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Double Rex Rats: 10 Things You Should Know

Nicole Cosgrove

If you’re a rat lover, you may have come across the hairless rodent variety. Also referred to as “Sphinx” or “nude” rats, these bald cuties come in a variety of breeds, including the Double Rex rat.

The Double Rex is the most common type of hairless rat. Completely hairless, these adorable critters have short, curly whiskers and may come with small patches of fur on their ankles or face.

Whether you’ve been a pleasant rat parent for years or are just starting out in the rodent world, here are 10 things you should know about Double Rex rats.

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1. Can Double Rex Rats Be Kept with Furry Ones?

Fancy fawn colored double rex rat
Image Credit: Ezume Images, Shutterstock

One of the first things you may be wondering shortly after you’ve purchased your very first Double Rex rat is if he can coexist peacefully in the same cage as your furry one. The answer is yes! Double Rex rats have basically the same care needs as their hairy counterparts. Moreover, all rats are super social creatures and always need a friend.


2. What is the Best Type of Cage for a Double Rex?

As we stated before, your Double Rex rat will have almost all of the exact same care guidelines as a furry rat. However, because of his lack of hair, your Double Rex will need to be kept warm and cozy in his new habitat. He is also more susceptible to injuries.

The ideal cage for a Double Rex rat is one that has no sharp edges, such as a large glass aquarium. You should aim to keep an ambient temperature inside of the cage that ranges between 65 and 80 degrees. Never place the cage near an open window or any other drafty or cold areas.


3. What Kind of Bedding Should I Buy?

double rex rat
Image Credit: Ezume Images, Shutterstock

You’ll need to purchase bedding that is warm and soft. Wood shavings or wood chips can make your Double Rex rat uncomfortable and may also injure his sensitive skin. Types of bedding that are great for Double Rex rats include paper bedding and shredded fleece or other types of fabrics.

You will need to maintain a vigilant cleaning schedule for your Double Rex’s cage. Dirty bedding can easily irritate his skin.


4. Double the Trouble!

Your Double Rex rat gets his name from the two Rex genes that he carries. While standard Rex rats only carry one Rex gene, Double Rexes carry two, which makes them hairless.


5. The Double Rex Diet

Double Rex Rat Taking Almond From Human
Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

A Double Rex will need a tad more protein and fat than his furry friends. This helps him to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Feed your Double Rex a diet that includes about 80% dry food and 20% fruits and veggies.

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6. How Long Will My Double Rex Live?

Unfortunately, most hairless rats will not live beyond a year. This is because they cannot easily fend off infection.


7. How to Handle a Double Rex

Double Rex Rat Crawling onto Human Hand
Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

As with any other rat, Double Rexes love to spend quality time with their owners. Besides handling him gently, you should always clean and disinfect your hands before you pick up your Double Rex. This will decrease the likelihood of skin irritation and keep him bacteria-free.


8. Double Rex Skin Care

Because of his sensitive skin, your Double Rex rat will need to be bathed weekly. Use baby shampoo or pet-specific shampoos. After you bathe your rat, make sure that he is completely dried off by placing him near a heater. To keep his skin moist between baths, place a cool, mist humidifier near his cage.


9. How Much Do Double Rex Rats Cost?

Fancy agouti-colored double rex rat
Image Credit: Ezume Images, Shutterstock

The average price for a Double Rex is between $25 and $50.


10.  Should I Buy a Double Rex?

If you’re a true rat lover, you may want to consider buying a Double Rex. However, keep in mind that although he can live in the same cage as his fur-ball friends, he does need weekly bathing and a protein-packed diet.

Double Rexes are sweet, lovable, and totally naked rodents that make excellent companions!

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Featured Image: Ksenia Bisler, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.