Many people see rats as some kind of creature that is disgusting and should be avoided. Even back then, rats had been one of the major factors that helped in intensifying the scale of the black plague. The plague wiped out more than half of the people living in Europe by the end of it.
But, not all rats are carriers of deadly diseases. In fact, many people like to have rats as their pets. If you are intrigued or actually want to buy a pet rat, read along further. You will get some useful insights that can help you before deciding.
How much does it cost for a pet rat?
Depending on how old the rat is as well as what temperament it has, you can usually get them at around $10 to $20 each. Yet, you should take note that rats are sociable animals and you are basically torturing them if you only buy one. The majority of rat breeders only sell their rats in pairs and never individually to keep them happy.
For the housing, rats do not need a lot of space and you could keep them inside wire cages. These rat cages could range from $30 to more than $180 depending on the size and quality. If you have some unused aquarium lying around, you can re-purpose it to serve as a rat cage. You can even make your own if you are confident with your DIY skills so that you won’t have to shell out as much money.
Next, you need to provide them with a enough amount of bedding at the bottom of their cage (about one to three inches). You need to change this weekly to keep their cage clean and free from unwanted diseases.
Typically, bedding that is being sold could cost at around $7 to $10. The beddings could last for a whole month but you can also use paper if you want. Yet, take note that their urine could turn the paper bedding into a mushy mess that might be hard to clean up.
Omit food, a bag of rat food that’s widely available in pet stores costs at around $6 and can last for up to two months. But, the majority of rat breeders recommend giving special pellets that you can get for $20 for 25 pounds.
If your rats get sick, a typical vet visit could end up costing you $35 to $150 or more depending on what procedure was done. On the other hand, spaying or neutering your rats can cost at around $50 to $100 on average.
Toys are optional. Rats love having toys such as wheels and balls, you can also choose to buy it for them at $2 to $10 depending on the type of toy.
Are rats good pets?
If you have older children, rats can be an ideal pet for them. Younger children usually have the tendency to roughly handle these small creatures. This could end up getting them stressed or injured.
Rats are also intelligent and had been proven to be capable of doing complex tasks not inferior to what most dogs could do.
If trained at a young age, rats can also be extremely fond of humans. Rats will pass the most of their lives by playing with you. Since they are really small, their droppings are equally small as well. You will never have a hard time in cleaning it up. They are also not capable of producing loud noises. So, you won’t get in trouble with your sensitive neighbors.
They are also really low maintenance. You typically only need to feed them without doing anything else. They are capable of grooming themselves and hates to be dirty. However, rats have a short lifespan which typically only reaches around two years. But they can most definitely go beyond that if cared for extremely well. In fact, the oldest rat to be ever recorded was called Rodney and he died when he was seven years old.
Do they sell rats at PetSmart?
PetSmart sells live rats but they are only available at the store and can’t be bought through their website.
Yet, not all stores might have them so you should contact your local PetSmart store beforehand before attempting to buy one. Just in case so you won’t waste your time.
Are rats expensive to keep?
Rats are pretty low maintenance pets. They are less expensive to keep than most animals that are many times bigger than it. Their food as well is cheap and a bag can last for up to two months if serving suggestions are followed. However, just like other pets, the happiness that they might give you will make you forget about all the expenses you did for them.
Although rats have a really bad reputation, they can surprisingly become a wonderful addition to your family as pets. Yes, they may not live long enough, unlike other pets like cats and dogs. But if you take proper care of your rat, you can make their short-lived lives as if it was heaven on earth.