How to Care for Your New Hairless Rat

Aqualand's inside scoop on Rattus norwegicus

 

Amphibians
Axolotls
Caecilian Worm
Chaco Toad
Mud Puppies

Newts General
Newts Eastern
Newts Golden

Newts Mandarin
Salamanders
Suriname Toad
Tadpoles
Terrarium I
Terrarium II
USA Toads
Water Dogs
Misc. Toads

Frogs
Bull
Clawed
Dumpy
Dwarf
Fire-Belly
Floating
Green Tree
Leopard
Pac Man
Pipa pipa
Pyxie
Red-Eyed Tree
Tomato
Misc Frogs 
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV

Misc Frogs V

Animals
Bunnies
Bunnies II 

Cat-N-Around Cat Club
Cat-N-Around Cat Club 2007 Annual Show
Hawkeye Cat Club 2004
Hawkeye Cat Club 2005
Chinchillas
Degus
Ferrets
Ferrets by BOB
Gerbils
Ground Squirrels
Guinea Pig
Hamsters I
Hamsters II
Hamsters III
Hamsters IV
Hamsters V
Hedgehogs
Kittens
Kids & Kittens
Mice
Mice Pets II
Parasites
Rats I
Rats II
Rats III
Rats, Hairless
S-T Opossums
Siberian Chipmunks
Sugar Gliders
Sugar Gliders II
Water Bottles

Bugs
Crabby 500
Crab 04 Results
Centipedes
Cray/Lobsters
Crayfish II
Crayfish III
Cray, Yucatan
Fiddler Crabs
Shrimp, Algae
Shrimp, Aqua
Shrimp, Orange Bee
Shrimp, Red
Shrimp, Flower

Shrimp, Ghost
Shrimp, Rudolph
Hermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs II
Madagas Roach
Mantids
Mini-Clams
Mini-Crabs
Patriot Crabs
Giant Millipedes
Red Claw Crabs
Reiman Butterfly
Spider, Black Widow
Snail, Apple
Snail, Colombian
Snail, Land
Snail, Malaysian

Snail, Mystery
Snail, Trapdoor 
Scorpions
Tarantulas
Tarantulas II
Tarantula Night 2006
TarantulaWeen VII
TarantulaWeen 9
Walking Stick
Misc. Bugs
Misc Bugs II  

Birds
Breeding Tips

Button Quail
Canaries

Cockatiels
Dove, Diamond
Dove, Ringneck
Finches
Love Birds
Parakeets
Pelleted Foods
Quaker Parrots

Parrot Pictures
Parrot Pix II

Parrot Pix III
Dave's Parrots


Lizards
Alligators
Anoles
Bearded Dragon

Beardies II
Calotes
Chamel, Jackson
Chamel, Panther
Chamel, Veiled
Crested Geckos
Gecko, Golden

Gecko, House
Gecko, Leopard
Gecko, Tokay
Horned "Toads"
Iguana New
Iguana Dragons
Iguana Q&A I
Iguana Q&A II
Iguana Training
Iguana Update
Cool Iguana Pics
Knight Anoles
Monitors, Nile

Monitors, Savana
Monitors, Water

Salmonella
Skinks
Skinks Blue-Tongue
Tegus
Uromastyx maliensis
Water Dragon
Misc Lizards
Misc Lizards 2
Misc Lizards 3
Misc Lizards 4
Misc Lizards 5

Misc Lizards 6
Misc Lizards 7
Misc Lizards 8
Misc Lizards 9
Misc Lizards 10


Snakes
Anacondas
Boa, Rosy

Boa, Red-Tail
Corn Snake
Garter Snake
Green Snake
Kids/Corn Snakes
Kids/Red-Tail Boas

Kids at Pet Expo 1

Kids at Pet Expo 2

Kids at Pet Expo 3

Kids at Pet Expo 4

Kids at Pet Expo 5
King & Milk
Python, Ball
Python, Burmese

Snakes Alive
Snakesgiving
Snakesgiving II

Misc Snake Pix
Misc Snakes II

Misc Snakes III  

Turtles/Tortoises
Box, Asian
Box, USA
Races
Snapping

Spiny

Sulcata
Water

Western Painted

Live Foods
Blackworms
Blood Worms
Br Shrimp I
Br
Shrimp II
Crayfish 1
Crayfish 2
Crayfish 3 
Crickets
Dandelions
Daphnia
Earthworms
Feeder Goldfish
Fruit Flies
Ghost Shrimp

Glass Worms

Grindal Worms
Infusoria
Mealworms
Microworms
Rosy Reds

Super Worms

Wax Worms
White Clouds

 

Decorating
Bubbles
Driftwood
Gravel
Plastic Plants
Rocks
Slow Growing Plants

Miscellaneous
Bob's Acclimation

How to Start
How to Add New Fish
How to Keep Healthy
Which Fish Get Along?
10 Questions to Ask
What is Ich?
Under Gravel Filters

Sponge Filters
Cloudy Water

Cool Water Tanks
Gravel Vacuums
Preventing Disease
Feeding to the Max
Frozen Foods
Green Water
Nasty Chemicals
Overfeeding
Power Filters
Rift Lake Salts
Quarantine Tank
Mini-Tank
2nd Av Bait

Pet World Visit
Dandelions

Aquatic Plants
Amazon Swords
More Swords
Sword Plants III

Anubias
Anacharis
Aponogetons
A. boivinianus
A. fenestralis
A. ulvaceous
Aquarium/Bog
Banana Plant
Bolbitis
Bunch
Bunch Plants II
Cryptocorynes
Crystalwort
Dwarf Lily
Grassy
Grassy II
Hornwort
Hygrophila
Lace
Java Fern I
Java Fern II
Java Fern III
Java Fern IV
Java Moss
Moss Balls
Onion
Vermiculite

Watersprite

Different Watersprite

Hairless Rat Factoids

Origin

Dr. Frankenrat was working in his lab late one night

Temperature

Room temp usually fine

Substrate

Dust free litter best

Security

Likes a hide box

Foods

Standard rat blocks or seed mixture

Supplements

They love treats

Breeding

Some females not good mommas

Threats

Dirty cages

 

 

LA
Just a young pup but covered with wrinkles.

Origin:  Evidently these guys came out of actual lab work (on purpose) in 1953.  They invented a weak, short-lived, disease-prone sport and refined it into three strains each worse than the other.  Somehow, they got into the pet hobby and were crossed with normal pet rats and after many such crosses turned into a keeper.  That’s the good news.  The bad news?  They are still ugly.  But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Some people get a real kick out of hairless rats.

LA
Most hairless rats (like other rats) take naps during the daytime.

Schedule:  Rats prefer to work the night shift.  You’ll notice this the first time you turn off their lights at night.  In cages with lots of rats, they stand up on their hind legs, wave their “arms” in the air and mouth the words to that Tommy Roe song everyone boogies to.  Add a strobe light.  They keep this up for hours even without the glow sticks or pacifiers.

LA 
Hairless rats mixing it up in a Texas glass cage smackdown.

Arguments:  Rats like to squabble amongst themselves, but not seriously like gerbils and hamsters.  Among many rodents, the stranger is beset upon and severely wounded if not killed.  Rat duels are more exercise than warfare.  Injuries and nips are more visible on hairless rats.  Do not panic.  Use a dab of antibiotic salve if you feel the need.

LA
The top hairless rat is sniffing a coat sleeve.

LA
"What's shaking, baby?

Friendly:  Perhaps inquisitive fits them better.  Hairless rats like to explore.  They crawl up your arm, into your sleeve, and into your pocket.  They like people -- perhaps because people feel warm and give them tasty treats?

LA
Most rats like to pile; hairless rats even more so.

 

Temperature:  You may have noticed their lack of an overcoat.  Hairless rats would never make it at your local dump (do they still have those?) during the winter (most of us still have those).  If you have more than one, they help keep each other warm.  If you have a single, you may want to add a heat pad.  They also like a hide box (which helps them stay warm).

LA
No hair on this rat but he still has the black and white markings.

Colors:  Yup, you can find hairless rats in different colors.  However, the whites and greys show up most frequently.

LA
Wide variation in degrees of hairlessness in hairless rats.

LA
She has over a dozen pups under her.

LA
You can see more of them here.

Hair Variations:  You get quite a bit of hairless variation within litters.  Some are naked.  Some are fuzzy.  Some are patchy.  And some vary with age.  The out-crosses with normal rats have made today’s hairless rats much stronger and sturdier than the originals.  You would not want one of the originals.  Actually, some people don’t appreciate the new hairless rats either.  Wait a minute.  Some people don’t appreciate any rats.  There’s no accounting for taste.

LA
These homemade mangers make great labor savers.

Foods:  Any of the good pet blocks make perfect foods.  They contain the exact nutrition your hairless rats need and the hard blocks help keep their teeth ground down.  Although, rats brux their teeth daily, they do not floss.  Bruxism means grinding your teeth.  In the absence of chew toys, your rats brux their teeth to keep them ground down.

LA
Hairless and haired rats get along together just fine.

 

Supplements/Treats:  Hairless rats need no supplements but they love treats.  If you want your rat to like you, “treat” him well.  You can find canned treats on our shelves or make your own.  First, forget cheese.  Most rats like dried peas, beans, yogurt drops, sunflower seeds, Cheerios, bones, raisins, popcorn, dried fruits, and peanuts in the shell.  If you look at one of the commercial rat food seed mixtures, you’ll see lots of “treats” mixed in.  They pretty much ignore the alfalfa pellets.

Dirty Cages:  Don’t do like I did the first time I kept rats for our psychology lab.  They saddled me with two ugly, overgrown male rats to take home and care for all summer (in a little round 12-inch diameter circular cage made out of hardware cloth).  Summer is not the time to delay cleaning rat cages.  Luckily I had large windows in my bedroom with a great big exhaust fan.  Hairless rats could not have survived that summer.  I did find out, however, that regular rats will pretty much eat whatever you give them.  Weekly cleanings work fine unless you keep a large herd.

LA
Rat-proof water bottles work best

Water:  If you give your hairless rats a water dish, they kick litter into it and occasionally take an unwanted dip in the pool.  If you give them a hamster water bottle, it may last a week.  Rats can gnaw thru concrete and hamster bottles.  You really need a rat-proof water bottle.  P.S.  The little devils will eventually gnaw into your rat-proof bottle.

LA
And, of course, hairless rats make excellent hat ornaments.

Last Words:  Hairless rats are fun.  Ugly, but fun.  LA

Want to have more fun with your rat, hairless or not?  Go to this great link for a whole passel (not just half a passel) of rat games:  
dapper.com.au/toys.htm  
You will see that Australians are just as crazy as the rest of us.

Added Info From Michael Guinn, April 9, 2005

I love your site for information, Ive been breeding fancy
rats for over 10 years, I specialize in dumbo, double rex, teddy rex
and true hairless. I figured I would give you guys the missing
or incorrect information on these guys. It also helps their lifespan
hugely.

Origin: Same as the normal rat, a Mutation in the genes. 

Foods: A mixture of Lab Block, Seed Mix, Fresh Veggies, Elderly Dog Food.

Hairless/double rex rats need more protein in their diet because
of heat loss.

Rats should always be housed in groups of 2 or more, it not
only cuts down on boredom, but allows them to groom/clean
each other, and they will compete for attention. A single
housed rat, will become more aggressive, and less friendly as
well as not live as long.

The images of the rats you have are all double rex's, their origin
is simply 2 rex genes. A single dominant rex gene causes a rexd
rat, 2 rex genes will cause a mostly hairless or patch work double
rex. They were not invented, this is a naturally occurring mutation.

A rex rats can easily be spotted by their curly whiskers.  Both normal
rex, as well as double rex are the only rats who have this feature.
This includes rexed sub groups such as teddy and velveteen fur
types. They are all a variation of the same genes.

True Hairless have no hair what so ever, except males will grow
hair around the genital area. The females as well have large
problems with lactating. This is why most rat breeders use a double rex female for breeding with true hairless.

I also saw in the rats section you talked about holding by the tail.
This is very incorrect and can not only break their back and lead
to death, but can damage their tail. The correct way to pick up a rat
is to cup your hands and gently lift him up.  Hope this helps & Thanks for your time.  Michael

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LA
Hairless rats, July 3, 2013.

LA
Albino hairless rat -- sometimes referred to as a "devil rat."

LA
Some of his litter mates.
 

© 2005, © 2006, © 2013  LA Productions

3600 Sixth Avenue

Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues

Des Moines, IA 50313

515 283-0300

Home

Fish

Other Stuff

 

Anabantids
Betta Leaf 
Betta Breed 1
Betta Breed II
Betta Info
Betta  Housing
Betta Pla Kat
Choc Gourami
Climbing Perch
Gourami Pix
Kiss. Gourami
Osphronemus
Pearl Gourami
More Pearls
Paradise Fish  
Snakehead
Spawn Gourami
T. trichopterus

Catfish  
Banjo
Bullheads
Bull Sharks
Channel  
Corydoras
Cory Pics
Electric
Glass
Hoplos
Otocinclus
Pangassius
Pictus
Plecostomus
Pleco Bristle
Pleco Costly I
Pleco Costly II
Pleco Costly III
Pleco Costly IV
Pleco Costly V
Pleco Costly VI

Raphael
Red-Tail
Shovelnose
Sun
Synodontis
Synodontis petricola
Turushuki Catfish
Upside-down
Misc Catfish
Misc Catfish II
Misc Catfish III

Misc Catfish IV
Misc Catfish V

Cichlids
African I
African II
African III
African IV

Amer. Small
Amer.  Med 
Amer. Large
Angelfish I
Angelfish II
Angelfish III
Angelfish IV
More Angels
Buttikoferi

Chocolate
Chocolate Spawning
Cichlid Decor
Cichlid Food
Convicts
Convicts 2
Convicts 3
Convicts 4
Dempseys
More Dempseys
Jack Dempsey Spawn
Discus
Dither Fish
Flower Horn
Green Terror
Jaguar
More Jaguars
Jaguar Spawning

Jaguar Spawning II
Jewel Fish
Keo's Flowerhorns
Keo's Flowerhorns II
Kribensis

Oscars 1
Oscars 2
Oscars 3
Oscars 4
Oscars 5
More Oscar
More Oscar II
More Oscars III
More Oscars 2007
Peacock Bass
Red Devils
More Red Devil
 
Red Parrots

Red Parrots Spawn
Pikes
Pink Tilapia
Rams
Red Bay Snooks
Roger Stephen's Cichlids
Severums
More Severums
Severums III

Tanganyikans
Texas Cichlid
Texas Spawning

Texas Spawn II
Uarus
Misc Cichlids I
Misc Cichlids II
Misc Cichlids III
Misc Cichlids IV
Misc Cichlids V
Misc Cichlids VI
Misc Cichlids VII
Misc Cichlids VIII

Livebearer  
Guppies
Half-Beak
Mollies
Moons/Platys
Swordtails

Minnows/Tetra 
Barbs
Barbs, Black
Barbs, Gold

Barbs, Rosy
Barbs, Tiger
Barbs, Tinfoil

Danios

Distochodus
Fathead Minnows
Headstanders
Killies, Econ.
Killies, Golden
Killies, Peat
Killies, Plant
Misc Mini-Fish
Pacús 

Piranha, Black
Piranha, Red
Rainbowfish

Rainbowfish, Dwarf Neon
Rainbowfish, Irian

Silver Dollar
Tetras, Larger
Tetras, Smaller
Tetras, Spawn
Tetra, Vampire
White Clouds

Pond Fish
Carp
Channel Cat
Gold. Comets
Gold. Fantails
More Fantails
Gold. Oriental  
Gold Oriental II 
Gold. Spawn
Kloubec Koi Farm
Koi
Koi II

Koi III
Plecostomus
Shubunkins

Oddballs  
Af. Butterfly
Af. Lungfish
Af. Mudskippr
American Eel
Archer Fish

Arowana
Bichirs
Borneo Suckers
Brackish I
Brackish II
Brackish III
Brackish IV
Brackish V
Michael Troung's Pix
Butterfly/Wasp
Chameleon Fish
Chromides

Chin Alg Eater
Crazy Fish
Crocodile Fish

Datnioides

Dojo
Electric Cat
Electric Eels

Elephant Nose
Exodon paradoxus
Flounder
Gars
 
Glassfish
Goby Bumble
Goby Butterfly
Goby Dragon
Goby Misc.
Half-Beak
Knife African
Knife Clown
Knife Ghost
Loach Botias
Loach Clown
Loach Kuhli
Loach Weather
Moray Eel  
Peacock Gudgeons
Polypterids
Puffers

Ropefish
Scats
Siam Algae Eater
 
Spiny Eels 
Snakehead
Stingray
Stonefish
Wasp Fish
Wolffish
Wrest Half-Beak
Misc Mini-Fishes
Misc Odd
Misc Odd II
Misc Odd III
Misc Odd  IV

Misc Odd V

Sharks  
Bala
Black
Bull
Chinese Hi-Fin Banded
Iridescent
Red-Tail
Siam Algae Eater

Pond Info 
Blank Park Zoo
Bob Humphrey's Ponds
Cattails
Maffett Reservoir
DMACC's Pond
D.M. Botanical Center
D.M. Water Works
Dr. Ervanian's Garden
Duckweed

Dwarf Lily
Ewing Park "Pond"
Jan & Chris's Water Garden
John McDonald's Pond
Hall's Four Acres
Klines' Water Garden
Landscaper Effects
Mini-Pond Pics
Pioneer Corn's Pond
Pond Fish Predators
Pond on 38th Street 
Pond Pics
Pond Plants
More Pond Plants
Pond Plants III
Reiman Ponds
River Scenes
Riverview Island
Selin's Water Gardens
Selin's Japanese Garden
Tom's Used Cars Pond
Urbandale Duck Pond
Water Hyacinth
Water Lettuce
Wild Ponds