural paper, which costs anywhere from $8 to $20 per package. The total amount that you spend on bending will depend on the material as well as how much you get at once.

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You can also use old or spare pieces of fabric, but it’s not great for keeping unpleasant smells away. Old newspaper is another option, though it is a bit too rough for some rats.


Food is another ongoing cost that you will have to factor in before deciding to buy a rat. There are lots of different food options for these animals that you will have to choose from.

It is pretty common for someone who owns a rat to only spend around $10 to $20 per month on food. You should consider buying large packages. While it’s true that doing this is more expensive, you won’t have to worry about buying more food for quite a while.

Vet Trips

The occasional trip to the vet will be a necessity for anyone who owns a rat. A routine checkup will cost you around $40 to $50. It is possible that you will be hit with a much larger veterinary bill, especially if your rat ever needs surgery.

You should have at least $200 set aside for vet trips each year, just in case. You don’t want to be in a position where you cannot pay for some crucial treatment that your pet needs.

baby white rat e1591971082894


It is crucial that you keep your rat stimulated, both physically and mentally. This means providing them with numerous toys to play with in their cage. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on these toys, but they should be fairly durable.

There are also various accessories you will need to get for your rat, such as a food bowl and water bottle. Each of these items shouldn’t cost more than $8 or so.

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  • The average cost of a rat is anywhere from $10 to $20.
  • There are various rat breeds that can cost up to $100.
  • Rats that are bred for shows and competitions always cost the most.
  • It is important to get a solid cage that is large enough for your rat. This should cost you about $100.
  • A litter box is approximately $10, but you will need to buy pellets for it each month.
  • The natural paper makes great bedding for rats, and it costs anywhere from $8 to $20 per package.
  • You should only have to spend $20 at the most on food for your rat each month.
  • Make sure that you have a couple of hundred dollars set aside for vet trips each year.
  • You also need to get toys for your rat, which should only cost a few dollars each.
  • Don’t forget about a water bottle and food bowl, which are very minor one-time expenses.
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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".