The term fancy rat refers to the domesticated version of the brown rat. This is the most widely owned pet rat and the word “fancy” refers to the phrase “to fancy” meaning to appreciate. These animals have been domesticated dating back to the 18th century. These origins weren’t pleasant because they were raised and trapped for use in blood sports in Europe at this time.
Fancy rats got a boost in popularity in 1901 when a woman by the name of Mary Douglass requested permission to show her pet rats to a group at the National Mouse Club. One of her pets proceeded to win “Best in Show.” In 1976 The National Fancy Rat Society was formed. This began another rise in rat popularity.
Domesticated fancy rats remain a close enough relative to wild rats that they share the same species name, however, there are important differences between wild and domesticated rats. The coloring of the animals is a very noticeable difference. Almost all wild rats are brown in color. Fancy rats can be found in a wide range of colors. There are even some found with fur that is shades of blue.
Fancy pet rats have a decreased sensitivity to light and sound. They are, also, more comfortable around people and other animals than their wild counterparts. These are positive difference. On the negative side, fancy rats can contract the pneumococcal infection from humans. This prevents a significant health risk for these pets. While they may be more susceptible to some illnesses, their average lifespan is almost 2 years longer. This is mostly due to the cleaner living conditions that they enjoy, as well as, the higher quality of food and owners attention to their health.
Fancy rats can make great pets for adults, children, and families.
If you are considering getting a pet rat make sure you do your research and purchase your pet from a reputable breeder.
If you would like help with rat control, just give us a call on (08) 6311 4056.