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Discussion Starter #1
Earlier this month I adopted two healthy male, unneutered rats from the humane society. They were littermates, and were being kept in the same cage with 2 other albinos. I figured it would be best to adopt 2 rats from the same cage because they would have already figured out the dominance scheme between the two of them.

They go through phases, however, where they fight. At first I thought it was dominance fighting, but now I am not so sure. I thought that maybe even though they were in the same cage together at the humae society, maybe one of the other rats had dominance over both of them, so they never had to figure out dominance over each other. Anyway, they will chase each other around the cage, then go up on their hind legs (facing each other), and then one rat (not always the same one) will end up pinning the other one on the ground. Then they usually stay there for a while, with the one rat on top of the other, and then they'll break apart.
But then sometimes they'll immediately start grooming each other, or just lay down to sleep and cuddle with one another, literally seconds after the fight breaks up.

All the advice I've seen about dominance between rats is made for introducing 2 new rats to each other, but these rats were already living together.

Is this fighting or just playing around? Should I be concerned when they do this or shold I just let it slide?
 

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It's dominance play, but I wouldn't worry too much. It seems that a group of rats will constantly be playing with who is dominant for the day/moment/etc. As long as they aren't showing aggression and such... I'd say they're okay. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ok. Every so often one will squeak, and I was worried they were getting too rough, but there hasn't been any actual biting so far.
 

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I worried about that at first too, because my smaller girl would squeak up a storm. But I just let them go at it, and it was over quickly and they'd go back to grooming each other ^_^
 

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my four girls also do that a lot. its all play. there are times where it'll get rough and they'll squeak, but never violent where it needs to be broken up. victoria loves fight playin but she gets rough. the other three are gentle with it
 

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Its all play... no blood, no worries.

My tiniest baby... my 5 week old hairless female will beat up on the older females in the cage. She was the only girl in the litter she she has 3 female room mates. Mom-Fluffy, Tipsy & Salty... all are around 5 months of age. I've watched her jump on one, to the next to the next... even push them off the water bottle. I've been calling her Tinky Winky because she small & keeps eyes slightly closed because of no eyelashes but I'm thinking with her attitude, the name is going to change.

She is completely separated from her brothers & Nubbers now but when I allowed him to interact with all the babies when they were 3 & 4 weeks old she would smack him around too. He would roll over on his back & she would actually have to crawl up on him to top him. Too funny!

The only time she is calm & quiet is when she is being held. She loves to cuddle up into the palm of my hand.
 
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