American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

AFRMA Fancy Rats - Varieties

The following is a brief description of the rat Varieties (coat, body, ear types; rats do not come in breeds) as recognized by the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association. See Fancy Rat Genes: Coats & Misc. for genetics.

For complete details of these Standards including points, faults, and disqualifications, please refer to the AFRMA Show Regulations & Standards book.

Note: The pictures on this page are not meant to be true representatives of the animal’s color. Because of differences in monitors (CRT/LCD) and how the monitor is adjusted, the colors may be different. Seeing in person is always best.

Standard  Rex  Tailless  Hairless  Satin  Dumbo  Bristle Coat

STANDARD - The coat to be short, smooth, and glossy with the males having somewhat longer and coarser hair. It should show a natural high shine and densely cover the body. Color to conform to a recognized color or pattern.

Pink-Eyed White rats owned by Nancy Ferris. Photo ©1997 Craig Robbins.

For more photos, see the AFRMA Facebook page:
Standard Rats
REX - The coat to be evenly dense and not excessively harsh, with as few guard hairs as possible. Coat to be evenly curled and also to a lesser extent on the belly. Curly vibrissae (whiskers) are normal for Rex. Color to conform to a recognized color or pattern. (English, N.F.R.S.)

Note: Males have the better coat

Agouti AOC Rex rat owned and bred by Geri Hauser. Photo ©1992 Larry Ferris.

For more photos, see the AFRMA Facebook pages:
AFRMA articles:

Research articles:
Rex Rat
TAILLESS - Tailless rats may be shown in any recognized color, marking, or Variety. The distinct feature is the complete absence of a tail. Tailless rats may have a cobbier body and will have a rounded rump.

[Standardized November 14, 1993]

Black Self Tailless rat owned and bred by Jazmyn Concolor. Photo ©1996 Craig Robbins.

AFRMA articles:

Research articles:
Tailless Rat
HAIRLESS - Hairless rats should have a thin, bright, rather translucent skin, free of scars or pimples, and be as hairless as possible. The skin may be of any color or recognized marking, and wrinkling should not be penalized. The eyes may be of any color, but should be bright and free from any problems. The ears should be very large and wrinkle free. The whiskers may be very short or missing; they are usually curly.

[Standardized October 9, 1994]

Hairless rat owned by Tamara Bagnal. Photo ©2005 Karen Robbins.

Research articles:
Hairless rat
SATIN - Satin rats may be shown in any recognized color or markings. The ideal coat has a unique and distinct appearance with its lustrous sheen. The coat is thinner and longer looking. The hair should be fine to the touch. The coat has a sparkling look on some colors; white on the animals will have a yellow cast. Whiskers on Satin rats are normally kinky/wavy/curled. (Karen Robbins/Karen’s Kritters)

[Standardized October 15, 1995]

Note: First ones appeared in one of Karen Hauser’s (Robbins) pure English litters February 2, 1990

Blue Self Satin rat owned by Nancy Ferris, bred by Nichole Royer. Photo ©2001 Karen Robbins.

For more photos, see the AFRMA Facebook pages:
Read the article on “Satin Rats”.
Satin rat
DUMBO - Dumbo rats to be shown in any recognized color, marking, or variety. The distinguishing feature being their low ear set. The ears are large and round, set low on the sides of the head. Head to form an equilateral triangle when viewed from above.

[Standardized April 18, 1998]

Genetics: dmbo (recessive)

Note: Originated in northern California around 1991

Read the information on Dumbo and Dumbo Ears.

Research articles:
Dumbo rat
Sable Burmese Dumbo owned and bred by Connie & Ken Van Doren. Photo ©2009 Karen Robbins.

12-day-old Dumbo kitten rat
12-day-old Dumbo kitten rat showing how the ears are set away from the head. Rat owned and bred by Jozzette Hagemann. Photo ©2016 Karen Robbins.
BRISTLE COAT - Coat 30, color 20
Bristle Coated rats to be shown in any recognized color or marking. The coat has a distinct and unique feel consistent with a wire brush—very coarse textured and stiff with a crunchy feel similar to a wire haired terrier. The coat will be lightly curled/waved as very young kittens similar to Rex. It then straightens out as adults to having a stand-off, harsh, rough-looking, messy coat. These are not to be mistaken with a rough Standard coat or poor Rex coat. The whiskers will be straight to curled on the ends (similar to Satins) which is different than the curled Rex whiskers. (Jozzette & Michael Hagemann/Jozzy’s Rat Pack Rattery)

Faults: coat not harsh enough—young females may show this; waves in coat

Genetics: Br (code given by AFRMA); this is a dominant gene.

Note: Males will have the harshest coat. Adults have minimal undercoat.

[Standardized December 6, 2014]
Bristle Coat Rat
Bristle Coat rat owned and bred by Jozzette & Mike Hagemann. Photo ©2013 Karen Robbins.

Bristle vs. Rex Kitten Coats
Bristle Kitten coat right vs. Rex coats left and middle. Bristle Coat whiskers are more straight than the curly Rex whiskers so you can tell Bristle Coats from Rex when young. Photo ©2013 Jozzette & Mike Hagemann.

Bristle vs. Rex Kitten Whiskers
...and the kittens showing their whiskers. Bristle Coat kitten whiskers (more straight) (L), versus the curly Rex whiskers middle and right (P.E. Platinum). Photo ©2013 Jozzette & Mike Hagemann.

Bristle Adult Whiskers
Bristle Coat adult whiskers. Photo ©2013 Karen Robbins.

Cinnamon Bristle Coat
Cinnamon EI Bristle Coat owned by Rebecca Oetting, Texas. Photo ©2015 Karen Robbins.

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 September 29, 2018