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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my two pet shop rescue rats, Geralt and Piccolo, are brothers and have lived together their whole lives. They're good friends despite little tousles for food and for stepping on a tail or two.

Piccolo was recently diagnosed with tumours, and because of his medium/old age and given the fact at the moment they don't bother him and aren't growing quickly, we've decided that he'll keep the tumours till they start noticeably affecting his quality of life, at which point he'll be put to sleep.

However, I have one big cage for the two and I'm wondering whether you all think it would be a good idea to get Geralt another cage-mate when Piccolo is gone one day? It's not expected to happen any time soon, but I thought it would be something to at least consider.

We live in rural Australia and don't have any specialty vets for very small pets around, so I've never got the two neutered. I could try to get it done but I don't want to bother in Geralt's old age if it won't help him and a new cage mate get along.

Would it be worth getting the new cage mate neutered? Would Geralt be okay on his own for his old age without a cage mate?

Just so many things to think about :p

Thanks for any help in advance :D
 

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I was just in a similar situation three months ago when I had a 18-month old hairless rat who had a pituitary tumor and I knew she wouldn't live much longer. Against my better judgement I decided to get her and her hairless sister a cagemate because I thought the one sister who would be left alone would need a furred companion to keep her warm along with companionship. The cagemate I bought was a two month old rat. I did intros slowly and the two sisters accepted the new rat. However, the sick rat would try to bite her and couldn't due to her condition and the rat baby just ran away. After my pt rat passed away, my new rat was living happily with the one rat sister. Two months later the rat sister got pneumonia and despite aggressive antibiotics she had to be euthanized.

My dilemma was now my new rat baby who is now four months old was left alone. She did have two cagemates, but both passed. This meant I'd end up with another rat when really I'm trying to get my rat numbers down to four instead of seven. So, it really depends. If you're okay with continually topping rats up consider getting a younger cagemate for your boys and do proper introductions so the new rat does not get killed and make sure the younger rat is big enough to defend itself.

Looking back I should have allowed my lone hairless rat to live alone because I sort of knew her lifespan was ending not only due to her age but because she was also having myco flare ups (she was on doxy during these periods and even on doxy she developed pneumonia - adding a second antimicrobial may or may not have helped her).

Ultimately the decision is up to you. Your rats may or may not accept a new cagemate which means if they don't, the new cagemate will have to be topped up. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your answer, you make a good point. I could always get two more, see how the two go being introduced to Geralt, and if they don't get along I'd just have to cage Geralt separately. Then the other two have each other. I'd probably get more down along the line, since I've got plenty of space and adequate cages but it's just hard to find good breeders out here.

I'll have to think about it a little more and see what my options are on more ratties around her :D
 
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