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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! I’m Heather. I’m new here, and I could really use some
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outside opinions. Just over three weeks ago, I went away for the weekend with my parents and some family friends. One of my friends has a male rat and said I could bring my girls over and the person who was watching him would watch them too. This was a weekish before I got their critter nation, so they were in an aquarium with a topper and they had figured out to open the door to the topper, but I’d figured out how to keep it closed so they couldn’t get it open (key ring around where it opens). I trust this friend a lot, but I don’t know the person who was pet sitting and it’s conceivable that the door might not have been shut properly after a feeding, which would be problematic since my girls could get into the boys cage if they really wanted to. The week after we got back I checked them every day for signs of pregnancy but couldn’t find anything definitive. Yesterday and today my girl Lucy seems to be acting a little weird—she’s literally going in the opposite direction to prevent me picking her up, and as I’m typing this I’m watching her collect stuffing from the sloth hammock she and (I assumed) her sister have been progressively shredding (they’ve still been sleeping in it and I found some stuffing in other places I know they sleep, so I just let them keep it). I don’t know if she’s nesting or redecorating or what. She also seemed like she was trying to pull some material off my clothes too—she was tugging at my shirt collar last night and my bra strap this morning. The only other thing I’ve noticed is that I can see a lot of her nipples, but I don’t know if that’s actually a sign of pregnancy or just her because I never looked before. I think she may also have been eating more, but it’s honestly hard to tell. Thoughts?
(pictures are the potential mama’s belly vs her sister’s.)
 

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Hi there and welcome.
How long ago exactly would the female have got in with the male, if she did? Rats are pregnant for 21 - 25 days so that might help you to eliminate pregnancy as a possibility.
To me, the first belly doesn't look really pregnant (they can get pretty round!) although she does look like the nipples are more pronounced than on the sister. Apparently some rats can have very small litters so they don't always look really huge, and the behaviour sounds a bit like nesting.
I would start with pinpointing the dates that she could have got pregnant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi there and welcome.
How long ago exactly would the female have got in with the male, if she did? Rats are pregnant for 21 - 25 days so that might help you to eliminate pregnancy as a possibility.
To me, the first belly doesn't look really pregnant (they can get pretty round!) although she does look like the nipples are more pronounced than on the sister. Apparently some rats can have very small litters so they don't always look really huge, and the behaviour sounds a bit like nesting.
I would start with pinpointing the dates that she could have got pregnant.
It was the weekend of September 10-12, so if she is pregnant she should be giving birth sometime this week. I’m just hoping to figure it before she gives birth (if she does).
 

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By my reckoning, today would be the absolute latest she would give birth, making allowances for the fact that today it is Thursday 7th October where I live.
Most internet sources say gestation is 21 -24 days, with 25 days being a rare exception. I guess it wouldn't hurt to provide some nesting material in the cage just in case - like paper towels for example - and a private little hidey house. But if she doesn't have babies today it doesn't sound likely going by the dates you mentioned.
As an aside, we had 2 sisters that both became (accidentally) pregnant at roughly the same time, and we separated them into different nursery tanks. Some people leave the 'aunty' in with a pregnant mum, but personally I only ever had experience keeping them separate.
Hope that helps. Keep us posted - if babies do appear you will probably need some more info about looking after the litter. Lots of people on the forum would be happy to oblige I'm sure.
 

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It was the weekend of September 10-12, so if she is pregnant she should be giving birth sometime this week. I’m just hoping to figure it before she gives birth (if she does).
By the pictures you provided- if she was actually pregnant, she would probably only have like 3 pups. The size of her tummy is so small that i am guessing its just her eating more. she would be more round if she was pregnant and tired often if she was in late pregnancy. My Boyfriend has a better picture of my rats pregnancy belly, put i hope this picture from helps show it;
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Were do you live? I’m looking For rats in the Bay Area if she is preggers!
 

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Hi. A couple of days have gone by, and I was wondering how your girl got on? Did you see any babies in the end?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi. A couple of days have gone by, and I was wondering how your girl got on? Did you see any babies in the end?
Hi! Sorry, it was a busy week. She’s acting a bit more normal now and the material that made up her “nest” has been scattered around the cage again, so I think whatever was going on with her is over with. I think I’m going to have to look into whether or not rats can nest or anything while in heat, because that’s the only explanation I can think of.
 

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That would be interesting to look into whethert rats do that on heat. She sounds like she is doing fine anyway, despite her mysterious behaviour. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just wanted to update—she has remade her “nest” and is currently camped out in there by herself while her sister is in another corner of the cage. I am baffled.
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That is baffling. If you are sure of the dates, it is way too late for her to having a litter now. And her friend definitely looks like another girl.
Perhaps other people might have some ideas, but maybe she just likes building nests?
That is a cute little face by the way.
 
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