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Discussion Starter #1
I always find my self checking out the feeder bins whenever I go to a pet store. And I was just wondering if a rat was in a cage with 2 other rats and was snuggling and look like it got along with its cage mates would it also be rat friendly to a new rat? I'm looking for a cage mate and I just want things to go as smoothly as possible. My rats friendly with all of our animals (dog,guinea pig, and a hedge hog) and other people she's never met.. Would it completely change if we brought another rat into the equation?
 

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It really depends. A lot of the time that I check feeder bins at the pet store, the rats that look like they're "snuggling" are more likely trying to hide underneath each other. The mutual threat of what's outside the tank is more of a priority than fighting among themselves. This doesn't mean that they wouldn't get along, so don't get me wrong. But I would definitely spend some time there to gauge how they act towards you and pick that way. You can never know how rats will respond to each other until you do intros. If you've got a single rat (assumed from your wording), I would definitely look into getting another. Girls introduce better with other girls who are older than 12 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have a female rat who is probably about 9 months old, so would I want a younger rat to introduce to her? Or one about her age, or older
 

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You never want to introduce a mature adult female to a pup under 10 to 12 weeks old. Some kind of instinct kicks in and the older females will attack and even just kill the smaller rats...

After the females are over 12 weeks old they will fight but then make up and become best friends... and sometimes rather quickly. Oddly the younger rat needs to be able to fight back to survive intros to get to the point of becoming friends...

We let our older girl about a year and a half old, pick the roomie of her choice and she picked a neglected second hand rat that was 9 months old, and they became best friends almost instantly.

As to the rats huddled in the back in pet shops, I can't say that they are going to socialize to your rats better or worse, but I will say they are often the ones most afraid of humans. So handle them before you buy them. Ideally you want the rat that walks up to you when you reach in.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's what happened with my rat I have now. All the other ones tried to run away but when I picked her up she automatically got on my shoulder and was bruxing. But thank you! I'll keep all this in mind
 

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If your thinking of going for younger rats i would recommend getting 2, this can really help with intros. Adult females can get very annoyed with babies bothering them to play all the time (even if they are very playful rats themselves) so a similar aged playmate makes a big difference. This matters less when your talking about a rat over about 4-5 months. I tend to intro girls at around 8-10 weeks and dont see many problems, but then we are introducing related rats generally and typically there mums are already an established part of the group, which makes things a lot easier. Not every adult female will attack youngsters, a fair few are naturally maternal though and may end up adopting them (this seems sweet until you see an adult female drag the babies around the cage by there scruff and not let them out of the nest, something no young rat over about 3 weeks has the patience for), some just ignore them. Still the risk is lower if you leave it until the babies have matured a little and lost a little bit of that insanity.

A group of 3 is a nice size as a starting number and not really any more work than a group of 2.
 
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