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About four weeks ago, I posted here regarding difficulty introducing my older rat (2 years) to young newcomers. It was advised I use the rat glove method and wait until the new rats were at least 12 weeks old. My older rat was showing signs of severe aggression toward them, including puffing her fur, making huffing/puffing noises, and lunging with her mouth open at the babies faces. I ceased intros and while the new rats get along well with my two other girls (aprox 10 months), they are not living in the adult cage because of the 2 year old.
Several days ago, my old rat (the one who was aggressive toward the babies) began attacking her cagemates who she has lived with peacefully for over half a year now. Before this, she was never EVER aggressive to these two cage mates (only toward the new babies). They slept together, played together, and ate together. Now, she lunges at them, they 'rat box' and the fights get so elevated that it actually sounds like two cats are fighting. This is really stressing her and her cage mates out. The older girl had a vet visit only a few weeks ago and received a full clean bill of health, so unless something has suddenly come up I don't think there's a physical cause to this (I've examined her and I can't see, feel, or hear anything out of the ordinary). So I suppose my question is, what's going on with her? Honestly, it just seems as if she's going senile. There's really no other way I can think to describe it. Further, what should I do about it? I really don't want to isolate her, because there are moments of peace in the cage, but also moments of aggression. I would be thankful for any advice you all can be willing to provide. Thanks in advance.
 

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The situation that you described reminds me of something that happened between two male cats I used to have. They were brothers and mostly got along. One day a neighbor's kitten got on the balcony outside my bedroom window. My two cats got really aggressive toward the kitten through the window of the sliding door. All of a sudden, the older boy attacked his brother. It was like he was so frustrated that he couldn't reach the kitten that he took it out on his brother instead. So weird, but once the kitten was gone, their relationship went back to normal.

I wonder if your 2 year old rat would stop being aggressive if you move the new rats to a different room altogether? I know that's not your goal as you'd like them all to get along. I'm just curious if she would resume her relationship with her cage mates like before.

Hopefully some of the people here who have had lots of rats will be better able to advise you.
 

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i think it's definitely the new babies that are causing this. Like, exactly what lauraeliza said with her cats, she's just getting huffy and frustrated because she knows the "intruders" are still there but she can't do anything about it so she's taking it out on her cagemates.

If possible, move the new babies into a new room and wash your hands after you touch them so she hopefully can't smell them at all. Even if she can't see them anymore, she probably will still know they're in the same living space.


you might just have to wait until your older lady passes away before you can introduce your younger girls. Or you can try doing intros with your friendlier girls and let them have play groups together, but you would probably have to give them baths after because if they come home smelling like the babies, your older girl will be SUPER mad haha.

Good luck, I know how difficult it is to have a 1 (or 2 in my case!) grumps who just will NOT calm their fluff and accept newcomers.
 
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