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Rat introductions

447 Views 14 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  LT_2022
My new rats arrived today 馃榿 Pictures here. Previous thread here.

My resident rat is currently blocked off in the top half of the CN. I put cardboard over the closed off ramp opening to keep her from seeing the new rats but she managed to chew a hole in it anyways 馃槤 She seems very intrigued about her new neighbors. She basically just sits over the closed off ramp and watches and smells what's happening below. Is it too soon to let them all meet? The new rats are super skittish but that's expected for the first day.

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My cats know that there are 2 new rats but they're ignoring them. In hindsight I should have put my resident rat in the bottom of the CN and the new ones in the top 馃槓

Howie the resident rat has met Jennie, the more confident of the two. Sort of. Jennie had climbed up the bars and was sniffing the closed off ramp where Howie was sitting on the other side of. I took Howie out and let her "meet" Jennie through the cage bars. They sniffed at each other and touched noses but didn't really seem interested in the other. No aggression which is good. I'll try a "play date" in the bathtub this weekend.

Rose has taken to hiding behind the dig box. Jennie hangs out on the shelf behind the fleece cube. Neither want to be handled but that's ok. The rescue said that they're slow to warm up but are friendly and treats help.
I have a potential dilemma. Or maybe I'm just overthinking. I clean out the CN weekly. Before I would just move my one rat to whichever half of the cage I was cleaning and then move her to the clean half so I can clean out the rest of the cage. I now have both halves of the CN occupied with rats. Would it be ok to put all 3 rats into the carrier temporarily and they can also get to know each other?

I didn't see Jennie at all yesterday. She was happy hiding under the fleece liner. Rose mostly stayed behind the dig box but she sniffed at the treats I offered her. Howie jumped into the bottom half of the cage while I had her out and the bottom door open馃槷 She walked over Jennie hiding under the liner before I was able to get her out. I don't know what Jennie thought of that. She may have thought it was just (a much heavier) Rose馃槅
All the rats have been introduced and are living together :) Yes, ideally one should wait two weeks to introduce new rats to the current rats and all that.

I first put everyone in a large box to explore. My older rat was definitely happy to see the new rats and kept grooming them and sniffing their butts. The new rats weren't quite sure about a new bigger friend. There was no squabbling or squeaking. I let them get acquainted for awhile until my older rat got cranky and kept climbing out of the box. I did the box intro a few times before I gave them full access to the CN. It's been a few days since and everyone is getting along just fine :D

The new rats are still too skittish for handling but they will approach my hand and sniff and take treats. Jennie is more confident than Rose. She saw Howie climb onto my arm last night and decided to give it a try, too :) Rose peeked around the cage door to watch.

Howie mostly leaves the new rats alone unless she wants to groom them or do more butt sniffing 馃檮 She seems to be buddies with Jennie. Picture of them "spelunking" under the fleece liner.

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I'd say introductions has been a success 馃榿

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Thanks! I was worried that my older rat wouldn't accept friends. Rose is slowly coming out of her shell. I can actually see her roaming around the cage and not hidden in a corner behind the dig box.
There's a 7 month difference between Howie and the new rats 馃槷 I'm not sure if Howie feels like an adoptive mom or if the new rats are simply friends.

Litter training is hit or miss. There's some poop in the litter boxes but I have no idea who's pooping in them. There's still lots of poop outside of the litter boxes and under the chewed up fleece liners.
So everyone is still getting along just fine :) I have noticed that they don't always sleep together. Is that normal? Right now Howie is sleeping in one of her dig boxes while the other two are snuggled under the fleece liner in the bottom of the cage. I don't see any co-grooming or play wrestling either. Occasionally I hear squeaking but that's usually because Howie is exerting her dominance over the new rats by walking over them or taking food out of their mouths 馃樁

Rose is still skittish about handling but she will approach and sniff my hand and occasionally let me scratch her head. Jennie follows Howie around and has picked up things from her like climbing onto my arm and being flipped over for tummy tickles.
No, no blood or fighting. Maybe my rats are just weirdos who just want to co-exist together but not really interact with each other馃お
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