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The fancy rat is a domesticated brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), which is the most common type of pet rat. The name fancy rat derives from the idea of animal fancy or the phrase, "to fancy" (to like, or appreciate).

Fancy rats have their origins as the targets for blood sport in 18th and 19th century Europe. Specially bred as pets since then, fancy rats now come in a wide variety of colours and coat types and there exists several rat fancy groups worldwide. Fancy rats are commonly sold as pets in stores and by breeders. In fiction, pet brown rats tend to be depicted as tamed rather than domesticated, akin to when a character befriends a wolf. As tamed pets, they have played roles that vary from evil, to ambiguous, to "lovable".

Domesticated rats are physiologically and psychologically different from their wild relatives, and—when acquired from reliable sources—they pose no more of a health risk than other common pets. While fancy rats are subject to different health risks than their wild counterparts, they are consequently less likely to succumb to other illnesses prevalent in the wild.

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review by . August 04, 2009
My rex rat Colby
They poop and pee all over the place, mess up your furniture, chew things up, and carry fleas and worms.   You think I’m talking about rats?  Wrong, I’m talking about dogs and cats, the much more common house pet whereas rats are vilified as being vile, disgusting, and disease ridden creatures. I still love dogs and cats and think they are wonderful companions, but if one were to logically think about it, rats are too.  In fact, domestic rats are a whole lot cleaner …
Quick Tip by . August 27, 2009
The tail scares me a bit, but every time I go to a pet store, I can't help but stare at the cuteness!
Standard Fancy Rat
Young Dumbo Fancy Rat
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