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2 very aggressive rats? HELP?

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erin’s rat pack

New Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
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Location
Canada
Need some help with my boys!
I have 4 rats altogether but they’re all pretty much in separate cages. I recently adopted two 1 year old males (Ash and Kiwi) in hopes of introducing them to my other rat Dakota (also around 1 year old) who just recently lost his brother. Dakota has not taken to them very well and despite all the introduction methods I use, there always ends up being a bloody fight between them, with Dakota causing all of the fights.
I have them separated in different cages at the moment (Dakota housed alone) because one of my new rats Kiwi has developed an infection on his back caused by one of Dakotas bites.
My other hairless rat Vinny, is also housed alone and has been for most of his life also because of aggression issues. (I’m talking bloody fights with serious injuries)
The thing is, both Dakota and Vinny are so sweet with people and love to give kisses, it’s just other rats they have a problem with. It’s come to the point where if they even smell one another on me they’ll end up biting me really hard if I do so much as go near them! (have caused nerve damage and bitten right through to the muscle on my hand) I’ve had rats for years and this is the first time I’ve had this much trouble with introductions and have been scared to hold any of my rats! I really want at least Dakota to get along with my new guys because he’s always been used to having a companion, and I know rats are social animals and need at least one other buddy. Vinny... has attacked a lot of my rats in the past and therefore it’s safe to say he’s better off on his own for now.
What should I do? Would getting Dakota and Vinny neutered help with their aggression? I’m unemployed at the moment and don’t have the funds to do so quite yet as neutering is very expensive where I live. I know I would probably have had better luck introducing Dakota to babies instead of full grown males due to all of them reaching the peak of their hormone levels, but I didn’t think it would be this much of an issue and giving up Ash and Kiwi is out of the question. Is it bad to house a rat alone for the rest of its life? Am I a bad rat owner for doing so? Thankyou in advance for any reply’s and sorry this post was so long!
 

ratgamer16

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
5
Location
Fremont
It doesn't sound like you're doing anything wrong first of all. If Dakota recently lost a brother he might be grieving and doesn't want other rats around him until he has reconciled the loss of a family member. Or it could be that he simply doesn't like the new rats, it does happen. You are not a bad owner for keeping rats separate. Rats are social creatures but that doesn't mean they have to be social with other rats, as long as YOU give them the attention they need they can be happy living separately. If they are biting you because you smell like the other rats wash your hands and change your shirt between cuddling sessions. It may seem unreasonable to have to do that for their entire tenure with you but the only other option I can see is to get rid of either the new rats or Dakota.
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
17,170
Location
central New Brunswick Canada
If at all possible, I would suggest that you get the aggressive boys neutered.
You will need access to a good vet with the experience and knowledge to safely neuter rats (most vets do not know how) - only gas anesthetic is safe to be used, injectable kills

Aggression in male rats is almost always hormonal …… a few weeks after a neuter their hormone levels will drop, they will be much happier, and then you can look into doing gradual intros (there are steps on this site and joinrats.com also has a lot of info)

Hormonal rats are not happy, and rats do need to live with other rats.
I hope you will be able to get the boys neutered as this will allow them to have a much better quality of life

Please see: http://ratguide.com/health/reproductive/neuter.php
 

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