9 Different Types of Rat Species

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There are many different types of rat species, and each has its own unique set of characteristics. In this article, we will be focusing on the most common rat species.

Rats are notorious for their climbing abilities and often build nests in trees or other high places. They are also known for their aggressive behavior and can be a real nuisance to homeowners.

There are different types of rat species, and most of them are often confused with each other, especially Norway rats, of the rat family.

You can find different types of rats in North America, and they often look very similar to other rat species. However, some key differences can help you identify them.

How to identify the common rat?

If you have a rat infestation, it’s understandable that you want the creatures out of your home as soon as possible. If you’re like most homeowners, you probably assumed that all rat traps were the same.

Different Types of Rat Species

You might be surprised to learn that there are over 50 subspecies of rats, each with its own physical characteristics, behavioral traits, and, in many cases, diet.

Understanding some of the most common types of rats can help you identify the type of rat you’re dealing with, which can help you get rid of them for good.

How do I get rid of brown and black rats?

There are various ways to get rid of rats, but the most effective is to use chemical control. There are many different products and techniques for rat extermination. You can use rodenticides (poisonous baits), traps, glue boards, or fumigation to get rid of rats.

In addition, you should seal off any entry points that the rats may be using and clean up any food or water sources that they may be using.

Rats are common pests globally, and they can be quite a challenge to get rid of. So it is necessary to work quickly to eliminate them from your property.

Different Types of Rat Species

Rats are rodents with a medium-sized, varied length of tails in the family Muroidea and of genus Rattus. Found in different habitats and come in a variety of colors and sizes. There are dozens of different rat species, each with its own unique features and habits.

There are a variety of rat species that people often mistake for each other. The most important rats to humans are the brown rat and the black rat.

However, there are many other rodent genera and families that are also referred to as rats. These rats share many characteristics with the true rats, such as size and coloring.

There are many different types of rat species, and they can be distinguished from one another by their size. Conversely, if it is smaller, the name includes the term mouse.

Standard black Rat

The Standard rat is a close relative of the brown rat and, as such, has ears on top of its head. It is typically smaller than the brown rat and can be identified by its characteristic markings.

The Standard rat is the most common type of rat. They are easy to care for and have a diet that does not include any unusual or exceptional requirements. This makes them a great choice for anyone looking for a pet rat.

Standard rats are also known as domesticated rats. Bred for centuries to be friendly and docile around humans. With regular handling and careful ownership, they can make wonderful pets.

Rex Rat

Rex rats are a type of rat that has curly fur.

The Rex rat is a breed of domesticated rat that has been selectively bred for its unique fur markings. These rats are generally healthy and have a lifespan of 3-4 years, but as they age, their fur may thin, leading to bald spots.

Double Rex Rats are a specific type of rat that has two copies of the rex gene. This causes their fur to be tightly curled, which can sometimes lead to issues with their eyebrows and whiskers.

Manx Rat

The Manx Rat is a rat species that is characterized by its lack of a tail. This feature sets it apart from other rat species and often causes people to mistake it for a cat. The Manx Rat is found throughout the world and can be identified by its small size, rounded ears, and short fur.

Though some do have a stubby tail, they do not have a full tail. These rats are typically small in size and can be found in a variety of colors, including black, brown, white, and grey.

Manx rats have a mutation in their genes that causes them to lack a tail. This can require additional care for the rat as they lose their balance and cannot groom themselves as well.

Sphynx Rat

Sphynx Rats are a specific type of rat that is selectively bred to be completely hairless. They are bred for their appearance and do not have the same abilities as other rats in terms of swimming or climbing.

As their name suggests, Sphynx rats are a rat breed that has very little hair. They require extra warmth and can get sick easily if they are not kept in the correct environment.

They are not good in place of pets because they tend to breed, and their offspring can be susceptible to genetic defects.

Satin coat Rat

The Satin Coat Rat is a rat with a long, shiny coat. They are black or dark brown in color and have a sleek appearance. They are found throughout the world and make good pets.

The satin rat is a species of rodent that has straight whiskers with the exception of the tips, which curl. They are typically dark brown or black and can grow up to 12 inches long.

Dumbo Rat

The Dumbo Rat is a type of rat with ears lower down the side of its head and is much larger. They are typically light brown or gray in color and can grow up to 12 inches in length. They are found in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Dumbo rats are a popular pet rat breed. They get their name from their large, floppy ears. While some people swear that Dumbo rats live longer than other rat breeds and are friendlier, these claims have not been scientifically proven.

In fact, the average lifespan of a Dumbo rat is the same as that of a standard rat breed. Friendliness is determined by how much interaction a rat receives from its human caretakers.

Dumbo rat with its big ears

Norway Rats

Norway rats are one of the most common rat species in North America. They are large, brown rodents that can weigh up to 20 pounds. They are found in the U.S. but are especially common in cities with a variety of food sources.

Norway rats are the most common rat species in North America. They are highly adaptable and can survive in a wide range of climates and conditions. Norway rats are omnivorous and eat a variety of foods, including grains, fruits, and meat.

Grey rat near wooden wall on floor. Pest control

Bristle Coat Rat

The Bristle-Coated Rat is a rat species with a coarse coat of fur that feels like a wire brush. They are found in Africa and Asia and have been known to cause damage to crops and property.

They are distinguishable from other rat species by their long, bristly hair covering their entire body.

The Bristle-Coated Rat is a rat species that can come in any color or marking. It will have whiskers, but they will be curled at the end. The coat of the Bristle-Coated Rat will straighten out as it ages.

Marsh rice rat

The marsh rice rat is found in the middle and southeastern United States. It is similar to black and brown rats but has greater differences in color between the upper and lower parts. The marsh rice rat is also known as the southern swamp rat.


The marsh rice rat is the most common rat species in Florida. They have short, thick fur that is reddish-brown to gray in color. They are found throughout most of the state, except for the Keys and some areas near the Georgia border.

Do rodents and rats transmit diseases?

Rats transmit a variety of diseases and can act as a parasite. Some of these diseases can be deadly. Be aware of the risks associated with rats and take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from them.

Diseases common to rats include Streptococcus pneumonia, Corynebacterium kutsheri, Bacillus piriformis, Pasteurella pneumotropica, and Streptobacillus moniliformis. Rats can also be infected with a variety of other diseases, including the bubonic plague.

Rats acting as vector for the transmission of diseases in a dirty habitat

All of the bacteria mentioned in this article can cause diseases in humans. Some are more deadly than others, but you should take them all seriously. It is important to take precautions against these diseases, especially if you live in an area where rats are common.

Are rats dangerous pests?

A group of rats is dangerous because of their potential to cause damage and spread disease. They can contaminate a variety of foods, damage property, and transmit various diseases.

Scientists use laboratory rats for vaccine trials. While not all rats are dangerous, it is important to be aware of their risks and take steps to protect yourself and your property from them.

Gray rats can pose a danger to humans as they can gnaw on wires and furniture, creating fire hazards. They are a form of vector for diseases and can also contaminate food with their urine and feces, which can lead to the spread of diseases.

Final Thoughts

There are a variety of rat species, and they can be generally distinguished from mice by their size. The laboratory rat is of great importance in genetics.

A field rat has larger teeth marks than mice, making them easier to identify. Additionally, their droppings are also bigger and cylindrical. Faced with a rat infestation, it’s important to be able to identify the species of the rat so that you can take appropriate steps to get rid of them.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.