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The Domestication of the Roof Rat

There’s a new kind of pet rat: here’s how it happened

Until recently, nearly all pet rats were Norway Rats (Rattus Norvegicus.) Also known as “Fancy Rats”, these were sold in pet stores, bred by breeders and even used in research. The domestication of these fosserial (burrowing) animals was a fascinating and somewhat shocking story: National Rat Fancy Society: The Domestication of the Rat.

The blood sport of rat-baiting was an antecedent for the practice of keeping rats as pets.

The blood sport of rat-baiting was an antecedent for keeping Norway rats as pets.

Norway Rats are not the only kind of “true rat species”, but for many years they were the only one that you could get as a tame, domesticated pet. The other common rat species, arboreal Roof Rats (Rattus rattus or Black Rats), are often found near people, but were not being bred as pets. A rescued or captured Roof Rat might learn to be tame, but their offspring would not inherit that tameness. They were not genetically tame. We changed that.

We are attempting to selectively breed them for tameness, to create a line of genetically tame Roof Rats. People can adopt these rats from us entirely free of charge and breed or keep as pets. Curious how we did it? Read the story!

The origin of a new pet rat species: How and why we bred Domesticated Pet Roof Rats (Rattus rattus.)

Roofy when she was a tiny, rescued baby Roof Rat

Roofy the Roof Rat when she was a baby. She started it all

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Would you like to have a pet roof rat? You can! Adoptions are free for responsible pet owners. Click here to reserve pet rats for free.  And join the Pet Roof Rat Facebook Group.

Take our free online course about Roof Rat care and ownership.

And, don’t forget to order our Handmade Rat Pouches and Hammocks, so your babies will feel cozy and safe in their new homes!

rat in a pouch
I love my pouch soo much!