Aggressive issues with my adult male to my 6 month old male

YND

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Jan 23, 2019
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Hey guys!

So first time posting here and i'm in need of some help! A few months ago my adult male (Bud) was in need of a new cagemate so I went out and got Norton who i believe was 8 weeks at the time. So i took him home, did the quarantine and was ready to start introductions..I started putting them in the tub and noticed Bud would start to puff up and chase Norton around.. poor Norton was screaming, trying to run from him and eventually would end up in a scuffle rolling around. I've heard of people say 'no blood no foul' but it looks and sounds horrific every time we do intros! Mind you i'm an anxious person as is, so i don't know if im being over dramatic or what! After a few intros, a friend suggested putting them both in the main cage (Bud's cage) in the hopes they would get on.. unfortunately blood was drawn and i backed up doing intros for a while (kicking myself now!) Ever since this happened i've been worried about doing intros because Bud's usually trying to swipe at Norton through the bars of his cage, he's always hissing at him, does this slide movement which he then tries to throw his butt on top of Norton if hes cornered...
Now there was 1 time after this incident which resulted in me getting a cut on my hand cos i tried to intervene, it honestly looked like Bud was going to seriously hurt Norton.
Fast forward to today, i decided to give it another go but it ended up with my partner getting bitten by Bud as they started rolling around on his lap. Norton was absolutely freaked the hell out and couldn't stop shaking. How do you know when to stop intros?! I feel awful for having 2 lone rats! Bud's lived with several other rats before, one of which was his brother.. he would always try to assert his dominance with all the new rats but it has never gotten this bad before! I've come up with two options, get Bud neutered or get Norton a cagemate and just having Bud on his own but obviously increasing his time spent with me..

So i guess my questions are; is it too late to reintroduce because there was a few months separation?
Is Bud too aggressive to be with any other rat??
Do i get another mate for Norton (6 months) and have Bud on his own?
Get Bud neutered?

Sorry for the huge paragraph guys! Thank you so much in advance!

-Yazz
 

SQ

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Poor Bud ! Poor Norton!
No, it is not too late to do intros, it is never too late.
Bud might do ok with a spayed girl, he does need to live with other rats

If you have access to a good vet with the knowledge and experience to safely neuter rats,
then getting Bud neutered would be a good idea, then after 3 or 4 weeks when his hormones have dropped a bit, you can try intros again (only gas, no injectable anything until after the surgery when an injection of Metacam is often given for pain)

Please check this out : There is good info on doing intros on joinrats.com and I hope you check it out
 
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Dena

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I had a male rat (pepper) who was super dominate, and cookie, who was super scared. I tried to do intros many many times, before I realized that cookie would freak and scream at the sight and smell of pepper. I finally, in a last ditch effort (since pepper was a lone rat) decided to put a piece of fleece in pepper's cage for a couple of days, then drape it on a corner of cookies cage, and finally inside in a corner of cookie's cage. Then, I did a deep clean of both cages, but put the fleece back in pepper's cage. That way they could get used to each other's scent. I also swapped them in their clean cages for a day. All the while, their cages were next to each other, so they could see each other. Finally, after a day of them scenting each other's cage, I swapped them again. Gave them a day in their cages, and tried intros again in their play area. This time, no screaming, and after much sniffing, and snack sharing, I decided to try cage intros. After that, they were inseparable until pepper died. Both were intact, and cookie had other cage mates for a bit until they got adopted out (before putting him with pepper). I know it was a long way of going about it, but it was my only option, since pepper would scrap with any rat put in his cage. Not sure if I went about it the right way, but it worked for me.
 
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Dena

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Also, it helps to have a water bottle handy when doing intros. Not to scare them, but to distract them if they scuffle, long enough to safely separate them. Also, baby food can be placed on their backs to distract them from fighting. They get so busy cleaning each other and themselves that they don't worry about fighting. I'd only do this is there were only mild signs of them being uncomfortable with each other. Not if they have major scuffles. ;)
 
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YND

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Poor Bud ! Poor Norton!
No, it is not too late to do intros, it is never too late.
Bud might do ok with a spayed girl, he does need to live with other rats

If you have access to a good vet with the knowledge and experience to safely neuter rats,
then getting Bud neutered would be a good idea, then after 3 or 4 weeks when his hormones have dropped a bit, you can try intros again (only gas, no injectable anything until after the surgery when an injection of Metacam is often given for pain)

Please check this out : There is good info on doing intros on joinrats.com and I hope you check it out

Thank you very much for this, I will be calling a few vets today to see what my options are!
Never really considered having a girl with Bud as he’s never been around any before.. will look into this more. Again thank you muchly!
 

YND

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I had a male rat (pepper) who was super dominate, and cookie, who was super scared. I tried to do intros many many times, before I realized that cookie would freak and scream at the sight and smell of pepper. I finally, in a last ditch effort (since pepper was a lone rat) decided to put a piece of fleece in pepper's cage for a couple of days, then drape it on a corner of cookies cage, and finally inside in a corner of cookie's cage. Then, I did a deep clean of both cages, but put the fleece back in pepper's cage. That way they could get used to each other's scent. I also swapped them in their clean cages for a day. All the while, their cages were next to each other, so they could see each other. Finally, after a day of them scenting each other's cage, I swapped them again. Gave them a day in their cages, and tried intros again in their play area. This time, no screaming, and after much sniffing, and snack sharing, I decided to try cage intros. After that, they were inseparable until pepper died. Both were intact, and cookie had other cage mates for a bit until they got adopted out (before putting him with pepper). I know it was a long way of going about it, but it was my only option, since pepper would scrap with any rat put in his cage. Not sure if I went about it the right way, but it worked for me.

What about putting some fleece into Buds cage as well? And did you go straight into cage intros after they had time outside together?
After reading your post it’s given me much more hope with these 2, so thank you very much!
 

Dena

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It took a total of about 1-2 weeks. I went off of how they reacted to each other's smell. Definitely don't give up hope!
 
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SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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Bud is aggressive and needs to be neutered, then after a few weeks, intros can be started again.

Putting material into the cage that smells like another rat or putting rats into another cage when the rat that lives there is not home as was suggested, is sometimes done before starting physical intros (established gradual intro steps). However, rats have been killed when people have not started physical intros in a neutral area and then gradually progressed through the intro steps

Here are the established gradual intro steps people follow to safely intro rats https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/introducing-new-rats.34842/#post-491257

Please also see joinrats.com because it has a lot of good information, including videos, shows what to look for etc It is a great site, especially when things are complicated. Joinrats.com will answer your questions about introducing rats
 
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YND

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Australia
Bud is aggressive and needs to be neutered, then after a few weeks, intros can be started again.

Putting material into the cage that smells like another rat or putting rats into another cage when the rat that lives there is not home as was suggested, is sometimes done before starting physical intros (established gradual intro steps). However, rats have been killed when people have not started physical intros in a neutral area and then gradually progressed through the intro steps

Here are the established gradual intro steps people follow to safely intro rats https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/introducing-new-rats.34842/#post-491257

Please also see joinrats.com because it has a lot of good information, including videos, shows what to look for etc It is a great site, especially when things are complicated. Joinrats.com will answer your questions about introducing rats

This is super helpful, thank you very much! Will defiantly have a read through of that link you mentioned.
 

ViciousCurse

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Aw, poor rats. It happens and it's never fun. As everyone else has said before, neuter Bud and once he's gotten over the surgery, start giving him things that smell like Norton. I've given the new rat's fleece to my main rats for intros and they barely paid attention to it. So I started taking poo from the new rats and putting it in the main rat cage (obviously, this is after quarantine and that I'm sure no one is carrying any illness). That seemed to help, but my main rats seem to be very lazy and are okay with anything. Their first intro with my new rats ended up in everyone sleeping in a huge pile in my bath tub. (Three new rats, five main rats). Every intro following that resulted in sleeping piles, so I guess I just got extremely lucky with my laid back, chill rats!
Also, when intro-ing Norton or any other rat into the main cage, do it following a clean cage. The main cage won't smell so much like the main rats and will make intros easier. Stay near the main cage for an hour or two, see how things go.
Spayed female would also be a great idea, if you can find any. Petfinder is my newest source!
 
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