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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently found a male rat and his cage online for a good price, and I'm a bit concerned about his behavior. he's been a lone rat, though I don't know how old he is, or if he's ever had a cagemate. What are some things I should be on the lookout for if I decide to adopt him? His owner his rehoming him due to lack of time and attention, and if he's been alone I'm expecting him to be depressed. There's another rat who looks about the same size from someone else up for rehoming and I'm considering getting them both so that they have a buddy. Would it be better to get them both at the same time, get them through immersion, and then intro them to each other, or should I focus on one ratty at a time? This may all be for naught, as I won't be able to bring anyone home for at least another month.
 

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I don't think it'd be a great idea to take him in without also getting one or two more. The goal is for him to not be alone, so it wouldn't make much sense for you to adopt him just to stay alone.
The biggest question is how much are you willing to commit? Do you have the time to spend on him if he is aggressive or scared? Just because he's alone doesn't necessarily mean he is, but it's possible. He may well do great with someone who spends lots of time with him and he may be craving some rat playmates. It all just depends on how willing and capable you are to work with a loner rat and to do intros.
 

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Is there any way that you can get a full background story on him from his owner? Previous aggression or other behavior problems would be a red flag. If you do decide to commit to this, I'd get him settled with you and bonded and then get 2 very young males. Work on bonding with the babies during their quarantine and then do intros. I would probably not adopt both that are the same size/age as males tend to intro better to much younger males.
 

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I would find out some back story on why he is a lone rat. I currently own a lone rat that I chose to keep that way because he is uncontrollably aggressive towards any other rats. I received a bite from him whilst breaking up a fight that could have been fatal to a smaller rat. Lone rats aren't necessarily depressed, my Benny is happy and content that way...in fact he seems happier now he is alone. I'm not saying this is applicable to all lone rats, but I would definitely get some back story and get him trusting you before you go getting another rat for him. My lone rat is an absolute sweetheart to humans and he gets lots of extra attention and spoilt rotten which I think he enjoys :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input everyone.

I've emailed the owner with several questions, and an explanation of my situation. hopefully she responds!

These are the questions I asked:
How old is he?
what's his temperament, does he have any issues with other rats or general aggression issues?
has he had any cage mates in the past?
 

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I believe Blaze was a loner rat for his entire life because he is incredibly aggressive towards other rats but so friendly towards humans. So yeah, I would look into why he's a loner rat before getting him a friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I heard back from the owner. She guessed that he's about 6 months old, as she bought him from a pet store, full sized, and she's had him for a couple months. Apparently she can only let him out to play in the bathroom and doesn't like spending time in there with him. He's very friendly with her, and he was in a cage with other rats in the store, so introducing a couple youngsters to him at the appropriate time. She's also moving out west sometime between the middle of January and next month, and would like to hold onto him until that point, which actually works perfectly for my needs. I'll be setting up a time to go see him and meet her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again for everyone's responses. I'm setting up a time to go out and meet Alfie and his owner. She has had some interest from others in him, so hopefully she'll think he's a good fit for me. I'd like to know what you all think of ages for introducing alfie and a pair of youngsters. I'm intending to get one or two (probably two) young males once the construction on my kitchen is done. If Alfie comes home with me, the plan is to introduce them all, but what is the proper age where Alfie won't do physical damage to a pair of youngsters? How young is too young?

Thanks again all!
 

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Sadly from personal experience, I've learned to take anything a previous owner tells me with a grain of salt. Try to get the owner to tell you some stories about their rat. Therein you will find more explanations later on if things go sideways... People will tell you how sweet their rat is, and then also tell you stories about all of the times they were bitten... It sounds odd, but people practice what they want to tell you but tend to tell the truth when recanting actual experiences...

Most importantly, meet the rat and judge for yourself. People think they are doing their rats a favor in finding them a good home. Problem rats need special homes, not just good homes. Hopefully Alfie is friendly, smart and social, if so you will see it for yourself... If you see something else, trust what you see not what someone tells you.

Best luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's a good point Rat Daddy, and a suggestion I will certainly follow. I do plan on spending some time with Alfie and his current owner, and handling him, we'll see how it goes. If it's not going to work out, I will just get a couple youngsters.
 
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