Pet fancy rats are named and described according to their color, type of coat or fur and their coat markings. Some very special types of fancy rats have their own descriptive category. Each fancy rat is either a special type or has a color, fur type and coat marking description.
Fancy Rat Solid Colors
Fancy rat breeds come in seven recognized colors. Often these colors are set against a mostly white coat. Completely white rats typically have pink eyes. Other colors that can be splashed on a white-coated rat are black, mink, champagne, dove, blue and powder blue. The black color is often jet like a dark night. Mink is a light grey color and champagne is an off-white or beige tone. Dove is a pale gray lighter than the mink color. Blue is a soft, pale bluish-gray and powder blue is blue with a more brownish tinge to it.
Fancy Rat Flecked Colors
Fancy rats feature six common flecked colorings. These include Agouti, Argente, Blue Agouti, Cinnamon, Fawn and Silvered. The Agouti coloring is commonly referred to as a "wild coloring" and is a mix of red, brown and black tones. Argente rats are an orangish color with an underlying gray tone. Blue Agouti rats are very similar to Agouti except with blue undertones. Cinnamon rats are also similar to Agoutis except the dominant color exhibited is red. Fawn-colored rats are Agouti-colored but with a more orange tone and a cream undercoat. Silvered rats can be any of the above colorings with silver tipped hairs, giving them a silver sheen.
Fancy Rat Coat Type
Four coat descriptors are used when classifying fancy rats: normal, rexed, satin and hairless. Normal-coated rats, the most common, have a smooth, straight-haired coat. Rexed rats have a soft, curly coat and their whiskers are also very curly. Satin-coated rats have much longer hair than normal rats, making them very smooth and silky to the touch. Hairless rats are just that; they have none whatsoever.
Fancy Rat Markings
Fancy rats can have dozens of types of markings, but 11 are most common: Hooded, Bareback, Variegated, Dalmatian, Berkshire, Blazed, Downunder, Downunder Berkshire, Downunder Spotted, Irish and Self. In many cases, the names are descriptors of the markings. For example, Hooded rats are all white except for a colored stripe that extends the length of their spine and covers their heads and shoulders; Dalmatian rats have spots of color all over their bodies.
Special Types of Fancy Rats
The most definable special type of fancy rat is the Dumbo rat. Its ears are set on the side of its head, instead of on top, making it look like the elephant Disney character. Two other special types of rats are named based on their markings, Himalayan rats and Siamese rats. Himalayan rats are completely white and free of markings except for their ears and noses which are a dark sepia tone. They also feature red eyes. Ruby-eyed Siamese rats are beige with sepia ears, tails and noses.