Colors and Coat Types
Rats come in a wide variety of colors and coat types. There are countless combination possibilities, and I breed for my favorites. Here is a very basic summary of the types I work with.
The color to be a rich chestnut with dark slate at the base of the hair. Coat is evenly ticked with black guard hairs. Belly color will be silver gray. Eye color is black.
Color is similar to agouti, except the color is a warm russet brown, with medium slate at the base of the hair. Coat is evenly ticked with chocolate. Belly color to be as agouti, but of a lighter shade. Eye color is ruby or black.
Color is a good solid black throughout, showing no rustiness or white hairs. Eye color is black.
Color to be in between blue and powder blue, a clear sparkling blue. Color showing no brown patches or silvering. Eye color to be dark ruby or black.
To be an even mid gray-brown devoid of dinginess, silvering or patches, and having a distinct bluish sheen. Foot color to match top color. Eyes black.
Black Eyed Siamese
Body color to be medium beige, gradually and evenly shaded over saddle and hindquarters towards the belly, being darkest at the base of the tail. Tail color to extend down the length of the tail. Belly to be light beige. Points to be rich dark sepia and shade evenly into the body color. Eyes black.
The coat to be short, smooth, and glossy with the males having somewhat longer and coarser hair. It should show a natural high shine and densely cover the body. Color to conform to a recognized color or pattern.
Rex Coats are dense and curly, with minimal guard-hairs and less curl on the bellies. Males tend to have better coats than females, though both tend to thin out as the rat ages. Rex coated rats have curly whiskers. Rex is recognized by the AFMRA.
Velveteen coats are a 'rexoid' or 'rex-type' coat. They tend to be more wavy than curly, and softer than rex, with long, wavy whiskers. While some people argue that Velveteen is actually just a poor rex coat, there is evidence to suggest otherwise. For example; if you double Velveteen, it does not become patchy or hairless like the DRex that results from doubling Rex. Velveteen rats are not currently a coat type recognized by AFMRA.
Harley Coats are long, and wispy with wavy whiskers. Their coats appear thin because they are lacking an undercoat. Because of this, they tend to (like hairless and DRex) Be more susceptible to scratches, and thinning on the back with age. They are a relatively new variety (the first Harley was discovered in 2002) so several breeders are working to improve the variety. Harley rats are not currently a coat type recognized by AFMRA.
Silvermane (D'Argent in the AFMRA) is a very new coat type variety, discovered in 2012. It causes a solid under-color and dark facial mask (muzzle/eyes), with silver/white tips to the hair shafts, with the fur being very soft. Molting tends to be patchy and uneven, causing the rat to temporarily look very silly! Silvermane can be combined with other coat types, such as Harley, Rex, or Velveteen, for a variety of looks/textures. Silvermane/D'Argent is AFMRA recognized.
Dwarf rats were a spontaneous genetic mutation discovered in 1977. They are not just small rats - dwarf rats have a reduced growth hormone that causes them to only mature to about 1/3 of the size of a normal adult rat! Because of this lack of growth hormone, dwarfs studied seem to be resistant to some cancers. Dwarf rats have shorter, thinner tails, and their heads & eyes are larger in proportion to body size. Dwarf rats are not AFRMA recognized.