Fancy Rat Vs. Dumbo Rat

When making a trip to the pet store, a pet rat is not something one would normally consider bringing home with them. Rats have a bit of a nasty reputation attached to them, but given the opportunity, I have found that they can actually make great companions. But now there is the choice between a Fancy Rat and a Dumbo Rat.

Everything from price range to the way they look differ between these two rats. While they derive from the same species, Fancy Rats and Dumbo Rats are very different. Depending on what you are willing to invest and your preferences, a Fancy Rat or Dumbo Rat could be a good choice as a pet. 

So, if you are wondering about their differences, I am here to help. Dumbo Rats and Fancy Rats are great companions, but different by their own rights. Keep reading if you want to figure out just which one is the better choice for you and your home. 

Fancy Rat Vs. Dumbo Rat: Pricing 

The cost of your pet rat will probably be your first question. I am here to tell you that neither rat is terribly expensive, though there is a bit of a difference between the two. Something to consider when wondering about the price of your rat are:

  • Lifespan
  • Color and appearance 
  • Living conditions 

Typically, you can expect a Dumbo Rat to cost anywhere between ten and twenty dollars. A Fancy Rat is a little more expensive, falling anywhere between twenty and forty dollars apiece. If you want a more varied color, or if you buy from a pet store, you can expect the price to be in the upper range for either of them. 

But if I can recommend anything for any pet, it would be to check your local shelters. Sometimes you can find a new companion for little to no cost, and you give them a home when someone else could not. It really is a win-win for everyone involved.

Fancy Rat Vs. Dumbo Rat: Lifespan

When purchasing a fancy rat or a dumbo rat, you have to keep in mind how long they are going to live. It personally makes me very sad that rats do not tend to live very long lives, but you make do with the time you have with them and give them the very best home you can. 

Fancy Rats tend to only live between a year and a half to three years. The better their care, and of course, their breeding, the more of a chance that you have a few years out of your new companion. Dumbo Rats tend to live a little longer on the low end, but you can still only expect two to three years from them as well. 

Fancy Rat Vs. Dumbo Rat: Color and Appearance

Fancy Rats and Dumbo Rats come in a variety of colors and styles. Fancy rats have a variety of hairstyles body styles, such as :

  • Hairless
  • Bristle
  • Tailless

Dumbo Rats have both a curly hair or silky coat variation that you can choose between. The biggest difference you will see between them, though, is the coarseness of their hair. Also, I love these rats for their cute, round ears. They also tend to be a bit larger than a Fancy Rat. 

Fancy Rat Vs. Dumbo Rat: Living Conditions

Some things to consider for either a Fancy Rat or a Dumbo Rat is their upkeep and caging conditions. Both have similar needs, such as:

  • Cage size
  • Accessories
  • Bedding

Both rats need at minimum a two-foot square cage to live in, with wire cages and solid bottoms. If you can swing for a multi-level cage, I highly recommend it. Rats love to climb, so the wire and multi-level cage liven up their lives so much. 

Fancy Rats tend to need more in the toy department, but both need drinking bottles, food bowls, some toys, and places to hide away, such as tunnels. Paper bedding has been deemed the best choice, though some people use aspen shavings. Cedar and pine should be avoided at all costs since they are known toxins. 

Fancy Rat Vs. Dumbo Rat: Temperament 

Depending on the time and energy you have to dedicate to your pet rat, I would suggest you pay a lot of attention to this next part. Any pet requires attention on some level, especially if they are kept alone. But there is a difference in a Dumbo Rat’s and a Fancy Rat’s temperament. 

Fancy Rats are a lot more sociable and thrive on human attention. You can teach them to walk on a harness and they can even be potty trained. They need a lot more stimulation than a Dumbo Rat, needing a variety of toys and hiding places in their cages. 

Dumbo Rats still do need attention but tend to only get close to people they trust. They do not need as much stimulation in their lives but giving them a comfortable and clean living environment is still important. Regular interaction can keep them friendlier, and I definitely advise you to have more than one to keep them more sociable.

Fancy Rat Vs. Dumbo Rat: Companionship 

Rats are very sociable creatures. Handling them and bonding with them is essential for their enrichment. But it is not just human health they crave. They thrive off the company of their own species as well. Both Fancy Rats and Dumbo Rats can really benefit from having another rat sharing the same space as them.

Fancy Rats tend to do better with members of the same sex, whereas Dumbo Rats can do well with either a male or female companion. I suggest you keep in mind that keeping rats of the same sex together can result in babies, so if that is not something you want to deal with, I encourage you to keep same-sex Dumbos together as well. 

But getting them a companion will benefit them in so many ways. Some things you can expect a companion to help with are:

  • Boredom
  • Sociable attitude
  • Lifespan
  • Happiness

Between another furry friend and yourself, your rat will live a fuller life. You both will have lucked out in your decision to leave that store or rescue with a new pet in tow. 

Fancy Rat Vs Dumbo Rat: Diet Plan

Foods specific to rats that you will find in pet stores are honestly the best thing you can feed them. These have all the required nutrients for your pet rat, whether Dumbo or Fancy. Giving them the occasional protein, like chicken or scrambled eggs, is a good idea, too. Veggies are a great addition, as well as the occasional fruit or grain. Those should only be given in great moderation, though. 

Rats tend to overeat if they have the food available, so be careful not to give them too much at once. Feeding them a healthy, portioned amount one or twice a day is ideal, monitor their weight and adjust portions if need be. 


Overall, Fancy Rats and Dumbo Rats are great choices as companion pets, and both will enrich your life in ways you never imagined before. They get a bad rap, but rats are fun and sociable creatures that really can make an amazing family pet. Their upkeep is not too hard to manage either.

Just keep in mind the requirements for each of them. I also encourage you to do some research of your own before you make a decision. Visit a local rescue and get to know them on a more personal basis before making your decision. Just know that whatever your choice, both of your lives will be better from it. 

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