Will a Companion Help a Shy Rat? How would I bond them?

Maddie Swift

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Hi everyone! I had gotten two female rats about six months ago. Unfortunately, one of them passed away a month ago due to a sudden upper respiratory infection. My rat Dixie has always been very shy. She comes up to the cage and is curious, but she does not like to be pet sometimes (most of the time she will let you touch her but she does not love it) and absolutely will not let you pick her up. She was a bit more social when her friend was alive. I have been working hard to get her tamed ever since I got her, but I have been working with her a lot recently so that she won't feel lonely. Anyways, since rats are very social animals, would getting her a companion help her bond with me and be less scared? How would I even go about introducing and bonding them? I cannot get her out of her cage without a fight and I usually end up bleeding or scratched up. Thank you!
 

jorats

Loving rats since 2002.
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Hi, so sorry for your loss and I'm sure Dixie went through a grieving process too. How old is she? I would definitely get her a buddy. It may help her become less scared or not, each rat is unique in their personality but at least she won't be lonely. Companionship is very important to rats. Depending on her age, intros could be fast or slow. You would have the new one in her own cage living next to Dixie and everyday they should meet up for an hour or so. We can cross that bridge when we get there. joinrats.com has great info and advice on intros.
 
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Maddie Swift

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Hi, so sorry for your loss and I'm sure Dixie went through a grieving process too. How old is she? I would definitely get her a buddy. It may help her become less scared or not, each rat is unique in their personality but at least she won't be lonely. Companionship is very important to rats. Depending on her age, intros could be fast or slow. You would have the new one in her own cage living next to Dixie and everyday they should meet up for an hour or so. We can cross that bridge when we get there. joinrats.com has great info and advice on intros.
Thank you. Dixie is about 6 or 7 months old. How would I even go about introducing them since I literally cannot get Dixie to come out of her cage? I suppose I could just put on some thick gloves or something. Should I work on that before getting her a friend? I just feel like she will never be tamed and that having a well socialized friend might help. I really appreciate any help/tips.
 

SQ

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I am so very sorry about your loss.
There are some good ideas on joinrats.com regarding socializing rats to help you with Dixie and also about introducing new rats.
In addition, here are the established gradual steps: https://www.ratshackforum.com/threa...ps-used-when-putting-new-rats-together.32368/

As Jorats said, getting her a friend (or 2) will help her to be less frightened, more social, and will help her to bond with you. So .... get her a friend and a temporary cage for her friend to live in, - try to get a rat that has already been quarantined such as from a rat rescue, or a rat (s) who are healthy and are being rehomed by someone who has had them for awhile and does not expose them to other rats so you will not need to do a full quarantine ....... then as jorats suggested, put the cages near one another but far enough apart that they can not reach one another.

Read the info I suggested, and we can help you step by step as you intro them. There are several people on here with a deal of experience introing ratties
 

Maddie Swift

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Joined
Mar 12, 2018
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Location
USA
I am so very sorry about your loss.
There are some good ideas on joinrats.com regarding socializing rats to help you with Dixie and also about introducing new rats.
In addition, here are the established gradual steps: https://www.ratshackforum.com/threa...ps-used-when-putting-new-rats-together.32368/

As Jorats said, getting her a friend (or 2) will help her to be less frightened, more social, and will help her to bond with you. So .... get her a friend and a temporary cage for her friend to live in, - try to get a rat that has already been quarantined such as from a rat rescue, or a rat (s) who are healthy and are being rehomed by someone who has had them for awhile and does not expose them to other rats so you will not need to do a full quarantine ....... then as jorats suggested, put the cages near one another but far enough apart that they can not reach one another.

Read the info I suggested, and we can help you step by step as you intro them. There are several people on here with a deal of experience introing ratties
Thank you for your advice!
 

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