The following is a brief description of the rat varieties as
recognized by the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association. This information
is taken from the AFRMA brochure. For complete details of the Standards
including points, faults, eliminations, and disqualifications, please refer to the
AFRMA Show Regulations & Standards book.
Rats do not come in
breeds (different shapes and sizes) like in other species but in Varieties (different
coat types, ear type, no tail)
At present, all rats are shown in seven Varieties:
STANDARD – With short, smooth, glossy hair.
REX – With curly hair and curly whiskers.
TAILLESS – Complete absence of a tail, similiar to the Manx cats.
HAIRLESS – Complete absence of hair.
SATIN – Thinner, longer coat, with a lustrous sheen.
DUMBO – Larger ears set on the side of the head.
BRISTLE COAT – Stiff, coarse coat.
Each of these seven varieties is grouped into six Sections by
color and body markings. There are 40 distinct colors recognized
among these Sections.
SELF - Entire body consists of the same uniform color. They are: Beige, Black, Blue, Blue-Beige, Champagne, Chocolate, Cocoa, Lilac, Mink, P.E. Platinum, Platinum, Powder Blue, Russian Blue, Russian Dove, Sky Blue, Black-eyed White, Pink-eyed White.
AOC (Any Other Color) - The entire body is of the same color, but the coat consists of individual hairs banded with two or more colors and evenly interspersed with colored guard hairs. In this Section the colors are: Agouti, Blue Agouti, Chinchilla, Cinnamon, Cinnamon Pearl, Fawn, Lynx, Pearl, Russian Blue Agouti.
AOCP (Any Other Color Pattern) - To have a combination of two or more colors other than white arranged in a recognized pattern. In this Section the colors are: B.E. Siamese, Blue Point Siamese, Burmese, Himalayan, Russian Blue Agouti Burmese, Russian Blue Point Siamese, Seal Point Siamese, Merle.
MARKED - There are eleven groups within this Section, named according to the pattern of their markings, in any recognized color:
ODD EYE - Odd-eye rats have one eye pink and one eye dark ruby or black. They may be in any recognized color and any recognized or unrecognized marking.
UNSTANDARDIZED - Accepted proposed animals. Any coat type, color, or markings not described, or any other unique physical feature.
NON-RECOGNIZED COLORS & MARKINGS - Some miscellaneous colors and markings of rats that have been produced by breeders but never standardized.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION - Rats should have a long racy body maintained in good weight, large bold eyes, long clean head showing breadth and length, large ears, long tapering tail, and an average body length of 8–10 inches. See the AFRMA Official Rat Standard for a complete description.
AT THE SHOW - All rats and mice must be tractable and easy to handle. Any evidence of physical defects or unsteady temperament is penalized. Besides color and markings, individual rats and mice are also judged on type, condition, coat, head, eyes, ears, tail, and size.