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Discussion Starter #1
A friend of mine has three friendly Degus but she can't keep them. I've done a lot of reasearch about them as I was considering adopting one before and only once did I see anything say they couldn't live with rats, most everything I saw online said they would be fine together if you just made sure they each had a separate diet to fit their species needs. She wants me to take them as she can't keep them anymore and I said I would see if I could. The thing I saw about them not being able to live with rats just pretty much said it wasn't a good idea but I heard of people who had Degus and rats together. My rats have been around hamsters, mice, rabbits, sheep, dogs, cats, etc. and have never had any problems so I don't think they would hurt the Degus at all and my friend says the Degus are very friendly but that's toward humans not necessarily other animals. She wants to bring the Degus over and let them meet the rats. If they get along do you guys think it would be okay to take them? They have a lot of the same needs as rats and many of their cage arrangements I've seen are a lot similiar to that of rats but I understand they do have their differences. I believe that I can provide the proper care for both of these animals as I have been doing my research on Degus but they would have to live with my rats and I don't want anything to happen to my girls or the Degus like fighting or anything. What do you guys think?
 

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I wouldn't. Rats are very well known to attack other species, it would not be that shocking if you woke up to one dead. They Might get along well outside the cage but inside they will attack each other. So I wouldn't do it.

Are you taking all of the Degus? just like rats, Degus do best in pairs to my knowledge (Sorry you worded it weird for me to tell). It's also best for their cage to be mainly wood or metal and no plastic. Degus are bigger chewers then rats.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My rats have lived with a hamster, and mice before, and when my cat was a kitten was a tiny kitten about the same size as the rats she would crawl in the cage and cuddle with them. I have lots of wooden chew toys and I was planning to redo my cage to have lots of things for both the rats and Degus. I was planning to get all three of them, yes. I really want to take them and she can't find anyone else who wants them because they aren't so popular and most people don't know anything about them or anything. We have them right now in my rat cage and are getting alone really well. But if its really not going to be okay.......if I don't take them her parents are making her let them go outside
 

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Could you build a separate cage for the degus, at least for when you're not there to observe?


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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not sure..I could see. My parents said I could keep them and they doing good with the rats so far except the male degu seems to not like the rats much but the females are looking like great friends
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think my only issue I'm seeing is Rarity chasing the male degu around and jumping on him and it seems to startle him and make him nervous. Other than that they seem to be getting along great. Emimy is sitting and grooming the two females and treating them like her rat friends and they are seeming to like her a lot too. Gia was actually cuddling with the male for a bit until Rarity decided to ruin that moment. I think Rarity is in heat tonight as she usually does the whole chasing and mounting thing to the other rats when she's in heat. So hopefully by tomorrow it will be fine? I'm watching them very carefully as I wouldn't want anything to happen to my any of these little fuzzies. Is there any chance this will work out?
 

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I am well-versed in interspecies introductions, but I am very much on the fence about this. Yes, so far your rats are getting along fine with the degus, and your girls appear docile, but rats can have high prey drives and may attack smaller animals. I learned this the hard way with my sweet, submissive Alban who attacked my Blue Tongued Skink without warning and would have killed her had I not intervened. IMO, it's a risk not worth taking, for everybody's sake. I would get a different cage for the degus - at least for when you aren't around to supervise them and then allow them out together at playtime, if at all.
 

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I would monitor things really closely as rats and degus have very different communication both by sound and body language. What is unthreatening for one species could be terrifying, a call to arms/challenge for another. IMO, its a bad long term idea.
 

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What about the cage your friend had them in? If it were me, I'd let them keep hanging out together while watching them for a couple weeks. They could have a separate cage for when you're out, but after 2 weeks if there haven't been any fights then I could move them in permanently.

Then again, you might be better off with separate cages because I've read that degus are not stinky. Might be easier cleaning separate cages.

I'd love to see pics!


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Discussion Starter #11
Like I said before, these rats have lived with a hamster and mice for long periods of time before and have never hurt anything. Nit disagreeing with what anyone is saying and not saying it couldnt happen. My little Rares is cuddling with the male degu now and finally stopped chasing him.
Actually Degus and rats are abouy the same size but Degus have a longer lifespan.
I'm not sure what she did with their cage, they to rid of it and had the Degus in a plastic bin trying to find them a new home so getting their old cage isn't an option. I also can't afford to get another cage right now.
If I can't keep them and make this work I'm not sure what do with them, my friend has been looking for a home for them for months and I was her last hope, if she had brought them back home again her parents would have made her release them into the wild.
I'm not sure what to do if this can't work.
 

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That's a big risk but I think you want to hear an approval of this action and might have a hard time getting it here.

Good luck, I hope no one gets hurt and you have a vet lined up just in case!

Clarice.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Located in western Oregon.
And I just. I'm stubborn. And I don't give up on anything if I can possibly help it. And at first I was really iffy on getting the Degus but then my friend told me she would have to set them free outside if I didn't take them and when I saw them and held them I fell in love and couldn't resist. I really want this to work out and so far it's perfect. But I know there's a huge change it won't turn out like I want. It's frustrating. I will be very careful and hopefully no little critters will be hurt. :( I feel like a bad rat momma now..I just couldn't help but give in to these little Degus.
 

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I can't blame you! But I'd suggest getting a $20 box of storage cubes, a $12 roll of hardware cloth, and zip ties. You can make a great cage for them for $32 and feel secure that you have an option in case things aren't working out.


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It gets me so upset when I hear people say they will just let an animal "go" or throw it in the trash if they can't find it a home like immediately! I got my hamster that way! Neighbor of mine was going to throw her out because she made too much noise at night! I no longer talk to that neighbor and Lady has a castle of her own amongst our other pets...

Good luck with everything! :)
 

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http://guineapigcages.com/cubes.htm

Here's a good site on how to build them. The degus will probably eat thru the coroplast though. I used hardware cloth attached to each grid (because the holes should be no larger than 1" for adults). I put the cage on top of a utility table instead of building a bottom. You know the ones with vinyl wood on top? That way they can't get at any corners to chew. Good luck! Pics!!


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Discussion Starter #20
It gets me so upset when I hear people say they will just let an animal "go" or throw it in the trash if they can't find it a home like immediately! I got my hamster that way! Neighbor of mine was going to throw her out because she made too much noise at night! I no longer talk to that neighbor and Lady has a castle of her own amongst our other pets...

Good luck with everything! :)
Thanks! And yeah her parents told her if I wouldn't take them she had to let them go so she begged and begged me and I had to give in.
 
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