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Hi all,

This is my first ever post though I have read almost the whole forum!!

Well, myself & my 4 year old daughter went to the pet shop yesterday to buy some treats for our new little kitty
The pet shop has just started to sell rats & when saw them my heart just melted!!

I love all animals & we have a little black kitty (Wanda) & 2 fishies (Nero & Dory) & I would have many many more if I had the room & the time...

Anyway, we decided we had to have a new member in our family & picked a lovely fat hooded white & black male rattey, probably under 6 months old, with a large hamster cage, lots of accessories, food & choc drops!!

We brought him home & he has stolen our hearts already... I haven't exactly picked him up yet but I have had my hands in his cage loads & have had him eating out of my hand..

I know it's silly but I am a bit nervous about picking him up, he has been nibbling me a bit but nothing serious at all, but I am still a bit nervous

OK so here is my question- I really feel sorry for him on his own but they totally advised me against getting 2 in the pet shop, I really feel that no living thing should be alone, everything should be in a pair at the very least... of course we have him in the sitting room & plan on having lots of interaction with him...

So, we went back to the petshop today to get a second little friend for rattey (one of his brothers by all accounts) but they practically REFUSED to sell me one on the grounds that two males would most definitely end up fighting to the death. They offered us two females instead but a) we have taken a real shine to Rattey now & don't want to change him & b) from what I hear & have read we are probably better off with a male anyway especially with a young child as they are more docile??

We can't have a male & a female together for obvious reasons 8O

I am interested in the opinions of the experts on here, would it be possibe to have 2 males together without them tryig to kill each other? thanks in advance
 

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ummm...the petshop people don't know anything about rats?

First...hamster cages are waaaay too small for rats. Use this cage calculator and punch in the dimensions of your cage to see if you can even fit 1 rat in it.

http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/information/habitat/cagecalculator/

They probably sold you a rodent seed mix, when your rat truly needs a quality lab block instead. What bedding did they tell you to use? Please don't say pine or cedar? :roll:

Males do not fight to the death if properly introduced. Was he living with other rats when you picked out your new friend? Or did they have him separate?
If he was living with other males then you should insist on buying one of those and soon (as long as the cage will take 2 rats otherwise they will fight...too little space can make any sex of rat fight each other). If you get him one of his former cagemates within a few days you can skip quarantine and often they will recognize each other and intro's may not be necessary either. :mrgreen:

If they had him separate he will have to be properly introduced to antoher male (meaning you need a separate cage for the newcomer and you quarantine at a separate location (air space) for 3 weeks so any contagious illnesses show up before you put them together. Then you will need to follow a proper introduction technique. We can go over that later on.

AS proof, here aere 2 brothers that are actually half-wild, half domestic and they don't try to kill each other. LOL
 

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Lilspaz- thanks so much for the reply... it is quite a large cage, the biggest I could find & afford, the dimensionssay it is ok for 1 rat but not much more would make it ok for 2.... I am thinking it would be better for him to have a friend in a slightly too small cage than a whole cage to himself but to be alone....

For the moment anyway that is, I plan on getting a bigger cage for him as soon as my local petshop gets them in & I can afford it, it doesn't help that I am a single parent & have worked my last day today (well in my current job anyway!!) & Christmas is just around the corner...

Food-wise I got Reggie Rat premium complete Rat food & for bedding I have woodchip with apple sent... doesn't say what type of wood it is but it says it is suitable for rabbits & rodents.....

I have lots of toys & games in the cage for him too & 2 different tunnels for him to sleep in!!
 

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I have two boys living together right now and they love each other :D

Sometimes I wish I could strangle pet shop employees...
I work in a lab at Purdue and whenever I go "fish shopping" I get all sorts of terrible info... *sigh*

The world needs to start treating ALL animals much better...

Anyhow, as long as your boy is not full-grown, he can probably fit in the cage with another young rat, but before they are adults you will need a MUCH bigger cage - try the classifieds or craigslist.com for cheap cages.
 

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IrishRat said:
Lilspaz- thanks so much for the reply... it is quite a large cage, the biggest I could find & afford, the dimensionssay it is ok for 1 rat but not much more would make it ok for 2.... I am thinking it would be better for him to have a friend in a slightly too small cage than a whole cage to himself but to be alone....

For the moment anyway that is, I plan on getting a bigger cage for him as soon as my local petshop gets them in & I can afford it, it doesn't help that I am a single parent & have worked my last day today (well in my current job anyway!!) & Christmas is just around the corner...

Food-wise I got Reggie Rat premium complete Rat food & for bedding I have woodchip with apple sent... doesn't say what type of wood it is but it says it is suitable for rabbits & rodents.....

I have lots of toys & games in the cage for him too & 2 different tunnels for him to sleep in!!
woodchips with an apple scent?
i'm pretty sure that litter shouldn't be scented...it could irritate his respiratory system.
try getting plain aspen bedding if you can, no pine or cedar!
and you could try looking on craigslist for a bigger cage. if you really can't afford it, make sure to take him out for lots of free range time.
and i agree that getting him a playmate is more important than getting a bigger cage, so i'd do that before getting a new cage!
 

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i had 2 males, my females fight more than they did, all of forensic's rats are boys, lots of people on this forum only have boys. print out this page and bring it to the petstore (just scratch out the part like: petstores dont know anything) good luck!
 

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rat_ratscal said:
print out this page and bring it to the petstore (just scratch out the part like: petstores dont know anything) good luck!
Hahaha very funny I will do that!!

Thank you all for your replies & help, we have already decided we will get a second little friend for rattey & a new bigger cage asap I think we have found a second cage already from a girl that doesn't live too far away from us i Ireland.... she has Degus & they have eaten through lots of plastic age bottoms so she has a few of the top metal cage bits left over, she has said I can have one which I can put over the top of the one I currently have makink it twice the height!!!

If that makes any sense! :D

By the way lilspaz, your two boys are adorable!!! They are so cute, they have rounder noses than our rats do over here...
 
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