Posted on November 12, 2015
Are “fancy” rats fancy because they are wearing formal gowns and tuxes?
Are “fancy” mice fancy because they have excellent table manners, or because they host amazing parties?
Nope – the word fancy in “fancy rat and mouse” doesn't mean elaborate, decorative, expensive, or well-dressed. Instead, it goes to the meaning of fancy as a verb: “to like something or someone.”
In other words, if you fancy rats and mice, you like them. And I'm pretty sure that the rats and mice you fancy are the domesticated ones that people have as pets!
|Well, some fancy mice really are...fancy!|
Fancy rats are domesticated brown rats, the most common sort of pet rats, and fancy mice are domesticated house mice. These creatures can be purchased at a pet store or from a breeder.
Note that domesticated rats and mice are very different from wild ones! For example, domesticated rats are not considered a plague threat, and in fact pose no more of health risk than dogs or cats. They behave quite differently, too; they are comfortable around humans, affectionate to their owners, and tolerant of changes in food and the environment.
|This American Blue rat isn't very, very blue.|
Different colors of domesticated brown rats are still the same species – even if they are not brown! Because color mutations have been carefully bred together to create different “pretty” rats, fancy rats come in colors as varied as white, cinnamon, and even blue! And fancy mice, too, vary in color and pattern, including black, chocolate, cinnamon, fawn, champagne, blue, white, golden agouti, silver agouti, silver, and dove!
Find out more...
...about keeping fancy rats and mice as pets from this vet-run website.
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