Dumbo Rat | Information, Conduct, Lifespan & Care (with Photos)

Baby dumbo rat in flowers


Generally it looks as if scientists can have a imply streak, not less than in the case of naming animals. In spite of everything, how else are you able to clarify animals just like the spiny lumpsucker, hen turtle, or the strange-tailed tyrant?

You possibly can add the dumbo rat to the listing of unfortunately-named creatures. These animals get their nickname from the truth that they’ve very giant ears, similar to the elephant in “Dumbo.” What’s worse is that “dumbo rat” isn’t even their actual identify — it’s “fancy rat!”


Fast Information about Dumbo Rat

Species Title: Rattus norvegicus domestica
Household: Muridae
Care Degree: Simple
Temperature: 65-75°F
Temperament: Gentle, easygoing, cuddly, partaking
Colour Type: Agouti, black, lilac, fawn
Lifespan: 2-3 years
Dimension: 15-22 inches lengthy, 1.5 kilos
Food regimen: Rat pellets, fruits, greens, lean meat, beans
Minimal Tank Dimension: 24” x 12” x 12”
Tank Set-Up: Minimal
Compatibility: Will get alongside effectively with different rats

Dumbo Rat Overview

white dumbo rat
Picture Credit score: Marvelous World, Shutterstock

The Dumbo Rat is the most typical species of domesticated rat saved as a pet, they usually’ve been bred for companionship for thus lengthy that they’re docile and pleasant.

Their historical past is a nasty one, nevertheless. They had been used as targets in blood sports activities within the 18th and 19th centuries, and paradoxically, being bred for dying is an enormous cause that the species was in a position to flourish. They’re additionally extensively utilized in medical analysis, so that they’re nonetheless placing their lives on the road for humanity even immediately.

Whereas many individuals might recoil on the concept of preserving a rat as a pet, dumbo rats are a lot cleaner than their wild cousins, they usually’re no extra more likely to carry ailments or parasites than canines, cats, or different small rodents like hamsters.

Dumbo rats are a lot cuter than most different varieties of rats, resulting from a pure mutation that causes them to have spherical ears, giant heads, small jaws, and large eyes. These traits mix to offer them an harmless look.

Nonetheless, they’re not a special species than “scary-looking” rats — only a cuter selection. In consequence, they’ll have lots of the identical behaviors and predilections, though generations of domestication have prompted them to have totally different habits and be susceptible to totally different ailments.

How A lot Do Dumbo Rats Price?

Should you’re seeking to purchase a dumbo rat from a breeder or pet retailer, you’ll be able to anticipate to pay between $10 and $20, though sure colours of rat might price a bit extra.

Nonetheless, many kilos and small animal rescues absorb dumbo rats as effectively, so that you might be able to get one without cost or for a small adoption price.

Typical Conduct & Temperament

Fancy agouti-colored dumbo rat
Picture Credit score: Ezume Pictures, Shutterstock

Dumbo rats are pleasant and agreeable creatures. They’re calm and inquisitive and might be affectionate with individuals they belief. They don’t thoughts being dealt with, though it could take a little bit of time to heat them as much as the thought.

These animals are additionally extraordinarily clever, and many individuals have taught their dumbos to do methods. They’re social creatures, so that they want common interplay with individuals or different rats, and plenty of consultants advocate preserving not less than two dumbos collectively always.

Look & Varieties

Since dumbo rats have been saved as pets for fairly a while, many breeders have labored to develop particular patterns and markings to make them extra engaging to potential house owners. The breed has spontaneously developed just a few options of its personal through the years as effectively.

There are two main coloration sorts present in dumbo rats: agouti and black. Agouti means they’ve three totally different tones on every particular person hair, which frequently combines to offer them a grey or brownish coloring. Nonetheless, agouti dumbos may also be present in cinnamon and fawn.

Black-based colours embrace beige, blue, chocolate, and straight black. The dumbo’s eye coloration can be dictated partly by their coat coloration, with black, pink, ruby, and odd-eye (which is 2 different-colored eyes) being the most typical.

Dumbos can sport quite a lot of markings, together with fully stable and Himalayan, which is a blended shade of white.

There are different customary marking sorts as effectively, together with:

  • Hooded: A coloured saddle working from the top down the backbone to the tail
  • Berkshire: Coloured high, white stomach
  • Blazed: Coloured head or physique with white fur on the face
  • Capped: White with coloured fur on the top alone
  • Variegated: Any form of mismatched sample
  • Irish or English Irish: Equilateral triangle of white working down the chest or between the entrance legs

There are totally different coat sorts as effectively. The primary variations lie within the coarseness of the fur, though some varieties have curly hair or silky coats.

Take Care of Dumbo Rat

Dumbo rats are pretty straightforward creatures to maintain and cheap. Nonetheless, there’s gear that it is best to personal if you wish to hold Dumbos, and we’ll go over the must-haves beneath.

Habitat, Tank Situations & Setup


domestic rat dumbo
Picture Credit score: Mihail Guta, Shutterstock

Dumbo rats aren’t that massive, so that they don’t want large enclosures. The minimal dimension cage you’ll want is 24” x 12” x 12”. Nonetheless, whereas getting a properly-sized tank is essential, it’s equally very important that you simply get a tank that has a number of ranges, as they like to climb and discover.

Wire cages are your finest wager and are vastly preferable to tanks, however you’ll must put one thing on the underside of the cage so the rat’s ft don’t get caught within the enclosure.


Along with placing a stable layer on the backside of the cage, you’ll additionally must line it with a substrate of some sort. Recycled newspaper or aspen shavings are two in style choices, though you may also use fabric, straw, or shredded cardboard.

Keep away from utilizing cedar or pine shavings, as these give off poisonous fumes that may make your rat sick. Cat litter must also be prevented, as in case your rat unintentionally ingests some, it is going to clump of their intestine, probably killing them. Corn cob bedding has the identical problem, however it could actually additionally get moldy and develop poisonous spores.

No matter which kind of substrate you employ, you’ll want to scrub your rat’s cage day by day to maintain them wholesome (and to maintain your room from smelling of rat droppings).


dumbo rat in cage
Picture Credit score: Maslov Dmitry, Shutterstock

Dumbos do effectively at room temperature, so any thermostat setting that you simply like is one which your rat will most likely be snug with as effectively. Along with preserving the thermostat on a snug setting, you must also present them with enclosures the place they’ll escape to beat the warmth or chilly in the event that they like.


So long as you retain the temperature in your house at an affordable degree, there’s no want so as to add warmth lamps to your rat’s enclosure. Nonetheless, it is best to attempt to give them 12 hours of sunshine and darkness per day to simulate a day and evening cycle.

Different Wants

Past what’s listed above, your rat will want a meals bowl, water bottle, play pen, and a separate enclosure to be put in once you’re cleansing their cage. You can too take them out and play with them recurrently, which can reduce the necessity for purchasing different types of leisure.

Do Dumbo Rat Get Alongside With Different Pets?

dumbo rat walking and sniffing
Picture Credit score: alexeisido, Shutterstock

Dumbo rats are social creatures, and preserving two or extra dumbos concurrently is commonly inspired. They get alongside no matter intercourse, however watch out about preserving women and men collectively until you wish to increase rat infants.

You can too have them spayed and neutered, although, and doing so is really useful to keep away from same-sex aggression.

These rats are pleasant and welcoming towards most different animals — a trait that usually doesn’t work of their favor. It’s best to clearly hold them away out of your cat, and canines are hit-and-miss, with some ignoring them and others eager to eat them.

For finest outcomes, it is best to simply hold your dumbo with different rats. Different pairings can work, however you’ll be inviting bother.

What to Feed Your Dumbo Rat

Business rat pellets ought to make up the majority of your dumbo’s weight-reduction plan. These are specifically designed to have all of the nutritional vitamins and vitamins that your rat must be wholesome. Nonetheless, keep away from seed/grain mixes, as rats often solely select their favourite bits from the combo — and people bits are often the unhealthiest for them.

Past that, you may give them contemporary fruits and veggies, however watch out to not overdo it on sugar-rich fruits. Leafy inexperienced greens are a superb alternative, as they’re filled with antioxidants and rats love them.

You may give them grains like bread and cereal often, however restrict it to as soon as every week or so. They’ll additionally eat small quantities of meat like bland hen or scrambled eggs, and people are wonderful for them as a result of excessive protein content material.

Dumbo rats are creatures of behavior, so don’t be tempted to combine up their diets consistently. Feeding them the identical issues constantly is really useful to keep away from gastrointestinal issues (assuming their common weight-reduction plan has every little thing they want, in fact).

They need to be fed two or 3 times a day as infants, however as soon as they’re totally mature, you’ll be able to lower that all the way down to a couple of times a day. Watch out to not overfeed them, as weight problems and diabetes run rampant within the species.

Conserving Your Dumbo Rat Wholesome

a dumbo rat sniffs a bouquet of asparagus
Picture Credit score: Grace800, Shutterstock

It’s pretty straightforward to maintain a dumbo rat wholesome, as doing so primarily entails feeding them a nutritious diet and preserving their cage clear. They don’t have many wants past that, and there’s little must take them in for veterinary care.

The flip facet to this, sadly, is that your rat received’t dwell very lengthy no matter what you do. They solely dwell for 2-3 years on common, so even for those who’re extraordinarily conscientious about taking good care of your furry good friend, you’ll possible solely add just a few months to their lifespan.

It’s equally essential to see to their emotional wants, in addition to their bodily ones. This implies giving them loads of consideration, affection, and stimulation and offering them with different rats to play and socialize with.


If you wish to increase child dumbo rats, it’s typically so simple as placing an unaltered female and male in the identical cage and ready. You shouldn’t must do any cajoling or something of the kind — simply let nature take its course.

Do not forget that the dumbo gene is a recessive one, although. If you would like a litter of dumbos, you’ll must breed two dumbos; for those who breed a dumbo with a special sort of rat, solely half of the litter can be dumbos.

If you would like a child rat however don’t wish to do the work your self, there are many established dumbo breeders on the market, so discovering one in your space shouldn’t be troublesome (or significantly costly).


Are Dumbo Rats Appropriate for You?

Should you’re in search of a low-maintenance pet that’s as cute and affectionate as any cat or canine, then the dumbo rat could also be proper up your alley. These cute little creatures are extremely pleasant, and they are often as attuned to their human’s wants as every other pet.

They don’t take up a lot room and aren’t significantly costly to personal both. After all, there’s a big draw back, and that’s their extremely brief lifespans; proudly owning dumbos means dwelling in a cycle of turning into connected and having to say goodbye.

Should you can deal with the emotional swings, although, you’ll discover an missed pet that can brighten your day each time they appear into your eyes (and watching them twitch their little whiskers is fairly irresistible, too).

Should you do resolve on a dumbo rat and are in want of a reputation, take a look at our full listing of over 100 superior rat names!

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