Now That's a Rat of a Different Color: Fancy Rat Varieties

Updated on March 16, 2018

Rats have become a popular pet. They are excellent little creatures for both children and adults. Pet rats, often called fancy rats, are intelligent, clean, friendly, and trainable. Their popularity as pets has lead to the development of many coat colors and types. Like any other domestic pets, most coat and body features have been developed, while some appear at random. Rats can be defined by many factors; one individual rat may be defined by one or more factors. These factors include, color, coat type, markings, and body type. Some rats may be specifically defined by many factors. New varieties are still in development but some of the standardized factors and varieties can be found below.

Solid Colors

Click thumbnail to view full-size
MinkBlackPink Eyed WhiteChampagneDoveBluePowder Blue
Mink
Mink
Black
Black
Pink Eyed White
Pink Eyed White
Champagne
Champagne
Dove
Dove
Blue
Blue
Powder Blue
Powder Blue

Flecked Colors

Click thumbnail to view full-size
AgoutiCinnamonBlue AgoutiArgenteFawnSSilvered Mink
Agouti
Agouti
Cinnamon
Cinnamon
Blue Agouti
Blue Agouti
Argente
Argente
FawnS
FawnS
Silvered Mink
Silvered Mink

Eye Colors

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Black EyedPink/red EyedRuby EyedOdd Eyed
Black Eyed
Black Eyed
Pink/red Eyed
Pink/red Eyed
Ruby Eyed
Ruby Eyed
Odd Eyed
Odd Eyed

Rat Fur Color Varieties

Coat: Fancy rats can be found in a wide and varying array of colors; most commonly seen in solid colors or with hooded markings. Some fancy rats will retain the wild brown agouti color, 3 tones on a single hair; others have black based hair, one color on one hair. Some common agouti shades include agouti, cinnamon, and fawn. Black based shades include black, beige, and chocolate.

Solid Colors:

  • Mink: Soft grey
  • Black: Jet black
  • Pink-Eyed White: Solid white with pink eyes, commonly mistaken as an albino.
  • Champagne: Soft cream or off-white
  • Dove: Very pale grey
  • Blue: Soft pale blue
  • Powder Blue: Pale blue/brown

Flecked Colors:

  • Agouti: mixture of brown, black and red.
  • Cinnamon: Agouti with more red flecked throughout coat.
  • Blue Agouti: Agouti hairs with blue shades
  • Argente: Tan or orange agouti with a grey undercoat.
  • Fawn: Orange agouti with a cream undercoat
  • Silvered: Any of the colors above with silver tipping on the hair.

Eye Color

Eye color is another factor in defining a rat’s variety. Eyes can be found in black, pink/red, ruby, or odd-eyed. Ruby eyes refer to eyes that normally show a black color but show a red color under bright light. Odd-eyed rats have one eye that is one color while the other is another. Often certain eye colors will accompany particular coat colors.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
SelfHoodedCapedVariegatedDalmatian Berkshire Irish or English Irish BlazedDownunderDU BerkshireDU SpottedHimalayan Siamese
Self
Self
Hooded
Hooded
Caped
Caped
Variegated
Variegated
Dalmatian
Dalmatian
Berkshire
Berkshire
Irish or English Irish
Irish or English Irish
Blazed
Blazed
Downunder
Downunder
DU Berkshire
DU Berkshire
DU Spotted
DU Spotted
Himalayan
Himalayan
Siamese
Siamese

Rat Markings

Another factor in determining a Rat’s variety is its markings. Fancy rats can be found with many markings and color combination. Often the markings refer to patterns and ratios of colored hair to white hair. Two of the extreme markings would be self rats, having one solid color that is not white and Himalayan, being white with gradual blending towards the nose and feet. This coloring is called points just as with the Himalayan and Siamese cats. Show quality rats will be bread to strict marking standards. Many of the rats sold at pet shops will not be bred to such standards and many will have imperfect markings.

  • Self: As mentioned above, self-rats are a solid color other than white.
  • Hooded: These rats are white and have colored hair on the head and shoulders with a stripe down the spine.
  • Caped or Bareback: Like hooded rats but without the stripe down the back.
  • Variegated: Again like hooded rats except with spots down the back instead of a stripe.
  • Dalmatian: Once again like hooded rats but with spotting over most the body.
  • Berkshire: Colored on top with a white belly.
  • Irish or English Irish: Are a solid color with a white triangle on the chest.
  • Blazed: White stripe running between the eyes and down the nose.
  • Downunder (DU): Have a strip that runs along their belly or underside.
  • DU Berkshire: Like hooded rats but with a strip running down the belly as well as down the back.
  • DU Spotted: Have spots rather than stripes down the back and belly.
  • Himalayan and Siamese: Himalayan has a white base coat with gradual blending towards the nose and feet while Siamese have a beige base.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Standard or Normal (My pet rat Sickle R.I.P.)RexSatin/silkVelveteenHarley
Standard or Normal (My pet rat Sickle R.I.P.)
Standard or Normal (My pet rat Sickle R.I.P.)
Rex
Rex
Satin/silk
Satin/silk
Velveteen
Velveteen
Harley
Harley

Coat Types

Despite the large amount of color and marking variations, the number of coat types is relatively small.

  • Normal or Standard: Most common straight hair coat type. Differences between genders are allowed with males typically having a course, rough, thick coat while females tend to have softer, finer coats.
  • Rex or Rexed: All the hair is curly, this includes the whiskers.
  • Satin or Silky: Have extra long soft, silky guard hairs.
  • Velveteen: Softer versions of Rex and satin/silky coats.
  • Harley: Long straight hairs.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
HairlessManxDumbo
Hairless
Hairless
Manx
Manx
Dumbo
Dumbo

Hairless Rats and Body Types

Hairless Rats

Hairless rats are a coat type defined by having little to no hair. Some may have no hair while others may have very short patches of hair on the body. This coat type is derived from the Rex coats. The Rex coat is a dominant trait so it only takes one Rex parent to affect the offspring’s appearance. However when 2 Rexes are bred together something odd happens; hairlessness. Hairless rats are also known as Double-Rexes. Even hairless rats will still display markings on the skin; you could have a hairless hooded rat. Hairless varieties are created by combining different genes that produce the Rex coat. One such hairless variety is known as a patchwork rat. These rats will lose and regrow hair in different patches on their body throughout their lifetime.

Body Types

Rats tend to be pear shaped but 2 of the most prominent features are the ears and tail. Through selective breeding 2 body types have developed, the Manx and Dumbo rat. Manx rats, like manx cats, have no tail. Dumbo rats have large round ears that set low on the sides of the head instead of on top like most rats’ ears.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Corinna 

      27 hours ago

      Just wondering.. what color would the one in the picture satin/silk coat be considered.. I really like the brown color of this rat..

    • profile image

      addison 

      6 months ago

      thanks for putting this it shows me I really shouldn't look on the outside I need to look at the inside

    • profile image

      Larry 

      11 months ago

      Thanks for the great info and putting it in a format most everybody can understand. Great job. I've been smitten with these guys for quite a few years now and as far as pets go...on par with any cat or dog.

    • profile image

      Olivia 

      18 months ago

      This is so interestng, I've been looking for an article like this and all of them only show two types. This is actually very helpful, thank you so much!!

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      20 months ago

      Oh my goodness, these rats are all so adorable, I just can't decide! I am going to be getting two male rats in the next few months, and I want to know which are the best to get. I am already researching cute names, and I want to name them Chico and Jasper. I feel like I want cuddly, dual-colored rats with fluffy coats so I can cuddle with them as I please. :D But the original reason I wanted to get a rat is so I could teach it to play basketball X)

      Also I would like to note that this page is very well put together and has given me a much better idea of what I would like in a pet rat. Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      Omg 

      2 years ago

      We seen a rat the other day that freakEd my husband and I out. About 12 inch body not including the tail. Blonde in color short hair . It's legs back legs were longer than usual? What kind of rat is this? Creapy?

    • profile image

      josalynn 

      2 years ago

      I have to white with black spots with black eyes.They had one champaign with a whitr stripe down its head and nose and pink eyes.Then had 2 white w pink eyes and one white n black.Ive never seen one like the champaign rat.

    • profile image

      iuhj 

      3 years ago

      Just wanted to let you know that those champagne rats are actually mice. :)

    • naturegirl7 profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 

      7 years ago from South Louisiana

      I used to have pet mice in my school library for the kids to observe. They went along well with Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

      Nice hub that's useful.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very interesting hub! Thanks for all the information and the photos - I didn't realize that pet rats could have such a wide variety of appearances.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)