Mon. Sep 23rd, 2019

Pet Hangout

Ferrets, Rats, and Other Exotics

Popular Designer Rats

3 min read

rat

 
Pet rats are nothing new, I had a black and white rat named Yik Yak back in the 80s.  Yik Yak isn’t after a pet store rat. Seattle breeders are selling designer rats, bred full of the most ideal traits.

” My favorite line of rats that I breed right now are the roans,” said Rosskamp. “They’re so friendly, I call them the Golden Retrievers of rats.

Pet rats are nothing new, I had an albino rat named Rascal when I was a kid in the 1980s. Seattle breeders are selling designer rats, bred full of the most ideal traits.

Lynn Rosskamp is a Seattle rat breeder, founder of Rodents of Unusual Sweetness.

” A lot of the rat lineages you get from pet stores are the same ones they have in laboratories, and those rats are bred to develop tumors really quickly so scientists can test them,” said Noledner. “They can watch a rat show, things like how to cut your rat’s nails, merchandise booths where you can buy things like hammocks because rats love to sleep in little fleece hammocks. You can also adopt rescue rats and just generally get to hang out with other people who like rats.

A few of breeder Lynn Rosskamp’s rats (Photo: Lynn Rosskamp). They did their research and got on the waiting list of a breeder. They’re on a waiting list … for a rat.

” The application is really cumbersome,” Noledner said. “It’s several pages and you have to say how frequently you’re going to be home, what you do for work when you’re going to be away, how often you’re going to socialize them. And you have to understand and know what it takes to be a rat parent.”.

Despite all the waiting and the detailed application, the rats only cost $20. , if you’re interested in being a rat parent. Rosskamp says she, and other breeders, are creating the ideal pet.

” It’s basically a one-day get-together for rat lovers,” Rosskamp explains. “They can watch a rat show, things like how to cut your rat’s nails, merchandise booths where you can buy things like hammocks because rats love to sleep in little fleece hammocks. You can also adopt rescue rats and just generally get to hang out with other people who like rats.

Rosskamp says the waiting lists can be long because most breeders do this as a side gig, a passion project. People willing to wait it out have to make a serious commitment. Just ask Noledner.

” Right now we have about 45 rats of our own.”.

Rosskamp also runs Ratapalooza, an 18-year-old annual event where rat lovers can get their fix.

” A lot of the rat lineages you get from pet stores are the same ones they have in laboratories, and those rats are bred to develop tumors really quickly so scientists can test them,” said Noledner. Those rats aren’t really bred for favorable traits like being social or being loving or being highly trainable and having a lot of personalities.

“But I am on their waiting list, I’m number 28. It’s … uh, delayed ratification is what we call it.”.

 

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