Need Help - Female Rat Approx. 7-8 Months Old Up For Adoption: Long Island, NY - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 12:07 PM
lisafiorvante
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Need Help - Female Rat Approx. 7-8 Months Old Up For Adoption: Long Island, NY

My oldest rat, Zen is CUTE yet temperamental/competitive/super-dominant/independent a.k.a. when she's not snuggling with her 2 other cagemates, she's picking on them.

Zen was my first rat & she's from a pet store so I'm obviously figuring out that her independent personality/competitive nature when it comes to food is due to her upbringing. My two other rats, Moxie & Shylah, are sisters who I received from an accidental litter. Shylah is the smallest one & gets picked on the most. She's always got little scratches on her back, but once a month, there's always a huge scruffle between her & Zen and she ends up with a gash on her back. I've finally had it when a fight between Zen & Moxie caused Moxie to fall from the top of the cage & sprain her paw (I'm guessing it's a sprain, there's no indication of major swelling or bone poking out, but she's nursing her paw & trying not to put pressure on it, so I've been giving her the proper rat-dosage of ibuprofen). Shylah's gashes heal pretty quickly, but they are nasty & scare me. Zen has never bit me, but she's also more likely to run off & do her own thing when I let her out then chill with me for a little bit like the others...she just likes to do her own thing & unfortunately, I can't keep up with the fighting when I have 2 other ones who like my attention & I feel like I'm being a bad mom by letting them get bullied, you know?

I've considered it before, and now I'm really trying to give Zen up to a home that either a.) Wants to keep her as a single pet (she snuggles with her cagemates, but at times she likes to be on her own & will fight for her own space) or b.) Is willing to introduce her to another rat & see how they get along, though I can't promise anything.

So, Zen is the only reason that Shylah gets scratched up & Shylah had such a skittish personality to begin with when I first got her, but I feel like it continued from getting beat up all of the time. When I opened up the cage to see what was going on last night, she jumped out and ran behind my bed for awhile. She'd usually be a little less quick & at least let me get her into my lap. I don't want her to grow up scared & I feel like Zen is affecting her personality. Moxie isn't as intimidated by Zen & usually doesn't get much grief, but her poor paw has really been the last straw for me. I'm still paying off vet bills from Zen (she was pregnant when I got her, I didn't know & there were complications. She also had an abscess removed which cost more $$$, therefore, purchasing another cage is not an option & I don't even have room for another one. I'm scared that keeping the 3 together will cause vet bills that I could have prevented if a really nasty fight occurs in the future).

I just feel like these incidents outweigh any of the good times, and that maybe she'd be better off by herself? She's never bit me, she's a cute rat, it's just...I don't know if their personalities go together & I'm not very well off with money & space. I feel like Moxie & Shylah would be more stable if they didn't have such a dominant rat around & I think Zen stresses herself out too much trying to be first with food, fighting over nothing. Is anyone willing to adopt/know of any safe places I can surrender Zen to?

I have them separated right now & with Moxie & Shylah in a cage and Zen in a fish tank which is not a proper home. I can send a picture, my email is lisafiorvante @ gmail.com (without spaces) so I can show you Zen. I'm not allowed to post links/pictures yet.

Thank you,
Lisa
 
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 01:22 PM
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Hi Lisa:
How old is Zen? If she's getting up there (over a year), you may want to keep her. Sometimes female rats' personalities change once they've had a litter; they get defensive and may even snort. But then again, my rat Ali was sweet from the getgo, she was pregnant when I bought her, raised 8 pups, and lived with 2 of her daughters just fine.
Perhaps Zen can be adopted. Check w/ your local schools--I've given up a rat to a school before.
Anyway, I had probs. w/ rats (females) picking on one another, and I had to keep them separated. The same was true w/ my dwarf Russian hamsters and my Roborovski hamsters, all of which were male (the females didn't need to be separated, and I could keep some of the males together).
If Zen's injuring your other rats repeatedly and/or badly (you mentioned cuts and a sprain and an abcess) she needs to be in her own digs. She can still hear Moxie and Shylah, and although she'd be a bit lonely, you can play with her (I take it she doesn't bite you, correct?).
Also, one thing that really helps (you're probably doing this already): never feed a rat thru bars/mesh. I used to do it until a pet rat accidently bit me hard--she mistook my finger for chicken in brown sauce.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 01:30 PM
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Lisa:
I forgot that you said that you can't afford another cage (right now). Best bet may in fact be an elementary school, or check w/ your local vet or vet school for an aquarium. A lot of times when people move they can't take their fish with them (or snake, lizard), and you may get an aquarium cheap or free that way. You can even get a lid cheap, but make sure it's one that you can put a weight on, and not galvanized (no zinc). Zinc is really toxic to animals.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-28-2010, 09:13 AM
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Hi Lisa:
I saw in your title that Zen's about 8 mos. old. I'd recommend adoption at this point; she's still young enough. Good luck.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-28-2010, 12:00 PM
lisafiorvante
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Thank you for the tips! Yeah, I'm definitely leaning towards adoption so I can avoid purchasing a new cage that houses them on separate levels. The reason being, someone else can give her the time that I can't if they are committed to one rat. Right now, I have to give Zen her own free-range time during the day & Moxie/Shylah they're own...when Zen could benefit from someone whose willing to have just one rat ('cause I can't promise that introducing her to brand new ones will be a good thing, maybe it's worth a shot?)

I haven't had anyone offer to take her yet, so I'm in a sticky situation...I don't want to keep her in this tank for much longer, but I'd like to avoid purchasing a new cage if anyone comes along that would like to have her.

Therefore: If anyone is interested, please let me know & we can work something out, thank you!

And thanks again, everyone.
 
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