The Siamese rat has been a long loved pattern variation of the fancy rat. It is a gorgeous animal, with dark points and an overall light beige color. They are commonly confused with Himalayans; well, I guess it would be that Himalayans are confused for Siamese. Himalayans are much more common, and they are actually related to the Siamese markings. The original Siamese ancestors were Himalayan types!
The History of the Siamese Type Rat
I have sourced the Siamese rat back to 1978, but can’t find much from before that time. In 1978, the first Siamese rats began to appear in a laboratory located in Orly, France. Some of these animals were imported into England, where they bred litters from a few of these imported specimens.
The original ancestors looked nothing like the Siamese rats that we have today. They simply had faint dark points on their noses, with silver fawn hoods. It took years of careful and meticulous breeding in order to achieve the gorgeous modern day siamese rat.
Siamese In America
During the late fall of 1983, 8 very special rats made a VERY long journey from Europe to continental America. They would find their new home nestled in southern California, with a long, important life ahead of them: they were going to establish the Siamese line for the first time in the United States!
Most of the American Siamese ratties can be traced back to this group of 8 that was imported during the early 1980’s. There were also a few rats that were imported over time as well, that have added fresh blood to the American stock. Now, the Siamese variety has become widespread throughout the United States and surrounding countries.
What is So Unique About a Siamese Coat on a Rat?
One of the most interesting characteristics of the Siamese coat on a rat is that it is thermo sensitive. This is called “acromelanism”, and it is vital for the visually appealing siamese markings. If you notice, only the points on a Siamese are darkly colored; the rest of the body is a fairly even shade of beige, pearl, or light cream. The tips of the animal (such as the nose/muzzle, tail base, feet and paws, and ears) are the areas that become cold easily. The coat reacts to this (back to the thermosensitivity), and it becomes dark. You will also notice that a Siamese animal will become lighter in the summertime, but grow much darker during the colder days of winter.
What Makes a Good Siamese?
A good siamese specimen will have all dark points, with a nice beige shaded body. Sometimes, the dark will run up along the spine of the rat. However, all paws and toes should be dark. The tip of the tail shall be dark as well. If any white or light colors appear on the feet or tail, then it is not a good quality Siamese. Show quality rats of the Siamese variety are required to be dark; and this should apply to any animals bred in order to improve upon the lines rather than dilute them.
Blue Point Siamese Rats
Recently, blue point siamese rats have made their debut into the breeding world. Hopefully, they will become much more common and will come into the homes of pet rat owners. They are gorgeous animals, with beautiful ivory base coats and light gray points. I would absolutely love to see one! I decided to include a photo of a blue point cat in order to give you an idea of what one might look like.