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I've posted about this before but still having issues. I have four male rats. Two of them are about a year old and are from the same litter. The other two are not related and about 3 months old, but get along very well. Ideally I would like for them to be able to all live together as one of my year old rats really likes the babies and enjoys grooming them (not dominance grooming, just gently) and snuggling with them. But my other year old rat does not. I'm not sure if he has hormonal issues or if it's because he's the "alpha" between the two of them, but he is not happy any time he sees or smells the babies. He will try to bite them, chase them down, and breathes very heavily and puffs up during the process. This is even if I just hold the younger rat, without the younger rat sniffing or even acknowledging the older one.

I tried putting everyone in a bath with shallow water, and all is well except of course the aggressive rat turns into a total baby about water, squeaking and whining. In the bath he will let the babies groom him, and doesn't chase them or anything. He is also fine on the bathroom floor with them.

But he is not fine with them being in the area where he and his brother free range. He will attack them.

When I got a new cage, and it was clean with no one's scent on it, I put everyone in and he did not attack the baby rat (I only had one at the time) and seemingly accepted him but the baby rat was very skittish and clung to the highest bars of the cage that he could. I felt really bad for him so I got him a friend his age. I don't want to just throw them all into the cage of course. Even though the aggressive rat seemed to accept him I'm not sure if I would trust him unattended. He can be a little rough with his brother sometimes. He gets especially aggressive after his cage has been cleaned, and a few times after cage cleaning he has scratched his brother. Maybe he feels threatened? He's also a little bit "bossy" I guess, like sometimes when I pick him up and he doesn't necessarily want to be he'll squeal at me a few times.

The strange thing though is at one point I introduced another rat that was about 4-5 months old (he lives with my boyfriend now) and there were no issues. Is it possible he's trying to kill them since they're babies? If needed the rats can live in separate groups of 2, but I was hoping they could all get along. :(
 

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Sometimes rats are just not going to get along. Your boy is likely dealing with hormonal aggression which can be common. You will likely either have to neuter him or have him live on his own.

If he is showing signs of aggression I would NOT trust him with the babies. If he is with the babies and causes any blood or injuries I would definitely keep him separate.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think I'll keep him separate if I don't find a place to neuter him, but is it okay that he's living with his brother for now? He power grooms him frequently, but doesn't draw blood. I do think his brother gets a little annoyed and might prefer living with the babies but... I don't want his brother to be alone, should he be living alone? I think that he has hormonal issues probably, he has a lot of buck grease. Sometimes if I deter him from playing too rough with someone else he'll nip me, not hard though. He's not even getting along with the babies in shallow water in a tub now, so definitely separate from them. He's lived with his brother his whole life, so if I put his brother in a cage with the babies will he be depressed or happier that way? I was thinking about getting a DCN and blocking off one of the levels (I think you can do that, right?) and having either two groups of two or him on one level and the other three on the other, if that would be okay.

I definitely don't want the babies to get hurt! One of them is the rex (or so I thought? He's lost his curls and now his fur's more "crimpy looking" so I'm not really sure what that means) that got weaned too early I posted about awhile ago who was really sick with myco and started wheezing and just generally making really bad sounds. I didn't think he was going to make it but he's a lot bigger and healthier now and has a great personality!
 
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