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Discussion Starter #1
As I was at a pet store to day, getting fish food, I stopped by the rodent isle and saw hairless rats. The pet store I was at doesn't normally carry hairless rats, and it was the first time I'd seen them in person-although I had seen countless pictures!

OMG!!! They are sooo cute. I really want to get a pair of hairless ones when I adopt my next pair later this summer. The only problem is that my mom was at the store with me and she doesn't appreciate mammals without hair. My brother even went so far as to say mammals without hair were ugly, although I told him he'd be eating his words once he got old and went bald.

Does anyone know how to make my mom like hairless ratties more? I'm sure they'd grow on her if I got them, but first she has to let me get them... My dad actually says they're cute, so no problem there, which is rather suprising-he's not really an animal person.

Also, are there any personality or other differences (besides the obvious hair versus no hair) between hairless and normal ratties?
 

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I got my hairless when she was just 5 weeks old, the offspring of a pregnant rat purchased at a pet store. It took me a long time to get used to her strange appearance - and I WANTED a hairless rat. Even now sometimes I look at her and think she looks so weird! But she's a doll and I love her for her personality - her "ugliness" just makes her more endearing.

Anyway, I'm not sure what your mother has to do with the decision, aren't they your pets? I'm not sure why it matters to her, rats are rats.

If you already have other ratties, maybe you can start by adding one hairless. Hairless rats are better off kept with a furry partner to help them keep warm. Hairless rats do need extra help staying warm, they will appreciate hammocks and cuddle sacks to snuggle in. They also eat and drink twice as much as a regular rat, and they tend to be very energetic.

I'm not sure I advocate purchasing a hairless rat from a pet store. Truly hairless rats have weak immune systems and pet stores don't really help them to get the extra nutrition, warmth and care they need. If the rats you saw had curly whiskers and some fuzz on their paws, then they're double rex rats, which are closer genetically to regular rats and they have stronger constitutions. If you want a true hairless I recommend getting one from a reputable breeder, or find someone with an oops litter like I did.
 

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I'm sorry, but I have to correct some of the things mentioned above. True hairless rats in the context you mention are only laboratory animals that have been genetically engineered to have a weakened immune system (as far as I know there's not anything like this available as a pet). Fuzzy paws and faces does not mean they're double Rex. I have 3 hairless rats, a double Rex and a single Rex. One of my hairless rats was the product of two normal furred parents that carried the recessive hairless gene; he has a fuzzy little face and fuzzy paws (and fuzzy testicles which is why I call him fuzz nuts :p). It is true that some double rexes can have so little fur that they look like hairless rats, but in my area, a double Rex is much harder to find than a hairless rat, so my assumption is that the ones OP saw are hairless rats. As for the health of hairless rats, I've actually had much more luck with my hairless bunch than I ever have with my normal rats...but that's what it boils down to: luck. I've taken hairless rats from absolutely awful conditions and they have thrived, so I would not be hesitant to buy one from a pet store. I hope this clears up anything having to do with what the rats you saw really are and I really hope that your mom comes to see that they are absolutely adorable.
 

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I don't know if you can make her like them more, but you could try to explain to her why you like them. They are rather rare, very unusual, and not usually found in pet stores. If she understands that you really are attracted to them, perhaps she will relent.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't have pictures available, kksrats, but at the store I remember seeing that they had some hair-very short, light, wavy patches on the head and near their privates as well as a little by their feet. They were definitely not totally hairless, they looked a little like this picture but with a little less hair. They had curled whiskers.
Don't worry Minky, I'm planning to get my rats from a local rescue, but seeing the rats in the pet store just reminded me about hairless rats. I don't have other ratties as of today, my first (and so far only) rat passed away a couple months ago and I'm waiting until I get back from vacation this summer to get a new pair. I was planning to adopt littermates, do you think that would be OK or should I ask the rescue for a furred and a hairless rat from different litters (assuming I get at least one hairless) so that there will be a furred rat in with the hairless? I'm not certain about rat genetics around haired vs hairless, but is it possible that one litter could have a hairless and furred baby in it, which would save me the problem of introductions?
 

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These were my two hairless boys, Merlin and Gaius, they passed away last year.

I did notice a few personality differences but i'm not sure if it's related to hairlessness or the line these boys came from.

-They LOVED water, none of my furry rats at the time enjoyed paddling but these two couldn't get enough.
-They were a little more wary and skittish than my furry rats, even though they were all bonded with in the same way and treated the same.
-They would both nip quite hard, nothing aggressive they just couldn't seem to nibble and lick gently like my furry rats and if my fingers smelt of food it was bite first ask questions later!

As for things that all hairless rats tend to have in common:

-They are like little hot water bottles, so don't be alarmed if you get some and they seem warm.
-They can scar quite easily and play fights and scuffles will eventually leave them looking like a war veteran, it's simply because they don't have fur to protect them from other ratties nails.
-They seem to eat about twice as much as furry rats, i guess to give them the energy to generate enough body heat.

My boys passed on quite young but I think that was the breeders fault, she told me tall tales of their five year old grandfather and healthy bloodline but had excuses, that i foolishly believed at the time, as to why i couldn't meet their living relatives. When i got back into contact with her a year or so later she couldn't even remember the littler my rats came from, despite me telling her to exact date i purchased them from her.

Anyway, as for your mother disliking them, it shouldn't matter to her if you get hairy or hairless rats so long as you do all of the caring for them. My mum wasn't a particularly big fan of the appearance of my two and nicknamed them 'scro' & 'tum' due to the likeness she claimed they had! But i believe she called them that with fondness.

In regards to a fluffy companion, it is a good idea though not entirely necessary and steps can be taken on your part to keep a pair of hairless rats perfectly comfortable such as maintaining a good constant temperature in their room and providing lots of blankets and hammocks and soft beddings. If you rescue then the rats would likely come in a bonded pair or group anyway and if not you might find it difficult to get more than one hairless rat and so inevitably end up with a fluffball and a baldy.

Hope everything works out for you and your new additions!


Not sure if gifs work on this forum but here's one of my boys enjoying their paddling pool! Miss these guys!
 

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One more benefit I'd like to mention is my hairless guys fave game. I call it rat or pizza dough?!
IMG_20150619_152701.jpg
 

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I love that gif every time you post it Jess!As far as getting a furred and hairless rat together, you can get a pair that are litter mates as well since hairless is recessive only about 1/4 of the litter from two recessive parents would be hairless and half from one standard and one hairless parent. If both parents are hairless then all pups would of course be hairless. I have to agree with Jess that my hairless rats all tend to be a bit more cautious and nippy (my Rex and double Rex are also very cautious girls), but it doesn't keep them from being lovable :) I think it's more fun to watch my cautious rats play during free range because they will plant their feet and extend just their neck as far as they can to investigate things and kind of run around in a stop go stop go fashion more like I assume wild rats would explore. All of my rats, regardless of how cautious they are, will come when called and do not shy away from me picking them up.
 

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Just in case Jess's pictures didn't inspire you to beg and plead with your mom lol here's some of my little nakey boys.
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This is my old man Smeagol, he's obviously highly suspicious of why I woke him up to stick a camera in his face :p
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This little one-eyed wonder in Thorin. I found him in a feeder bin and he was the only one that would actually approach my hand; his lack of an eye didn't deter me one bit! He's got a few more stray hairs than the others, but they're disappearing as he enters his "adult" stage.
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And finally my little nibbler, Pippin. We're currently working on learning that fingers are not food. He's the youngest of my bunch and came to me skin and bones.
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And just to show the difference between hairless and double rex...this is my little double rex girl Azurine when I brought her home. She has a very lovely short coat that has not yet become patchy, so I'm hoping it stays that way. The hair on double rexes is typically short and relatively uniform whereas hair you might find anywhere except the face of hairless rats will be sparse, long and very wispy (Thorin is a good example).

I hope all of this helps you on your quest to adopt a hairless rat! They're highly unique little boogers and I've had a blast raising mine.
 

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Thought I'd include this photo of Smoothie. She's a great model because she will "strike a pose" and hold it for long enough for me to get a picture.



We actually included her in a film we're making. We constructed this set and bought her a little tuxedo. I don't really advocate dressing animals up, so I want to mention that she was only in this outfit for 5 minutes at a time (or less). And we took lots of breaks between shots. You can see in the photo she had already begun wiggling out of her costume:


And here's one of my favorite pictures where she's standing on the late, great Baby Rat to get a better look around:
 

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Thought I'd include this photo of Smoothie. She's a great model because she will "strike a pose" and hold it for long enough for me to get a picture.



We actually included her in a film we're making. We constructed this set and bought her a little tuxedo. I don't really advocate dressing animals up, so I want to mention that she was only in this outfit for 5 minutes at a time (or less). And we took lots of breaks between shots. You can see in the photo she had already begun wiggling out of her costume:


And here's one of my favorite pictures where she's standing on the late, great Baby Rat to get a better look around:
I died when I saw the tuxedo outfit, it is just TOO CUTE! Hairless rats are really adorable, I'd like to get one!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I love all your pictures! I showed my mom a few videos of hairless rats-one of a hairless ratty taking a bath in the sink <3-and in one of the videos a ratty had a pigmented (is that right-it was like the black hooded marking on its skin) and she said he was a little cute *gasp*. Is that marking thing rare or is it pretty common with hairless rats?
 

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I love all your pictures! I showed my mom a few videos of hairless rats-one of a hairless ratty taking a bath in the sink <3-and in one of the videos a ratty had a pigmented (is that right-it was like the black hooded marking on its skin) and she said he was a little cute *gasp*. Is that marking thing rare or is it pretty common with hairless rats?
Smeagol is actually a black vari-hooded rat. You just have to catch him in the right light. Just like normal rats, hairless rats can and do show pigment where the markings of their fur would have been. I think it's funny when I'm talking to people about my hairless hooded, siamese or half masked rat and they say "Oh! I thought they could only be pink!" I've had a couple of litters of solid black hairless and even a blue hairless as well. I think they're cute regardless though :)
 

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I forgot about the "splish splash" video but seeing that made me want a hairless rat. And I've encountered a few other people who were inspired by that video to get a hairless. I'm glad you showed it to your mom, that's enough to win anyone over ;)

Smoothie has very faint markings of a hood and a stripe down her back. When she was younger the markings were more prominent, but now you really have to look for them.

Another thing is that halrless and double rex rats sometimes go through various pattern of fuzz when they're young. Kind of like patchwork rats, but eventually the pattern shifting stops and they stay hairless. Smoothie used to have a big V of fuzz on her face. It would fall out and then gradually grow back in about a week's time. When she reached about 12 weeks old her hair pattern stabilized, now she just has some curly whiskers and white "gloves" lol.
 

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One of my hairless boys had different markings that became more faded as he got older.
He was actually a black hooded, it's difficult to tell but his face was definitely still darker than his body even as he got older. When he was a baby it was more prominent but unfortunately I don't have any pictures of him at that time!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, I'm not sure how she feels about the video, but when I showed it to my dad he decided he really liked hairless rats. Having him on my side will really help!

Something they are a little worried about is that I was doing some research on hairless rat research and one web page suggested rubbing olive oil into their skin once weekly to keep it nice and healthy. Is that nessecary? I would be happy to do it for my ratties, of course, but for some reason it seems to gross out my mom. It probably wouldn't be a problem, but are there any things I should know about taking care of hairless rats skin, since it would need more attention that with standard furred rats, correct?
 

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Well, I'm not sure how she feels about the video, but when I showed it to my dad he decided he really liked hairless rats. Having him on my side will really help!

Something they are a little worried about is that I was doing some research on hairless rat research and one web page suggested rubbing olive oil into their skin once weekly to keep it nice and healthy. Is that nessecary? I would be happy to do it for my ratties, of course, but for some reason it seems to gross out my mom. It probably wouldn't be a problem, but are there any things I should know about taking care of hairless rats skin, since it would need more attention that with standard furred rats, correct?
Honestly, it depends on the rat. Of the 3 I have now, none of them get dry skin which is pretty amazing since I live in the desert. I'm not going to say for certain that it wouldn't be necessary in your case, but there are other things you can do as well like supplementing their food with fish oil (see reference http://rustybee.com/pet-rat-care-relieve-itchy-skin-in-pet-rats-with-fish-oil/). I would disregard the part about ivermectin, it's for mites and I've never heard of it helping dry skin.
 

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Quit teasing me with your hairless rat pictures or I'll have fly over there and smuggle some back into Australia
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Honestly, it depends on the rat. Of the 3 I have now, none of them get dry skin which is pretty amazing since I live in the desert. I'm not going to say for certain that it wouldn't be necessary in your case, but there are other things you can do as well like supplementing their food with fish oil (see reference http://rustybee.com/pet-rat-care-relieve-itchy-skin-in-pet-rats-with-fish-oil/). I would disregard the part about ivermectin, it's for mites and I've never heard of it helping dry skin.
Alright, that's great. I think I might be getting to her :). I just have to hope that the rescue I'm planning to get them from has hairless girls in a couple months from now.

It needs to be girls for sure, because not only do they appear to for the most part mark less and be more active and playful, but I noticed that on hairless rats that are male, the, umm, privates are much more... visible than on haired rats.
 
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