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Should male and female rats live together?

  • Yes for company

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  • No because they can kill each other

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  • Only when the female is in heat

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:cry: :cry: :cry: Please if anyone could give me some advice it would be helpful..

I brought a female baby rat for my baby male rat about six months ago so they could breed and keep each other company. They loved each other and groomed each other, and sometimes they would mate. We thought she might of been pregnant and that the male rat would make a great father.

But yesterday I found my female rat dead. upsettingly, i found her half eaten by my other rat, her bottom half was gone.

Why did my male rat kill and half eat my female rat? i am very upset and i need some advice.

Tara.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My female rat was killed & eaten by my male rat, why?

:cry: :cry: :cry: Please if anyone could give me some advice it would be helpful..

I brought a female baby rat for my baby male rat about six months ago so they could breed and keep each other company. They loved each other and groomed each other, and sometimes they would mate. We thought she might of been pregnant and that the male rat would make a great father.

But yesterday I found my female rat dead. upsettingly, i found her half eaten by my other rat, her bottom half was gone.

Why did my male rat kill and half eat my female rat? i am very upset and i need some advice.

Tara
 

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Re: My female rat was killed & eaten by my male rat, why

I would like to add that their cage was really big and they were fed regularly and healthy so they would not have fought over food or space. They were well taken care of and often let out of their cage for a free run.
 

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Re: My female rat was killed & eaten by my male rat, why

I have no clue. This breaks my heart. Im so sorry for that little girl and you. :cry:
 

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there are many things wrong with your statements but i will refrain from discussing those and just get to your question, i'm sure someone else will address the other issues.

your male may not have killed her, the pregnancy could have done that. the male eating your female may have been because of the living conditions. if the food is unbalanced or if the space is too small may have been reason enough for him to eat her. sometimes rats will eat their dead cagemates for no real reason as well though that is extremely rare.

another scenario could be that the male saw something wrong with the female (not having babies before after 6 months of being together leads me to think this way). she may have acted aggressive due to the illness and he defended himself then got carried away.
 

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you shouldn't keep males and females together unless one is spayed/neutered. females can have 20+ babies in one litter, and can get pregnant again as soon as their babies are born. so you could have 100+ rats in less than a year. not a good idea.

concerning the death of your female - she may have died of natural causes; i've never heard of males killing females before

it's very odd that your rats were together for 6 months and never had any babies...are you sure they were male and female, and not two males? two males would be more likely to fight to the death...
 

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even if they were both males after 6months of living together it would be very unlikely they would fight to death suddenly.
 

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Sometimes when a rat dies, their cagemates will "dispose" of the remains on their own. Its a natural instinct to get rid of whatever may draw attention from a predator. Kind of like those herbivore animals eating the afterbirth when they have had their babies.

It doesn't happen very often, but its a natural although frightening to us behaviour.
 

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There is such a huge number of homeless rats out there that creating more is considered a bad thing. In the future you should probably research rat care a bit more and get your young male a friend...no more girls and possible pregnancies for him!

The girl may have had an infected uterus (called pyometra) from a pregnancy gone wrong. She may have been pregnant but retained some of the babies and they became poison inside of her. :(
 

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Re: My female rat was killed & eaten by my male rat, why

I posted it in your other thread. the girl died and the male tried to clean up the remains. He didn't kill her, rats don't usually kill other rats they have lived with for so long.
 

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sorry for your loss :(

but female and males should definately not be housed together ESPECIALLY when she is in heat, more than 2 pregnancies in a lifetime is not good for a rat

if you had one or 2 litters that would be fine but they cant be back to back as that would cause damage and stress to your female, possibly causing her to eat the babies :O

right after the female becomes preggers you should remove the male or he could hurt her

again im so sorry for your loss :'(, get that boy a cagemate, if you want a female get him neutered so he wont be so sad :'(
 

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twitch said:
even if they were both males after 6months of living together it would be very unlikely they would fight to death suddenly.
i was just throwing that out there as a possibility since the female never had a litter during the 6 month period and pet store rats are often mis-sexed. though i have NO idea how you could mis-sex an adult male. 8O
 

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A1APassion said:
I can't answer the poll, there isn't a selection for "none of the above"
I am having the same problem.
 

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Re: My female rat was killed & eaten by my male rat, why

Next time I wouldn't suggest getting a female... especially so young many things can go wrong in a pregnancy and that may be what killed her. Not to mention male rats sometimes kill baby rats.
 

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Re: My female rat was killed & eaten by my male rat, why

Your male rat was just trying to get rid of the body. It's what wild animals do. Dead bodies attract predetors.
 

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Re: My female rat was killed & eaten by my male rat, why

Chances are the female died of natural causes and your male was trying to do what comes naturally to him. In the wild, the smell of a dead rat would attract predators to the colony, so they take it upon themselves to dispose of the body. Not pretty to find, but remember that he was doing what he thought best for her.

That being said, you should not be breeding petstore rats, especially with a female so young. Another male is perfect to keep your male company, and you won't find yourself overrun with rats. Rats can have an average litter sze of 6-12, but often have more than that. The gestation is 21-23 days, and she can be rebred within hours of giving birth. Did you have cages to seperate the babies into? If not, they would breed again, and you would quickly become overrun with rats.
 

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I merged both your topics together. For future reference, there is no need for two topics about the same issue.
 

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Sorry for the loss; I remember many years ago gerbils doing the same. It was a natural event.
 
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