American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

AFRMA Fancy Rats

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)

Go to AFRMA Official Rat Standard
Go to Rat Type Issues - Judging 101 for examples of type problems.

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.

SILVERED - The coat is evenly interspersed with white hairs. In this Section the colors are: Amber, Silver Black, Silver Blue, Silver Chocolate, Silver Fawn, Silver Lilac, Silver Mink.

MARKED - There are eleven groups within this Section, named according to the pattern of their markings, in any recognized color:

  • English Irish have a white equilateral triangle on the chest.
  • Irish have a moderately sized, evenly shaped white marking on the belly, four white feet, white tail tip.
  • Down Under have markings on the top side with corresponding belly stripe or spots.
  • Berkshire have a completely white belly similar to the Fox mice; white feet, tail and small spot between the ears.
  • Essex have markings similar to Berkshire, fading of color.
  • Variegated have colored head and shoulders, white blaze on forehead, small and numerous color splashes from shoulders to tail, including the sides and tail and a white belly.
  • Blaze have a white wedge shaped blaze on the face from muzzle to ears. Shown only in Berkshire or Variegated.
  • Dalmatian have numerous color splashes distributed over the entire body with no solid clear-cut markings on a white body.
  • Hooded have a white body with a colored hood to cover head, neck, chest, and shoulders, and a spine marking extending from hood to tail in an unbroken, moderately wide stripe without ragged edges or brindling.
  • Bareback have a colored hood to cover head, neck, chest, and shoulders on a white body.
  • Capped have a white body with a colored cap on head not to extend to throat or past the ears.
  • Masked have a white body and a colored “mask” covering just across the face and around the eyes.
  • Ideal Markings of Rats - a graphic of Ideal Rat Markings

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.

For complete details of the Standards including points, faults, eliminations, and disqualifications, please refer to the AFRMA Show Regulations & Standards book.
Purchase the AFRMA Official Color Standards Rat book.

Updated January 10, 2023