Costopedia / Pets / How Much Does a Pet Rat Cost?

How Much Does a Pet Rat Cost?

$ Primary Expenses: $95 - $450 $ $ Continuous Expenses: $255 - $650

Rats are rodents that originally come from continental Asia, as well as from islands located in the southeast.

They first traveled to Europe in the XVI century, later scattering all over the world.

These rodents are social, intelligent, and curious animals that could also be part of your family.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a pet rat, there are a few things you should know about them first.

Let’s review some of them next, including how much you would be spending if you decide to have one as a pet.

Is A Rat The Right Pet For Me?

Unlike most people might think, rats are very clean animals.

They tend to clean and groom themselves often.

They also enjoy the company of other rats or humans, and they can be trained to do different kinds of tricks.

Because of their size, rats usually don’t need a lot of space, just a cage that has everything they need, and you can even let them play outside the cage when you are present.

Their curious nature could get them in trouble, or they could escape and leave your house, so it’s always better to watch them closely.

Rats are generally not recommended for small children because they are fragile animals, and they can transmit certain diseases to us, humans.

Proper hygiene is advised when handling them and their surroundings.

Rats only live for 2 or 3 years at most, so it’s another important factor to keep in mind if you want one as a pet.

Primary Expenses

In this section, you’ll find the basic things you will have to buy when first getting a pet rat.

Adopting Or Buying A Rat

Even though rats are not common pets, you could still find rescue groups or shelters that have rats for adoption.

You will have to pay an adoption fee that tends to vary according to the city where you live, the age of the rat, and any medical expenses.

For instance, you could adopt a rat that has already been spayed or neutered, but you will have to pay for that in the adoption fee.

Adopting a rat can cost from $10 to $100, but if it’s an older rat, it could be free.

If you want to buy a rat, there are pet stores or professional breeders you can find online.

Depending on the species and color, a rat can cost between $15 and $150.


Rat cages are generally made of wire because it provides enough air circulation and at the same time, prevents them from escaping by chewing the materials.

It’s better to get narrow bar spacing cages, so they don’t fit between them and escape.

You can find cages that are specifically designed for rats or other similar rodents, either online or in pet stores.

Vertical cages with multiple levels are the best option for rats because they have enough space to exercise, climb and place any accessories you might want.

According to the size, these cages for rats can cost from $45 to $200.

Accessories & Toys

There are a few things you should include in the cage, such as a water bottle ($5 – $15), food bowl or feeder ($3 – $15), a small litter for your rat ($7 – $12), hideouts ($8 – $20), hammocks ($5 – $15), exercise wheel ($10 – $20), and any other accessories you might want for your pet rat.

Continuous Expenses

Here are the general things you’ll have to buy either monthly or annually for your pet rat.


Rats are omnivorous, they can eat fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat.

There are dried pellets for rats that have different types of grains, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

It’s also recommended to give your rat fresh vegetables and fruits that are suitable for its diet.

You would be spending annually for food from $100 to $360.


For some small animals, including rats, cedar and pine bedding are toxic and could lead to serious health problems.

The best options are aspen shavings or paper beddings.

Annually, you could spend from $120 to $180 in bedding for your rat’s cage.

Vet Visits

The cost of a routine check-up usually varies depending on the town or city where you live.

For a rat, you could spend between $35 and $100 per year for a check-up with the vet.

Alessandra Spaziani Lara
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