Raising a rat may not exactly be something that you can expect other people to approve of. It is mainly because of their bad reputation as pests, although things have changed for the better now with more and more people opting to keep rats. They are actually clean animals that are obsessed with washing themselves and are low maintenance (especially when in a suitable rat cage) – making them ideal pets for people with a busy lifestyle. If you are one of these people, you may want to seriously consider which type of rat you would like to keep.
Common Breed Names: Aceh Rats
Alternative Breed Names: Rattus blangorum
Aceh rats belong to the family Muridae. However, it is not a well-researched species because there are only two specimens observed and recorded. They were first recorded as their own species then considered as among the Malayan field rats. Eventually, they were acknowledged as a distinct species because of how small they are. Aceh rats originated in Indonesia , particularly in the foothills of the Gunung Leuser National Park.
Andaman Archipelago Rats
Common Breed Names: Andaman Archipelago Rats
Alternative Breed Names: Rattus stoicus
Andaman rats belong to the family Muridae. They are endemic to the Andaman Islands.
Common Breed Names: Annandale’s Rats
Alternative Breed Names: Singapore Rats
Annandale’s Rats live in secondary forests. They often spend the night foraging among low scrub, fallen branches, and lowermost tree limbs. They are greyish-brown with a pale yellow or white underside. These rats have a nearly naked, long tail and medium-sized eyes. They are found in Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia, with some living in Sumatra.
Arianus’ New Guinea Mountain Rats
Common Breed Names:Arianus’ New Guinea Mountain Rats
Alternative Breed Names: Arianus’ Rat, Rattus omichlodes
Arianus’ New Guinea mountain rats are a part of the family Muridae. They used to be considered as one species with Rattus niobe and Rattus richardsoni and are often confused with Rattus arrogans. There aren’t enough data concerning this species of rats, except for the fact that they are found in two localities. They are not considered as vulnerable species because they are believed to have lived in large populations in the higher areas in Papua New Guinea.
Australian Pale Field Rats
Common Breed Names: Australian Pale Field Rat
Alternative Breed Names: Pale Field Rat, Tunney’s Rat, Rattus tunneyi
Pale field rats are endemic to Australia. They are nocturnal herbivores that used to occupy almost the entire mainland Australia. However, they now live in tall grasslands particularly in northern Australia. These rats are yellow-brown with a cream or grey underside. They feed on seeds, grass stems, and roots.
Australian Swamp Rats
Common Breed Names: Australian Swamp Rat
Alternative Breed Names: Rattus lutreolus
Australian swamp rats live around the coast of eastern and south Australia. They are diurnal and nocturnal rats. They feed mostly on vegetables, making them vegetarians. These rats flourish in wet, dense, and low vegetation.
Common Breed Names: Black Rat
Alternative Breed Names: Rattus rattus
Black rats are also common rodents that came from tropical Asia and have multiplied through the Near East and Europe. They are around 12.75 to 18.25 inches long, with a 6.5 to 10-inch tail. They are not entirely black though, despite how their name sounds. Instead, they have a black to light brown colour. Their underside is of even lighter colours. Black rats are omnivores. They don’t live in sewers mainly because they hate swimming. They are great climbers though so their homes are often found in roofs, attics, and trees.
Common Breed Names: Bonthain Rat
Alternative Breed Names: Rattus bontanus
Bonthain rats belong to the family Muridae. They are endemic to Indonesia. They live in the upper-montane and montane forest as well as in forests at lower areas. They may also inhabit coconut plantations.
Common Breed Names: Brown Rat
Alternative Breed Names: Norway rat, street rat, common rat, Hanover rat, sewer rat, brown Norway rat, wharf rat, Norwegian rat, Rattus norvegicus
Brown rats are the most common rats around. They are grey or brown and grow up to 10 inches long with a tail of the same length. They are believed to have come from northern China, but are now found in all continents except for Antarctica. This feat even earned them the consideration of being the most successful mammal in multiplying their species right next to humans. Brown rats are gifted with acute hearing skills, but with poor vision of 20/600. They are good swimmers, but are poor climbers. They communicate with fellow rats by generating ultrasonic vocalisations, among others.
Common Breed Names: Bush Rat
Alternative Breed Names: Bush Rat
Bush rats are nocturnal omnivores found in Australia. They are common in NSW and Victoria. These rats are smaller than Australian swamp rats. They have pink foot pads in contrast to the black foot pads of swamp rats. They also show dimorphism. Bush rats feed on fruits, seeds, arthropods during summer, although they feed on cyperaceous species during winter.
Cape York Rats
Christmas Island Rats
Common Breed Names: Christmas Island Rats
Alternative Breed Names: Maclear’s Rat, Rattus macleari
Christmas Island rats are large rats with large, powerful teeth. They have a chestnut brown coat with a white, long tail. They make loud squeaking noises and are considered as good climbers. Based on their names alone, they live as a large population in Christmas Island. They feed on the red crabs Gecarcoidea natalis and other types of crab species on the island.
Common Breed Names: Dusky Rat
Alternative Breed Names: Rattus colletti
Dusky rats are a part of the family Muridae. They live in Australia. Their regular diet consists of underground corms and seeds. When the plains are flooded during the wet season, they transfer to higher ground. It is also during this time when many of the rats fall victim to drowning. They serve as the main food source of the Water-pythons.
Himalayan Field Rats
Common Breed Names: Himalayan Field Rat
Alternative Breed Names: Rattus nitidus
Himalayan field rats belong to the Muridae family. They are found in China, Bangladesh, India, Laos, Indonesia, Sumatra, Nepal, Myanmar, the Philippines, Palau, Vietnam, and Thailand. They have a brown back, a grey underside, and pearly white feet.
Common Breed Names: Himalayan rat
Alternative Breed Names: N/A
Himalayan rats should be white without any stains but with points of dark sepia. They have black or red eyes. If they don’t pass the standards, they are then considered as Siamese cats.
Little Soft Furred Rats
Common Breed Names: Little Soft Furred Rats
Alternative Breed Names: Rattus mollicomulus
Little soft-furred rats are endemic to Indonesia. They are called as such because of their soft silky fur. They have grey hairs, a white belly, visible annular rings, and an almost naked tail. Their usual habitats are burrows found at the field’s edges. These rats are nocturnal. Their typical diet consists of sugar cane, rice, and wheat.
Common Breed Names: Long-haired Rat
Alternative Breed Names: Plague Rat, Rattus villosissimus
Long-haired rats are native to Australia. They are also called the Plague rat because of the sudden increase in their population. They are distinct in terms of their long and rough guard hairs that cover their softer underfur. Long-haired rats are light grey with black guard hairs that lead to a greyish speckled coat. They are nocturnal and terrestrial. These rats are believed to feed on stems, roots, and leaves of grasses, succulent plants, herbs, seeds, and insects.
New Ireland Forest Rats
Common Breed Names: New Ireland Forest Rat
Alternative Breed Names: Rattus sanila
New Ireland forest rats are only found in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea and to New Ireland. They are noted for their broad molars and the difficult- to- understand cusp. These rats often live in primary forests.
Common Breed Names: Nillu Rat
Alternative Breed Names: Rattus montanus
Nillu rats are considered as a part of the Critically Endangered species. They are about to go extinct, according to the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Young nillus are sometimes called kitten, pinkie, nestling, or pup. The males are called bucks, while the females are called does.
Common Breed Names: Polynesian Rat
Alternative Breed Names: Kiore, Maori, Rattus exulans
Polynesian rats are the third most common rats next to the brown rats and black rats. They originated in Southeast Asia but have made their way to New Zealand, Hawaii, and Easter Island. They look just like the brown or black rats. They have huge, round ears, black/brown hair, a pointed snout, and small feet. They can reach up to 6 inches tall. Polynesian rats are great climbers and are nocturnal like any other rodent. They feed on fruits, seeds, insects, bark, spiders, earthworms, avian eggs, lizards, and hatchlings.
Common Breed Names: Rice-field Rat
Alternative Breed Names: Rattus argentiventer
Rice-field rats live all over Southeast Asia. They are medium-sized rats with black and yellow-brown pelage. They have a grey belly at the centre and a whiter are on the flanks. Their tail is all medium brown. Rice-field rats feed on insects, termites, snails, grasshoppers, seeds, snails, rice, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
Common Breed Names: Sikkim Rats
Alternative Breed Names: Rattus andamanensis
Sikkim rats are located in Cambodia, India, China, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. They have a brown coat with equally dark upperparts coupled with a white underside.