When it comes to the different types of rats, there are only really wild rats and pet rats. We’re not interested in wild rats, so we’ll leave them at that. Pet rats though can come in many variations of-of color and size. Pet rats are commonly called fancy rats for a reason—because of all the different fancy colors them come in. In general, there are six varieties of fancy rats that are recognized by breeders.
Hairless rats are exactly as their name implies; they are hairless, they are bald, and they are pink. This variety of fancy rats have thin and almost translucent skin. Some of them have whiskers, and some of them don’t. If they do have whiskers, the whiskers are usually short and curly.
Even if you love rats, you might have a hard time loving hairless rats. I’ll admit, they aren’t for everyone. They are great for people with fur allergies though. If you must have a pet rat, but you have fur allergies then a hairless rat might be the best type of rat for a pet for you.
Be careful with these rats though. They are a little more fragile than the other varieties. Since they don’t have a thick fur to help protect them, they are more vulnerable to injuries. They also get a lot colder and are more vulnerable to colder room temperatures. Make sure you keep them warm.
Tailless fancy rats are also known as Max rats. Just as with the hairless variety, the name tailless refers to their lack of a tail. That’s not 100% of the time. Sometimes, you can still see a small hint of a tail. Some of them will have a small stub where the tail is supposed to be. Either way, this variety does not have a long tail like the other varieties.
If you remember the movie Dumbo (the elephant with the giant ears), you’ll know exactly why this variety is named so. Just like the main character in the movie—although not quite as large—this variety of fancy rats have large ears…and no, they don’t glide with those ears.
Dumbo fancy rats have larger and rounder ears in comparison to other pet rat breeds. The ears are located lower on the sides of the head—unlike the other rats.
Fancy rats categorized as of the Rex variety have dense and curly coats. Their whiskers are curly, and they come in many colors. Their fur is also softer to the touch.
For this type of fancy rat, their coat identifies the Satin variety. They have a coat that is unique; it is both shiny and silky. For some, the coat can almost resemble a metallic sheen. Most satin rats will have curly whiskers.
The coat of a marked rat has patterns that are formed by two different colors. For some, their head might be white, and their body is a darker color. For others, it’s the opposite; their body may be of a light color, and their head is a darker color.
This list of the different types of pet rats isn’t doesn’t define al that there is. There are many more varieties out there that goes by many different names. The ones I listed here are the most commonly found pet rat breeds. If you’re in the search for the best type of rat for a pet, any of the ones recognized here will be a great choice, but don’t write off another variety that you don’t know about yet. All you need to do is give it a little more research before you decide to choose a less popular variety.