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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry to cut straight to the chase but I recently lost one of my rats and as sad as I am that hes gone I'm worried about his brother whos all alone now. I had them both since they were small so they've always been together.

My husband and I've looked around but our breeder recently moved to another state and there doesn't seem to be anyone else around us, and Petco and Petsmart (at least the ones near us) only seem to sell females. So for now we've made sure to spend as much time with him as we can so he doesn't feel lonely.

I know rats are social and are usually recommended to be housed in pairs but he seems to be ok, maybe even happier, now that hes alone. When his bro was alive they kinda fought a bit. Nothing serious but more than previous rats I've had. Also, he was really protective with his food. He would scarf down as much as he could hold as fast as he could and then take the rest to his "staching place". Now hes really chill about his food, no more mad rushes to eat and hide everything. We've been monitoring his food to make sure hes eating regularly and not starving himself outta depression but everything's fine and hes eating normally.

I've also taken to putting his cage next to me while I'm on the computer with a way for him to come and go as he pleases and hes been going back and forth when he feels like it. So hes not hiding himself away or anything.

My question is, if worse comes to worse, would he be ok alone? Thanks for any help with this. =)
 

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Most people will say OMG HES GOING TO GO INSANE ATTACK YOU GET DEPRESSED AND DIE but in reality male rats will set up territories if given the space and eject other males from it. There are also studies that show social stress for males kept in groups and other studies that show isolation stress responses can be removed by basic handling and environmental stimulation. Females do suffer from being alone tho with much higher cancer rates etc. Unless your boy becomes depressed from the loss I don't see why it wouldn't work out. I have a solo rat because he has medical issues and hes friendly outgoing wonderful heart rat.

So I guess I'm saying, if you can't be there for him, find a buddy but if you can don't panic to much unless you see signs of depression. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Amph. =)

Yes! Thats all I read. "OMG you cant have them alone they will get sad and die. OMG U R A HORRIBLE OWNER!!" And because of stuff like that Ive always had them in at least pairs, but this is just a sad, unpredictable occurrence. We work from home so we're able to spend a lot of time with him right now and he seems fine, playful and affectionate with a regular appetite.

Just in-case though, what would be worrying signs of depression to look out for?
 

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weight gain, inactivity, weight loss, sleeping longer, withdrawing from social contact, chewing cage bars, lack of grooming etc you will know it's like a total shift of personality

I don't suggest people buy one rat because most people aren't going to be there or assume that they will but after the novelty wears off they leave the poor thing alone. I just don't agree that is can't be done or is in some way cruel. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, thats about what I read/thought.

Thankfully he seems perfectly fine right now. We still want to get him a buddy for the times we're out/busy/sleeping but I'm relieved to know that he'll be fine for the time being. We just want him to be happy.

Ok then, what about his new buddy? My lil guy is about a year old and is pretty chill. Would it be better to get a younger rat?
 

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Younger rats are more likely to be accepted but they will be more hyper, so it may be best to buy 2.. that way they can play together and you aren't faced with one again when your older boy passes. Or you could look for a older rat that's the same age from a shelter but I would personally ask if you can return him if there is a issue. :) There is also the neuter option and getting him a female or two.. I wouldn't put a spayed female in with a intact male tho personally.
 

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Hi, I also have this worry. Today I found one of my ratties had died through the night. I'm very worried about the other one now who is not well at the moment. I don't really know what to do.
 

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You need to take him to the vet and get him well again before you add any new rats. they might catch what he has or bring in other illnesses that could effect your already weak rat. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well we seem to have had a bit of luck (maybe). We called again to Petsmart/Petco just to be absolutely sure and we got a different person this time and they said that they DO actually carry males. We're planning to go down and check to be sure but the woman seemed to know what she was talking about so we're hopeful.

And I'm really sorry for your loss Niinap. I hope your little one feels better soon and you're able to find him a new friend.
 
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