How Do You Tell Your Pet Rats Apart If They Are Identical?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 27, 2009 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

Well, I have two pet rats. The problem is they are babies (about a month or two old) and they are identical. When we take them out it is sort of hard to tell them apart. The only precise way is weighing them and we want an easier way. So does anyone have any ideas that will be safe for them (for instance they chew through it, or wash it out, or it be hazardous to them.

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  • Caiti says:

    You could put some food coloring or hair dye on one of the rats, or use the nontoxic Crayola markers. I’m going to have the same problem in a week when I bring home my PEW rats, Milo and Peabody, from the rescue where I’m getting them. Good thing the rat I already have is a blue berk… haha

  • becca says:

    i have 4 new baby hooded black rats and they all look alot alike but i look at different patterns on their tails….

  • marklemo says:

    Cut off a tiny bit of fur on one of them and keep it trimmed until they show other signs of being different.

  • Ashley says:

    get different cages

  • Pete the koala says:

    take a black magic marker and put a mark on one of their backs.

  • Cassandra H says:

    I had like 20some gerbils once and could tell them apart. They all had different personalities. If your rats have the same personalities then you have some amazing rats. Only other thing i can think of without marking them physically is teach on rat a certain thing like motion or trick to a hand motion or sound.

  • mikah_sm says:

    You could try dying a spot of fur on one of their heads with food colouring. Just dab a drop on with a Q-tip. Shouldn’t harm them, isn’t permanent, low cost and you can redo it as necessary.
    The only problem being if they don’t have a light coloured fur.

  • pennydoy says:

    magic markers are OK.

  • danielsc says:

    I’d put a bracelet or a colar around them. Or train them to look at you when you call thier names.

  • dotbrie says:

    Why dont you get them some sort of tag for now and later find a collar for them. Just an idea.

  • kat_luvr says:

    get a tattoo put one of them, a very small spot on it’s ear, they shouldn’t charge you much to do that

  • Wicked says:

    something temporary is needed
    they will have different size and personalities
    shave a little hair spot off of one of the rats

  • mariefel q says:

    just have enough time to spend with them and teach them

  • J says:

    Well, could you tie some yarn around them, different colors, like red and blue?

  • spazrats says:

    Boy, can I relate to your situation. In the last 4 months I’ve had litters that include Siamese, Himalayans, and Pink-eyed Whites. Since I keep my rats for life I need a reliable way of telling them apart, for life.
    I have many youngsters to identify so I choose to use non-toxic markers, drawing a line on their tails. If you have just 2 rats you can clip a small section of hair from the flank or shoulder of one of the rats, or you can use food coloring on the tail or coat.
    Remember that rats shed their hair and they shed the scales on their tails. If you use markers or food color you need to repeat the process every few days.
    Hint: If you choose to color the tail, bathe/clean the tail in warm water before you color it. The warm, damp, skin makes the color last longer.
    And that reminds me….I have 5 Himi brothers to re-color tonight.
    🙂 spazrats

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