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Hi all,

I had two rats in the same cage, one of them is known to eat parts of deceased rats, Robbi. This happened the last time when their other cage mate sadly passed away. This happened within hours of the other cage mate dying. It seemed, through information on the internet, that this is "relatively" normal.

Yesterday the other cage mate sadly also passed away and I noticed that Robbi was eating parts of him. I rushed in the cage and shooed him away. After examining I noticed that the cage mate was still alive but barely breathing!?

After a very traumatic experience rushing him to the emergency vet it seemed that he was dying and he was euthanized. The vet notified that it did not seem as if he was dying from the wounds.

My question is, is this normal for cage mates to already start eating their "friends" even when they're not even fully dead? He was still breathing when Robbi was eating his flesh, it was very disturbing.

Robbi has always been the odd one, very skittish and scared of humans. He and I sadly don't have a good relationship since I've not been able to get his trust, been bitten, quite badly, multiply times. It took him a long while to also get used to other rats since he's adopted from a "rough" place.

My current thoughts are that if the consensus is that this is basic "scavenger" behavior, then I would be okay with it. It would still be disturbing, but it would be the way it is, and I'd introduce him to the other rats (I have one other cage with two rats that I would introduce him to). If this is really not normal rat behavior, I don't want to risk the same happening to my other rats...

I posted my question and thoughts also via Reddit, but because I received various different opinions from other rat owners, I wanted to see if I could get additional thoughts from others here.

Thank you for reading.

Kind regards,
Patrick
 

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Ugh.

To be honest, I would also be very nervous about putting him with new rats. It doesn't sound like he'd do well alone, though. In this very odd and uncomfortable situation, I'd probably support whatever choice you felt you needed to make.
 

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Sten Sigurdsson & Pilgore the Destroyer, Barney, Arthur and Isabella(R.I.P Harald Fairhair)
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That is totally not normal and completely fucked up behavior for a rat to have with his cagemates. I really do not know what to say about that. When their cagemates die they usually just groom the body and will only start doing something like that if the body is left there for like all day. And that isn't "scavenging" behavior that is because they don't want the body to attract predators. I wouldn't know what to do with a rat like that. Sounds like a super dangerous situation for yourself and the other rats that have to share a cage with the cannibal rat.
 
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