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Hello! I am looking for some help on how to introduce male rats to each other.

My brother and I both own male rats, his rat (Ryu) is ~11 months and my rat (Take) is about ~5 months old. We have also decided to take in two younger male rats (Boba and Banjo) who are ~2 months old who were saved from being feeders. Now, Ryu and Take have lived in separate cages and rooms ever since we each got them and have been happy, friendly, and healthy rats. For what ever reason we didn't introduce them, however when we had the opportunity to rescue Boba and Banjo we decided that they both needed a companion and we are now trying to decided what the best course of action to follow. Currently, Boba and Banjo share a cage, where as Ryu and Take both have their own separate cages. We have also moved them into the same room so they can see/smell each other. I have been told by others that my bother and I should get the rats neutered because males who aren't will try to show dominance over each other and typically won't get along. I have also heard that bathing rats together will help them bond (how true this is I am uncertain). I have contacted a few vets in my area and was told from one that neutering them will do nothing and you should only neuter them if it's a male and female getting introduced and even then they need to be neutered by two weeks old. This also raises the question if we should separate Boba and Banjo from each other since they've been together since they were born.

Just looking for some advice on what to do! :)
 

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Neutering does help with hormonal aggression in rats. Many many people have delt with males with it, had them neutered and it fixed the problem. If it is not hormonal though then neutering won't help as much.

All rats should be kept in groups of 2 or more, even males. They are highly social animals.

I would say most males are fine in groups. I have 5 males living very happily together myself.
But sometimes a male will go through the hormonal aggression as I said & they will have to be neutered.

I would suggest doing proper intros and seeing how it goes.

My preferred method is to take them into an empty bathrub and use some type of messy yummy food- chocolate syrup, yogurt, babyfood, etc.. put some on each of the rats. This will mask their smell and give them a positive experience.
They will probably bathe themselves and perhaps each other.
if there is no fights then I'd give them a quick bath together to wash off the food. Put them in a small space like a cat carrier with towels somewhere warm to dry. This will also help mask the smell and bond them over the experience.

If still no fights.. u can try putting them into the cage together. The cage should be deeply scrubbed clean. Get into every corner and nook. Vinegar is your friend. You also have to wash everything inside the cage- food dishes, water bottles, toys, beds, etc... u want no remaining smell.

I also suggest putting in two water bottles, two food dishes, multiple beds all on idfferent floors/sides of the cage to lessen fights.

There may be squabbles and little spats. That is normal, let them work it out. As long as there is no blood or injury it is ok. if there is blood/injury u need to separate them.

You might want to wait a few weeks to introduce the younger rats but that is your choice. 8-12+ weeks is ideal age.
 
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