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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I got Cinnamon, the research I did said two male rats cannot live together. I really want to get him a cage mate, but it might be hard, so I'll just make a list of pros and cons of getting Cinnamon a cage mate.

Pros:
~Might help him live longer
~He would be happier
~I would love to have two little rattie boys!


Cons:
~Might not get along with other rat
~Have to get a new bigger cage
~Double the feeding cost (this one really doesn't bother me)
~I have this problem where when I have two of one animal, when I'm not playing with one of them, I always feel like they're not getting enough attention

I plan on getting him a double critter nation soon anyway. The good part of the double critter nations is on the big middle platform the ramp locks up so it becomes two separate units, just in case the two boys don't along.

I do have another option though. I could try to get Cinnamon a spayed female, I saw a video that says boys are more willing to accept girls than other boys. Honestly, I don't think he would have a problem accepting another boy, it's the other rat I'm worried about. This option is kind of out because I have no rats up for adoption in my area, let alone a spayed female. The other problem is the fee for having a female spayed is extremely high in my area.

So what should I do? I really want another, but the uncertainty of introducing them makes me hesitate....
 

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Whatever page you read that said males can't live together needs to be expunged from the internet lol I think that's true of mice, but definitely not rats. With boys, it's better to get a baby to introduce to them rather than another adult, which, depending on your area, may be hard to find. I've never had any experience introducing a spayed female to a male, but I don't recall any horror stories from the forum about it, so that might be a good way to go. A double critter nation is huge for two rats and unless you REALLY want the double, you could save money by getting a single. Even with a single, you'd still have Cinnamon's starter cage if things were looking a little hairy (no pun intended).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Haha yeah. I was so wrong about males not being able to live together. Probably the same people that work at the pet store lol.:pI'll see how things go. I'll see if I can find a baby and maybe introduce them. Probably the worst thing that could happen is they don't get along and I have to lock up the ramp and create two separate units.Thanks!
 

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Just want to give you a third option as you are in a great position to do any of these three things:
1) You could go the route of getting another male. It would be best to get a younger boy in this case, or a pair of young boys.
2) You could instead get a spayed female. Several rescues spay females as they come in, so that could be an option or you could get a female and have her spayed yourself.
3) OR you could neuter your boy so he could live with females freely.

I have a neutered boy and he is the best rat I've ever owned. He lives with three intact females and they all adore him. Neutered males will never develop hormonal aggression, which is what sometimes causes males to not get along around the age of 6 months (I've had several nearly kill each other because of hormonal aggression after living peacefully since they were young).

Just wanted to throw that out there. All the options are good ones, though, and your boy will appreciate having a friend either way. :)

It really makes me sad that male mice can't live together. :( I read recently that even though they can't live with each other, they get really depressed when they're alone... That stinks. =/
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
^Thanks for the reply! Hmm......that could be an option, but the neuter/spaying fee is around three hundred dollars in my area. If I get both him neutered and the new Double Critter Nation, it's going to cost a lot. I'll definitely consider it though. But can't neutered males get cancer easier? I'm just a worry-wort when it comes to Cinn.

Luckily, I just found a Double Critter Nation cage for sale on craigslist for under $200! I just hope it's all intact.
 

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Hmm, I've never heard about neutered males getting cancer easier. Only that testicular cancer won't ever occur.

In some places, neutering isn't cheap sadly. =/ I paid $300 for Pooka's neuter, but I did find one vet nearby that charges $77 (and does a better job than the $300 one lol) and then another vet that charges about $100.

There is a risk with any surgery, though, so it is definitely not something to be taken lightly. I just saw in another thread (after I posted here) that someone's rat died during a neuter. :( It happens unfortunately, at no fault to anyone.

Oh, what a great find! Best of luck with the cage! Fingers crossed it's usable lol. ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I guess I just always worry about him.(which is sometimes a good thing or else he wouldn't have the care I give him now)

Well, although I still have money in my "vet fund", most of my money in the fund was used up for my passed hamster's tumor a couple weeks ago. I still have enough money for basic stuff though.

I saw that thread too. :( Loosing a rattie something like that must be terrible. That's why I'm always so cautious when having to pay for surgery. Especially with small rodents like rats and hamsters, lots of things can go wrong.

Haha yeah. The picture looked pretty good so maybe I'll contact the person trying to sell it. :)
 

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Hey, there's definitely nothing wrong with worrying about your baby. :) Better to be paranoid than complacent! It sounds like Cinnamon is in great, caring hands. ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks! I'm that way about all my pets. After all, they are my babies! 8)
 

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All I've had are males together. My previous pair were intact and lived happily together until they passed last year a few months apart from one another, one due to tumor complications (surgery+arm amputation, did fine, then tumors came back and eventually had him euthanized when it became evident he didn't have decent quality of life), and the other from respiratory illnesses and kidney issues (on meds for quite a few months before finally getting to the point of loss of quality of life and euthanasia was necessary). These guys were very happy together and loved on each other til the end!

My current guys I rescued from the local animal shelter last year just before losing my previous pair of guys (yes, quarantine and separate cages were difficult to manage but we did it), I had them immediately neutered as soon as they were deemed healthy after treatment of lice that they came home with from the shelter (ugh!). These two guys also love each other and get along great together. They are at, or almost, 2 years old according to their "papers" from the animal shelter, and their health so far seems to be somewhat better than my previous boys. No tumors so far (fingers crossed), hardly ANY buck grease, so their coats are clean and shiny!

This all being said, I wouldn't think twice about having males together. Don't get me wrong--they wrestle for fun, but very different from "fighting", and when they pass adolescence, they calm down and don't wrestle as much. What I will say is that rats do not like to be alone and are social creatures! They groom each other, they snuggle and cuddle together for warmth, and they play together. Your Cinnamon is missing out on this! I would definitely get a companion for him. Whatever sex you decide to go with, be sure to read up a ton on making proper introductions, take your time, and don't get discouraged if they don't get along at first. It could take time, a lot of time, or it could be quick--a perfect match!

I agree with the suggestions that FallDeere made up above. I'm sorry to hear that neuters are so expensive where you are. I do hope you called around to speak with as many exotic vets as you could find. I've heard of some charging waaaaay too much and then the next vet a few miles away charging a normal fee. My ratties' vet charges $80 per neuter+cost of meds and $120 for spay+cost of meds due to the spay being a more complex/involved surgery, and am thankful it's not more than that. I wish you great luck in whatever decision you make!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
^Thanks for all the good info! Since you are experienced with this kind of thing, I'll definitely do the things you said. I'm glad it sounds like they'll get along! I can't wait to get a new little rattie boy! I'm glad Cinnamon'll be happier! Yeah, the vets in my area charge rediculously high prices for everything!
 

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I just read in another of your posts that Cinnamon is about a year old. Since he could still be adolescent, take care during introductions as he could be a little rambunctious and surprise you ;-) I'd first try putting them in separate cages for a few days to a couple weeks, depending on how things go, then switch each of them into the other's cage so they can smell around in the other's scent. Do this switching for a few days to a week or so to get them both acclimated with each others' scents. Then attempt to make the introduction of them actually being allowed together. This is one way to do introductions. And there are other ways as well that you can read up on. Do what you think will work best and what makes sense to you and your home/cage/ratty situation!

I am in no way an expert on rats, but I do read a lot and enjoy sharing what I've learned and experienced with others. I encourage reading the many sticky topics and questions on this forum as there is a wealth of knowledge to be had and learned here! If you're thinking about it or experiencing it, it has probably happened before and you can probably find out about here on this forum!

OH! Don't forget to quarantine when you bring the new rat home (you can read up on this in this forum as well). This part for me was worse than introductions haha. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay thanks! I plan on quarantining the new rat for 2 weeks. :) I've read the sticky about introducing rats. :)

Yeah, that's the thing with forums, it's based off of experience and research, no one (I don't think) is a vet on any of these forums I'm on.
 

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Haha, at least no one claims to be a vet ;-) I'm sure if they are they keep it to themselves so they don't get bombarded with questions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Haha yeah. I might reveal that I was a vet (if I was a vet). Like you said above, the person who was actually a vet might always get questions, plus if you mess up on the advise, people will think you're not a very good vet. : /
 
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