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need advice on getting a second rat January 08, 2005 9:37 PM

Hi there!

    I'm thinking about getting a second female rat friend for my female rat, but some say it may not be a good idea. I also know that rats are very social animals so they are good to have in a pair or more. My rat has the personality of a person and follows me around like a puppy. I'm thinking she might get jealous if I brought another friend home. Would anyone give me their opinion on this subject? Thanks a lot!

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Hmm January 12, 2005 1:41 PM

I think (as far as I've read, no personal experience) that you would be better getting a neutered little boy who will be submissive to your female ratty. Like a little mamas boy. Aww! Anyway, don't just take my word for it. What do you all think?  [ send green star]
Aww January 12, 2005 1:42 PM

Aww; your little ratty looks just like my Harvie, except head first in a glass.  [ send green star]
A couple of thoughts January 12, 2005 5:57 PM

I have a couple of thoughts about adding a second rat. Well, more than a couple!

First off, how long have you had your first rat? I have had situations where a rat that is very bonded to me would not accept another rat. AND I've had situations where it worked just fine. It depends on the individual rat.

Second, I firmly believe rats should be in pairs. They may fight from time to time, but you'll also see them sleeping together and cuddling each other when one is sick.

Third, Catriona's idea of getting a neutered male is a good one. You may also want to get one that is younger and feels subordinate. If you cannot get a neutered rat, do you have a vet that can neuter one for you? It's a fairly simple procedure, not much different from neutering a rabbit or kitten!

Are you financially able to keep two separate rats just in case it doesn't work out? Because you don't want to take a rat back once you've adopted it (unless you are adopting from a breeder and it goes back to the breeder - that usually works out okay).

If you adopt from a shelter, don't separate a pair of rats and take only one home! They have usually already developed a relationship and it's very hard on one rat to lose a buddy. They grieve. (Again, unless you are adopting from a breeder and the breeder has the mom or dad and can put the rat back in with family members or its prior roommate. And don't let a breeder adopt out one rat out of a pair.)

Geez, enough rambling. I hope this helps you though. It's seems so complicated but it's important for the ratties' social structure to think about these things!

Let us know how it goes!

Cindy in Colorado

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