Pet rat markings have been a unique way of distinguishing between various species of rats over the years. These pet rat markings have been the result of selective breeding as well as nature’s handiwork. Today, many hobbyists have taken to rearing or breeding rats solely based on their pet rat markings.
Since the 18th century, man has been known to capture rats and rear them, although not always as pets. In the initial days, rat-catchers would sell their catch to people who used them as sport. These rats were dumped into pits with dogs and bets were made on the time taken to kill them. Several of these rat owners decided to create their own identity in the sport by using rats with a particular type of marking on their bodies. Thus, they began breeding their favourite kind of rat.
Today, many breeders and hobbyists have been known to rear rats because they are fond of the creature and a particular type of marking that comes on their body. Most of these pet rat markings are dependent on the countries and conditions, such as the English-Irish rats which have a white equal-sided triangle on their chests. The Irish pet rat is known to have a nice white marking on its belly while its feet and tip of the tail are also white.
If you want a Berkshire rat, then identifying it by the marks would be quite simple as it has a completely white under-body with a white tail and a small spot of white between the ears. Then there are some pet rat markings that are not of any particular pattern although they occur in a specific order. This means that you may notice a coloured patch on the rat but the patch may not appear in the same place at all times. These pet rat markings are called variegated markings and occur mostly on the head and shoulders, with a blaze running down the forehead and with different colour splashes from the shoulders to the tail.
You can also look for a capped, hooded or masked rat where, as their names suggest, the pet rat markings are only on the head, on the head and back of the neck or just around the eyes, respectively.
Whether you are looking to collect them for their pet rat markings or for breeding them, the variety of colours and vibrant patterns make these cute animals look cuddlier. So, head out to a breeder and pick one up with your favourite pet rat markings.