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Sudden Rat Aggression??

389 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  hasmir
new to the forums, hello!!

ive looked all over the internet but cant seem to find any cause for this, so i thought id post about it. i have three males (walnut, cashew, and lil mac) who have been together for quite some time. they have a large cage, plenty of room, and i let them out to run around every day. i hold each of them individually every day as well. this morning, walnut has shown some serious signs of aggression to both of his cagemates. this is not food-related, as they have plenty of food and werent eating at the time. every time walnut gets near either of them, they tussle loudly and continuously until blood is drawn, always started by walnut. cashew and lil mac are terrified to go near him; lil mac's ear was nicked and it drew blood, while cashew was attacked more seriously near the neck and legs.

ive separated walnut temporarily and hes currently running around my room acting completely normal. nothing new to the environment has changed, everything is the same save for walnut's behavior. is this normal for males and it'll go away eventually, or do i have to make some serious changes?
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It sounds like some serious hormonal aggression to me. Dominance fighting is normal but they usually don't draw blood. It may pass or you might have to get him neutered (if he's not already). I haven't had this experience but I've seen a lot of people on here that have and this is the advice almost every time. Separating them is good, it shows Walnut that being a bully has punishments which could snap him out of it with time. If he continues I'd definitely recommend seeing a vet for a neutering appointment.
i see, thanks so much for the response!
Hi there.
Welcome to the forum.
I think you have done the right thing separating Walnut for now - it wouldn't be nice for the others being constantly on edge waiting to get pounced on.
How old is Walnut? Is he an entire male? How old are Cashew and Lil Mac?
all three rats are not neutered. cashew and walnut are both more than a year old. mac still has his baby fur and has yet to hit puberty. with walnut being as old as he is, i wasnt sure whether or not it was hormonal aggression. they've had a well-established hierarchy for some time, with walnut being the most dominant, but hes never been this aggressive before. definitely going to consider neutering walnut once i can afford it, however i was mostly worried if it was caused by something that couldve been avoided.
ive kept walnut separated from everyone else for almost an entire day. i put walnut's new cage next to the cage that cashew and mac are in, and throughout the night it seemed like walnut desperately wanted to go into the old cage. otherwise, he was pretty inactive and slept all day. i decided i would try reintroducing everyone to each other in a neutral area just to see how it would go, and it went pretty well! i put cashew in the play area first, then walnut. there was a lot of power grooming and squeaking, but no aggression or blood at all. once i felt comfortable i put mac in there with them, and walnut paid no mind to mac. his attention was fully on cashew, as he continued to pin him down and power groom. after a bit i put them in their individual cages, and it seemed like everyone was in good spirits. :)

so whatever the cause of walnut's outburst was, i think it has something to do with the social hierarchy, specifically between cashew and walnut. mac mightve just accidentally gotten involved. im hoping that after a few more introductions and a deep clean of their main cage, things will improve
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