Rat Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK, so I just adopted this solo boy from a dire Kijiji listing a week ago and he seems depressed. He cleans himself only when I handle him and not when he's in his cage alone. Does this mean he's bored/lonely?

He is very curious and sweet tempered, well socialized with people and I think he'd like a friend. No, he NEEDS friend.

So my question here is should I try introducing him to younger male friends or older male friends? Or should I try and find a bonded pair to try and integrate him with?

I've never had a rat who was alone that didn't want to be alone so I am not sure how best to help him. If you have experience with this please leave me some advice.

Currently available there are bonded male pairs in our local rescue who are 12 months old and there's always 6-12 week olds or often older at the pet shop he came from. There's also a rescue near me that has more age variety than the local one.

I'm really worried about his well being on days where I can't be with him during the day and I'd like to get some advice so I don't do anything that will be detrimental to him.

Some details about Balzac so you guys can give me the best advice:

-6-8 months old
-blind in one eye
-hairless
-housed alone since he was purchased from a pet store by first time owners
-submissive, not aggressive.

Thanks guys for reading and replying!!!

IMG_20150423_174430.jpg
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
When I obtained Alfie I was in a very similar situation. He was a Petco feeder rat, already full grown when his original owner bought him. He'd been alone with her for about 3-4 months, and my plan was to get him some buddies ASAP. I took the first month to bond with him, the second month he got a persistant URI, and then I had trouble staying in contact with folks who had babies. I FINALLY got him buddies this past weekend, and the change in his personality is SO noticable. He's a much much happier rat.

Alfie was about 10 months old when I got him, and everything I've read indicated that getting him younger buddies would make introductions easier. Intros with my guys went amazingly well, Alfie was just so happy to have buddies that there was absolutely no agression whatsoever. He'd also been alone for most of his life.

I don't have a whole lot of experience with introducing rats (and with as easy as this last intro went I have NO experience with difficult rats), but hopefully I was able to help some :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Rhonwen!! How old were the young friends you got him? How many?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
I picked up two babies, both six weeks old this past weekend, and all three are now in my smaller cage, since the babies are too little to be in the big cage.... they fit right through the bars with no problem. I'll also be adding another (currently 6 week old) male to the group in a couple weeks, once i've confirmed the current babies aren't having any myco flare ups.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ah! OK cool! Thanks! And congratulations on your new guys!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
624 Posts
I have 8 male rattlings.

I've gone through 3/3 successful introductions. (Each group introduction, I was adding 2 more new guys to the group.)

Like, Rhonwen said, your best bet would be introducing a younger rat to your 5-6 month old.
The hardest introduction between males is adult to adult. Maybe not SO young, where your rat could potentially get annoyed by the new one running around/playing because he's full of energy. But honestly, it depends on the personality of your rattling. Does he run around a lot? Does he nap? You gotta look into your ratties personality type a bit more.

Always introduce your guys in a neutral zone. Honestly, the bath tub is definitely the best place. (I've done all of my introductions here.)
It will allow for you to be able to monitor them in a small place, closely.

I personally leave the bath tub empty (maybe a towel) which will allow for them to sniff each other and not hide in things because they're lazy/scared.
I then begin trust training immediately, by putting yogurt all over my hand and letting everyone lick yogurt off my fingers/palms. (This includes the new rats, too!)

Flipping each other over/squeaking is normal. No Blood, No foul. You're going to need to let your rats sort out their hierarchy, which can be scary at first.

It may go terribly wrong or they could get a long in a heart beat.


For example: When I was introducing Roger and Cheeseburger to my big boys (the other 3) I was nervous because they were kinda smaller.
Roger and Cheeseburger were in the bath tub with my big boy, Neil (I brought Neil to the pet store and then put Neil in the box with the smaller two.. I knew Neil was going to get along with them because he's super laidback.. He ended up sleeping in the box with them on the way home.. haha.)

I had a tissue box in the bath tub because I was too lazy to take all my sleeping boys out of it...
Cheeseburger and Roger, you know what they did? They crawled instantly into the tissue box and slept with the big boys.

-> I personally don't clean out my cages when bringing the new additions to the pack in the cage.
But a lot of people do, too... It's really your personal opinion of what you think may be better.
You might want to do this as he is a lone rat and isn't used to sharing his space with another rat.

A few things: It's really important to let them wrestle and work out any disagreements/their status in the pack. As long as there isn't any blood or serious injury, let them work it out or it will take longer for the introduction process.

Your guy will more than likely be grateful that he has another guy to cuddle with/play with.
I'm sure it will even bring out his personality and then you'll become addicted like I am.

I made an introduction video with my 2 latest additions that I'll probably be posting later tonight, so feel free to take a look at that!

Best of luck. :) I'm sure you'll be fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Adequate,

My guy is like SUPER chill! My thought was to try for two young guys. Do you think it would it be a problem if the 2 young ones knew each other or should they come from different places?

Thanks for the detailed reply!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
624 Posts
Adequate,

My guy is like SUPER chill! My thought was to try for two young guys. Do you think it would it be a problem if the 2 young ones knew each other or should they come from different places?

Thanks for the detailed reply!
Any time!

Three altogether would be good, too!

It'd probably be easier for you to get the 2 young ones from the same place, as they're already litter mates and you won't need to introduce them to each other as well. If you were thinking about getting 2 youngins that would work out too! Since the 2 little guys would be able to play with each other.. instead of just having the 1 younger rattling constantly harassing your big boy. x)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Happy to report that our local animal rescue (Kingston animal rescue) contacted me and will be getting me in touch with their expert! They have 2 pairs of adorable males needing homes so I'll evaluate them and hopefully match a pair with Balzac!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
624 Posts
Happy to report that our local animal rescue (Kingston animal rescue) contacted me and will be getting me in touch with their expert! They have 2 pairs of adorable males needing homes so I'll evaluate them and hopefully match a pair with Balzac!
Yay! I'm so excited for you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Well, having had no luck so far I went to the pet store and met 2 boy rats there who seemed pretty well adjusted and healthy. There are also 3 baby dumbo rex rats from a hobby litter that I am going to meet tomorrow.

How do I decide?! Ahhhh!! Hobby breeder because they just wanted babies boys x3? Or the pet store boys x2? I know as soon as I buy them if I do they will get more and that will perpetuate the cycle of animal breeding for profit...

Sigh..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hoping the picture is showing up, but I got two young rat men! This is first round of intros!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,807 Posts
How are intros going? Everyone is so handsome! The furry boys have very pretty colors and the hairless boy is such a cutie! (he looks like my hairless girl, all pink!) It was so kind of you to rescue that little pink boy and to try to give him a great new life with some new family members. I hope the intros go really well! If things are a bit rocky now though, I've found that doing intros in the tub with just a little bit of warm water filled enough to get their feet wet works well. It freaks them out enough to not fight, but they still wander around and sniff each other. They also kind of bond in the freaked-out-ness faster and will cuddle or groom. I've heard carrier intros can work out great for most people too as long as there isn't fighting already happening.

Post lots of pics for us if you can! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Finnebon! I've done one round of intros so far.. Kind of really nervous about pushing things. Also, because of the lack of hair on my boy I'm worried he might get scratched if anyone goes after him :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,807 Posts
He will get scratched, all the time. My hairless girl gets scratches frequently, and sometime shallow bites when there are arguments in the family. It looks way worse than it is usually, and they tend to heal very quickly. Usually its just from the occasional argument, no one ever has real fights or really draws blood. So don't be too freaked out if you notice scratches on you boy later on after they're bonded lol. Its just easier to see on hairless ratties. Good luck with future intro sessions!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
That's good to hear. I totally freaked about it. Lol! I'll be sewing hammocks all day today then spending the evening trying to into them again. Hope all goes well!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top