Young rats don’t like old rat who just lost his buddy

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Nochkah

New Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2023
Messages
1
Location
Belgrade
I had two older father & son rats, 2y6months and 2y2months old. A few months ago, I introduced two young brothers to them and introductions went perfectly. They would all eat and cuddle together, although they often favored their original partner to hang out with in the cage. Regular dominance and wrestling, all acting normal, no drama for months.

In the past month, I noticed one of the younger boys screaming so loudly at my oldest boy. My oldest boy, who I guess is an alpha rat, has never hurt anyone and I don’t notice him being an outright bully, but he stares at the young rat which would result in this response. The young rat opens his mouth and screams until the oldest rat leaves. Oldest rat sometimes tries to push forward and get closer which results in louder screaming. He doesn't scream at my other old boy.

Occasionally, I'd see them all cuddle in a rat pile, but the screaming would continue. Sometimes, I'd find the shrieking rat in the corner, with my oldest staring at him and the young ones brother would kind of "defend" and get in between them to break it up. Now sometimes both young boys will scream at him, but more so just the one. I've asked about this in other forums and was told not to worry as long as no one is actually hurting each other and that the young boy just simply doesn't like him. He still had his old cage mate to do most of his socializing with and he was seemingly fine with the other young boy too.

Now here's where I'm having a major concern:

Yesterday, out of nowhere, I found one of the old boys, the son rat, dead. It was sudden as he was acting and eating normally hours before so he could have died from a stroke or heart issue. My oldest is grieving, as I think they all are, so I've been trying to comfort them. The problem though is the son and father were best buddies and were together for their whole lives and cuddled every day. Today, I've observed my oldest trying to get near the young rats and both of the young boys push him away and shriek at him. It almost seems like my oldest is being casted out by them because they don’t like him or are terrified of him.

I'm worried as I don't want him to feel lonely and abandoned by his cagemates after losing his best friend. He sleeps alone away from them. I'm worried if they really don't like him, he'll feel lonely as he won't have anyone to cuddle or groom, eat with etc. I'm concerned of the effects as time goes on.

Any advice? Do I need to do a type of re-bonding or let this play out and hope they eventually work it out on their own? Would a couple more rats help fix the dynamic?
 
I had two older father & son rats, 2y6months and 2y2months old. A few months ago, I introduced two young brothers to them and introductions went perfectly. They would all eat and cuddle together, although they often favored their original partner to hang out with in the cage. Regular dominance and wrestling, all acting normal, no drama for months.

In the past month, I noticed one of the younger boys screaming so loudly at my oldest boy. My oldest boy, who I guess is an alpha rat, has never hurt anyone and I don’t notice him being an outright bully, but he stares at the young rat which would result in this response. The young rat opens his mouth and screams until the oldest rat leaves. Oldest rat sometimes tries to push forward and get closer which results in louder screaming. He doesn't scream at my other old boy.

Occasionally, I'd see them all cuddle in a rat pile, but the screaming would continue. Sometimes, I'd find the shrieking rat in the corner, with my oldest staring at him and the young ones brother would kind of "defend" and get in between them to break it up. Now sometimes both young boys will scream at him, but more so just the one. I've asked about this in other forums and was told not to worry as long as no one is actually hurting each other and that the young boy just simply doesn't like him. He still had his old cage mate to do most of his socializing with and he was seemingly fine with the other young boy too.

Now here's where I'm having a major concern:

Yesterday, out of nowhere, I found one of the old boys, the son rat, dead. It was sudden as he was acting and eating normally hours before so he could have died from a stroke or heart issue. My oldest is grieving, as I think they all are, so I've been trying to comfort them. The problem though is the son and father were best buddies and were together for their whole lives and cuddled every day. Today, I've observed my oldest trying to get near the young rats and both of the young boys push him away and shriek at him. It almost seems like my oldest is being casted out by them because they don’t like him or are terrified of him.

I'm worried as I don't want him to feel lonely and abandoned by his cagemates after losing his best friend. He sleeps alone away from them. I'm worried if they really don't like him, he'll feel lonely as he won't have anyone to cuddle or groom, eat with etc. I'm concerned of the effects as time goes on.

Any advice? Do I need to do a type of re-bonding or let this play out and hope they eventually work it out on their own? Would a couple more rats help fix the dynamic?
It’s best to introduce rats young as possible. Otherwise, you’ll just have two cages and they live solo. Make sure you play with them individually and lots of interaction, rats can get pretty glum and bum. I had some brothers and one died, the remaining brother was always bummed out.
 

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