Introducing new rat/s??

Discussion in 'General Rat Chat & Photos' started by wilmatherat, Dec 20, 2019.

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  1. Dec 20, 2019 #1

    wilmatherat

    wilmatherat

    wilmatherat

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    Hi all,

    I’m in need of some advice about introducing a new rat (or possibly two) to my original lonesome female.

    I got Wilma around a year ago, along with her late sister, from a pet shop (please don’t attack me, I do now realise that I shouldn’t have supported businesses like that, but they just looked so sad. I had to get them out). Wilma’s sister Betty had a lot of problems and the vet advised it’d be best to put her out of her misery, this was 6 months ago. Wilma has since been by herself as she has been surprisingly fine just having me as her companion.

    I have recently started a new job where I don’t have as much time as I did before to spend with her, and I’d hate for her to be sad in her cage while I’m not home. That leads me to my main question, would it be best I get Wilma a new sister that she can eventually be roomies with? I have been sceptical that as she has been alone for half a year, she wouldn’t accept a new rat. I understand it is a long process to introduce rats (I have done my research about it), and am willing to do it all right.

    My second question is that would it be best if I were to get two rats instead of one? I thought about this hard, as I know Wilma would pass long before the new rat and I wouldn’t want the new rat to be alone like Wilma is right now.

    Thanks for spending the time to read this essay lmao, any advice would be awesome
     
  2. Dec 20, 2019 #2

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    I'm glad you realized that supporting the pet store was bad. If anything, ask the pet store if they'd be willing to adopt out those rats versus allowing you to purchase them. Otherwise, there are plenty of rats in rescues that need homes. And depending on what sites you have, there are rats in need of home on Craigslist/Kijiji/whatever version of these sites Australia has lol.

    It's always the best for a rat to have another rat companion, regardless of how long you are at home. While rats do enjoy our company and often seek it out, the lone rat still doesn't have another rat. Think of it like if you were in her position. Rats always accept new rats so long as the introduction is done so that all rats involved are comfortable with each other. I've introduced two-year-old male rats to baby male rats with zero issues. I've introduced middle-aged rats with older rats and younger rats. It can be done regardless of age and gender.

    As for possibly roommates, you can either get Wilma (lovely name btw) a neutered male rat as her buddy, you can spay her and introduce her to intact male rats, or you can get baby female rats. With any of these scenarios, it's best that you're taking home at least two new rats, in case something doesn't work out. With babies, bringing home multiple makes sure that the babies are roughhousing with each other and not harassing the older rat to play. As we know, our old and lazy rats enjoy sleeping and naps much more than the youngsters :) This also ensures that when Wilma passes away, the new rat won't be alone.
     
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  3. Dec 20, 2019 #3

    wilmatherat

    wilmatherat

    wilmatherat

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    Thank you for the advice I have just purchased a big brand new cage that will arrive just after Christmas, and have been looking for rat rescues around me but they don’t currently have any rats for adoption. What is your opinion on a rat breeder? There is one an hour from me that looks a lot more ethical than a pet shop. I’m happy to travel, but I’m also happy to wait for rescue rats to pop up.
     
  4. Dec 21, 2019 #4

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    Generally, I always advocate for rescuing a rat before buying a rat, but we've already covered that.

    For a breeder, I like them so long as they aren't mass producing babies, genuinely care for their babies and make sure all are interacted with before going to their forever homes. Good breeders, like dog breeders, will accept returns (if something doesn't work out, like the person is moving or their health has changed), care for the health of the babies they produce, and will expect you to have done research and then also give you their two cents. Typically, a good, ethical breeder will also not charge more for a baby because they have a rare coat color or rare eye color. Some breeders will also adopt out older breeders who are done breeding. The breeder I've gone to in the past is more than happy to help anyone whose rats have issues such as an important teeth issue and the owner can't go to the vet right away, even if they aren't her rats.

    Keep in mind, some "breeders" are actually just mass producing rats to be feeders, but will often have "pretty" (relative term used here) babies pop up and then be put up for sale. I've heard them be called feeder-breeders. You find a TON of these people on Craigslist.
     

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