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Discussion Starter #1
I have 5 rats. 2 of them are more aggressive than the others, and one has pretty much turned evil. They didn't used to be like this. The four I originally had never fought for about a year, then the oldest got sick and died, and from then on the three would get in fights all the time, mostly at feeding time. I seperated the one that seemed to instigate it all, and the two left over were okay for a few weeks, then they started to fight really badly too, leaving huge gashes in eachother. Another seperation. I got 2 more little ones hoping that it would somehow fix the hierarchy, but the same thing pretty much happened. Three gentle rats, two that beat up each other and the rest of them. So now I have 5 rats in 4 cages :(. Two of which are little stinky aquariums cause its all I've got. They have been sometimes okay if they are all together outside the cages, so tonight I tried letting them all mingle. Again, the most evil rat I seem to have (a dumbo), starting picking fights, running towards my nice guys and chasing them when they ran away. He gets all puffed up and acts like hes gonna bite me when he gets like that. I've already been bitten once when I tried to break up a fight, and tonight I got bit just by picking the mean one up after a fight when he was still puffed up. Not too bad, but enough to bleed. This has really pissed me off. I think I'm about ready to let him be snake food. He's just turned into such an asshole!
The other second meanest rat that actually bit me really bad once before, which was entirely my own fault, isn't anywhere near as aggressive, and hes much more cuddly. but he still fights really bad with the others if i puit them in the same cage. The one dumbo rat I have is just the meanest, non cuddly rat ever. He is okay with people as long as he isnt close to any other rats... but he does really mean stuff to the other rats like he enjoys it. Like when they run over his cage he will bite at their legs or tails and hold on till I come pull them away. He was always very nervous and skittish...and for awhile was at the bottom of the hierarchy cause he is the smallest... but now... I think he has to go. Anyone want a mean jerky rat that has to be kept alone? Also I could put the 3 nice ones in the same cage but the little ones squeeze through the cage bars! They really aren't that small anymore, but they do a houdini routine to get in or out whenever they want so i have to keep them in the **** aquarium. I keep hoping they will learn that every time they escape its straight back to the smaller cage.. but they keep doing it.
 

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You have boys that need to be neutered. Btw how big was their cag? Males especially need more room since they are more physically territorial than females.

I will ignore the snake food comment. :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Definately not gonna spend 75-150 dollars on an operation for a 7-10 dollar pet. I mean, if i was rich sure... The big cage is pretty big, and I bought it so I could easily have 5 rats with enough space. Its got 2 shelves and a tube that goes out each side and over the top. As it is I can only keep one rat in it :( If I neutered one, then I'd probably have to end up doing to another, and another.. that would be crazy. I don't want to feed my mean evil dumbo to a snake, but I am seriously thinking of taking him to a pet shop and seeing if they will take him for whatever purpose. He's had his chances. I thought when rats got older they mellowed out, not get more aggressive. Is this common? He's about 15 months probably
 

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You could cover the wire cage with hardwire cloth to prevent the small ones from getting out - it would cost a lot less than neutering them all, and you can fit more rats in one cage...
 

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Often as they mature they'll get more testosterone, which causes the aggression issues. your best bet would be the neuter, or to place him in a rat rescue.

As to spending money on a $10 pet... I take it this means no vet visits if they're sick, or tumor removals? Rats are not a low cost pet, and need to be taken to the vet the same as all other animals. I hate the argument that they're a '$10 pet, so why spend money on them?'. My cat was free, and I made sure she got all her kitten vaccines done and she is going to be spayed within the next month.

Perhaps you should reconcider having pets if you feel they're not worth the vet bills.

As to the 'mean rat', I can totally understand if you can't handle that. Not everyone is comfortable rehabbing a biter. My Remy was quite the biter before his neuter, and still will nail you if the mood strikes him. Don't condem the rat for something that comes naturally to him. He's not sitting around in his cage thinking of ways to hurt you today.
 

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Yeah I would definitely try to rehome your "evil" boy before taking him to a petstore. There's enough of us crazy rat people who like to rehab biters or fear aggressives...LOL

I have eventually gotten through to every one of my troubled rats. :D

Rats are very expensive, even without elective surgeries. They get ill often and will die without treatment for the most part. I get most of mine for free (rescues, rehomes like yours, etc) and spend quite a bit on their care and wellbeing...its part of being a pet owner.
 

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i have a biter... and there is absolutely no way in the world i would ever get rid of her, or think of having her turned into s food. loco bit me yesterday, but that was my fault for startling her awake. i get bitten at least once a week, so my fingers are toughening up. she also poops on me when she's had enough of snuggling, so is that another reason to get rid of her?? **** no, i'll wash and so will my clothes.

i'm sorry, but if you think spending the necessary money on neutering for a $10 pet is too much, maybe you need to rethink the whole idea of having pets. THEY ARE FOR LIFE, NOT FOR CHRISTMAS OR A WHIM!!!!!!!!
 

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No matter how much you pay for a pet, you are responsible for them in every way, including vet bills.
Your rats are not in suitable homes as it is.
That cage with only 2 shelves is not big enough for 5 rats. They need a ton more space. In fact a cage should have enough space to allow each rat their own "spot".
Sounds like you need to have at least two rats neutered. After that you can start a group intro. Do this for about two weeks and with a cage big enough for say 8 rats, you should have your gang back together.

Or... rehome your rats, especially if you don't plan on paying for their medical needs. BTW, a neuter *is* a medical need.
 

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simpliciter said:
<snip>... The big cage is pretty big, and I bought it so I could easily have 5 rats with enough space. Its got 2 shelves and a tube that goes out each side and over the top. <snip>
That cage sounds like the ferret cages so often found, I know because I have several of them.

Is it like this one??



There is no way you can keep 5 males in that. I believe the dimensions are 30 inches high 36 inches wide & 18 inches deep. I have a single male in one that size & I have 3 males in one that size. The 3 have just about reached full grown size I will be putting them in a larger cage soon. I also modified them by removing those plastic pee trap shelves with a better type of shelf. I also added additional level with more floor space on each level.

The single boy I have really needs the whole cage to himself since he is a monster sized rat. If he would tolerate a roomie I could probably add one more but because of his size he has the whole place to himself. He has I single shelf in his cage & a super sized hammock above that.

When boys get mean with each other they need to be fixed or separated. Not all boys get that way but it does happen.

Aside from possible over crowding they may be fighting over food. You did mention aggression at feeding time. What are you feeding them.. like how much of what & how often?

Sorry to hear about the biters. Check to see if you have a freecycle group in your area & post that you need ferret cages. Your boys should be large enough to not slip through bars & they will be far more happy & healthy if you get them out of those glass aquariums. I have been able to get several cages from freecycle over the last year.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies all. Okay, I definately made myself open for the critical responses to my saying how they aren't worth spending lots of money on. I say this mainly because I've already spent a lot of money on them on vet visits when 2 got sick, plus buying 2 cages. I am on a very tight budget which I'm already stressed about so... Yeah I didn't really think it through when I got them that they are almost the same expense as a dog or cat, you think gerbil or mouse where they are fine until one day they just die without warning. Obviously rats are more complicated than that. I really never considered neutering though, getting another cage seems simpler. Just possibly if I get into a different financial situation soon which is possible.

Good to know there maybe people willing to rehab my mean guy. He really is fine with people, even will lick you sometimes. Just get him near other rats and he turns into the terminator.

That is very similiar to the cage I was talking about, though its smaller than the one in that pic actually. Not big enough for 5 eh? I had 4 seemingly happy in a cage smaller than that for awhile. I have been told that they need less space than that in the past. But thats what you get from the internet, lol. I have a hammock in there, though i just had to throw it out because it got too dirty.. will get another. Again, if finances allow I'd like to get a bigger cage possibly something that has portions I can temporary bar off to make seperate spaces? What is this hardwire cloth blueskky mentioned? Where do I get it a hardware store? That would be really helpful, then I could at least have 3 in the big cage.

Rob
 

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If I were you, I would seriously consider rehoming some of your rats immediately, it's better than either you or your rats suffering because you don't have the money to take care of them. Which is understandable. I have two boys (who get along fine), and that is already enough time, energy, and money spent from me!!
 

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Yeah... A good cage costs quite a bit. When I went from 2, to 3 and 4 males, we had to buy a new cage, and 3 were getting tight in the one we had since they had all grown.

The best cage I could find that would still be useful as a rat cage was $140. Now, that may either seem like a lot or not much, but if it seems like a lot, then yes, you may need to consider giving some up.

Our males are like entirely new rats in the large cage, and had no problems accepting the 4th. They love the room, they need it. I can afford all this stuff, but if you can't that is not to say you can't have rats... just that you have to consider how many you can safely support. If you have two that are best buds, those might be the ones you may want to keep, and the others you could try to find new homes for.
 

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I would think about rehoming some of them or you could make a large cage yourself,its very easy and cheap. I made my rat cage outta 2 large hamster cages costing £20 each and its huge! Check out the pic i posted on the meet my rat thread.
Iv spent lots of money on all my pets because i know i have to and alot of the time i really cant afford it so im setting a up a "pet fund" bank account and putting about £25 a month in to help with animal costs when needed. Maybe you should think about doing somthing like that to help towards vet bills:eek:)
 

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reachthestars said:
Often as they mature they'll get more testosterone, which causes the aggression issues. your best bet would be the neuter, or to place him in a rat rescue.

As to spending money on a $10 pet... I take it this means no vet visits if they're sick, or tumor removals? Rats are not a low cost pet, and need to be taken to the vet the same as all other animals. I hate the argument that they're a '$10 pet, so why spend money on them?'. My cat was free, and I made sure she got all her kitten vaccines done and she is going to be spayed within the next month.

Perhaps you should reconcider having pets if you feel they're not worth the vet bills.

As to the 'mean rat', I can totally understand if you can't handle that. Not everyone is comfortable rehabbing a biter. My Remy was quite the biter before his neuter, and still will nail you if the mood strikes him. Don't condem the rat for something that comes naturally to him. He's not sitting around in his cage thinking of ways to hurt you today.

I had a severe problem with my $26.00 guinea pig, and I brought her to the vet. The bill cost me $100.00 near, and I REALLY HOPE that kind of accident will never happen again, as $100.00 is a ridiculous, and yet an extremely helpful and healthy, bill. I want to be a vet, so my prices are far lower than that (of course, Idk what the cost is to use the equipment TO help our pets), IF possible. Aren't there vets at rescues? Is it possible to be a customer for vet purposes, while still keeping your pet? If so, I'd REALLY like to know. I agree with simpliciter, in SOME ways, but sometimes, it's not your pet's fault. Illness and accidents happen, and like us, they need to be cured.

Simpliciter, do you have ANY rats that team up? I MIGHT have a good plan...
 

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Ditto... BTW, it's not a good thing to feed live ratties to a snake, because believe it or not, the snake could get seriously injured, and even killed. Either way, the rat would be screwed, and I don't think having over 100 teeth that are shaped like fishhooks rip into you and undulate you down a 6 foot tube where somewhere in the middle you stew in your own juices and a little acid for a week would feel too good.
 
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