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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got 2 baby rats and they're my first rats ever. I've been researching rat care for almost 2 years to try to prepare myself to be a good rat mama but now I'm concerned I still don't know all I need to. For instance I have a male and female siblings named bean and squirt respectively. Bean is very energetic and has eaten and goes to the water often. He likes to hang out in the highest part of their cage and is more comfortable being held as the person i got them from worked with him on that. Squirt however is my biggest concern. She stays in a corner at the bottom of the cage and doesn't move much except to go up top with bean in the morning to cuddle/sleep. I've never seen her eat or heard/seen her drink. Every time I hear the water bottle clicking I check to see if its her but its always bean instead. I found out that their mom was bought as a feeder and raised but is often very sickly. I'm worried about any health issues for both my babies but especially squirt since she doesn't do much. The person I got them from also later informed me that her rats previous litter had all passed due to illness and some of my babies siblings were showing similar signs but didn't know for sure what the illness could be. I know I've said this like 3 times already but I'm just so scared I might lose one or both my baby rats. Does anyone have insight or ideas?
 

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Hi and take a deep breath, you are very concerned and rightly so. First, separate the boy and girl rat as they will breed in the blink of an eye, even at 5-6 weeks old. Squirt may not be getting enough food and water due to shyness, so this way you'll be able to see exactly what she is eating and how much she is drinking. You can tell us more, like what kind of cage, how old they are, what type of bedding, what kinds of food, etc. The more information the better ;)
 

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Oh my god. Separate them immediately.

If it were me, I'd do one of two things...

1) Return the female to the person you got them from. Research quarantine and introduction techniques, find a responsible rattery, and purchase 1 or 2 male friends for your male.

or...

2) Return both of them to the person you got them from, find a responsible rattery, and purchase a same-sex pair or trio.
 

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Oh my god. Separate them immediately.

If it were me, I'd do one of two things...

1) Return the female to the person you got them from. Research quarantine and introduction techniques, find a responsible rattery, and purchase 1 or 2 male friends for your male.

or...

2) Return both of them to the person you got them from, find a responsible rattery, and purchase a same-sex pair or trio.
So I have a 2 level cage with a petting tray which is where they spend most of their time. Since I am unable to get to a store to buy another cage at the moment and I can already say the person probably wont take them back I've separated them by placing squirt in the petting tray and putting that in a box with holes sitting over the tray hole on top of the cage. This is the best I can do at the moment but I'll definitely keep looking to better separate and quarantine them. I have a small food dish in there with her and I'm currently thinking of how to get her water without risking her spilling a dish into the bedding.
 

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So I have a 2 level cage with a petting tray which is where they spend most of their time. Since I am unable to get to a store to buy another cage at the moment and I can already say the person probably wont take them back I've separated them by placing squirt in the petting tray and putting that in a box with holes sitting over the tray hole on top of the cage. This is the best I can do at the moment but I'll definitely keep looking to better separate and quarantine them. I have a small food dish in there with her and I'm currently thinking of how to get her water without risking her spilling a dish into the bedding.
At this point, I would focus more on making sure she gets water than worrying if it spills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh my god. Separate them immediately.

If it were me, I'd do one of two things...

1) Return the female to the person you got them from. Research quarantine and introduction techniques, find a responsible rattery, and purchase 1 or 2 male friends for your male.

or...

2) Return both of them to the person you got them from, find a responsible rattery, and purchase a same-sex pair or trio.
Hey so since I separated them yesterday she still hasn't eaten or drank anything I put in with her and now he wont move from the spot he's been in since I took her out of the main cage
 

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What is she doing? Is she sleeping, or trembling or just sitting still with her eyes open? A stressed rat may be so fearful that they may not eat or drink. You can make some runny cream of wheat or baby cereal and feed her with your fingers. There will be moisture in the food, and she'll get some nutrition.

Can you take a picture of your set up? You said she is in a box with holes. Does she have fleece or cloth for bedding, somewhere she can stay warm? A young rat can chill easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What is she doing? Is she sleeping, or trembling or just sitting still with her eyes open? A stressed rat may be so fearful that they may not eat or drink. You can make some runny cream of wheat or baby cereal and feed her with your fingers. There will be moisture in the food, and she'll get some nutrition.

Can you take a picture of your set up? You said she is in a box with holes. Does she have fleece or cloth for bedding, somewhere she can stay warm? A young rat can chill easily.
Yes inside the box with holes she is also inside the petting tray that came with the cage. I had put extra bedding in there a day after getting them cuz i noticed they spent more time there than in the actual cage itself so I've also been cleaning that bedding as I would the cage. Its kaytee small pet bedding that feels sort of like super soft paper. It was the quickest way I could think to separate them. I'm also worried cuz bean has since been immobile in the cage tube that leads up to where the tray would normally be.
 

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Please get both of your rats in a place where you can watch them and access them. They do not sound healthy. Get another box for your Bean. Make sure you keep them warm, because they don't have each other to get warmth. Give them wet baby food, they need to stay hydrated. Try to get them to eat every hour if you can.

They really need to see a vet, but I'm guessing that's not an option. You really need to observe their condition so you can make note of changes, both good and bad. Can they walk? Are they sneezing? Do they have runny eyes? Do they feel cold to the touch? Are they trying to get away from you at all? Rats are usually very quick. Please let us know what you are observing.

You can put the two boxes next to each other with holes so they can smell and sense each other. A sick rat can get depressed quickly.
 
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How are your babies doing?
 
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Cloud and Dew (Pearl Merle and American Mink, both with Irish markings)!
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Take everyone’s advice. Wet baby food will do the job, and it‘s very concerning that she hasn’t eaten.
 

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I'm also concerned as to how you researched pet rats for 2 years, but didn't learn about not keeping males and females together?

Also, what cage do you have with a "petting tray" and tubes inside of it? The only cages I know of that have those things are hamster cages.

If your female doesn't have enough space, you can make a bin cage.
 

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Cloud and Dew (Pearl Merle and American Mink, both with Irish markings)!
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Yes, good points.
As with any animal, unfixed rats of different genders cannot be kept together.


Makes me wonder how thorough your research was. . .
 

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I'm also concerned as to how you researched pet rats for 2 years, but didn't learn about not keeping males and females together?

Also, what cage do you have with a "petting tray" and tubes inside of it? The only cages I know of that have those things are hamster cages.

If your female doesn't have enough space, you can make a bin cage.
The Rat Bin Cage is a great idea for a temp situation! We actually had some rescues that came to us living in one of these. It was 6 older baby boys, waaaaay too many :( They were stressed when I got them.
 

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I built a bin cage for about $25 for my 3rd baby rat, to keep him in quarantine for 2 weeks (just to be safe, he was from the same breeder as my other 2). Now I have a nice travel bin cage that can double as a hospital cage in case of illness or injury. It's really a great investment.
 

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Great for quarantine, or a hospital setting. I may have a project this weekend!
 
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Yes inside the box with holes she is also inside the petting tray that came with the cage. I had put extra bedding in there a day after getting them cuz i noticed they spent more time there than in the actual cage itself so I've also been cleaning that bedding as I would the cage. Its kaytee small pet bedding that feels sort of like super soft paper. It was the quickest way I could think to separate them. I'm also worried cuz bean has since been immobile in the cage tube that leads up to where the tray would normally be.
Jyllyn, what's going on with your babies?? Please let us know.
 
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