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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have three rats: Latte is now about 10 weeks old, Penumbra is now about 9 weeks old, and Loki is now about 6 weeks old. I had Latte and Penumbra for a month. I added Loki to the mix almost 2 weeks ago. I'm starting to wonder if that was a mistake, but it's there now.

After a successful introduction in a neutral cage (at least I considered it successful since they didn't puff or attack), I incorporated Loki into the DCN with the other girls. At first, Latte and Penumbra would ignore Loki. Then Penumbra would sleep with Loki while Latte sat somewhere else by her lonesome. We called her emo rat since it resembled a teenage angst-ridden girl locking herself in her room. But now they coexist and sleep together and play together.

The past few days, Loki has protested more often than usual. I witnessed the dominance dance between Latte and Penumbra early on. One would tackle the other, who would roll on her back and squeak once. The winner would back off after that squeak (and possibly counterattack). With Loki, she would give two or three squeaks before Latte let her up. But now, I periodically would hear a series of several squeaks that might last as long as a full second (that doesn't seem like a long time, but measured in squeaks that's a lot). Latte also will steal food from Loki, so we have become more watchful when we give Loki a treat so she can enjoy it.

I've chided Latte when the squeaking goes on too long. I'm sure that when I'm in bed or at work, Loki gets all sorts of squeaky without a human there to intervene.

They still seem to get along. I see Loki chasing the other rats. I come home to all three of them curled up together. I want to let them work our their differences on their own, but I worry that Latte might be bullying Loki too much.
 

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In my experience, some rats are just very squeaky. Bear, for example...I call him the drama queen. I swear if one of his cagemates even LOOKS at him the wrong way, he squeaks. I got concerned for a while because I thought he might be in pain for some reason or super sensitive to being touched. He's not; he's just super fussy and impatient. As long as she's not being injured during their scuffles, it's probably safe to assume she's just extra vocal.
 

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As you have read from my long post in the other forum, my dominant female, Angel did the same thing to her sister, Lilly. This was especially done more at night. Here is an EXCELLENT website with a TON of good scientific info on aggression in Norway rats. I'm reading it over and over so that, if my two rats can ever move in together, I'll know how to better assess they're daily living. I hope you find this helpful.
Aggression in Norway Rats
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A little update. I did some immersion with Penumbra and Loki last night. It allowed me to observe them in play. Loki would chase around Penumbra, which makes since being she's the youngest and probably most playful. At one point, Penumbra turned around and tackled Loki and then let up. Loki still let out a lot of squeaks. So it looks like Penumbra was saying "enough" and put Loki in her place. That makes me a little less concerned. I might owe Latte an apology, though Latte has stolen food from Loki, so she still deserves some finger wagging.

Penumbra and Loki have gotten into boxing stances, which seems like the next level in aggression, but they're not showing other signs of fighting. And the boxing doesn't last long.
 
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