Treatment Type: Lifestyle Practices
Rated for: Fancy Rat - Dumbo
Posted Mar. 27, 2018
It is known that rats are social animals, because of that it is importnt for them not to be alone so you should think of getting a group or at least a pair of rats.
If you have no experience with rats, I would recommend you to start of with females.
Males may become more aggressive about the territory, and males and females may breed (if not neuterd).
The best way is to buy rats that have been raised together. If that is not the case you have to introduce your pet rats. Its the best thing to start slowly.
The first thing you should do is hold them in separate rooms for a few weeks (ask your vet about this), and wash your hands between handling them - in this way you make sure there are no diseases witch they could pass on.
Next step- put the cages in the same room, but add some space between them. See how they react if they are curious, that is great; if not- they may show signs of aggression- than you shold make a bigger distance between the cages.
Once in a while you should closer the cages, but make sure there is always some distance between them to prevent them to harm each other.
This way thei get used to the smell and see the other rat.
Let them not together out, and you may switch their toys, bowls, etc.
A good method is to put in the cages some towel, witch you can also switch in the upcoming days. This wil bring the smell of the other rat closer, and thei will get the rats used to it and comfortable with them being near.
If you think they are ready (they did not show aggressive behaivor for a while) you may let them meet. Do not rush into this. For this step you have to choose a place neither one of them is familiar with. This will eliminate the territorial behavior.
To make them more comfortable it would be good if you leve some food and treats for both on the meeting place - it can happen that they doesn't start to eat right away, because they feel uncomfortable. Once this changes, they start eating.
Keep an eye to them, and make sure you have some gloves or towels in case they start fighting you can separate them, without becoming injured.
Keep the meetings short and regular- every day at least once the next few days (making sure you do every time everyting I mentioned up in the text), continue swapping things in their cages. If this is going well you may move the cages closer so that they can reach through the bars.
If this goes well you may let them play in a territory they know.
If some problems show up you should slow down and go a step back, always watching out for the comfortable status of your pets.
Higher the amount of hours they spend together every couple of days.
After all of this they will be ready to live in the same cage. I would recommend you to get a new cage, if you can, and leave it open on the floor were your pets are playing , now they can choose to get in on their own.