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Rat army: Rheuben, Benji and Moon
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone please describe the difference between play-fighting and actual fighting to me? Because recently my rats have been fighting and I’m not sure if I should be breaking it up or not
 

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How are they acting? Is there a lot of pop-corning or is it more dashing away? Are you seeing little wounds on your rats? Is there squeaking and if so, what kind of squeaking (note: some rats will squeak for someone looking at them the wrong way, lol)? Are they becoming fluffed up? --> These answers tend to help me determine what is going on with my girls and I try to not interrupt their play unless someone is getting worked up or they get into a rat ball.

You should research aggressive rat body language in order to give you a better idea of what is going on and hopefully some more peace of mind. I hope this helps!
 

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My baby boys started with chasing and pinning, then grooming the pinned victim for a few moments. Then it's over. The next level was persistent chasing and longer unwanted grooming, and squeaking of "I give, let me up".
As they grew up, they started butt swinging, turning and blocking the aggressor with the butt. And boxing, where they stand up and put paws on each others shoulders. That ends with a staring match and then they break and leave. All this is play fighting.

A real fight is more than pinning and squeaking. Chasing gets more frequent and persistent, and the wrestling more intense with them jumping in the air to escape. That's when you'll hear a loud shriek, a sharp high pitch scream that says "Your hurting me! Get off!" That's when you should look for scratches or cuts to make sure they didn't take it too far.
 

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Rat army: Rheuben, Benji and Moon
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They’re mostly just pinning each other then either quickly dashing away or grooming for a couple moments, i have a feeling it’s play-fighting, as it doesn’t seem very serious. The only thing that worries me is when they start squeaking. It’s not super loud and it doesn’t last long, but when you’re only half awake and one of your babies sounds in distress, the mommy instinct kinda kicks in.
 

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Yes, they're play fighting. I too hear the high-pitched squeaking and want to break it up, but I don't. Mommy ears...we never forget the sound of baby noises :giggle:
 

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My baby PEW girls, Miri and Bean
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They’re mostly just pinning each other then either quickly dashing away or grooming for a couple moments, i have a feeling it’s play-fighting, as it doesn’t seem very serious. The only thing that worries me is when they start squeaking. It’s not super loud and it doesn’t last long, but when you’re only half awake and one of your babies sounds in distress, the mommy instinct kinda kicks in.
My girls do exaclty that! At night! So I definetly see your concern! 😉 they're just playing, so you have nothing to worry about!
 
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