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Introducing 2 female rats.....

Discussion in 'Rodents' started by Bryzak, Jul 21, 2009.


  1. Bryzak

    Bryzak PetForums Newbie

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    I am new to the forum and you most prob had this type of post before (most prob many times......)

    I bought a female about 3 months ago and she seemed happy on her own, but I heard they are better with company. so I decided to buy a second female (dumbo rat 7 weeks old) 2 weeks ago..... I left it a week and I put them both in neutral area (the bath) and no fighting so thought fine, put them in the big case I bought...... my mistake I put both beddings in the bottom no longer neutral area......

    so I disinfected the cage and left it a couple of days and tried again, the older rat attacked the younger rat, which I expected for alpha female, but the younger rat would not come out of a tube in the cage until I took the older rat out.....

    Please help want can I do, I know they will fight for dominance but I dont want the younger rat getting to stressed and afraid......
     
    #1 Bryzak, Jul 21, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  2. owieprone

    owieprone PetForums VIP

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    persevere. seperate them for now, have their cages side by side and let them have play time together.. the older one will assume dominance and will have to make sure that the younger one knows its place. it always looks and sounds worse than it is as long as no blood (scratches no included) is drawn they will most likely eventually get on together.

    You need to get them out together for at least 20 mins a day to let them get used to being together, don't give the younger one anywhere to hide (but on you). if you show the older rat that you accept the younger rat but don't admonish or ignore her then she should follow your lead.

    it might just take abit of time.

    once they can play together fine, try sticking them in one cage (after you've cleaned it out) and letting them play in there under your superivsion (door open), this might also take a bit of time, but it might be instant acceptance. you never know with rats they're funny buggers like that. :D
     
  3. Bryzak

    Bryzak PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for the advice will do that......

    I do handle them each day just separate, I will most prob sit in the spare bedroom on the bed, that way it will be neutral for them both......

    It just worried me when i saw the younger rat getting stressed and hiding in the tube......

    Again thank you:)
     
  4. Akai-Chan

    Akai-Chan Banned

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    Always start by introducing them on neutral territory, play with them together, try giving them a bath together, if you have a spare small cage put them in that together temporarily and see how they get on. separate immediately if there's fighting and give them a time out. It may take a few tries.

    How old are they?

    Peace
    Akai-Chan
     
  5. Bryzak

    Bryzak PetForums Newbie

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    the oldest is about 5 months and the younger one is about 7 weeks old......

    Is that to much of an age gap???????
     
  6. Akai-Chan

    Akai-Chan Banned

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    It depends entirely on the individual rat. My girls who are about a year old get on fine with the 2.5 year olds, but really don't get on with the rats who are below 3 months. One possible reason for this that has been put forward is that maybe the 1 year old rats see the younger ones as breeding competition.

    Yours are still fairly young so they should be fine together eventually, just keep trying.

    Peace
    Akai-Chan
     
  7. Lavenderb

    Lavenderb PetForums VIP

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    You can watch to see how bad the fighting is. My four boys squabble a bit and throw in the odd scream but they have never had anymore then a tiny nip. I handle them all daily and check them for wounds so I can spot any potential problems. Sometimes you just have to let them sort it out for themselves. After a squabble they always settle down together.

    You could try visiting 'Fancy Rats ' forum where you will find extensive advice.
     
  8. owieprone

    owieprone PetForums VIP

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    there is no such thing as too big an age range with rats.. they are used to living in large colonies with ages from newborn to 4 y/o! Older rats (girls usually) of over a year will generally see babies as something to mother, the alpha rat especially will do this.

    as yours are quite close in age the older one is merely saying i'm boss cos i'm older... the fighting you see is likely to be little more than making sure the younger rat knows it.. once the older one is happy that younger has taken this in they will be friends. I wouldn't separate them when they're fighting unless the older one doesn't stop at all.. they need to sort out who's boss and a few squabbles will do this.. it might happen for a few mins at the beginning each time you play with them but it should eventually stop.

    If the older rat doesn't stop after a few mins or doesn't get interested in anythign else you give her, treats etc.. then pick her up when she's fighting, stick her on her back say NO loudly and let her struggle out from under your hand... keep doing this if she continually goes to fight with younger rat. If she doesn't comply, stick her in her cage and play with younger rat where she can see you... just like a naughty child.. show her that her behaviour is unacceptable and she won't get to play if she doesn't stop messing about.

    when she's being good an ignoring younger give her lots of fuss and attention and treats.

    Rats have the intelligence of a 2y/o so don't give up yet. You do get rats that just don't get on either with one rat in particular or any rat, but it's quite rare.. in all the time i've had rats I've had around 10/15 rats) i've only had 1 girl who hasn't gotten on with babies (she was always abit evil) and one boy who we bought knowing this was the problem.
     
  9. Bryzak

    Bryzak PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you all who have given me advice......

    I have just had both of them out at the same on the bed in my spare bedroom, ok they were not exactly playing with each other, but they were not fighting......

    Except one little incident which was more like a rat head butt and a stare from the older rat and a little squeak from the younger one.......

    Apart from that I was just happy to see them not in their own cages and interacting a little....... I know it might take a while but to me this is one little step forward.......

    Again thank you all....... will keep you posted on how it goes......
     
  10. Akai-Chan

    Akai-Chan Banned

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    So there as there's no blood, it's fine :D if someone gets hurt and starts bleeding, separate them immediately.

    Corn flour is ALWAYS good to have on hand, though i've only ever had to use it with my boys :)

    Peace
    Akai-Chan
     
  11. Bryzak

    Bryzak PetForums Newbie

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    so keep them in separate cage still and play with them everyday for at least 20 mins?????
     
  12. Akai-Chan

    Akai-Chan Banned

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    If they're playing ok together, try them in a cleaned out cage together and see what they think, just be on hand to separate them if they do start fighting. If they fight then keep them in a separate cage and play with them together everyday :)

    Peace
    Akai-Chan
     
  13. owieprone

    owieprone PetForums VIP

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    yup yup! :D
     
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