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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone!
I鈥檓 a new rat owner, and this is my beautiful girl, Mercy馃挮

I bought her from a pet store nearby, not knowing what can go on in those sorts of establishments, and she definitely was not receiving as much love as she is now. She has some cage aggression and is a little iffy with my sisters rat as of recent, but we are working on it! The pet place didn鈥檛 tell me her exact age, but apparently she is 6-8 weeks.

I鈥檓 sure I鈥檒l be on here often seeking advice on how to love her in the best way possible 馃挮
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Welcome Mercy and Ihpets! You've come to the right place. Don't worry about being a newby, we all have to start at the beginning, right? Hyoomans here can give you the advice you need, and the advice I'll toss out right now is get a good cage-Critter Nation is highly recommended - and find another female friend or two for Mercy. She looks very sweet. Keep on the Forum, ask lots of questions, and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi RatPappy!

Thank you for the advice!! About the female rat situation, I do think there could maybe be some trauma revolving that as the guy at the pet store literally put his hand in and snatched her away from her sister :( I felt so horrible about it I wanted to get both of them but being a new rat owner I definitely didn鈥檛 want to bite off more than I could chew, so I just had to take the one. I separated Mercy and Arthur (my sisters male rat) for the whole day today and when I brought them back together tonight to test the waters, they were as good as they usually are. I鈥檓 beginning to suspect I was being overprotective and thought play fighting was genuine fighting haha, because she can be aggressive in the cage. Arthur has such nice temperament too, definitely the classic snuggly, chill male :D

Thank you for responding to my post, it was nice to read!
 

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Hi and welcome to you and Mercy. She has a really pretty coat.
If her sister is still at the pet store, I would recommend going back and adopting her. Even though it makes sense on the surface to start with one rat, its not really much more work to have a pair. And it would also bring out the best in Mercy if she has a friend, particularly her sister!
I just have a question about Arthur - is he a full male or neutered? If he's full, I wouldn't let them out together to play for fear of babies. A few people here on the forum have let their male/female rats out together and ended up with babies. Lots of them! :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Ratbuster thank you for replying!!

I bought Mercy about a week ago, so I鈥檓 not too sure if she would even be there but I might call them sometime today if I get the chance. I鈥檇 want to buy a bigger cage before getting another female, but it鈥檚 a little tight at the moment with cash haha.

Looking into diying a big cage and rat tree area for both Mercy and Arthur, and eventually a female bestie! Arthur isn鈥檛 neutered and honestly the only concern I have about babies is how Mercy will be with them, I can鈥檛 shake the feeling she will just end up eating them or something! But the place we got Arthur from was really good and they鈥檙e actually after a rat breeder but obviously I have a lot to learn between here and then.

Update on Mercy and Arthur btw, I鈥檝e been letting them free roam for about 2-3 hours at night when they come out of hiding, and they鈥檝e been loving it! They were snuggled up together on the couch last night馃ズ
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I really recommend against breeding Mercy and Arthur on purpose, although it may be a little late.
If you are having trouble finding the cash to house and care for a pair of female rats, it will only be harder to care for a litter.

If Mercy is (or becomes) pregnant, Arthur will need to "move out" back to his cage, as males cannot be housed with babies. Also females can become pregnant within 24 hours after giving birth, which would be very hard on them.
Once the babies are 4-5 weeks old, the males and females need separate housing as they too can begin to breed.
Hence my advice to stick with Mercy for now, preferably with a female friend, and maybe keep the breeding idea on hold for a time in the future when you are really well set up for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for your advice, I didn鈥檛 realise how soon after giving birth Mercy would fall pregnant again. If I get Mercy a female friend, will Arthur be more lonely and need his own male friend?
 

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Yes, Arthur would need a friend too.
If money allowed, she could get Arthur neutered and he would be a really great friend for Mercy.
Or he could just live with a male friend which I'm sure he would love. From experience, two same sex rats in a cage together isn't really any more work (or even cost really) than a single one.
You could keep an eye on Mercy, however, as she may be already pregnant. In which case the babies will be arriving in approx 3 weeks.
Any questions, please keep asking.
P.S. If you fairly new to rats and you want some great info, have a look at Shadow the Rat's youtube channel. Deals with all sorts of aspects of rat care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You鈥檝e been very helpful I really appreciate it!! My sister is only 14 so she won鈥檛 be able to afford it but I鈥檒l talk to her about me paying for it heheh

I loveeeee Emiology on youtube she鈥檚 been pretty helpful, and I did watch a video from Shadow the Rat on cage must haves, I have a pretty cool shower ring hammock because of that video haha

I鈥檒l make sure to keep you updated!! If we end up getting bigger cages I鈥檒l try to find both of them a friend 馃悁馃悂
 
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