Do not rush when choosing your domestic rat. To put your chances on your side, your future companion must be chosen according to many criteria. What gender to choose? At what age can you adopt? Which breed to favor? You will find our answers below.
Choose a male or female
The sex of your rat will affect its general behavior and your relationships. Obviously, no one is immune to exception. They arrive. In general, however, a male rat is much more cuddly and calm than the rat. The latter will be more lively and independent. However, she will bear wonderfully well the presence of a congeneric by her side, unlike a male rat which could fight to assert its domination.
So if you want to adopt only one rat, choose a male. He will tolerate loneliness better than a ratte even if he is made, at the base, to live in community. A male will also mark his territory. It has the disadvantage of having a more pronounced body odor than rat.
At what age ?
You should not adopt a rat until it has reached 6 weeks. Indeed, he must have finished weaning with his mother. A rat must collect all the vital forces given by breast milk so that its body can defend itself against diseases that are sure to try to harm its health.
Whether you collect it young or old, your rat will quickly adapt to its new life. There will be no change in your relationships, often warm.
Attention, to take full advantage of your rodent, adopt it however before its 6 months. Indeed, the lifespan of a rat very rarely exceeds 3 years.
Which breed to choose?
The domestic rat does not have a breed per se. All are grouped under the species of brown rats. They are divided into varieties or types. To choose your future rat, you can identify it by its hair, its color, its marking or even its ears.
This is the distribution of the color of your rat’s hair. It may be on his body as on his face. You can find :
- The plain marking. Your rat has a solid color all over its body.
- The Irish marking. Your rat’s belly has a white mark. Fairly small in Irish, larger in Berkshire.
- Japanese or two-color marking. Your rat has white on most of its body. However, his face, shoulders and a line from the back of his head to his tail are colored. It is a Japanese mark. This type of rat is also called a cow rat.
- Double-sided marking. Same principle as the two-color, except that the color marking is done on the sides: on the back and on the belly.
- The Bareback marking presents a white rat with a colored head and shoulders. It differs from the cappé marking where your rat only has the colored head, a bit like a hood.
- The Husky rat. Your rat has a white arrow mark on its face. The more it grows, the more your rat whitens. We thus find several varieties of Husky rats like the Classic Husky, the Band Husky and the Collar Husky.
- The star marking. Your rat has a simple white patch on its forehead.
The colors of the rat
Typically, your rat has a basic color which is brown. It comes from Agouti (the wild color). Your rat can have various shades of brown and even deviate towards red, black. Without pigmentation, we will find ourselves in front of an albino rat. Your rat’s color may change to blue.
Another special feature is his eyes. The color of your rat defines that of its eyes. If your rat has red eyes, that doesn’t mean he’s albino. On the other hand, an albino rat will inevitably have red eyes, because they are the sign of a depigmentation.
Your rat’s hair
Your rat can have 3 types of hair. Thus, its hairs can be:
- Nudes. As in mice, some rats do not have hair. Some have a small down and will be classified in this category.
- Curly. There is a “woolly” aspect. It is mainly a coat called “rex”.
- Smooth. The coat of the vast majority of rats.
You should especially pay attention to the implantation of the ears. There is the classic, rather tall, and the so-called “dumbo” layout. Lower implantation on your rat’s head.
Where to adopt your rat
There are several places to adopt your rat. Some more advisable than others.
- A pet centre. A place not recommended for the acquisition of a rat and other animals. So, of course, the sale price is paltry compared to that of a professional breeder. However, your rat could suffer from several illnesses linked to deplorable borderline living conditions. If you opt for a rat, it can be pregnant if it has been placed in a cage with male rats.
- A refuge, an association. Your future rat is often well taken care of by the association’s volunteers who collect it. Nevertheless, he could suffer from some pathologies linked to his abandonment. You should educate yourself to the best of your ability to be certain of your rodent’s health.
- At a private home. Trust the person who resells rats most often because of an unwanted litter. Move to the seller’s home. You will be able to see the living conditions of your future rat, its food, its relationship with humans, its general appearance.
- A failure. This name does not mean that the place is of quality. Like the individual, you need to check the general health of your rat. The professional breeder must answer all your questions, inform you in the best possible way. If he presents you with a questionnaire, that’s a pretty good sign. The breeder wants to be sure that his raccoon leaves for a family that will take care of him.
Adopt a healthy rat
A healthy rat can be seen in its eyes and nose. You should not notice any trace of red, caused by a substance that looks like blood. Also check your rat’s ears and check for pimples. As with many rodents, you should notice a smooth coat. Her behind must not be soiled.