Agouti rats are an interesting variety of rat which look just like your wild rats but in fact, are different. At first look, its coat appears to be similar to a wild rat and as a result, Agouti rats have been quite hard to identify, especially for inexperienced hobbyists. Their distinct colour patterns and style makes Agouti rats one of the more popular varieties available today.
The first person to have ever decided to keep a pet rat may have had an Agouti rat without knowing it mainly because they are extremely similar to wild rats. However, there is no record of who the first person was. The first known appearance of an Agouti rat on a fancy rat show was at Cheltenham in England, in the year 1902. Douglass and Vale, a couple, displayed their Agouti rats at a rat show and since then, the fad has just caught on.
Agouti rats have been bred for many years and over time, their coat has become more distinct, making them easier to spot next to wild rats. Unlike wild rats, Agouti rats have a distinct red colour to their coat along with a degree of brightness to it. Each strand of hair on the rat has three different colours that are clearly visible. Officially, an Agouti rat must have a rich chestnut shade on top, merging into dark slate towards the bottom. There are black guard hairs on the tip, which are evenly spread all over the rat while the rat’s eyes are black.
The belly of an Agouti rat is a bit lighter than the rest of the body. It mostly has grey hairs that are tipped off with white. At the base though, everything boils down to the dark slate colour, even on the belly.
If you are looking to breed Agouti rats, then it is quite simple as they have the dominant genes. Agouti rats are also capable of producing different coloured offspring if bred with different varieties of rats. The coat’s colouring style may remain like an original Agouti rat but it may not be chestnut coloured. All pups take some time to develop their colour so that should be kept in mind if you are breeding them.
If you are looking to enter fancy rat shows, then the Agouti rat is probably the easiest rat to enter, especially if it’s your first time. They require very little maintenance and any staining, which can come with the rat’s age, or dirt, can be easily cleaned with some shampoo. Aging can’t be helped although you can try to remove the stains caused due to age, but chances are that you probably won’t be able to.
Often mistaken for the common wild rats, Agouti rats are in fact a much revered form of fancy rats. Low maintenance and easy to breed, they are ideal for your hobby if you are just starting off. Easy to find and rear, you may soon find that Agouti rats have become your best buddies.