Pet Rat Vocabulary Words for New Owners

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Pet Rat Vocabulary Words Every Rat Lover & Owner Should Know

Here, we are going to detail some vocabulary words that every rat owner should know. A few of these words you might already be aware of, and others might seem like strange or shocking pet rat behavior. Either way, they should definitely be presented to you so that you will know them for future reference. Some will also come in handy, should you begin having issues with your pet rat and you have to explain to a veterinarian what medical problems your pet rat is having.

If you have any other rat words, veterinary medical vocabulary, or perhaps even behavioral words, please enlighten us! I want to include as many words as I can on this page for all rat owners to use as a guide.

  • Rattus norvegicus: The scientific name for the common pet fancy rat.
  • Doe: A female rat.
  • Buck: a male rat.
  • Kit or Pup: The name of a young or baby rat, usually under 8-12 weeks of age.
  • Mischief: A colony of rats; family group of rats.
  • Dumbo Eared Rat: A rat with large, rounded ears that are set on the sides of the head.
  • Standard Ear Rat: A rat with ears on top of its head, more oval shaped.
  • Standard Coat: A long, shiny coat, with hairs reaching about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. Should be sleek and lay flat.
  • Rex Coat: Curly or kinked fur on a rat with curled or kinked whiskers. Coat will be course and somewhat dull compared to other rat types.
  • Harley Coat: This coat is longer than a standard coat, and may appear wavy with rexing in a rat’s background. Rat tends to have a poofy coated appearance. They tend to have kinked whiskers. You will have to search long and hard for a reputable breeder of harley coat rats, and it may not be local.
  • Double Rexed, or Patchwork Hairless: These rats will have short brittle coats. The double rexed will appear almost unkempt, with dry, short, kinked, dull fur. The patchwork hairless rats will have hair falling out and regrowing throughout life. During a coat molting cycle, they may appear nearly hairless.
  • Hairless: True hairless rats are completely bald. They have no fur, unless there are a few stray hairs in the facial area, on the foot, or a whisker or two. The best true hairless truly have no hair, however.
  • Velveteen Rats: These rats are commonly confused with rexes. A velveteen rat is also going to be hard to find with local breeders, but it is easy to tell the difference between them and rexes. They tend to have almost straight whiskers, that may bend downwards. They are also softer than the rexes are for the most part.
  • Boggling: This is when the rat’s eyes bulge out of it’s head, and the eyeballs bounce in the eye sockets. This is caused during bruxing, as a special muscle reaches behind the eye that is convulsed rapidly during the jaw movements of bruxing.
  • Bruxing: This is the rapid grinding of the teeth by rats; accompanied by boggling. They brux when they have finished a meal, are dozing to sleep and/or comfortable, when relaxed or happy, or when anxious/nervous/stressed. You can usually tell which form of bruxing it is.
  • PEW: Pink Eyed White. This is the common abbreviation for an albino rat.
  • porphyrin: this is the equivalent of mucus in rats. Eye boogers, snot, runny nose. Rats secrete this for many reasons, mainly when sick. It is almost the color of blood, and will alarm a new owner when the rat is covered in it on its face and paws.
  • Plug: When breeding rats, a male will commonly leave a plug in the reproductive tract of the female. This helps to ensure that the female conceives his litter and passes on his genetics.
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