The Costs of Owning a Rat
I have two females and a male rat at home, and spend approximately $30 on essentials (food, bedding) over the course of about 3 months.
It was $105 to be able to neuter the male in order to be placed with the females without the risk of babies.
A friend spends $30-$50 a month on 5 rats.
Keep in mind that rats are prone to respiratory problems and cancers, and can potentially result in some seriously heavy vet costs. General maintenance is relatively cheap, but these are by no means inexpensive pets.
ALSO SEE: Is Hot Glue Toxic to Rats?
Here are some informative links on Rat Respiratory Disease (Mycoplasma pulmonis)
If you suspect your rat is ill, take him/her to the vet! Rats often wake up with a reddish substance called Porphyrin crusted around their eyes or nose (similar to our ‘eye boogers’ when we wake up), however if this is found in excess, occurs throughout the entire day, and/or is accompanied by wheezing, sneezing, coughing, or crackling (hold up the rat to your ear like a telephone to hear its breathing) then a vet should be contacted immediately.
Bumps that grow quickly may be abscesses or tumors, either way, they should be checked on by a vet before it gets worse.
A head tilted sideways for an extended period of time, especially while trying to walk or accompanied by unbalanced walking needs to be checked on by a vet.
If you have a female, who you thought was a male, or has been in contact with males at any point in her life, and she suddenly starts swelling up a week or two after you get her, she may be pregnant, and will need to see a vet (as well as eat a higher protein diet and be separated from the other rats)!
If you notice irregularities with your rat, it’s better to be safe than sorry, waiting for vet bills to stack up even higher, or for your rat to die.