Upstate Small Animal
Hairless Rats are unusual and can
even be called ugly. They are no
different than any other rat except for
they do require a warm nest and a
draft free location.
This is a self colored Dumbo Rat. He
is a solid black all over and his ears
stay in that turned back position all
the time.
The ears are the differential point
from other types of fancy rats.
Rats make an excellent pet if you can get past the "rat" factor. They are smart, friendly,
sociable, inquisitive and calm. There are many varieties to choose from now days such
as Dumbo, Rex, Hairless and Tailless.   Rex fur is kind of kinky/wirey. Hairless rats may
have some fuzz.

One of a rats biggest requirements is socialization. You should really,
really  have at
least two. They will both be very friendly with you, not just each other. If you cannot have
multiple rats, you should be able to spend at least a few hours each day playing with your

Exercise  is also important to relieve stress and boredom. Rats need a large wheel in
their cage, at least 12" in diameter, and they will frequently trundle along together. A
large ball for use outside the cage can be utilized or just letting the rat run around is also
acceptable. Make sure the room has been rat-proofed. (un-chewable & escape-proof)
Rats can be trained to come when you call their names.

Having a den for the rats to sleep in or go into when they are scared is another item that
you want to have in the cage. For hairless rats a "sheepskin" lined nest like you find for
ferrets or even a fuzzy bird hut works well.

A rat & mouse seed diet is a good basic meal supplemented with rat blocks and fresh
fruits & vegetables. If you have a dog as a pet also, you can occasionally give your rat a
piece or two of the dogs kibble food. As with all rodents, make sure there are plenty of
chews available at all times. Some good ones are the calcium/mineral chews, formulated
composite treats and seed balls.   

Aspen shavings are the best to use for bedding. The recycled paper is OK for hairless
rats, but many brands have a lot of dust in them that can cause eye & respiratory
irritations.  You can train your pets to use a corner litter pan for their bathroom needs.
This makes cage cleaning much easier! They will urinate in the pan but leave their
droppings both in and outside the pan.

The bigger the cage, the happier your rat as there will be lots more room for them to
play. Wire sided cages with plastic bottoms that have no grates make some of the best
cages. You can get them with deep pans to keep the litter from flying out too bad when
they romp. Fill your cage with lots of toys, shelves, ladders, hides or anything else you
think they might like. Don't forget to rotate the toys so your rat does not become bored
playing with the same thing all the time.
An important fact to
remember :

Never feed
your rat
through the
bars of the
Did you know that a
rat could bite through
a diamond if it tried
hard enough!
A rat is such a "clean
freak" that it will wash
you off of itself
completely after being
My rat is very friendly
and enjoys being
held, but he dribbles
pee on me a lot?

Rats will deposit a few
drops of urine on you
to show their affection
for you.
Your group of rats is
called a
A rat cannot
Nor does it have
tonsils or a gall
This is another type of rat called an African Soft
Furred  Rat. It is the most prolific rodent in Africa
and also a preferred food item by Ball Pythons. It
stays quite small and compact as compared to
normal rats and can be tamed with handling. They
may have a penchant for biting, but it is a "
I politely
said no
" bite, not an aggressive bite.
Other than these guys are tropical and cannot take
the cold, you can treat them like other rats. Large
cage, lots of exercise, good and various foods,
mandatory companionship.
As the name states, their fur is very soft. The colors
available are still quite restricted. Standard brown
agouti is the wild color. Captive bred strains have
produced shades of brown and gray agouti with
assorted amounts of white showing up. There is
also a champagne color, again, solid or with white.
Some people call this an "albino" phase.
One thing nice to mention is that they do not smell.
No normal pet odors here!