Pet photographer Diane Özdamar has been in love with pet rats as long as she can remember. She’s been photographing these furry companions for years, hoping to break their grotesque stereotype with her cute, playful imagery.
Fancy rats, the most common domesticated species of pet rat, are often compared to small dogs by their owners. This is due to their social and cuddly nature. Highly intelligent, they thrive when living with a friend, so it’s suggested to get two rats of the same sex in order for them to keep each other company. And, contrary to common belief, they are exceptionally clean animals.
Özdamar photographs her own fancy rats, as well as those of her friends’ and others that she’s fostered, making tiny accessories to enhance their personalities. The project began after the photographer began fostering abused and abandoned pet rats. “Finding a home [for] a rat is not an easy task since they suffer from a very bad reputation and I had to make their cute personalities stand out so people would consider adopting them,” she shares.