The restaurant called Xiabu Xiabu, is based in Weifang, a city in the eastern province of Shandong.
The chain also offered a compensation price of 5,000 yuan.
When her husband alerted the staff, they allegedly offered the couple 20,000 yuan (S$4,000) to get an abortion if they were anxious about their baby's health, KanKan News reported. Ma alleges that restaurant staff offered the couple cash for an abortion if they were anxious about the health of the baby after eating the rat soup. That's what one customer discovered last week while dining out at a popular Chinese restaurant chain, local media reported.
Many were shocked and disgusted by this story - grossed out by the photos that circulated on Weibo.
Officials shut down the restaurant temporarily to inspect the premises, finding "no trace" of rats at the scene but singled out other problems such as an accumulation of water on the floor in a food preparation area. "I feel like vomiting. I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again".
Another user asked: "If something happens to her baby, how are they going to compensate her?"
A statement was put out by Xiabu Xiabu concerning the incident. Ms Gao said the chain had always taken great care over the quality and safety of its food. Xiabu Xiabu had released a statement which declared that it was "impossible" that a lack of hygiene at the restaurant was to blame for the rat's appearance, but that statement was deleted a short time later.
According to a report from Chinese outlet Kanka News, the market value of Xiabu Xiabu has been on a downward trend since August. The chain's market value plummeted to its lowest point in the past year, as they have reportedly lost $190 million over the affair.
Hotpot is a popular dish in China where people can add meat and vegetables to soup.