Rat Agility


The YRC often runs agility competitions at the indoor shows. Here you can find out more about the practicalities and ethos of the competition and also the scoring system.

General Information

  • The agility course consists of a series of obstacles arranged on a wipeable table.
  • The course will be spray cleaned with pet safe cleaner between each run to minimise cross infection risk and to avoid distraction for the competing rats by other rats’ scent.
  • Rats may enter agility as well as the pets or varieties class as the event will have a later start time. Usually this will be after the pet judging has finished.
  • There are 2 sections – adult handler and junior handler with rosettes available to both. The judge will also award “clear round” cards to all eligible competitiors and may award up to 3 special awards.
  • The agility competition is judged on accuracy, speed and interaction between the handler and the rat.
  • Entries can be taken on the day or in advance.
  • Entries are charged at the advertised rate.

The Event

  • The aim is to achieve a clear round (0 points) by incurring no penalties.
  • The scoring system rewards contact, co-operation and communication between the handler and the rat – indicating trust, bonding, patience, understanding, curiosity and intelligence. It also rewards accuracy on the obstacles and speed.
  • An overall time to complete the course will be set based on 30 seconds per obstacle plus 1 minute.
  • To be marked clear on jumps/ fences the rat must climb over the middle of the obstacle – not the side ramps or supports.
  • On obstacles with marked contact points the rat must touch these points with at least one foot when negotiating the obstacle.
  • Each rat will be scored to set criteria. In the event of a tie on points the fastest time will be used to select the winner.
  • Handlers may use verbal prompts/encouragement and signals to direct their rat around the course. If required gentle physical prompts may be used to guide the rat around the course. Penalties will be incurred for the need to touch the rat to direct it. Driving the rat around the course by use of direct hand contact or picking the rat up in order to negotiate the course will result in severe penalties.


  • Obstacles
    0 points – Clear. Meets all contact points and negotiates the obstacle correctly.
    1 point – Negotiates obstacle but does not take correct route or misses contact point.
    2 points – Refuses to attempt obstacle, goes around it or is picked up by handler and moved past.

  • Interaction
    0 points – Clear understanding and partnership between handler and rat. Rat responds to verbal prompts or signals. No physical prompts used.
    2 points – Minimal physical prompting of the rat for guidance on fewer than half the obstacles on the course.
    4 points – Requires physical prompts on more than half (but not all) obstacles.
    6 points – Requires physical prompts on all obstacles but completes the course.
    10 points – No response to signals or verbal prompts. Rat is disinterested and requires moving round the course entirely by handler’s physical intervention or does not to complete the course.

  • Time
    A time allowance for completion of the course is set at 30 seconds per obstacle plus 1 minute. A maximum course time of 30 secs per obstacle plus 10 mins applies and rats going over this time will be deemed to have not finished the course.


    Penalty points will be incurred for competitors over the time allowance.
    1-10 seconds – 2 points
    11-20 seconds – 4 points
    21-30 seconds – 6 points
    31-40 seconds – 8 points
    51-60 seconds – 10 points
    1 min – 1min 30 seconds – 15 points
    1 min 30 seconds – 2mins – 25 points
    Over 2 minutes – 30 points