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welcoming new kitten May 24, 2006 8:32 AM

 Might sound a little odd, but I was wondering if anybody has gone through the experience of bringing in a little kitten with older rats. The two ratties I have now are females so they are seeming to take a maternal role with the little male kitten. They are very interested in sniffing his hind end, grooming him, and trying to eat his food. The rats actually are teaching him things like to drink water from the bowl (I had to change after one of the rats dived into the dish), climbing, chewing anything in reach (that's all I need more of). The kitten plays very gently but I'm a little scared of the rats being to aggresive with him. I never let them out of my sight when they are all hanging out. I've seen rats take on full size cats and dogs. Anybody have any thoughts or suggestions. Thanx!!  [ send green star]
Litter alert! May 24, 2006 4:50 PM

If you wish to have more kittens, donīt change a thing! Rats are extremely fertile and will couple at a surprisingly young age. You have several females: they might get pregnant ANY TIME and then youīll have several litters (approximately 12-16 kits per litter) on your hands. Separate them immediately! You want to watch for the signs of a female coming into oestrus: slight vaginal bleeding and posturing (back arched downwards, hind end up, twisting tail out of way). A friend of mine kept her rats in separate cages; they found a way to bridge a gap of about half an inch wide. Result: unscheduled kittens. Sorry to be a spoilsport, but if you knew this already please ignore the litany I wish all the best to you and the lovely, adorable, cuddly, furry, exasperating, intelligent and cunning little creatures we call rats. I donīt know what they call themselves; Iīd be interested if they have a name for their pet humans!

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 May 26, 2006 12:38 AM

Hey Palvi,

  Thanks for the great feedback. What I meant by kitten actually means a feline kitten, not a ratty. The rats seem to approve of the new member of the family. They seem to have taken on a maternal role with him. They lick his fur and groom his claws like he is one of them. He just mimics them and plays gently with them. The oldest female who is no longer the alpha seems to be more threatened by him. She will grab his fur and pull. The "mama" rat keeps them both in check. I always make sure they are all being closely supervised. Does anybody else have a cat with rats. Can they get along?

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Besserwisser In Da House! May 28, 2006 7:49 AM

Talk about putting a foot (or both) in my mouth! Anyway, I do have friends with rats and CATS, and they told me the kids usually play nice, especially when the rats are older and the kitten quite young. They get used to each other, the rats wonīt run and the cat wonīt chase. Sometimes rats may get the upper hand and start picking on the cat(s). One friend forgot to secure the cage door when she left for work in the morning; when she arrived home the rats were having a party, and the two cats were sitting on top of the TV looking terrified.
I hope this was more to the point...
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