My poor buddy is scared! I tried introducing him to his new roomies (cats) and... well cat vs rat right? well he ran away, cat didn't care lol. Since then, he's been really shy and hiding in his cage. Is he just spooked?
Does your new boy have a friend? Rats need to have a samesex companion to be happy and more confident. He is very very spooked and not having a friend makes it 10 times worse.
Its never advisable to let rats and cats meet. There are some extraordinary cats out there but most have that predatory instinct that kicks in and presto...your new buddy is hanging dead from your cats mouth.
The only reason im hesitating is because I'm not sure if he has that respiritory desease, he sneezes alot when he is out sniffing around, but doesnt when he's in his lil home... not sure. How do u know for sure?
One time my girlfriend's cat got near the cage where my rats were and one rat just froze, and she honestly did not move a muscle for at least an hour. The cat didn't do anything, he was just investigating the cage.
The point is, I wouldn't recommend mixing cats/dogs and rats because it is just terrifying to the rats. Also, there are the other issues mentioned above where these larger animals especially can kill your buddy before you can do anythin about it.
Last night, I had my boy Rokk playing on my bed like always, and I didn't notice one of our cats had gotten up here. He jumped onto the bed at Rokk, who I swear jumped about 3 feet straight up into the air and bolted into a box nearby. When Rokk jumped, Whiskers jumped too, somehow up and backwards, and flew across the room and down the stairs. Rokk was scared for a while, he wouldn't even eat a yogie (which he normally goes crazy over). I just put him back in his cage where he knows he's safe, and left him alone. This morning he was back to normal. When my rats are in their cages and one of the cats comes sniffing around, none of them are phased at all. But when they're unprotected and out in the open, it's a different matter.
Just keep the rat and cats separated. It's not worth risking the health of your rat (mental as well as possibly physical if the cat decides to play out the instinctual role of predator to his natural prey) to try and get them to be buddies.
[align=center]Well I let my dog sniff my rats through the bars of the cage first so the rats could run away if they felt scared and my dog couldn't chase them or anything. Then once they're comfortable with each other, I let them go on the couch and sniff each other....or whatever it is that they do.
But I haven't introduced my cat to my rats yet. Her paws could fit in between the bars of the cage, I think. And I don't want my little ratties to get hurt.[/align]
My dog has already killed(by way of heart attack) one of my rats. It's his breed, unfortunately.
But I don't think it takes a 'miracle cat' to get along with a rat(or in the least not harm it). Every cat we've had(we've babysat for our cousins many times) has either been completely ok with the rats or avoids them. Now, mind you, these cats were very much family pets and I think they understood how much the rats meant to me and so didn't hurt them, because we've had many wild 'gifts'. :lol:
My first momma's boy, Chris, was amazing. Even after being tossed around and a chunk of his ear bitten off by our whippet as a kitten, and having his paw bitten by a wild squirrel, he loved my rats to death. He'd seek them out and bathe them and chase my dog away when he came too close to the gate I set up accross my door. Kind of ironically, he was an animal-cat. I was the only human he cared about or even liked. Some doofus in our neighborhood shot him with a pellet gun and piecred his lung(he had also had a long battle with multiple kidney stones, so I think it was just his time to go).
I think Chris was a one-in-a-million cat, and I know some really mean cats. but my point is if the cat is well loved and a real part of the family it may understand the rat's place and leave it alone.
My dog loves ratties, unfortunatly ratties do not love him. :lol: He usually just scares them into statue mode then they run off very fast pooping all along the way. The dog doesn't understand, he just wants to be friends.
1. find a rat you like. another boy or a spayed female. the younger the better but don't be put off by age, there are many older adoptables out there. try petfinder.com or a local shelter first, then a breeder, *then* a reputable petstore.
2. isolate the two rats for at least 2 weeks. the best isolation is another house, but if you can't do that, get them as far away from each other in the house and wash hands, change clothes, etc. between touching each rat.
3. let them run around together on neutral turf, like your couch or bed or bathroom for an hour or more a day for a few days.
4. you can switch rats into each other's cages so they get used to each other's smells, it really helped with my girls.
5. deep clean the cage you're going to put the new rats in, rearrange stuff if you can - this way the current resident rat can't claim territory cuz it doesn't really smell like his old home or look like it.
6. put them in the cage and watch them carefully. fighting is okay, generally it's "no blood no foul". if there is severe fighting or other problems, take them apart and try again. lengthen step 3 mostly.
any way, when you get another ratty, let us know how it goes, we can def help along the way.