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Old 07-29-2012, 08:06 AM   #1 
gossipgirl1031
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Rats & New Friends?

I adopted a pair of female rats that were inseperable about 6 months ago. One had respiratory issues & I had been treating her with antibiotics. She seemed to be doing okay. Happy, eating, playing. She passed away Thursday night last week. Ever since, her friend is now alone. At first, she was freaking out. I was able to change up her environment & got her some new toys. I've been trying to give her extra play time with me out of her cage. She's still pretty timid and seems lost without her buddy. Allie is about 16-18 months old. She's currently receiving antibiotics too (just in case). At her age, would she welcome a new companion? Of course I will check with her vet that to make sure she is infection free. If she's fine, would I be better off getting another rat about her size? Or let her stay solo & try to give her loads of attention? This was my first pair of rats that was intended to be a trio. I could never get Aimee healthy enough to introduce a third. Any thoughts/suggestions or advice would be quite welcome! Thanks so much!!
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:09 PM   #2 
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I had a pair of females after my 1st one died my other one got really fat for some reason and didn't move much. after about 1 month she got really active again when i put in boxes like Cracker boxes paper rolls or like Popsicle boxes. give her something to tear apart to get her mind off of it. I still have my other female she is doing fine and is fit now. I decided not to get her another cage mate due to her being aggressively playful she's made me bleed a couple of times. Try putting random objects she can just go nuts on and see how she feels. My rat is currently around 26 months since i bought her from petco.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:35 PM   #3 
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Make the new friend a younger one.. In my experience, the dominance struggle will be much shorter and potentially less violent if the new rat is more juvenile or very young and already lower on the power ladder. You can introduce them slowly over a few days, but I've always just cleaned and re-arranged the cage with a couple of good hidey-spots, and let them work it out. So far, so good. Be prepared for a few arguments, and if things get bloody, have an alternate cage for the newbie.
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:16 PM   #4 
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Thanks to both of you!! She seems to be improving over the past couple of days. I'm getting ready to house sit again & she'll be going with me in her travel cage. By the time we get back, she'll have finished the antibiotics and I'll think about getting her a new friend. In the meantime, she's getting loads of attention from me and new toys in her cage. She's always been super timid (adopted her when she was older) and didn't love out of cage time before & now even less. Still scared. When she won't come out, I just sit next to her cage with the doors open & read to her. At least one of us finds my homework interesting ;)
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:53 PM   #5 
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Mine Also hates out of cage time I can literally leave my cage open 24/7 and she will NOT leave no matter what. she will however go up to the cage entrance when I call her for treats or when its feeding time. If she's really scared or timid most likely due to bad handling when she was younger like mine. If you want her timidness to go away or at least get better feed her with your hand everyday and make sure she comes to you. I started out by feeding my rat baby food from a spoon once a week then giving her treats with my hand everyday when she got use to me.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:16 PM   #6 
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Thanks! I'll try giving that a shot. She will take a treat out of my hand as long as she's in her cage. When her buddy was still alive, she would eventually come out. I know how social they are & I"m trying so hard. She's calmed down a lot since last week, almost too much. I wonder if she's grieving?
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:39 PM   #7 
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Alright good luck be sure if you do the baby food thing to not make that a common treat for everyday use, because it's high in fat. Mine will not stay calm outside of the cage so i spoil her silly with toys and box's that she tears up. Some rats just have different individual personas.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:46 PM   #8 
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Agreed! Sadly, I have to already keep some meat baby food at home for my cat (and it's high fat-like he needs to gain anymore weight). It works well when he is having tummy troubles. I'll be interested to see if Allie starts to be more responsive as time goes on. I feel bad that her buddy passed on.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:16 AM   #9 
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Yes baby food is a good fattner, very good for any underweight/sick mammal's. I gave my rat baby food everyday due to her old age she could not eat solid foods anymore and was losing weight(my rats old cage mate). yes its sad seeing these little rodents pass on.
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:08 AM   #10 
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It is. Allie's still eating good, but I'm sure she'd love the baby food. I was watching the rats at Petco tonight & I almost brought one home. I'm house sitting right now, so not the bast plan. She's older & in a cage with 2 young female rats. Man, do they have ENERGY! I haven't had a young one yet. Lots of biting & play fights. The older rat just kinda sat there while the others "attacked" her. She looked a little annoyed. Maybe this is the right cage mate? Or maybe letting Al live out her senior years in peace is the way to go.
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