White rats are one of the most desired and popular species of rats around the world. White rats have been quite popular in film & theatre and have also made their way into stories and tales due to their beautiful pristine white bodies and stunning eyes. Also known as albino rats, white rats are available at almost every pet store and are fascinating creatures to own.
Their story began in the 18th century when rats were primarily used in blood sport. Rats were captured by the thousands and sold to people who threw them into pits with a terrier. Onlookers would bet on the time it would take the terrier to kill all the rats. While almost everything that was caught, ended up in the pit, white rats began getting separated and displayed as exhibits. These rat owners began breeding them as their popularity grew and soon people were buying white rats for their children and homes.
White rats are nothing but normal rats with a different skin pigment ratio. The concept of albino rats or white rats is quite common not just amongst rats, but amongst other species of animals as well.
According to the National Fancy Rat Society, there is a specific classification for white rats that requires them to be clear white, without any yellow tinge. The underbelly should be absolutely clear with no staining on the coat of any kind. This is extremely important especially if you are looking to exhibit your white rat in a rat show.
You will notice that most rats available at pet stores seem to be white however there is always a hint of yellow or cream colour on their coat. This disqualifies them for competition however for people who want one for their children or for classrooms, they are close enough. White rats can have different coloured eyes that range from the normal black to ruby red and even pink. The pink-eyed white rat is the rarest of all white rat varieties.
Breeding white rats is quite simple and all you need are two rats although one of them should be pristine white. The other can have some stains or markings although it should be predominantly white as well. Sooner, rather than later, the babies born will be completely white. The whole idea is to breed for fewer colours each time. The albino gene of the rat begins to cover up any coloured gene in the rat and with progressive breeding, the pups will eventually be totally white.
White rats are extremely popular and are beautiful to look at. Most pet stores will force you to compromise on the colour of the coat however, if you are looking for a completely white rat, you should start looking for a professional breeder. Once you have a pair (male-female), you can enjoy a nice family of white rats, right in your own home.