Double Rex Rat

Scientific NameRattus norvegicus
Common NameDouble Rex Rat
Care LevelIntermediate
Lifespan2-3 years
Adult Size9-11 inches (including tail)
DietOmnivorous
OriginMutation from the European rat population
TemperamentSocial, Intelligent, Affectionate

History & Domestication

The Double Rex Rat is a unique genetic variant arising from two Rex rat parents both carrying the Rex gene. This curly-coated creature emerged from the European rat populations, where genetic mutations led to the creation of its sibling, the Rex rat. When breeders combined Rex genes, the outcome was the even more distinctively coated Double Rex Rat.

Genetic play and intrigue among rat fanciers led to the intentional breeding of Double Rex rats. These animals became a symbol of the wonders of genetics, and their unique fur coat propelled them to the spotlight among rat enthusiasts across continents.

Size

Double Rex rats have a size comparable to their fancy rat relatives, with an average adult length of 9 to 11 inches from snout to tail tip. The males of this species, as with many rat breeds, tend to be bulkier and more substantial than their female counterparts, which are sleeker in form.

Lifespan

With appropriate care, a Double Rex rat typically lives between 2 to 3 years. It’s a brief life, but one that’s chock-full of exploration, play, and bonding. Providing an optimal environment can occasionally see some Double Rex rats pushing slightly past the 3-year mark.

Breeding

Breeding Double Rex rats is a calculated venture. When two Rex rats with the gene are bred together, they can produce Double Rex offspring. These offspring often exhibit a unique coat pattern, with patches of very thin fur or even bald spots, as opposed to the consistent curly fur of a single Rex gene carrier.

Unique Features

The Double Rex Rat’s coat, or sometimes the lack thereof, is its hallmark feature. Unlike the uniformly curly coat of the Rex rat, Double Rexes exhibit a peculiar pattern of patchy fur, ranging from very fine to nearly bald patches. This gives them a distinctive “molting” appearance. Their whiskers, much like the Rex rat, are curly but tend to be even more brittle and may break off, giving them a somewhat “whisker-less” appearance.

Behavior and Temperament

Beyond their physical attributes, Double Rex rats are intelligent, affectionate, and brimming with curiosity. Their innate inquisitiveness drives them to constantly engage with their surroundings. Easily trainable, they’re apt pupils for those looking to teach their pets tricks or desired behaviors.

Handling

Due to their peculiar coat, Double Rex rats might have sensitive skin. Handling them requires gentle care to avoid skin abrasions. Despite this, they are friendly and, over time, can build a strong bond of trust with their caregivers. Regular, gentle interactions foster this trust, making them even more amiable companions.

Grooming Needs

Grooming is where Double Rex rats differ significantly from their rat relatives. Their patchy and delicate skin necessitates regular checks for any signs of dryness or irritation. A gentle moisturizing can help alleviate skin issues. Their unique fur does self-shed, so occasional gentle brushing can assist in removing loose hairs. Care should be taken with their brittle whiskers.

Diet & Nutrition

Double Rex rats thrive on an omnivorous diet. A well-balanced intake comprising high-quality rat pellets, fresh fruits, vegetables, and occasional lean protein sources ensures their well-being. Fresh water is a non-negotiable and must always be accessible to them.

Temperature

These rats, with their unusual coats, have a heightened sensitivity to temperature extremes. Ideal ambient temperatures for them lie between 65°F and 75°F. Protection from direct sunlight and drafts is essential to prevent any discomfort or health issues.

Common Health Issues

Like most domestic rat breeds, Double Rex rats are prone to respiratory issues, tumors, and dental problems. Their unique skin also makes them susceptible to related ailments, such as dryness or irritation. Regular health checks aid in early detection and effective treatment.

Habitat Requirements

A spacious, well-ventilated cage is vital for Double Rex rats. They particularly enjoy vertical spaces, so cages with horizontal bars are beneficial for climbing. Enrichment tools like toys, hammocks, and hideouts should be part of their habitat. Soft, absorbent bedding is crucial, with paper-based or aspen shavings being ideal choices.

Cost of Care

While the initial cost of a Double Rex rat might mirror that of other fancy rat breeds, their unique care needs can result in slightly elevated ongoing costs. The habitat, food, enrichment, and bedding are consistent expenses, with particular attention to their skin health potentially incurring additional medical costs. Investing in quality products and care can potentially mitigate recurrent costs and enhance their quality of life.

Double Rex Rat FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)