Rat Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is going to be long - so I'm apologizing up front. :)
First, a little backstory on the characters involved:
Turvy, I've had since March, when she was a month old. She is my fearless, energetic, friendly girl.
Gigi, Is a couple of months younger than Turvy. I got her in August from a rescue. She is sweet but very timid, both in the cage and with people. She basically "clings" to Turvy. She friendly but not yet comfortable with handling.
Suzie Is my "new girl". From the same rescue I got Gigi from. I was told she was around Gigi's age (I wanted to keep additions to the cage, younger than Turvy) but once I saw her, I knew she was older than Turvy. I know the rescue had her alone in a cage for over a month and there were some "adjustments" when I first got her. I kept her in her own cage, while I worked on her biting and getting use to me. I picked her up on 9/25. She has also attacked and chased my cat. She's bold and independent.

So over the past two weeks, I've had all three in the tub a couple of times and free roaming on my bed. Suzie basically ignored the other two. Couldn't be bothered and went about her own way, as if they weren't even there.

I mistakenly thought this was a good sign and tried to get them all in the same cage, this past weekend. I strip cleaned the cage, laundered all the hammocks and cloths. Then I re-set up the cage - added some new things, moved the familiar things around a bit.

I let all three girls roam around the top of the cage (with the cage door open) - so they could enter the cage on their own.

And that's where the trouble started.
Suzie and Turvy went at it immediately. First it was the normal "sniffing" and "flexing" and then things started getting really aggressive. Several times I clapped my hands loudly to startle them out of what they were doing. There was puffing and I even heard Suzie hiss at Turvy - loudly. A couple of times, I used a mister, to do the same thing. At one point, Suzie had Turvy on her back, with her mouth on Turvy's neck. I cased Suzie off and Turvy ran. When I reached into the cage, Suzie charged at me.

Suzie then turned her attention to Gigi. I have never before seen a rat stalk something so deliberately and methodically. She didn't charge at Gigi, but did this slow, menacing walk after Gigi. She would continue this until Gigi ran into a corner. Then Suzie would stand there, staring Gigi down and not letting her move away.

At this point, I became very uncomfortable with the idea of leaving the 3 of them in the cage, unsupervised, overnight.

I enticed Suzie back up to the top of the cage and used a towel to pick her up (she was not happy). I put her back in her original cage.

I went to check on the others. Turvy was hiding in a tube and would only poke her face out for a treat. Gigi ran onto my hand and laid there with her eyes closed, while I rubbed her head and whispered to her. I honestly think Gigi was traumatized.

In a short while, they began returning to their normal behavior.

I went to check on Suzie and she was fine. Came to the cage door, nudged my hand for pets .... like the whole incident never happened.

So, now what do I do?
Should I give it sometime and start all over with the introduction process? The rescue is telling me to try the carrier method, but after seeing what happened last night, I'm real hesitant to subject the 2 girls to that.

Or could it be that Suzie is the one rat that does better on her own?
 

·
Registered
Rex, Penny, Sugar, Latte
Joined
·
388 Posts
I think for now keep them separated and give them time to calm down. Perhaps spaying might help if they aren't already. (Also, it sounds like you did amazing work with Suzie!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I think for now keep them separated and give them time to calm down. Perhaps spaying might help if they aren't already. (Also, it sounds like you did amazing work with Suzie!)
Thanks and thanks for reply.

I don't know if Suzie or Gigi is spayed. I do know Turvy is not. I don't think Gigi is either. But it wouldn't be a bad idea to find out. I want all 3 of them to be happy - but I don't want to risk harm to the 2 of them to get there.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
181 Posts
I'm sorry for only just seeing this.
I've only introduced rats once before and they were boys of different ages so it was easier (I think when theyre young and small and introduced to a large adult theres no need for aggression for dominance, its pretty clear who would win so they got on)
I would personally keep them separate again for a while and keep the cages right next to each other to get used to their scents. Cleaning the cage out and putting them in it may have confused them a bit as all the smells would have changed and they may have fought for dominance as there's no markings (i'm no expert just what I imagine is the case).

Go back to starting slow in the bathtub maybe and see how that goes, maybe the carrier method might be more effective for you as they wont have space to fight and hurt each other but i've never tried that.

Failing that, pop on discord and have a chat with some of the smarter people than I :)
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top