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I have a female rat named Splinter who used to have a cage mate named Penny Lane, but sadly she passed away last Wednesday. I've come here to look for some answers and see if anyone has been through something similar to me and may help me out.

Since we became the adoptive parents of Splinter and Penny (about a year ago, they came from a family who bred, cared for, and housed rats) Penny has been sick. She just always had a sneeze, and was pretty much just a runt in general, nothing we could have saved or helped her with. She was small, but well-fed, and very skittish. Splinter has been a great 'alpha' female and has taken care of her, well as long as they've been with us. Wednesday morning everything seemed fine, and I fed and played with them per my usual morning. Later that night (around 8pm) our oldest daughter calmly came up to us and said "Splinter is eating Penny" and we all broke down. It's awful that a young girl (10) saw one of our family pets eating another right before she went to sleep, but she is smart and understands that they are animals and things like that happen. Now, I've done all I can to research how often something like this happens, and I know for sure that Splinter did NOT attack and kill Penny, but what I can't seem to find a lot of information on is how Splinter should be acting now.

Splinter has never made a nest, usually she would just curl up with Penny, but it seems to be her newest favorite hobby. It doesn't seem like the death has affected her at all; no sadness or loneliness that I can see, she's eating just as well as she ever did (better now that she doesn't have to share), she still seems friendly and playful with me. She appears to have only thrived with Penny being gone. I'm not sure how normal this is for rats, since, in my experience, is not the way with some other pets. I don't know whether to keep an eye out and wait for her depression and loneliness, or just let her be a lone rat in her own cage. I would really appreciate some help on this issue...and if this isn't the place to ask questions such as this, please just point me in the right direction. Between three kids (2.5, 8, and 10), my SO, college courses, the death of a pet, and day to day life I've kind of lost it.
 

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i'm sorry to hear about penny lane. that's a horrible thing for your daughter to watch and for you to hear.

as for people answering your questions, this thread won't be much help i imagine - you should make more posts in this forum area ("say hello"). then you can post on other areas where people will notice it more.

i'll let other more experienced rat owners comment, but i'm sorry that you had that experience. from what i've heard rats are sociable for their own kind as well as with people, so it's good to know splinter doesn't seem to be outwardly affected by it, but perhaps at some point she will get lonely. i don't know much about rats eating each other though :/
 
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