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You are free to lock this topic if it has been disgussed before but I couldn't find anything to answer my question. I need help because I'm afraid for the wellbeing of my rat.

I've had two male rats for about 2 years now. In September one of them got ill and died this Monday. Of course I was devastated, but I'm feeling a lot better because I'm happy I've still got one of the rats alive.... But he is feeling even worse than I was on Monday. He is so depressed he doesn't eat anything (including treats), he sleeps all the time, doesn't come out of his house unless I drag him out for a little "playtime" which does not involve playing on his part. When he is out of the cage he just crawls to the corner of the sofa or my lap when I'm sitting on the sofa and falls asleep. When I try to put him back to his cage he strugles to escape again and go and sleep in the corner of sofa.

So I thought I'd go out and get him a new friend from the pet shop. As I begun calling the petshops to ask if any have male rats and what age in their shops at the moment, I shared my story with one of the people working in a shop. She said I should not get a new rat to save my old one from depression. She said that the old one will never accept the new rat as he is used to his old mate and will end up teasing the new one. I've never heard anything about this!

What do you think about what the storekeeper said? Is it really true 2 year old depressed rats should not get company because they'll just hate the newcomer? I'm so worried soon he will starve to death! I know I can't just go out and buy a baby rat and throw him in the big cage, I need to go through the introduction. But even if old one got something interesting his life, a smell of a new rat at the other end of the room, it might make him interested and first encounters with the new rat might make him come out the depression... And eventually become friends with the newcomer.

Please give me some advice, I'm desperate! I've heard of stories of people's rats dying after a friend rat have died and being left all alone, I don't want that to happen to my rat. It hurts me so bad to see my beloved rattie suffer so bad!
 

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What on earth?


I think the rat would do much better with company than all alone. Introductions may be more interesting than usual, it's tough to judge how he'll react to the new kid.
 

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Once again, the pet stores are wrong.

depressed rats because of their loneliness tend to be more accepting of new ones because even if it isn't the other guy, there is still someone in with them.
 

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I read the title and thought "depressed rats are the ones that usually NEED company!" Store keepers don't tend to keep up on the latest or greatest in rat care, I say get another rat. Especially since the poor guy sounds like he's taking the death of his friend rather hard.

In fact, I think the consensus could be to get TWO more rats, two little guys from the same place at the same time. That way the little rats can play rough and tumble with each other and not annoy the big guy too much, and when your older makes his own journey to the rainbow bridge, you will still have two rats that enjoy each other and can play with each other without going through quarantine and introductions an extra time.

And I'm so sorry to hear about both your ratties, I hope the survivor gets some vitality back in him soon!
 

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I just went through the same thing. only the boy I have left isn't as old as yours. I have a baby that has just finished QT and the intro went great and they get along wonderfully. I'm getting a third on Monday, just for the reason that captinflow mentioned.
 

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I agree with all of you about not listening to those who said not to. Moo was alone when I got him, and when I added four, tiny rats to the cage, he was immediately the happiest elder rat that I have ever seen! Pet shoppes don't know what they're saying, as I was told the same thing when I opted to get my only female a first buddy for her to cuddle and live with. I did it anyway, and her happiness really glowed! Rach
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ooooh yes, I had hard time believing it too, because I know how happy rats are living with each other. Tomorrow I'm going to get my old rat cage from my parent's house and later I'll start finding a rat hopefully. And actually I am considering two rats from the beginning, but I need to find two brothers who are in good condition. So hopefully everything will be fine. BTW my old rat is feeling a bit better today already, it ate some meat off my hand so it's a progress.

Thanks for all of you for the advice!
 

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All right! Now, there's a good sign! :D
 

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Winnie, one of my girls', died a few months ago. It was really sad and her sister Nani was really depressed and wouldn't play or anything for a while....she bonded very close to me but has taken to her to new buddy Bug immediately....it really lifted her spirits and now she plays more now then she used to...I think it is because of Bug being much younger. Now Nani runs on a wheel, loves to play with me, and kind of watches over Bug....when before she didn't really do this kind of stuff.

A new buddy can be really good for your rattie :)
 
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