Trouble with introductions

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Annalise fuller

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Joined
Aug 16, 2018
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Usa
I have three girls, two of them live together and the other was in quarantine for lice. She is a rescue, she was surrendered to my local pet shop in a tiny cage by herself. She is an absolute sweetheart when it comes to people, loves playing and giving kisses. When it comes to other rats, it's a different story. I've attempted 4 introductions now and they all end in her bullying the other girls. She bites, walks sideways, hisses, and chases the other girls until I take her away. Is there anything I can do? Is she destined to live on her own forever or is there anything I can do to stop the aggression? Thank you in advance.
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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Jul 21, 2007
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central New Brunswick Canada
Please see joinrats.com for some helpful ideas
There are some other things you can do but that is a good place to start.

Also, how have you been doing intros?
Where? for how long?
does her behaviour start immediately or after awhile?
Has her cage been near their cage for awhile so they can get used to one another, and their smell, etc (but far enough out of reach so that rats can not reach through the bars and grab each other)?

No rats should ever live alone but sometimes it takes time and the right combo of personalities
 

Annalise fuller

New Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Messages
3
Location
Usa
I've done 4 different introductions so far over the span of 2 days. I've been doing them on neutral ground, in my bathtub. Her cage is in the same room as the girl's and it's relatively close to theirs, so they all get to smell each other regularly. She normally starts this behavior when the other girls get near her. One of my girls will attempt to challenge her, she of course challenges back but in a highly aggressive way. Another one of my girls will just try to play (she's a baby and loves playing), the new girl will react aggressively to this. If I sit in the bathtub with them, or have them all out on my bed with me on it, they don't bother with each other aggressively. They are total sweethearts when I'm around, but the second I'm not in the neutral ground with them, they fight. I'm so worried about having to keep the new girl on her own, she's been with me for a month going through lice treatment and throughout she's been pretty lethargic and depressed if I'm not playing with her.
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
17,093
Location
central New Brunswick Canada
I would suggest that you spend a lot more time with all of them on your bed ……. add some toys on the bed when you believe they are ready …. being together with you is a necessary first step in their intro ……. and it sounds like your new girl needs to do this frequently for quite awhile …… hopefully after awhile they will be ready for the next step.
I have had rats who needed to spend a lot of time together on my lap, before they were ready to do an intro in a neutral area …… sort of what you are experiencing …………………. but eventually all the rats were introed and happily living together
Also read the suggestions at joinrats.com to see if any fit your situation
 

Annalise fuller

New Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Messages
3
Location
Usa
Thank you so much for the help! I've been looking into the website you showed me and it's helped a lot :)
 
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jorats

Loving rats since 2002.
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I agree with SQ. Take your time. Your girl doesn't sound aggressive, more worried than anything else. Keep up the great work you do!
 

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