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Do I need to think about neutering?

847 Views 18 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Verucasdad
Hi all,

I have 3 x 15 week old boys who are from the same litter and a reputable breeder and are starting to squabble a bit too hard for my liking...

I have seen 2/3 puffing up and 2/3 wagging tails, they've all been on their hind legs boxing each other, sidling, peeping and squeaking. I've experienced a few minor rat balls that I've been able to break up quickly, no blood or injuries. One of the boys is quite nippy with me still but the other two are well mannered. This mostly happens on free roam with some squabbling in the cage.

I can't pin down an aggressor or a common denominator, everyone seems to be getting involved. I know they have to go through a certain amount to establish a hierarchy, no blood no foul? 馃 It seems early to remove the trouble puffs!

Thoughts and experiences please? (I have videos for further info should that help)
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Hi there.
The only advice I would give is that I have always been told that hormonal rat aggression in males - the sort that can be treated by neutering - usually starts at about 6 months old. So the behaviour that your troublemakers are showing may not respond to neutering. We have had a few boys neutered at different ages, but it was more to allow us to house them with females, not for hormonal agression. So I can't really speak on the effectiveness of having it done for that reason.

By the way, just out of interest, neutering makes a huge difference to buck grease. We found it pretty much went away completely after neutering.
Hi! Thank you so much for replying :)
I also thought that 15 weeks (~3 months) is too soon/they are too young to really be suffering from hormonal aggression - I know they're sort of in the equivalent of their preteens/early teens now.
I'd like to avoid any sort of operation really as we only have one slightly rat-savvy vet who works part-time! 馃槵
This is my first time with male rats - do you find buck grease is a problem?
Hopefully, as long as there are no injuries and I keep an eye out they will establish a pecking order and settle down a bit!
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Thank you for your replies, everyone!
I'd certainly never neuter just because of buck grease, neutering would be the last resort for me, personally as it is so risky putting a small animal under anaesthetic, especially with a non-specialist vet...
I am hoping that it is just establishing a hierarchy and that they work through it with no more injuries (just a couple of cut ears) and that all this humping settles down a bit :ROFLMAO: I had assumed they were too young for hormonal aggression, but at the same time, the last thing I want is a serious injury when I could/should have done something to stop it.

For those of you who connect neutering a rat with having your own removed - stop it, this is not the post for this argument. Personally, I have already had my tubes tied as I never want offspring and have found this a massive improvement on hormonal birth control which has improved my quality of life. In most circumstances it is actually highly beneficial for most domesticated animals, also improving their quality of life and health, but at the end of the day, it is your choice to make as a responsible owner. End of. Thanks!

Thanks all! :)
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Im new here and dont have any clout, but I have strong feelings about unwanted litters and animals relenquished and destroyed because of hormonal aggression, or other behaviors like marking (I volunteer at L.A. county animal shelter).
The personality and character got changed when animals became our pets. Not when they are neutered. And if you think they are all docile puppets after being neutered , you need to meet my dog (the most un-docile, not-a-puppet creature I have ever met).
To argue that neutering is interfering with the animal kingdom is pointless when you are talking about pets, that I believe you have too, who have already been interfered with for thousands of years.
Putting a collar on my dog and letting him sleep in the bed is interfering if you use that logic.
To say neutering is wrong because all animals should be wild and free from human involvement is wishing for something that wont happen.
Neutering is a tool that can help make the lives better of animals that are already way beyond the point of returning to a world with no humans.
I have seen a lot of pets killed because they were part of unwanted litters and because of behavior 'problems' that could have been prevented. Hoping they could have a human-free Utopia is not going to make it happen, and I don't think it should happen at this point.
Amen! I have a PhD in genetics and evolutionary biology and am a huge advocate of responsible animal ownership. Adopt, don't shop and always get the snip snap! :) A bit different for rats as these fellas won't ever meet a lady (poor things)! :)
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