Everyday costs of rats?

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Everyday costs of rats?

Post by Simba on Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:34 am

I know, I've asked this before on the old forums, but I'm still curious about it!

What do your rats cost you as regards food, bedding, toys etc- the every-day stuff? What vet needs do they frequently/generally have, and what's the cost of those?

Just wondering. It's easy to find cost-of-keep of information for the really popular pets, but much harder for animals like rats.

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Re: Everyday costs of rats?

Post by GillianK on Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:59 am

Rats are relatively inexpensive. The initial cost is in the hundreds as you have to buy a good cage, and a nice bed for them, some toys, climbing frames, drinking bottle, wheel, bowls etc. But after that the general cost is very cheap.

Costs for my two rats are wood based cat litter for the bottom of their cage, which needs a complete change once a week. Apart from that costs are the rat treats I buy for them, like little fruit drops and dried mealworms, and a fruity tasting rock which they can use to mouth and bite to keep their teeth down. For general food, my rats always eat a small version of what we have every night for dinner, and a little cereal in the morning, so food is easy and cheap. As for vets, they only go if they get ill, unlike other animals which need vaccinated etc, they don't. I've only ever bought antibiotics for treatment, and it was inexpensive. But vet consultation is the same as for a dog which is £25 a visit at my vets, and when they pass away euthanasia and private cremation is a similar cost to any other small animal. If going on holiday boarding for rats is about £6 a day at the kennels I go to which takes in most animals.

All in all rats are cheap to keep. But then, I have a horse so comparing what the rats cost with what she does, I barely notice any cost with them!
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Re: Everyday costs of rats?

Post by Zoundz on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:47 am

Very hard to say, I've been meaning to keep books... but never got around to it so far. At a guess we spend around E150 a month I would think - but I could be way underestimating that.

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Re: Everyday costs of rats?

Post by katherine on Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:25 pm

Food wise I'd say I spend about £20 a month on them, bedding I've having difficulty sourcing so I'm spending another £30 say on bedding. Without factoring in things like toys, treats and vets (because I couldn't put an average on them as they crop up fairly rarely), maybe say an extra £10 on toys or something that works out about £2.00 a day or £15 a week.

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Re: Everyday costs of rats?

Post by redrach on Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:02 am

I'd say £10-£20 a week.
Initial set up is expensive, especially if you get a big cage to begin with. My first cage cost £90 and it only fits 3, 4 at a push. My second cost over £200. And that's not counting food, bedding, toys etc.
Vets bills can be expensive, especially if more than one gets sick at once. I've spent a few hundred on one rat with long-term respiratory issues.
If nothing goes wrong after the initial set up costs they can be cheap enough to keep, but I'd say keep a vet-savings going because they definately cost a lot when they get sick.
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Re: Everyday costs of rats?

Post by katherine on Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:20 am

Oh God yes, the vets are a whole different thing. I counted up we must've spent about €500 on Algy's treatment (including transport to and from the vets) over the course of his life - he was so worth it of course, but because you can never know how much you might have to spend on any one rat if something goes wrong it's worth having something put away just in case.

In a totally different situation Bertie was 'free' to any home but cost me €45 for a new cage, €60 for a neuter and €80 in a journey to get him some new friends... that he didn't get on with. HE also cost Laura and Karl some patience in taking me there Wink

So in short, Rache, I totally agree Smile

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Re: Everyday costs of rats?

Post by Zoundz on Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:35 am

I don't think one can ever look at costings really in any effective way. It's better to make sure you have the initial costs covered, and then a good source of funds put to one side for emergencies etc. Vet bills can be horrendous - I think we've probably spent about €6000 since we started, and we've probably spent a lot less than we could have, we've had some lucky moments with vets etc. I think people decide to breed before they think about the costs of it - it's much much much more expensive than keeping them as pets. In the time we've been breeding we must have spent alltogether around €10k on them... must have! May even have been more.

xx

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Re: Everyday costs of rats?

Post by limerickrats on Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:00 am

Agreed - it's the initial set-up that is expensive. After that, the costs are pretty minimal. (Except vet costs.)

I find with the shunamite diet it's super-cheap and best for them too. If I cook any veggies they get some, or boiled egg or a bit of a chicken - it all costs next to nothing nothing.

I have to buy litter every couple of months and a bag of rabbit food for the shunamite mix - again, minimal cost.

I've bought some Fuzzbutts Cage Comforts cubes for them, and some bendy tunnels. But I'm pretty good now at making toys and cage features for them from charity shop finds and poundshop things. All I can say is thank god there aren't too many rat-specific toys on the market - In contrast, I have enough hamster toys and accessories to satisfy an army of dwarf and Syrian hamsters! Laugh
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