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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! New here! Made this post since I couldn’t exactly figure out the answer to my questions anywhere on the web, and before I begin my rats are getting neutered on July 10th that’s already been booked way before any of this happened it’s just that’s the soonest their vet could get them in. I currently have 2 male rats Bubz and Pip they’re both around that 5 month mark and they have definitely been hitting that hormonal aggression puberty phase. Up until now Bubz has always been the dominant one in the group and Pip whom I believe is a couple weeks younger than Bubz has always been the timid and shy one.

Recently Pip has been trying to assert his dominance and Bubz doesn’t want to ever give in. He’ll just wiggle his was out and walk away when Pip tries to pin him down, or when Pip starts to seem irritated When Bubz walks by? Bubz will just try to cuddle up to him and nap he just doesn’t really care about Pip trying to be the big boss.

A couple nights ago they got into a couple really bad fights. I went to separate them the second I heard the first one but the second fight instantly started and it left Pip with a scratch on his side and a little bleeding by his whiskers.

I’ve had the two separated into different cages since the incident. Bubz is definitely missing Pip he loves to cuddle up with him but every time I’ve tried to reintroduce them Pip just wants nothing to do with Bubz and will either try to assert his dominance again which will lead to him trying to stand up and show his teeth a little, or it’ll lead to both of them starting to puff up so I’ll separate them once again because I do not want them to fight again.

Theyre perfectly fine together if I have them hangout in the bathtub for a little bit and that’s when they can cuddle together perfectly normal but as soon as it’s anywhere else like their cages, the rest of the bathroom, etc Pip starts to get agitated again.

so my question is should I just keep them separated until they get neutered July 10th or should I keep trying to introduce them until then? Because Bubz really misses his buddy but Pip is just not having it and I guess it seems both of them want to be the dominant rat.

I’m just stumped.

Sorry for the long
 

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How exactly do they react towards each other when not fighting? Do they avoid each other, stare each other down, act stiff near each other, puff up their fur, or squeak in each others presence?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When they’re hanging out in the tub Pip seems a little stiff but is lying down Flat and won’t move, and Bubz just slides right up to him and falls asleep next to him. As for when they’re in the cage or anywhere else Pip will try to avoid Bubz and will want to be in his own area and will go anywhere in the cage but Bubz will eventually follow him. I’m not sure if Bubz is doing this to kind of annoy or antagonize Pip but to me it just seems like he just wanted to cuddle since the second he would be next to Pip he’s nuzzle up to him and close his eyes to nap.

An example would be Pip went to have some space in a tube and eventually Bubz follow led and slid right on up next to him to try to nap, so then Pip would start to raise himself up a bit and get stiff and put his hand on Bubz back, once he did that and didn’t seem like he was moving anytime soon Bubz started to stiffen up and then slowly Bubz will start to puff up a little and they both just stiffened And then I separated them after I saw Pips mouth was open a little.

This is all just recently within the last couple days though. Just last week they both were cuddly and the best of pals and would be caught snoozing together all the time.

Edit: I forgot to mention that they’ve been cage mates since March which was when I adopted Pip
 

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It sounds like Pip is afraid of Bubz, you can attempt to reintroduce them slowly in a way that makes Pip associate Bubz in a good way and something not to be afraid of. There are long ways to reintroduce rats with switching cages and putting them in a neutral area like a tub. You need to make sure that before moving on they are comfortable with each others scent and then eventually presence: Using Baby Steps to Introduce Rats to Rats - JoinRats

As you progress you can give treats for showing good behaviors toward each other, if they act fearful or aggressive towards each other take a step back.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok thank you! I am waiting on a new cage the will arrive in a couple days where I can block off the top story so if Pip does need space away from Bubz he can have that, and since it’ll be brand new Bubz scent won’t be all over it. If Pip is still pretty iffy of Bubz by the time they get neutered should I continue to keep them separated while they’re both recovering?
 

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You should wait awhile after the neuter until they are recovered, then see if they are any better together. If not you can continue the reintroduction.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just wanted to give an update and they are currently cuddled up in their cage together! I’ll definitely keep an eye on them just Incase but hopefully following the steps helped and they stay best friends again!
 
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