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I had problems with one of my rats being super aggressive. Lately it has been getting worse. She is starting to lunge at people when they just come up to the cage. Even during free time she will bite people's feet if she can get a chance. Not a nibble but chunk from your skin type bite. I have tried for over a year to socialize her with no luck. My other rat is sweet but very timid since she is usually picked on by the other rat. I made a decision to separate them. I am going to try to find the shy rat some new cage mates, but I am not sure what to do about the aggressive one. I hate to leave her by herself but she is hurting the other rat now. I guess I am wondering if I am doing the right thing.
 

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I could be wrong, and hopefully someone with more experience answers. But aggressive male-first thing that comes to mind is hormones. Female rat that is very aggressive-especially for so long and with both humans and rats I think health issue. Health issue could be hormonal as well. If health problems seem very unlikely, maybe just a very bad young life.

As an example of why I think health-I had the cutest tiny little female ferret come into my rescue. She was absolutely viscous with both humans and other ferrets. She was young, probably a year and half-so quite young in ferret years. I was doing cleaning her ears, checking and cleaning teeth and general prodding and squeezing. I noticed that I could feel way inside a very hard lump. Ended up doing surgery and it was a completely dead kidney-it was like a rock when it came out. Probably like that from when she was a baby. Anyways-after surgery she went from a terror to just a sweet heart to both humans and other ferrets. She was just in pain and was not able to tell us in other way.
 

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I had a sort of similar issue with my boys back when Loki was younger and healthier. Not as severe but it did bother me to the point that I separated them for a few months like i think 3 or 4 months and after that I got my DCN because cleaning two smaller rat cages was just way too much of a chore and really time consuming. So I went out and bought my DCN and put them both in it. I let one stay in one part and the other in the other part for a bit just to get used to the new cage and I would switch the around before I cleaned so they could get usedto the smell and they had a few issues for a bit with thor climbing up and grabbing at loki through the bars but within a month I put them back together again hopefully for good I rearranged and cleaned everything first and then I put them together. They had a few squables and stayed separated for a bit but for the most part I think they were just happy to see another rat and they eventually got over it and were pretty much fine after that.
 

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If shes this bad then the chances are that something causing it. It could be temprement or a mental issue but its fairly likley to be a hormonal / health realted problem. Many female rats actually suffer from polycystic ovaries, something which isnt practical to diagnose without spaying them, however my vet sees a lot of rats through for spays and shes quite surprised with the number that show mild to severe signs of this disorder. It can cause grumpiness, mood swings and tends to be fairly painful in humans. There are other issues that can be womb related and cause hormonal type symptoms such as womb cancer too. If shes fit and healthy it would be well worth getting her spayed and see how she gets on.

If shes still grumpy with her cagemates a month or so on then i would recommend trying her in a group of boys. My friend had a doe who was a nice girl but very sharp, she used to fall out with her cage mates regularly and was quite a bully. She was spayed but didint really improve. As a long shot we tried her in a group of boys, figuring that the more formal social structure in a boy group (with cagemates who were larger and less easy to pick on) might suit her. The intro went like a dream and she settled into the group without a hiccup, immediatly toning things down and relaxing.
 

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I highly recommend getting your girl spayed. I've had great success spaying aggressive females, and once their hormones have calmed down, you can start socialization sessions. Rats should never live alone, and before you make the decision to make one a loner, exhausting all possibilities and options should be your first priority. If it's financially possible, spaying both will benefit them greatly health-wise. I have all of my girls spayed, and I think it's the best decision I can ever make for them.
 
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