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Hissing at new baby rat?

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DeeDee

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Joined
Jul 26, 2020
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14
Location
Sand springs OK

We got a new baby rat in hopes that when she gets a little bigger, we can introduce her to the one we have so that she can have a buddy. For now we’re just putting their cages together. Here’s a video of the older rat making a noise when she sees the younger. I figure it’s probably hissing but also read where they can also make a quick breath sound which means their happy. Could you take a look at this video and tell me if it sounds like hissing? Thanks!
 

Big Schpog

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British Columbia
My 1 yr old female Big Schpog did the EXACT same puffing noise to the new babies I had separated from her in a cage. She nipped them a couple times through the bars so be careful. I don't think this is happiness. I think this is territorial behaviour. I know it sounds kinda cute. I called my girl Puff the Magic Dragon when she'd huff at the babies but it's no joke, and your rat will attack them if given a chance.

I had to do very slow introduction of 2 new babies to my 1 year old female Big Schpog. I eventually had to get radical and put them all in a neutral territory none of them had ever been in to introduce them. I took 2 separate carriers into the bathroom counter and opened them and just sat on the edge of the bathtub without interacting with them at all. I wanted them to focus on each other and not me. I didn't want any of them to feel territorial about my affection so I said absolutely nothing to them. I just sat there mute for 20-30 minutes. It took me 3 30 minute sessions of the strange bathroom counter to integrate them.

I waited until they all chose to get into the same carrier on the bathroom counter. Once they had about 20 minutes together and all got into the same carrier, I closed it and took them back to my room and just opened the carrier and let them chose where to go in the territory, which is my place.
 

DeeDee

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Sand springs OK
Thank you for your response.

So we are going to go ahead and pick up another baby tomorrow. The adult is one we found in our trash can. She came right up to my son and she's as sweet as she can be but she's very hyper and seems pretty nervous all the time. I realize females tend to be this way so I don't know if it's normal for her to act so nervous or not. So in case it doesn't work out and we can't end up putting them together, we are going to get another baby so that the new baby we just got can at least have a buddy instead of us ending up with both of the rats being alone. Since the babies will be around 5 weeks when they are introduced, will I have to worry about separating them at first as well? For the most part, I've read that as long as they're introduced before 10-12 weeks, there usually isn't a problem.
 
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Big Schpog

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Babies are much easier to deal with re: integration. I'd put the babies together and keep an eye out. There will be play fighting and scraps to establish dominance though. Just make sure you're there monitoring them.

As far as the adult, she will have to be integrated with the babies and I highly recommend neutral territory to do it. Put them in the strangest situation you can and don't interact with them, except to separate if it becomes nasty. You will probably need a few sessions of neutral territory. Monitor them closely.

Are you familiar with joinrats website? There's a lot of info on introductions. Introduce Rats to Rats
 

DeeDee

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Sand springs OK
No not familiar with that site but I'll definitely check it out.
So we just introduced the new baby to the one we've had now for about 3 days who is really acting fine and seems to be doing all that she's supposed to. She was very calm and let us hold her right away when we got her. For a few days in the cage she was frozen still quite a bit but then started to loosen up. But it took me forever to get the new baby out of her temporary box today just to put her in the cage because she was so fast and I couldn't hardly grab her. When I put her in, she pop corned just a few times but mostly remained in that seemingly frozen scared state. The baby we already had kept jumping all over her. Didn't look like she was attacking her necessarily. We had just given them a few treats in hopes of getting the new one to stir around. I think the already established baby was making sure to get all of it and that's why she was kind of pouncing on the new arrival baby. After a while, the new one finally went in the little make due hidey hole box we made them. She's been in there now for about 3 hours. The one we already had has been in there too but comes out a lot when she hears us. I'm hoping they're getting along in there. We only heard some squeaking once. Please tell me if all of this sounds normal and how long you think it will take for the new baby to warm up. Should we try to get her out of the box later? If so, how long before we should try it? Or should we just let her come out when she's ready. Just didn't know how long is too long. Thanks so much for your help.
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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Jul 21, 2007
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central New Brunswick Canada
Babies need to be at least 8 weeks old (10 weeks is safer) before being introed to rats over 12 weeks old. (Rats under 12 weeks old are babies and can be just put together as they see new rats as new playmates. Rats older the 12 weeks see new rats as potential threats so careful, gradual intros are essential.)
Good that you are going to get another same sex baby because babies need to have at least 1 other baby to play with - best if you get one of her siblings if possible

Intros need to be done carefully and gradually so that no one is harmed.
Please see our reference thread REFERENCE Thread - Read Only and joinrats.com for important information

BTW the hissing behavior is normal, just make sure they can not touch one another or someone will be hurt

good luck

btw covering all wire floors is important, u=you might want to use dollar store dish de=rain trays cut to fit and attached with zip ties
 

Big Schpog

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Messages
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British Columbia
The baby we already had kept jumping all over her.
Sounds like play to me but without a video I can't say




Didn't look like she was attacking her necessarily. We had just given them a few treats in hopes of getting the new one to stir around. I think the already established baby was making sure to get all of it and that's why she was kind of pouncing on the new arrival baby. After a while, the new one finally went in the little make due hidey hole box we made them. She's been in there now for about 3 hours. The one we already had has been in there too but comes out a lot when she hears us. I'm hoping they're getting along in there. We only heard some squeaking once. Please tell me if all of this sounds normal

It's good they're in the hidey place together and they will play fight. Just monitor them very closely for any injuries and interact with both of them A LOT. Make sure they know you're Mama and that you care for both of them. When giving treats, get two treats and give simultanously to each one so there's no needless scrapping.

If you see them grooming each other and sleeping with each other you're well on your way to having them integrated. Always keep a very close eye on them in these early stages.
 

DeeDee

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Sand springs OK
I was happy today to see the newest one out from her hidey hole. She still likes to hide under a wash cloth I have in their cage. They were both under it for a good while. It was funny because I would drop little pieces of strawberry or Cheerios right by it. She would peak out, grab it and go back under. So she did eat that plus some chicken. I’m just worried about her getting water. She’s never gone to the water bottle that I know of unless it was in the middle of the night while dark. Not sure she would even know to find it.
Thank you guys for responding. I’m such a worry wart.
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
17,122
Location
central New Brunswick Canada
Rats need at least 2 sources of water in the cage and at least 1 source should be a water dish that can not be upset. In addition, babies may look like they are getting water out of a water bottle but their tongues are not strong enough to move the ball bearing to get water. Babies have died as a result
 
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