New rat mom- fighting or playing?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by ratmomtexas, Mar 17, 2019.

Help Support Rat Shack Forum by donating:

Tags:
  1. Mar 17, 2019 #1

    ratmomtexas

    ratmomtexas

    ratmomtexas

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2019
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Hi all! I have 2 females that I adopted 3 months ago, they are 1yr this month and have been together for a long time. I know that rats plat fight and exhibit behaviors to establish dominance, but how can you decifer a fight and play? And how often do they have to establish hierarchy? Because it seems it’s all the time...

    My girls are in a large 3 level cage, with multiple food sources and sleep places. Handled daily. Very tame. One is clearly dominant, and in the evening they make quite a bit of noise scuffling. I hear squeakes and they can tumble from one level to another. The smaller beta has fur that is a bit dull, compared to the other larger one, who is very filled out and has a pretty coat. Since no blood is ever drawn and the scuffles are relatively brief, I don’t step in. I’ve noticed an increase in the altercations lately and they don’t sleep together anymore.

    How can I tell if the beta rat is okay or if she’s stressed? I know they’re social so I really don’t want to be hasty and separate them, but I also don’t want one feeling stress or being bullied. The beta is an albino, and almost always has porphyrin in at least one eye. She has this in an ear too, is that probably porphyrin as well? Or maybe a bite?

    thank you!
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  2. Mar 18, 2019 #2

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

    Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    23,077
    Likes Received:
    1,760
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada, Earth
    I would examine your subordinate rat and make sure she's not sick. Most rats settle once they have established pecking order but if you have a really dominant female she can constantly push the boundaries. Sometimes adding a 3rd rat is the key to smoothing out the group.
     

Share This Page