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Discussion Starter #1
When I got Rokk, I was given with him a huge Super Pet cage (one of those tall ones with the blue bottom and shelves) and since the bar spacing was too wide for Coconut (I originally thought of switching cages to give the girls the biggest one), I kept him in this big cage by himself. But he was only using the top half, and he mostly just layed around while he was in there. He didn't like to climb, he didn't use the hammocks, and I heard him on the wheel maybe once or twice in the past week and a half.

Today when I cleaned it, I decided to just take off the top half, and keep him in the half-sized cage. I thought it might be better for him with his neutering coming up, and it wouldn't really matter anyway since he only lived in half of it to begin with.

He loves it! For the first time, I have seen him climbing the sides of the cage to get to shelves he could just step up onto. He lounges in his hammock, and even sat in his corner hammock (an old bandana) for a while. He ran on the wheel for a good 10 minutes two different times today. He's actually playing with the toys in his cage, the hanging bird toys and a couple different balls, one jingly and one crinkly. He just seems happier, even outside of the cage. He gave me kisses for the first time since our first meeting.

I wasn't sure whether to put this here or in the housing section, but I'm mostly wondering about his behavior rather than the cage itself. Why would he be so much happier with less space? Does he feel more secure? It's very contradictory to everything I've heard, so I'm just curious about this!
 

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I don't know, exactly ... do you think that maybe it is a security issue because he is solitary for now?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I actually considered keeping him in a smaller cage at first, but I was told that bigger is better, and rats need as much room as you can give them... so I kept him in a huge cage all alone. He even seems happier now in an even smaller cage (I'm house/pet sitting for the night, and brought him along) than he did in his big cage.

Do other solitary rats prefer more room in their cage? Is Rokk just a special case?
 

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i've found that if they are still alone in a much larger cage then they are used to they will be frightened and stay closer to the bottom of the cage. i've also found that building up the cage size gradually will normally cure them of this but the fastest and easiest way to get a previously lone rat from a small cage used to a larger cage is to introduce him to new rats at the same time. no one thinks the cage is theirs so the ground is neutral and there's plenty of room to get away from each other if they want. mind you my rats are all very accepting rats and i rarely have to go through much of an introduction phase, though i think i may just be lucky in that respect.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I haven't been worried much about him moving into the girls' cage. I figured he'd be fine in a big cage if he had other rats to keep him company. I also have no idea what size cage he was kept in before I got him.. I never even asked. But he did stay in the top half of the big cage. Since he didn't get along with the other rats he lived with previously, I wonder if maybe the upper part of their cage was kind of his territory, and that's why he was more comfortable up there.. and being in a smaller cage, he knows for sure that the entire thing is "his"?
 
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