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I've heard about this new trend of rats called African soft fur rats. They look more like mice but apparently are very different from the personality of rats. Most of them are used as feeders. Doesn't anyone know if they make good pets?
 

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They are actually not rats at all, but are more closely related to mice, as I understand it. Since they are used mainly as feeders, people have not been breeding them for friendliness, only for handle-ability (and sometimes not even that). Some have managed to breed somewhat friendly lines of ASFs (short for African Soft Fur), but these breeders are few and far between. This breeder is one who has bred tame ASFs: http://eccentricevolution.weebly.com/soft-furred-rats.html

There is someone on YouTube who trains ASFs to do tricks. I think they will show up if you do a search for Mouse Agility. They are based in another country, though, so the lines they get their ASFs from may be very different from those in North America.

Basically, to answer your question: If you get the right one, they make as good pets as any mouse-like creature. If you get the wrong one... they are prone to biting. On a reptile forum, I read that some are just mean and no amount of socialization helps. I don't know if that's true, but it's best to be careful since these small creatures have not really been "pet-ified" yet.
 

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ASFs are notoriously skittish, which can mean bites but definitely means unhandable. They are pretty new, but from I understand it their care is closer to a mouse or gerbil then it ever would be to a rat.
 

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Many are skittish, but not all. I've seen some super friendly ones. They can definitely make as good pets as any small pet with proper breeding and handling... and of course, picking out the right one(s) to take home. I'm planning on getting some after my gerbils are gone. I've read they are more in-between rats and mice, probably leaning towards mice. They are called Multimammate mice, after all. They can't interbreed with mice or rats, though.
 
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