color of wild rats. The color is an even muddy brown mixed
black guard hairs and silver ticking, with a slate to dark gray base fur. See "ticked"
for more information.
grooming which causes bald patches. Rats may do this to a cage
or to themselves (self barbering).
of coloring on a rat. A berkshire rat is all one color, except
white belly, white "socks" and tail tip.
The Bridge: see "Rainbow Bridge" below
or chattering; rats do this when they are either really agitated
"The Conspiracy": Many
rat lovers believe that the general pet rat population is conspiring
(apparently through mind control) to coerce us into adopting as many of
them as possible. Often blamed for impulse-buying of rats.
at twilight and/or just before dawn. Though rats are supposedly
animals, our resident child genius has determined that our pet rats really seem
to be "crepuscular". Thanks a lot, Emily.
of "weeding out" (i.e. killing) those babies in a litter which lack a
trait. In many breeding circles and rat clubs, this is apparently condoned as an
acceptable method for developing the best show quality animals, but the RMCA (see
below) has condemned this practice as inhumane (and a betrayal of our responsibilities
as lovers of rats). For more information, go to http://www.rmca.org/Articles/culling.htm
Debbie Ducommun: "The
Ratlady". Founder of the Rat Fan Club and queen of rat-care
experts. Her book, Rats! A Fun & Care Book, and Rat Health Care
guide are both required reading for rat owners. Go to the Rat Fan Club
web site, http://www.ratfanclub.org for more information.
head sway: Rats
poor vision (especially pink-eyed rats) often sway from side to side
to help themselves distinguish objects better. This is normal, and no cause for
head tilt: Exhibited
in rats who have had inner ear damage due to an infection (such as
see below). If your rat is doing this, something is wrong and you should get to a vet.
hooded: A common
in rats. A hooded rat is mostly white, but with a colored "hood"
on its head, and usually a stripe running down its back.
Language) An internet language used to format Web Pages, often
used in Email programs to create colors, hyper links, and other cool stuff. Since many
Email programs convert HTML to gibberish, members of the Ratlist are strongly urged
to turn this feature off when sending to the list (if you're not sure how to do this, ask for
help--many listers are computer-savvy).
myco: A nasty
respiratory disease caused by the mycoplasma pulmonis bacterium.
It is believed that most rats carry this bacterium, and many say disease is incurable.
Rats with myco can live long, full lives with proper treatment for occasional flare-ups:
unfortunately, opinions vary on what "proper treatment" entails. For more on myco,
go to http://www.rmca.org/Articles/myco.htm.
PEW: Pink Eyed
any rat that is white with pink eyes is a PEW. This group includes
Albinos, but also includes any other rat that is all white in color (with pink eyes). A white
rat with black eyes would be a BEW.
Pinkies: Newborn rats. Also called erasers, kittens, pups, rittens, ratlets...
Porphyrin: A red
sometimes seen around a rat's nose or eyes which is often mistaken
for blood. It is actually equivalent to having a runny nose or watery eyes, and can be
a sign that the rat is ill or otherwise under stress. (Note: since porphyrin is also found
in a rats spit, it may cause mysterious staining on the rat's coat from grooming.)
The Rainbow Bridge: A
legendary "bridge" to another realm where beloved pets are said to
go after they die. When our ratties die, they are said to be "crossing
the bridge". To read the story this legend is based on, go to
(rattie) raisins: Um....poop.
Also called droppings, turds, doodie, and lots of things not
recommended for use on the Ratlist.
health problems and other questions that you need quick answers for,
an Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
rat information, newbie questions, and questions you are too embarrassed
to ask the whole list, send an Email to: email@example.com
RMCA: The Rat
Club of America, which sponsors the Ratlist (though members of
one are not necessarily members of the other). The RMCA web site is at
scritch: To rub, gently scratch, or tickle a rat (they especially like this around their face and ears).
a rat who is one color only throughout his coat. To read about
colors and varieties of rats, go to http://www.rodentfancy.org/rmfe/standards.shtml
created by having more than one color on each hair, or two or
three different hair colors to make up the one overall color. "Agouti" (see above)
is an example of this type of coloring.
pride and joy, scientifically referred to as his testicles (though the
to call them (goolies).
Yogurt Drops: A
treat of many rats which has no nutritional value whatsoever.
brand yogurt drops are available in most pet stores. They come in many flavors,
but are not specifically packaged for rats. Look for packages marked for
"rabbits", "hamsters", or "small animals".
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