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Hey all. I'm a new Rat owner. I've had lots of gerbils and a few bunnies in the past, broke down and finally got a Rat and must say that so far she's surprisingly interesting to play with! I also picked up a book at the store that suggests that rats shouldn't live alone. This was contrary to what the guy at the store said.

So, now it's got me wondering... I've typically bought animals in pairs... 2 gerbils at a time, 2 bunnies, 2 mice, this worked out well and they tended to get along. I wouldn't dream of buying a solo gerbil... they seem to do really well in a pair, working together and playing with/cleaning each other.

Is this the case with rats as well? I just bought Binx today and was planning on getting a new cage in the next few days anyway. Would it be best to get a second rat at that time too? Also, what are the chances of me putting Binx and the new rat into the new cage and not having a lot of problems. Binx is a female so we would get a second female, which I've read/heard is better than 2 males as the males are more territorial.

Any advice is much appreciated!
 

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Rats should definitely be kept in pairs. The rare exception exists, but is - of course - rare.

Two females should be fine, and if they're young and from the same store they might already know each other.

Two males get along fine as well, as long as they're introduced young. When they're older you just have to be more careful with introductions. :)
 

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Typically, don't listen to the petstore associates. They don't usually know junk about the animals they sell.


Just to be safe, I'd reccomend going through some type of the regular introductions. Just let them meet on neutral territory(which, in this case, could be their cage, but if you use the cage don't put either rat in it until you're ready for intros).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all.

We went back to the same pet store to get another one and didn't feel right about the only one left. Kind of skittish and after all our past skittish pets we wanted one that at least initially appeared more mellow, plus it was in a different section than the first one so I wasn't necessarily sure they were from the same litter.

Went to another pet store and they had these really cute fancy blue rats (Binx is a white/black rat, looks like a black hood, white coat, and black spot on her back, really neat but not sure what they're called). One of them immediately became interested in us, coming up to the glass and trying to get to us. Picked her up, got a big wire cage, got home and put them both in the new cage. Held my breath for a few but they didn't fight once. Phew :) They've been very social for the last few hours and have even been cleaning each other already.

Binx is appearing to be the dominant one, pushing Dusty out of the way when she wants to get to something. Binx is also apparently a big climber. I think Dusty still needs some time to break out of her shell and get used to us, which we'll be working on tonight.

Thanks again for the advice!
 

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Vixie said:
Typically, don't listen to the petstore associates. They don't usually know junk about the animals they sell.
I know what you mean. I was in a Petco looking at rat cages and the guy says I should just get a one level cage cause rats don't like to climb. I almost slapped him.
 

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Rats don't like to climb hah! I'll have to tell that to Morgan next time he wants to scale the big cage to antagonize Bert >_>
 
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