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So, I just got my two little boys yesterday. For a good amount of the day, they were tumbling around, taking turns pinning each other down. One of them appears to have claimed the little hideout box, while the other one ends up sleeping on top of it or to the side. When they are wrestling, it looks rough to me, but there has only been squealing a few times (and not very loud at that). They also wrestle around and then get distracted and don't seem to mind realizing that they are near each other. I guess I'm just wondering if this is how young boys play or are they trying to figure out who is dominant? Also, how do I know if they are fighting? This may be silly, but I feel kind of bad that one gets kicked out of the sleeping cave thing... is this something they most likely will get over once they figure out who is boss, or could it be possible that they are huge fans of each other?
 

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My girls do the same thing, one claimed the little igloo and the other claimed the little tree hanging hammock. If you have other toys im sure the other will find somewhere else to sleep, you could even get another little box thing.
 

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age plays a big factor. babies play fight all the time and it can sound bad but it's not. The key thing is really no blood no Foul. Even in adults they need to fight a bit too work out whose boss and you only need to worry if you find wounds
 

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Rats are social animals. Sometimes when they tumble about they are playing, sometimes they are fighting and sometimes it can revolve around who is in charge or who wants their way at the time... Rats have razor sharp teeth and the jaw strength to do real harm to each other, and unlike turtles they have no hard shells to protect themselves with... So whenever they squabble if no one is bleeding they are only mock fighting... sometimes they might even accidentally injure each other.

In all truth when rats fight for real one or both gets hurt or even killed fast... so that's where the no harm - no foul rule comes from. For the most part it's best to let your rats have fun or even work out their issues. But that doesn't mean you don't intervene if you hear or see things getting out of hand... like when children play sometimes you can see or tell when things are getting too serious... Generally when I hear certain sounds in the distance or in the dark, I just shout "Rats, No Fighting!" and things quiet down... I'm not suggesting that this would stop one rat actually intent on killing the other, but it helps keep play or a minor squabble from getting too serious.

I might add that I've put my hands between two rats play fighting and gotten mock bitten lots of times, if it's a mock fight they don't break the skin, which is the normal result... On the other hand, if it's dead serious, for example during intros going badly, you will wind up bleeding. It's hard to tell from watching your rats fighting if it's mock combat or real, but with how sharp rats teeth are, if it's real there will be blood, theirs or yours... if in doubt put on gloves before cutting in...
 

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I'm definitely not an expert but from what I've heard, puffing up real big, hissing, and walking sideways are signs that maybe things are about to go bad. Take a gloved hand and distract them when they start to do that.

I've been having to do that with Mocha lately when trying to introduce the baby.

Play fights can sound scary. It never really fails to worry you when you hear it but it is just how they have fun. Just like two little human boys playing WWF wrestlers in the living room. LoL
 
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