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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello :) I recently became a rat owner for the first time and I am in luv with Luigi, but I've got a couple of concerns:

Do you have to have pairs? What are the advantages to having two?

I handle Luigi daily, but he seems real cage protective and bit me last night when I was changing his water - He's not aggressive when I handle him- what am I doing wrong?

He seems real healthy and seems to enjoy the proper veggies and rat foods. :) If anyone has any input, I would appreciate it

Thanks! :D
 

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RAT ADDICT
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19,199 Posts
Hi and welcome.

First,yes. Rats thrive in pairs. They do much better with a rat friend then alone. Of course there are exceptions (but this is rare). The advantages of having a pair are: when you are not around,they have someone to play with. Plus rats are highly social and need someone to groom/groom them,cuddle with,play with and just for company.

Here is a cute video I love.

Why it is important to have two or more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDy3bMRuobE
 

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Official Loofah Tester
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Welcome!

And welcome to the world of being owned by a rat.

It sounds like you've got some issues developing with your little guy though. They can still be worked through, but you don't want to rush through things or make changes without a little education first.


Your sweetheart has become cage aggressive. It will require patience and careful work to help him overcome this. Also, yes, he does need a rat friend in order to be happy and well balanced, but you will want to learn how to do proper introductions and before you get a new rat. Males can be very territorial depending on their age and temperament, and you won't be able to buy a new rat and just put him in Louigi's cage safely. Since it sounds like Louigi already has a potential temperament or fear issue, you'll want to proceed that much more patiently and carefully.

I found a few articles for you to read and some sites that might help if you're willing to work.

First of all a little 101 on aggression and causes:

General introductory article to new rat owners: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5638280/how_to_tame_your_aggressive_pet_rat_pg2.html?cat=53

Another introductory article on rats that bite: http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/information/guides.php?subject=ratsthatbite


Next, what can you do about the biting?:

Step by Step training Shy or Biting Rats: http://www.sandyscrittercity.com/trainingshyorbitingrats.htm
http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/information/guides.php?subject=ratsthatbite

Outstanding site you can search and find video instructional training of fearful rats, biting rats, and videos on how to safely introduce two rats together (along with a plethora of other great care videos):
http://www.joinrats.com/


Top mistakes of new rat owners and other new rat owner questions answered. Also a bunch of care questions answered w/ intros and trust training:

http://www.fancypetrats.com/pet-rat-information.php (Scroll down to find links)


If you'd like a first hand account of experience introducing male rats to each other, I've got a thread here that walked through an entire month of me obtaining, bringing home, and trying to introduce and integrate my six boy rats with each other. I was successful in the end, so hopefully something in the thread will be helpful to you too:

http://www.paw-talk.net/forums/f16/ggmr-naked-58068.html?highlight=alabama+ghost+boys
 
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