American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the Holiday 1998 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

Colors & Coats

Platinum Rat Color; Silver vs. Silvered Rat Colors; Satin Rat Genetics

By Nichole Royer

Platinum Rat Color

Jacqueline Wade, Bellevue, WA (e-mail)
Q I have questions concerning the Platinum color—have you got any information on this new color and is it a recognized color in the AFRMA organization? People have seen this advertized on the Internet on several web pages, but I do not know all of the breeds out there and am wondering how to explain the color to someone else when I have never seen this one before?

A Platinum rats have been around for 5 or 6 years; however, it’s just been in the last couple of years that they have become popular. I don’t know why, they are very pretty. They are not standardized with AFRMA yet, but that should happen in the next year. Essentially they are a gray color, with no blue in it. That doesn’t make them sound spectacular, but think of the color of a new nickel. That’s more or less what they are. Genetically they are a combination of Blue and Lilac. Breed a Blue to a Lilac (you will most likely get all Black). Breed two of the babies together and you will get Black, Blue, Lilac, and a few Platinum. The nicest Platinums I have seen are Gina Hendrick’s Dumbos.

Silver vs. Silvered Rat Colors

Jacqueline Wade, Bellevue, WA (e-mail)
Q Next question is the Silver. I know that this is a color that contains ticking of the white or gray hairs on the tips but can also describe the Blues as well—as in regards to the lightness factor in a Blue; however, I have received several e-mails with statements stating that “no, this is a new breed and coat color.” Do you know anything about this?

A The term “silver” can be very confusing. It actually is used in two ways.

First, it is one of the Sections in which rats are shown. Essentially, all of the colors in this section have 50% of the hair on their bodies white (a colored tip is allowed), and the other 50% colored. Essentially there should be an equal number of silvered and non silvered hairs. The colors shown in this section are Silver Black, Silver Chocolate, Silver Mink, Silver Lilac, Silver Fawn, and Silver Blue. These rats should not be confused with rats that just have too much silvering in their coats, i.e., many male Black Selfs develop too much silvering as they age (it’s a common fault). When compared with a true Silver Black, they look nothing alike.

“Silver” is also the name of a color (yes, very confusing). Silver colored rats have been around for quite some time, and some have been shown; however, currently there is no one interested enough in them to pursue standardizing them. Silver rats are created by combining Blue and Champagne. Silver rats are very light, almost white, with a bit of a blue or grey cast to them. Most people who haven’t seen them before and who don’t know what they are looking at, think they are either dirty whites or very poorly colored champagnes. I have seen a few nice ones, but they are a real “fancier’s” color. Anyone who isn’t active in the fancy would think them totally unremarkable.

Satin Rat Genetics

Jacqueline Wade, Bellevue, WA (e-mail)
Q Last of all, I bought Satin lines and have had two people requesting information on the genetics behind them. I do breed with the genetics through my crew and would like to get the genetics information in order to document this in both my crew and help others up here who are now working on trying to acheive this “the hard way.”

A The genetics behind Satin are very simple. The Satin coat is caused by a simple recessive trait that causes the hair to be translucent and longer. In order for a particular rat to have a Satin coat, it must get the Satin gene from both of its parents. If you breed a Satin rat to a rat with no Satin in its background, you will get no Satin babies in the resulting litter. However, if you breed two of these normal-coated babies together, one-quarter of the resulting litter should be Satins. *

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Updated March 3, 2014