Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Fighting rats

Discussion in 'Rodents' started by acuda, Jul 30, 2009.


  1. acuda

    acuda PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm sure this topic is brought up rather regularly in the rodents section, but I'm unsure of how to respond to this behavior. I apologize for the length of this post.

    We have 3 female rats currently. Our oldest, lucy, is about a year old and the more dominant of the three. None of the rats bother her and vice versa. A few months after getting her, we bought our second, ethel. The two fought occasionally in the beginning to establish a pecking order, but never anything serious.

    Anyway a few months later we introduced a third rat, fran. She was slightly smaller than the other two and picked on by ethel. But over all the three get along fine and have been nothing but angels. We've had fran in the group for about 3 months now, and both her and ethel occasionally wrestle, but no injuries are ever visible. Tonight, though, I heard a nasty screech next to me and they broke up immediately when I called their names. I checked them over and ethel had a small bite mark directly behind her ear that was bleeding a little.

    We separated the rats (keeping lucy and ethel together since they've been together the longest). I guess my question is... "should this separation be permanent?" Is it just a fight that escalated too far? Im actually watching the three try to get to eachother through the bars right now, and they've been fine before. It'd be unfair to isolate fran permanently from the others, since this has been a one time incident. Should I worry about coming down stairs and finding one dead if I reintroduce them?

    I'd appreciate any helpful input on this... thank you.
     
    #1 acuda, Jul 30, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  2. u-look-like-a-hamster

    u-look-like-a-hamster PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,387
    Likes Received:
    149
    Try introducing them again.

    This time put lucy and ethel in the bath(empty) and thoroughly clean the cage and toys getting rid of any scent, then add ethel to the bath and see how they react if they fight again and she is cut seperate them. but if the just wrestle then yeh thats fine, try adding all three to the neutral cage and see how they get on, just keep an eye out for any rough fighting were fran or any other two are getting injuries :p

    Let me know how you get on, and PICTURES please :)
    xx
     
  3. Akai-Chan

    Akai-Chan Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    114
    Ok. Firstly, how did you introduce them? Did you just sling them all in a cage together? If so that isn;t necessarily wrong, but there are better ways to do it.

    My rats still fight, even though they've been in their group for ages and there are accidents. Baldy had her eye scratched accidently by Syd (I think) and as a result is now blind in that eye. My Sploink has a cut on her back after fighting over food. Rats don;t really have time to be careful when they're tumbling around fighting, so it might have just been an accident.

    My suggestion would be to introduce them a couple of time on neutral territory (in a bath or similar) and kee their cages next to eachother so they can sniff eachother, then put them back in together.

    About them getting at eachother through the bars... rats do that. If they smell another rat near their territory, even if it is a familiar rat, they will try to skritch and lunge and bite the strange rat, so don;t worry about that.

    Peace
    Akai-Chan
     
  4. acuda

    acuda PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the suggestions. I separated fran for the night in their old cage, keeping it next to the one containing lucy and ethel. We reintroduced them on neutral ground, and then kept an eye on them once they were placed back in the same cage. Much like kids... accidents happen and sometimes one kid gets a bloody nose. They still wrestle obviously, but the two are pretty much inseparable. So reintroduction was the right choice. Thanks again.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice