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Discussion Starter #1
Oh understanders of rat behavior, I have yet another question!

My girls have lived together for two and a half months now. They seem to get along-- they sleep together and Lee likes to follow Grizz around the room.
But every single day, Grizz pins Lee belly-up at LEAST once, usually more. It generally happens at night (when I'm sleeping, of course...) and it sounds like Lee is dying every time because she is so, so squeaky about it. She's not being hurt as far as I can tell-- never any blood or other injuries. She's just a complainer. Although I would probably complain too if someone was flipping me upside down and chewing on my stomach...

It's happening more often the last few days-- I suspect Grizz is in heat. So I suppose my question is twofold:

1) Is it normal for this sort of dominance thing to go on for so long? Are they always going to do this? Should I be stopping them? I generally don't unless they wake me up, at which point I make them stop because for the love of all that is good and decent it is three in the morning and I need to sleep.
2) Does being in heat make dominant girls feel the need to be extra jerk-monsters to their cagemates?
 

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1. It's not abnormal, per se. How old are the rats in question? It probably sounds a whole lot worse than it is - some girls are drama queens. As long as they aren't hurting each other or bullying away from food, etc. I wouldn't intervene. Eventually it should decrease in frequency and intensity, but as to how long that could take, it varies.

2. Yes. Girls in heat can be very moody and extra weird about being touched or approached (by people and other rats). There are girls who will actually get aggressive and bitey around their heat cycles - they are best spayed ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Grizz is about 1.5 years and Lee is about four months.
I'm pretty sure Grizz isn't hurting Lee, and they are both getting plenty of food. Am I doing damage by intervening in the night when they wake me up?

Grizz is extra cuddly towards me when she's crabby towards Lee, so I wonder if its a 'guard the human' thing.
 

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Sounds like it's likely Lee is just being a baby and Grizz doesn't tolerate her nonsense. I doubt you are doing any damage by interrupting them when you need to sleep. If it gets worse you may have to intervene, but it's probably not necessary now. Though, I would seriously consider getting a cagemate around Lee's age for her to pester and play with and to give Grizz a break from her shenanigans. They have quite a wide age gap and it may be the reason for the excess fighting. Grizz may be cranky because she's living with such a much younger rattie than herself who may not get the message she doesn't want to play all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've actually been looking for one! There don't seem to be many options near me so I'm still searching. I'm working on convincing my partner that one or two more would be a good idea as well, since they're his babies too. He's worried a new one won't bond with him so well as he's only around every couple of months. I'll float the idea by him again tonight.
 

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If you do find one try and get one similar in personality to Lee. My Cricket has always been like that but the rat closer to her age is so calm so she still got into trouble with the older girls. Now she has 4 babies and a buddy who is about her ge and similar in playfulness, so she has others who understand her. She's even living with them until the babies are big enough to introduce to the older girls and she seems a lot happier with her pint sized playmates.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've been keeping my eye on Pocket Pet Rescue. They seem to get a lot of adult rats which wouldn't be suitable for this situation but I'll keep looking.
 
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