Rat Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well firstly, hi everyone, i'm new :) I have a 7 month old male, Oscar, who has been on his own since i adopted him. I adopted him from the pet store i work at as he is completely blind (he doesn't have any eyes), and had been sent fron the breeder who must have known full well what he was sending us. To cut a long story short, i took him in as sending him back to the breeder would have meant...well, you can imagine.

Seven months later, Oscar is a perfectly normal rat, and at times i even forget he's blind he gets around so well. He has a lovely temperament and his disability doensn't affect him at all, seeing as rats don't have brilliant eyesight anyway. I hadn't put another rat with him up until now as i was unsure as how he'd react, and whether he'd get bullied or not. However, i know how cruel it is to keep a solitary rat, so i thought i'd try and introduce a baby to him. So last thursday i picked up a perfect, adorable, cream and white dumbo (Moss) who's around 6 weeks old.

I kept Moss in Oscar's travel cage, next to Oscar's big cage, overnight and throughout Friday daytime. Oscar was interested, snuffling through the cage bars, but didn't show any aggression towards the baby. The next say i put Oscar in Moss' cage for about 10 mins, and Moss in Oscars for the same amount of time. Friday evening, i let Oscar and Moss out together on my lap, me holding Moss and letting Oscar smell him. Eventually i was able to let Moss and Oscar roam around the bed together, but after the initial bum-sniffing from Oscar, he was pretty much uninterested. Moss tried to get him to play a couple of times, and Oscar power-groomed him a little, but again, he just left him alone. Today (Saturday) they had a few more play dates, which were pretty successful, with Oscar pinnig Moss down, who dutifully squeaked and rolled over, allowing Oscar to be the dominant one.

I was pretty happy with how things were going, though Oscar still didn't seem to be that interested in grooming him for more than a minute or two. After putting them Both in Moss' cage for 10 minutes together, i cleaned Oscars cage out, disinfected all his bedding and rearranged it all, and i even used a different bedding in the bottom. Moss went in first, then Oscar, and after some initial scuffling and squeaking from Moss, they went their seperate ways, Oscar again not paying Moss much attention. I stayed in the room with them for what must have been an hour or so, with no drama. I went downstairs for literally two minutes, and came back up to find Moss hiding in his house with his left ear bleeding :( I immediately took him out, but didn't want to undo all the work i'd done so after daubing them both, and the cage, with perfume, i put him back in and watched them both really carefully. There was no scuffling, and Moss seems a little braver, but Oscar's still not making any attempt to socialise with baby Moss.

This is the first introduction i've had to do with an older male and baby, so i just want to know if this is all normal, and whether anyone has any experience with blind rats. I can't seem to find anyone else who owns one, or has done in the past. Do you think time is all Oscar needs to get bonded with Moss, or is his lack of interest a really bad thing?

Also, i have to go out all day tomorrow, so am wary as to whether i should leave Moss and Oscar alone all day, when i'm not there to supervise.

Any help is so appreciated, i'm very worried!

Thanks!

Sara (and Lucy).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,755 Posts
Re: Introduction help needed please! Blind male and 6 week o

you are doing everything right and everything sounds to be going along just as it should. see how they got on the rest of the day and night but if its nothing more then that ear scratch i wouldn't worry too much and go out. oscar not being too interested is normal. he's sulking. some rats will instantly become buds with the other thinking it's the best thing in all the world others are think more along the lines of "great, now i have to SHARE..." they soon realise that its not SO bad to share the hammock with another warm furry body and that having someone to blame when they chew said hammock down is actaully a plus! the rule with introductions is "no blood, no foul". though admittedly you did have blood it very wel could have been accidentally. ears are very fragile when it comes to cuts and if oscars nails are long or sharp he could have merely flipped moss over and nicked the ear in the process. he very could have even just climbed over him and nicked the ear for that matter. check his nails for trimming perhaps. but in my experience your introductions are going prefectly well and i don't see any problems oming from it with what you have described.

as for the blind rat business. i have not personally owned a rat that was blind or had abnormally bad sight. the only problems i can theroretically see would be when moving things around on him he might bump into and be more clumsy then normal until he adjusted. and even then with the incredably poor sight of rats the difference would be very mild. i know you said you know that rats have very poor sight but perhaps to get a better picture of just HOW poor that is please do the following. close your eyes until you can JUST see out through your eyelashes, then take away all color. the lighter the eye the less shadow they see. if they were humans they would be considered legally blind and would not be allowed to drive a car, that's how bad the sight is. so really, never having had eyes, oscar isn't missing anything. i think not being able to hear for a rat would be the most determental as they rely so heavily on that and smell and the sense of touch (i believe it goes in that order) before sight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Re: Introduction help needed please! Blind male and 6 week o

Phew, that's a relief to hear then. They keep having little scuffles, Moss was brave enough last night to climb in the hammock with Oscar, who tolarated him for about a second and then a scuffle ensued and Moss came shooting out of the hammock. I'm worried about leaving them alone together today but Moss has plenty of bolt-holes and the scuffles seem to be getting less and less. Thanks for your help, you've reassured me a lot :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,640 Posts
Re: Introduction help needed please! Blind male and 6 week o

Your best bet would've been to get 2 baby boys, that way they have each other (play, sleep) when Oscar doesn't want anything to do with them, plus Oscar is much older and when he passes you are going to have to get a companion for Moss.

Sounds like intro's are going okay, as you said lots of bolt-holes where baby Moss can get into and Oscar is too big to fit?

Keep an eye on the situation but it sounds okay so far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Re: Introduction help needed please! Blind male and 6 week o

I would have loved to introduce 2 boys, rather than 1 to him, but i'm moving house in September and the house i'm renting doesn't allow pets. It's not going to be hard to keep the landlord from finding out (apparently in one of his other properties someone has a cat and a parrot, and apparently he's not bothered) but having three rats, as opposed to one or two woud be pushing it a little. If circumstances were ideal i'd have definitley got two, but i thought getting one was better than Oscar being alone for the rest of his life.

And yes, Moss has bolt-holes that oscar can't fit into, such as his little cardboard house and the gap undernearth the stairs of the wooden house they both share....or are supposed to share. So far Oscar's just been sulking in his hammock, and won't come down from the upper level, but baby Moss has been having a whale of a time on the lower level.

Thanks for your help everyone :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,755 Posts
Re: Introduction help needed please! Blind male and 6 week o

atually caged pets (pets that spend all their time in a cage or out with supervision) or fish, are considered fixtures not pets. least this is the by-law thing up here. i was thrilled when i found it! means i con move nearly anywhere with my rat babies. perhaps you should look into your by-laws, maybe there's something the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,440 Posts
Re: Introduction help needed please! Blind male and 6 week o

wow Twitch! I had no idea about that loop hole. I wonder if Indiana has the same thing? I havn't told my landlord about my 'caged' pets either because well other landlords havn't counted them and only count our cats. We pay $40 extra a month for our cats and I think that's enough to cover any amount of damage all our animals could do over the period of 1-2 years. That plus the stupid non refundable pet deposit D:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Re: Introduction help needed please! Blind male and 6 week o

See, i'd happily pay some some sort of pet deposit, but there was nothing in the contract about that sort of option, and i think the £325 annual deposit we paid will more than cover any damage my ratties might do. In the seven months i've had Oscar he's not damaged a thing (apart from digging at the carpet in the corner) but the house i'm moving to has wood floors, and they're pretty much indestructable. I might try and find out if there are any loopholes and such. I can see why they say 'no pets'. I mean, if they said pets were allowed, people could have huge dogs or a zillion cats running around the house, so i can't see the landlord being bothered about the rats, even if he does find out.

Just a little update for you all: I came in last night and they were both laid in the hammock together :D But since then Moss has been hiding in his bolt-holes, and they haven't really been interacting much. Hopefully time is all they need to get closer, what do you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,755 Posts
Re: Introduction help needed please! Blind male and 6 week o

yeah, they just need some time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Re: Introduction help needed please! Blind male and 6 week o

i'm glad to hear that they're getting along okay without you. it must have been a relief to find them cuddled up when you got home.
i guess all i can add is that time is all you can give it to see if it works out. sounds hopeful though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Re: Introduction help needed please! Blind male and 6 week o

I can't tell you how much of a relief it was lol. They seem to be getting closer every day - they groom each other all the time now and curl up together on a night and stuff so yay :) all is good :D
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top