How soon should I get new friend for lone rat?

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Cricketnbowie

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
14
Location
Kentucky
My oldest boy just was PTS yesterday. His brother is all alone and already looks so sad. I of course still need time to grieve before getting a new guy but it looks like I shouldn’t wait at all so I found one for adoption online. However, I have a few questions;

- can he wait two weeks while I quarantine a new rat?
- should I get two to avoid this in the future?
- what if their personalities don’t mesh?

Thank you
 

Trosit

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
30
Location
Toronto, Ontario
I'm super junior here but advice I received was to get 2. When I did this I had a very quick introduction between them through bars to see initial reactions before taking him home, then had their cages very close to each other for the 2 week quarantine so they knew someone was there.

How old is your rat though?
 

Cricketnbowie

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
14
Location
Kentucky
I'm super junior here but advice I received was to get 2. When I did this I had a very quick introduction between them through bars to see initial reactions before taking him home, then had their cages very close to each other for the 2 week quarantine so they knew someone was there.

How old is your rat though?
He’s a rescue so I’m unsure. My best guess is around one year. I applied to adopt two older guys so hopefully I’m approved!
 

Trosit

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
30
Location
Toronto, Ontario
Wonderful! I had also wanted to get more rats ASAP for my little one but she was fine until I found a friend 3 weeks later. Just take your buddy out more often until then. When you get new ratties my friend also suggested switching cages often so they get use to each others scent.
 

TheFatRatGirl

Active Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2019
Messages
29
Location
Bristol, England
You'll want to get a companion as soon as possible. The darker rat in my dp, Bobby, started to decline in health immediately after his brother passed away. In the time it took me to find another male rat, he lost his appetite and seemed lethargic and less willing to come out of his cage. He was nearly two at the time. Then Tyrion, the white rat in my dp, joined him and his health changed almost over night. It was such a relief. He went on to live another year and half and was nearly four when he passed away!

If the rat you have found for adoption is a similar age to your little guy, then one more rat will be fine. Just consider what you want to do further down the line when one of them is inevitably left alone again. If you're getting a young rat, then you'll want two as they tend to be energetic and need another of the same age to play-fight with. Your old guy probably wont be up for that and it might stress him out.

Your rat will be fine waiting out the quarantine period, so long as you spend lots of time with him. If I even have a rat on their own (for example, after surgery or because they're new) I try to get them out at every opportunity. That could mean they're in my sleeve while I'm at my computer, or out on my bed while I'm in my room. If your rat is a shoulder rat, then have him out on your shoulder whenever it's safe.

As for clashing of personalities, it does happen. I've always found it easier to introduce two rats who were previously alone as they're less 'fussy'. They're usually just happy to have the company since they really do need social enrichment. I've also had more success with the carrier method than the neutral territory method. With the CM you can take it really slow and more or less move along at your rats pace. Some rats take a few attempts to introduce successfully, so don't fret if they don't take to one another right away. As for genuine incompatibility; it does, very occasionally, happen. I think I've had it happen only once and I was then in a position of having to have two separate groups of rats. I'd say it's more likely to go well than wrong though, especially since both rats will be sick of being alone.

Good luck, and do keep us updated.
 

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