lone elderly female- for a short time only!

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Petunia, Feb 13, 2019.

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  1. Feb 13, 2019 #1

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Petunia

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    I just lost two of my sanctuary fosters (euthanized) which leaves me with an elderly foster girl, who won't be alone for very long (they are going to send me two more older girls to keep her company)
    I hate seeing a rat alone, and am spending as much time with her as I can, but of course that's never enough.
    she is a sweet girl and enjoys cuddling up with me and exploring the sofa while I watch tv. Doesn't care to be out on a table or the floor, she seems a bit overwhelmed by that, but loves fleece tunnels on the sofa.

    What sorts of things can you do to help a lone rat feel less alone? I've given her toys, things to chew, things to shred, boxes to hang out in, hanging toys etc. At her age, however, what she mostly was doing was sleeping, often alone, or sometimes with her cage mates.

    even though she didn't sleep with them that much, I'm sure she misses them, they did snuggle up together from time to time.

    I was thinking of moving the cage next to where I sleep, but there's one problem with that: I have to sleep in a room that's a bit cooler than I think would be good for her... Plus, I don't know how much of a difference it would really make to her for me to be nearby when we we can't interact, you know?

    there's a tv or radio on all night and I leave a radio on when I go out.

    what else can I do?
     
  2. Feb 13, 2019 #2

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    I'm so sorry for the double whammy. My condolences to you and your remaining girl.

    I've seen one or two senior members suggest putting in stuffed animals for rats to cuddle up with. I'm assuming nothing with small pieces or that could easily be torn apart. No string, either. But nonetheless, I've seen SQ suggest a plush for a rat to cuddle up with. If you aren't comfortable with small plushes, you could always pack in lots of extra fleece to emulate being cuddled up and kept warm.
    There's always the cuddling aspect. At least for me, my rats seem to handle grief differently. My original trio was aging and one had already passed away, leaving two behind. I had intro'd them to new rats, so they weren't alone and they weren't being pestered, but I noticed my sort of shy, keeps-to-himself rat wanted me to hold him more often. He'd come to me and pretty much crawl into my hands and then fall asleep on my chest while watching TV. I think even when they have all of their friends, sometimes they just want to cuddle with the giant, big creature that is incredibly warm and gives them lots of food and love.
    I also spoiled them up the wazoo when we lost a rat. Their favorite treats are Puffs, so I'd give them a few puffs and just sort of cuddle with them.
    Personally, I would recommend having her cage close to where you sleep. Since my family is not huge fans of my rats (but tolerates them) my rats' cage is next to my bed. Only thing is, I've got young males, so I hear lots of roughhousing, but I've learned to sleep through it. I'm sure on some level, she may recognize the closeness and it may give her a bit of comfort, especially if you two have a good bond. Ultimately, this is your choice.

    Having the noise of a TV or radio on in the background could be relaxing to her as well. Hopefully those new rats come soon and it all goes well!
     
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  3. Feb 15, 2019 #3

    jorats

    jorats

    jorats

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    You are such a great foster mom. You are doing the most already I would think. An older rat sleeps a lot to begin with so I would just make sure she sees your comings and goings and lots of talk/interactions in between her many naps.
     
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  4. Feb 15, 2019 #4

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Petunia

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    thanks guys, she has been wanting to hang out with me more, it's so sweet. she did seem to appreciate being near me all night, she would come over and sniff at the cage bars and beg for a puff, too cute. She stayed out in a hammock where she could see me, whereas before she was inside a hammock not looking out at all.
    her new cage mates arrive today. I hope they all get along well. It will be a girl just under 2 and a girl who is 32 mos old- Scarlett and Happy. I hear they are both in good health.
     
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  5. Feb 16, 2019 #5

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    I hope all goes well!
     
  6. Feb 17, 2019 #6

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Petunia

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    thanks!
    well intro's were totally uneventful- they all liked each other right off the bat.
    It turns out that Happy is 33 mos old and Scarlett is just under 2, and we don't really know how old Maggie is (over 2 is the best guess, but how much over, no one knows)

    I'm so happy for them all that they've got buddies and that they like each other
    and Maggie still seems to want to hang out with me, I'm going to take her out in a bit and find out for sure, hahaha
    I'll only take out the other 2 girls if they want to come out.... they just arrived late Friday. I generally give newcomers a couple of days to get settled into their new home, they seem to prefer that.
     
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  7. Feb 17, 2019 #7

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    I'm glad intros are going great! Gotta love when they go pretty easy. I'm glad those other elderly girls got a good home and a new friend. Maggie sounds like quite the sweetheart too.
     
  8. Feb 19, 2019 #8

    SQ

    SQ

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    sounds good :)
     

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