Fancy Rats vs Dumbo Rats: How to Tell the Difference Between the Two and More!

Keep reading to watch this amazing video

Trying to tell the difference between a fancy mouse and a Dumbo mouse can be challenging. They are more alike than different because one is a variant of the other. However, there are still some characteristics that set them apart, which we will explain in this article.

There are a few things prospective owners should know before deciding to adopt a pet rat. Physical characteristics as well as expected behavior and temperament should be considered before adopting a Fancy rat or Dumbo rat.

Difference Between Fancy Rat and Dumbo Rat

Dumbo rats differ in appearance from Fancy rats.


At first glance, the ears are the most recognizable difference between a Fancy rat and a Dumbo rat. Dumbo rats have ears that are lower and more to one side than Fancy rats, which gives them their unique name. In fact, Dumbo rats are a variation of Fancy rats.

Fancy Rats vs Dumbo Rats: Physical Characteristics

Best Animals for Kids
The difference between Fancy rats and Dumbo rats is the low set ears.

©Olena Kurashova/

Fancy rats and Dumbo rats are identical in appearance except for their ears. While the Dumbo breed has lower, rounder ears, the standard Fancy rat has higher, more compact ears. Fancy is the common name for all large domestic mice. Domesticated mice are 9-11 inches long with a 7-9 inch tail. They have slender and agile bodies and average weight between 0.5 and 1.5 pounds.

Fancy rats and Dumbo rats come in a variety of coat colors and patterns. They have short coats that require little grooming. Rats are very clean animals and do not need to be bathed frequently. Pet rats are like rats in this regard, and despite some negative rumours, their diligence with hygiene makes the risk of disease almost non-existent! Plus, a side bonus is watching your cute little pet mouse stroke itself with tiny hands while grooming! Who doesn't think that's cute?

Read more  cod

Fancy Mice and Dumbo Mice: Behavior and Temperament

Domesticated mice are friendly, highly social animals that make affectionate pets. Fancy mice are often kept in pairs because they get lonely when left alone. House mice are one of the easiest pet rodents to deal with. They are among the smartest animals on earth, quickly picking up commands and tricks.

With patience and a gentle hand, Fancy rats become perfectly content to travel on the shoulder or in your pocket. They enjoy human contact and usually wake up more during the day. Dumbo and Fancy mice share the same behavior and temperament.

Fancy Mice and Dumbo Mice: A History

Fancy mice have a morbid history. They were bred for blood sports in the 18th and 19th centuries and are now commonly used in medical experiments. They are a domesticated offshoot of the common brown rat and have been a popular pet rat for many years.

Dumbo mice, on the other hand, are thought to have originated in the United States due to a mutation in the mouse population there. It is believed that this occurred in 1991, as documented by the American Fancy Rat and Mice Association (AFRMA), and subsequently all Dumbo rats now found in the world are descended from this "Adam" rat.

Fancy and Dumbo Rats: Health and Safety

While house mice usually get along with other pets, that doesn't always mean that other pets can get along with them, too. Keep your mice away from the dangers of house cats or other pets with a well-developed prey drive. Introductions to other pets should be gradual and supervised by the owner. Fancy mice can be affected by a number of health problems, such as respiratory problems and mammary gland tumors. The ears of flying squirrels also need extra care, they are more prone to damage and require special grooming. The average lifespan of pet mice is two years, but in extreme cases, they have been reported to live up to 7 years!

Read more  mastiff

If you want to learn more about the lifespan of mice, check out this article on the oldest mouse.

Fancy Mice and Dumbo Mice: Care Needs

Pet rat eats biscuits in the cage
Domesticated mice are intelligent, highly social and extremely clean animals.


Rats need large wire enclosures at least two feet wide, but bigger is better! Wood pellet bedding is strongly discouraged as it contains chemicals that are toxic to rats. Paper bedding is best, with dens and tubes to hide and play with. High-quality pellets formulated for mice are best along with small amounts of fresh vegetables and protein.

Rats do best in pairs, but unless they are neutered or neutered, it's best to keep them in same-sex pairs. Rat breeding is best left to the professionals, as adoptable rats are usually siblings. Breeding a pair of related mice can cause serious health problems.

Fancy and Dumbo Mice: Are They Right for You?

Best Apartment Animals
Rats are adorable apartment pets and companions.


Fancy and Dumbo rats make great pets for the right owners and are among the best animals to keep as pets. They are best suited for owners who are willing to adopt a pair rather than a single animal. Rats may be the first pets for older children, as younger children may be too rough or inexperienced and could damage their tails. Rats, like other frightened animals, can bite if not handled properly or roughly. Young flying squirrels are also more prone to ear injuries, and even older children should be left unattended.

House mice are great pets for owners who are engaged and want to spend quality time with their pets. Because rats are so intelligent, being ignored or neglected can lead to anxiety, stress, and even missing. For this reason, many experts recommend keeping more than one rat so they can keep each other company. Your pet rat will miss you when you're away, but will be as excited as a puppy to see you!

Read more  What Does the Bible Say About Animals and Humans?


  • Saw an alligator biting an electric eel with 860 volts
  • The 15 Deepest Lakes in America
  • Watch rare coyotes and bobcats now

More from AZ Animals

featured image

Best Apartment Animals
Rats are adorable apartment pets and companions. They are small and relatively easy to care for, making them perfect for small apartments.


Thanks for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the editorial team.