Rats must have an awful PR team: everyone thinks they are dirty little animals that live in the trash. Ouch!
However, this could not be further from the truth – they are versatile, lovable, and yes, even fluffy! Not to mention the fact that they are very intelligent and can learn some cool tricks, making them a super cool companion. Can your fish run through a ramp?
From Pest to Companion: Owning a Pet Rat
Okay, if the idea of having a little fluffy ball that jumps through hoops and does little tricks for you didn’t automatically assure a trip to the pet store, here are a few more things you should know.
There’s a lot of information out there on the benefits of having a pet rat. The appeal in pet rats lies in the fact that they are very similar to humans, making it easier to create a bond between you and your new friend. Meaning, they play during the day and sleep at night and have intricate personalities. They are deep beings with a zest for life, just like us.
These small, pink-nosed little bundles of cuteness have an awful and undeserved reputation, so we’ll help them out and show you why they might be the perfect companion. After all, everyone needs a friend. Nonetheless, just like with your human friends, not every rat will be a perfect fit. So, here is a bit more about the different rat breeds for the sake of this future friendship.
A Very Fashionable Friend: The Curly Haired Rat
These rats are everything a shampoo ad would want. They have luscious curly hair and curly whiskers, which is usually shiny and very fun to pet! Aside from that, they are also famous for being very friendly. Meaning, they would be super happy to receive all of your love, whether that be picking them up and softly petting them, or small little kisses on their soft, curly fur.
But wait! Before you order your very own curly pet rat, think about why you are getting this specific type of rodent. If you want a curly-haired rat because their well known sweet personality entrances you, then go ahead and get one! We promise you will not be disappointed.
On the other hand, if you are getting one because of their famous mane, please consider that their curls might not turn out the way you want. They might have bald patches or loose curls, but their love for you will still be tight and full!
Blue (Yes, Blue) Rats
Yes, these rats are actually blue! It’s not the raspberry candy blue you are picturing, a dark silver-gray with blue-ish undertones. As a result of their beautiful fur color, the Russian Blue rats are very sought after. Their fur is very easy to take care of. You just have to make sure it is always clean and moisturized. That way, their distinctive blue color will always stay dirtless and shiny.
Now, if you are thinking of buying a Russian Blue rat for their personality, these rats don’t have any specific traits. They can be loving and friendly, or they could be more reserved, just like humans. In other words, it is really up to you whether you are willing to spin the wheel and get yourself an elegant and distinctive pet.
The Blue Never Stops: The Powder Blue Rat
These pet rats are amazingly cute and definitely Instagram-worthy. They have a beautiful greyish light blue color, which contrasts beautifully with their black eyes. The Powder Blue rat and the Russian Blue rat are close relatives, which makes them very similar, but not identical. For example, the Powder Blue rat has lighter, softer fur than their Russian Blue brothers, which have darker fur and offer a less enjoyable petting experience.
The Powder Blue rat makes a great friend. They are cuddly and especially friendly, meaning you will always have a tiny, blue-ish buddy. Just be sure not to feed them too much fat and stick to the recommended rat diet. These rats are very susceptible to big fat and protein loads and might get sick. But, hey, good news – you get to keep your burger all to yourself!
Big Ears but an Even Bigger Heart: The Dumbo Rat
Most rats are top-eared rats, meaning their ears are on top of their heads. However, when it comes to the Dumbo rat, this breed has the ears located on the lower part of their skull. Their signature ear shape makes these little creatures look innocent, friendly, and, dare I say, cute.
Usually, their ears are round and a bit wrinkly, but some Dumbo rats might have slightly pointy or deformed ears. No worries, this is in no way a health hazard and will not interfere with your pet’s ability to be a wonderful companion to you. Although, if you plan to enter shows with your rat, then do make sure that their ears are as round as possible.
Aside from their unique physical appearance, this rat breed is no different from other rats when it comes to intelligence and social skills. This means you can still teach your Dumbo Rat as many tricks as your heart desires!
A Very Small Friend, Filled With a Lot of Love: The Dwarf Rat
Rats are adorable, that’s just the huggable, pink-nosed, truth. They are fluffy, cute, and small. But what if they were smaller?
Yes! Even tinier! I’m talking about the Dwarf rat, which is 1/3 the size of a standard-sized rat. Their unique size makes them a child-friendly pet and the perfect companion for someone who wants to ease into having a pet rat and is not ready for the full-sized breeds. It is a certified fact that they will always stay small and lovable.
When it comes to the type of pet they would make, Dwarf rats have many positive qualities. They are all very fond of snuggles and cuddles, but they can be a bit lazy sometimes. They might prefer to sit on your hand and cuddle instead of learning some tricks.
No Hair, but Lots of Snuggles: The Hairless Rat
The words “hairless” and “rat” might sound unappealing to some people, but the lack of hair does not mean a lack of cuteness. These exotic-looking creatures make for a rare pet. They’re also an excellent conversation starter, that’s for sure!
Even if you are a bit turned off by the complete lack of hair, the hairless rat could still be the right fit for you. The Double Rex rat has tiny eyebrows and whiskers, while some others, like the Patchwork Hairless rat, have little patches of very short hair that you can still pet if you do it carefully.
Nonetheless, if you are interested in a completely hairless rat, the Sphinx rat is the one for you. These little fellas do not have a single hair on their body, not even eyebrows or whiskers, and they are just as cute as their furry counterparts.
If you want a hairless rat for a pet, please keep in mind that it might take some compromise since hairless rats suffer from respiratory, kidney, bacterial, and liver disease, all thanks to their faulty genetic makeup. On the other hand, they make up for all the extra care by being super into snuggles and pets.
They are also very social and tend to get cold, so they would be super grateful if you could pair them up with a furry cage buddy to cuddle with for some extra warmth.
Which Rat Should You Get?
Well, rats are just like people. Not every rat is a perfect fit for everyone. Whatever rat you get is ultimately up to you. If you are after the aesthetics of having a pet rat, you should go for either a Curly Haired rat, a Russian Blue, or a Powder Blue. Just make sure to check out their fur for bald patches or discoloration before you take them home.
Now, if it’s a family pet you’re looking for, a Dumbo or a Dwarf would make an excellent pet for kids since their appearance makes them look especially cute and friendly.
Finally, all of these rats are very easy to care for. You just have to make sure their bellies are full, their fur is fresh, and their cages are clean.
Alternatively, if you decide to go for a hairless rat, you will have the same amount of fun, but it will take a lot of compromise and care. With this in mind, please do make sure you have the time and resources to look after this specific type of pet.