Top 25 ‘Breed of Rat’ Care, Habits, Lifespan, Characteristics, Lifestyle, and Behavior

Rats are increasingly popular pets known for their intelligence, social nature, and unique personalities. With a variety of Breeds available, understanding the specifics of Rat care is crucial for a happy and healthy pet.

This article will cover the top Rat Breeds, their diet, gestation period, sleeping habits, temperament, physical characteristics, natural habitat, and lifestyle.

This guide will cover everything from the lifespan and terminology associated with pet Rats to their care and social habits, debunking common myths along the way.

Breed of Rat

Top 25 Breeds of Rats

  1. Standard Rat: The most common pet Rat with a short, smooth coat.
  2. Dumbo Rat: Named for their large, low-set ears, resembling the Disney character.
  3. Rex Rat: With a distinctive curly coat and whiskers.
  4. Hairless Rat: Known for their lack of fur, often sought for their unique appearance.
  5. Hooded Rat: Featuring a distinctive color pattern with a stripe down their back.
  6. Berkshire Rat: Characterized by their white belly and colored top.
  7. Siamese Rat: Similar in coloRation to Siamese cats, with points on their nose, ears, and tail.
  8. Himalayan Rat: A Breed with color points and red eyes.
  9. Satin Rat: Has a shiny, glossy coat.
  10. Agouti Rat: Their coat color resembles the wild Rat with a ticked appearance.
  11. Albino Rat: Lacks pigmentation, resulting in white fur and red eyes.
  12. Harley Rat: Sports long, silky fur.
  13. Manx Rat: Known for being tailless or having a very short tail.
  14. Mink Rat: A rich brown coloRation, often with a heathered appearance.
  15. Silvermane Rat: Displays a silver sheen on their coat.
  16. Marten Rat: Features a pale belly and darker coloRation on their back.
  17. Pearl Rat: Has a pearl-like sheen to their coat.
  18. Russian Blue Rat: Displays a blue-grey coat.
  19. Patchwork Rat: Typically has a patchy coat due to random hair loss and regrowth.
  20. Merle Rat: Exhibits a merle color pattern with a mottled appearance.
  21. Fawn Rat: Sports a warm, orange-brown coat.
  22. Cinnamon Rat: Exhibits a warm, reddish-brown coloRation.
  23. Blaze Rat: Characterized by a white stripe down their face.
  24. Variegated Rat: Features an irregular pattern of color and white.
  25. Topaz Rat: Known for their rich golden color.

Rat Daily Diet

Rats are omnivores and thrive on a varied diet that includes lab blocks (formulated Rat food), fresh fruits, vegetables, and occasional protein sources like cooked eggs or lean meats.

Rat Gestation Period

The gestation period for Rats is quite short, typically lasting about 21-23 days. A female Rat can give birth to a litter of 6-12 pups on average.

Rat Sleeping Time

Rats are nocturnal by nature but can adjust their sleeping patterns to some extent. They usually sleep during the day and are active at night, requiring about 12-15 hours of rest each day.

Are Rats Aggressive?

Rats are generally not aggressive and are known for their friendly and social behavior, especially when handled regularly from a young age. However, like any animal, they can become aggressive due to fear, illness, or poor socialization.

Rat Physical Characteristics

Rats typically weigh between 350-450 grams, with males being larger than females. They have a pair of incisors that continuously grow, necessitating the need for chew toys to keep them at an appropriate length.

The Natural Habitat of Rats

While wild Rats live in a variety of environments, domestic Rats require a safe and comfortable habitat. A large cage with bedding, nesting materials, and space to climb and explore replicates their natural habitat needs.

Behavior and Lifestyle of Rats

Rats are social animals that enjoy the company of other Rats and humans. They are curious, enjoy playtime, and can be taught tricks. Providing mental stimulation and a companion can help keep them content and engaged.

Understanding Rat Lifespan

On average, domesticated Rats live between 2 to 3 years. Factors contributing to their lifespan include genetics, diet, exercise, and the quality of veterinary care they receive.

Terminology for Pet Rats

Pet Rats are commonly referred to as “fancy Rats”. This term differentiates them from their wild counterparts and refers to their domestication and Breeding for various colors and patterns.

The Monarchy of Rat Colonies

While there isn’t a ‘king of Rats’ in the literal sense, Rat colonies do have social hierarchies. Dominant Rats will often assert themselves within a group, leading to the misconception of a ‘king’.

Rats and Their Swimming Abilities

Yes, Rats can swim and are quite good at it. They have strong, agile bodies that enable them to swim in water if necessary, although it’s not typically required as part of pet care.

The Social Needs of Pet Rats

It’s usually recommended to get at least two Rats because they are highly social animals. Keeping them in pairs (or more) can prevent loneliness and provide necessary companionship.

The Colors of Baby Rats

Newborn Rats, called “pups”, can come in a variety of colors depending on their Breed. They can be white, black, brown, grey, or any combination thereof. These colors often change as they mature.

The Cost of Keeping Pet Rats

While the initial cost of purchasing a pet Rat may be low, potential owners should consider the long-term costs of proper care, including a suitable habitat, quality diet, toys, and veterinary expenses.

Do Pet Rats Bite?

Rats may bite if they feel threatened or scared, but generally, if handled correctly and socialized from a young age, they are gentle and unlikely to bite.

Managing Odor in Pet Rats

Pet Rats themselves do not smell, but their habitats can develop odors if not cleaned regularly. Proper hygiene and regular cage maintenance can prevent most odor issues.

What Are Female Rats Called?

Female Rats are often referred to as “does”. Males are called “bucks”, and the young are known as “pups” or “kittens”.

Bathing Care for Pet Rats

Rats are clean animals that groom themselves and typically do not require baths. If a bath is absolutely necessary, it should be done with care, using Rat-safe products and ensuring the Rat is kept warm and calm throughout the process.


Whether you’re a novice or experienced Rat owner, understanding the nuances of Rat care is essential for maintaining a healthy and joyous relationship with your pet.

From the regal standard Rat to the hairless and dumbo varieties, there’s a Rat Breed to suit everyone’s preferences.

With proper care, a balanced diet, and regular interaction, Rats can be delightful companions for years to come.

Understanding their lifespan, social needs, and proper care will ensure that your time with these curious creatures is rewarding. By debunking common myths and highlighting their true nature, this guide aims to give a clearer view of what it’s like to live with pet Rats.