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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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New Rat Owner!

A few weeks ago we purchased our first rat as a gift to my daughter for her 4th birthday. At first I was a little put off by buying a rat, but needless to say she grew on us very quickly.

Unfortunately at the time we only brought home one rat, and I didn't realize how big of a mistake this was until doing some online research about our newest addition. So in a few weeks we plan to go out and try to find a new friend for her. We are considering taking her with us when we go so we can see before hand whether or now she will like whoever it is we decide to bring home.

Any tips/suggestions on how to introduce her to a new rat buddy?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 08:53 PM
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try to get them covered in something smelly, like vanilla essence, so that they don't smell each other's smells first. they'll smell the same which seems to help them get along quicker. alternatively you could feed them some tuna in a big bowl so they get it all over themselves. it hink rats like that one better in my opinion. introduce them somewhere that either gets washed alot (i.e. the bathtub) or somewhere neither of them have ever been before.
i'd recommend the bath because they can't run to you for safety, but if everything goes really badly you can step in and break it up. you may have to introduce them a few times before they're ready to live together. rats do play rough, and alot of people think they're fighting when they're playing or sorting out dominance. when they're fighting, you'll REALLY know when they're fighting. there's articles all about aggressive behaviour and dominance on this site i think. the general rule though is "no blood, no fowl".


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 08:58 PM
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Go to a local reputable rescue. They'll help you with bonding and then you've got several rats to choose from in case the first pairing doesn't work out. You can also worry less about communicable diseases and accidental missexing.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 10:38 PM
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I agree with going to a rescue or breeder.

If you bring in a rat you'll want to quarantine them first if you can. It's best to do it in separate airspace but sometimes that isn't possible. You should quarantine them for at least 3 weeks to make sure no diseases pop up.

I wouldn't not suggest taking your rat with you. ANYTHING could happen and their little bodies are fragile. The rat could get afraid and jump from your hands and run away, someone could freak out on you and hurt the rat, or if you are going to a pet store, the rat could get any diseases the rats there have.

Just introduce them on neutral territory like the bathtub. You could keep them in separate cages next to each other for a few nights so they get used to each other's smell. Do a google search on how to introduce rats to each other.

Rats usually get a long very well. They will sort out who the alpha will be so there will be some scrapping for a while. That will actually go on for awhile because if they are young they will constantly sort out who the alpha is.

If you have any questions just ask!

*Missy*
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