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Discussion Starter #1
So my rat Sophie who btw is a real hunnie seems to think she was meant to be a mouse keeps escaping to join my mice, will getting her a rattie companion solve her mouse addiction? I'm not sure I approve of her continued mouse socialisation, my mice love her though, especially my boy who actually tries to mate with her. . . Apparently socialising through the bars isn't cutting it for her, she likes her mousey next-door neighbours so much she wants to move in, I'm not sure I approve of her sneaking out and breaking into their cage to sleep with them. I nearly had a heart attack the first time she groomed one of them! Will getting her a friend help or create a Bonnie and Clyde situation?
 

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Well rats are highly social so she could be lonely if you only have one. Females need to be at least 12 weeks of age in order to be introduced to an adult female.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm just not sure I could handle two naughty rats, Sophie is a big enough handful as is, I've also heard that the existing female tends to teach newcomers their bad habits. . . Sophie seems to think that the solution is to simply take down the cage divider between her and my mice. Silly girl doesn't seem to know that she's a predator and they're prey.
 

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She might be less inclined to do so if she wasn't living alone.

Do you have any pictures of her playing with the mice?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
With the girls no they startle to easy. I've got some hilarious pictures of her with my buck, she breaks into his carry cage by pushing over the water bottle then he goes hey sexy lady
 

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A friend would benifit her regardless, especially if she is young she needs a playmate. My Cricket is just the craziest and needs a bunch of friends, no matter how much I play with her. And even then most of her cagemates are older and she drives them crazy! I really would make sure she can't get to your mice though. Rats can very easily kill mice, so the two don't mix well. She might seem them as buddies now but when she gets full grown its a bigger and bigger risk.
 

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Definitly get her a rat friend and work out how shes getting in the mouse cage and stop her (if shes opening the door then a clip or peice of wire will secure the door. Rats do kill and eat mice both in the wild and as pets. Whilst shes smaller theres less risk of this but as she grows up they will look more and more like a nice small snack.

Rat are a lot happier and more content in groups, they are also less demanding and hard work when they have another rat to play with. They can still get into trouble and do stuff they shouldnt do, they are rats after all, but generally they are less bored so less likley to act up as often.
 

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Wait they are in the same cage? And there is just a divider between the two? Like a critter nation cage? I am a little confused by your pictures. It doesn't look like she will fit in that if it is her cage when she grows up.
 

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My part wild rat ate mice, she got all freaked out when she saw them and attacked like a crazed wolf. Fuzzy Rat was adopted at about the same time as my daughter had a litter of baby mice and we put them together young and they pretty much ignored each other. When I had the mice out in a play pen for them, Fuzzy Rat jumped in and stole their food but otherwise never reacted to them, it was like she didn't see the mice and they didn't see her. Like rats and cats, I suspect rats and mice can be friends. Replicate this at your own peril. Getting another rat can very well be the end of your mice unless you resolve the communal living situation. A new rat might see your mice as tasty treats and one quick rat bite and your mouse is history.

I suppose it might make for an interesting experiment whether your rat might be happy with mice as friends long term, but then they would have to actually be housed together so they can be free to interact 24 x 7. But keep in mind, mice are generally far less competent than rats and really can't interact with rats on the same level. It might not be very satisfying for your rat in the long run and can go terribly wrong, so despite my curiosity, it's an experiment I can't encourage in good conscience.

That said, two rats are actually easier to keep than one. I know this sounds counter-intuitive. But rats will play together, and keep each other company and that gives you more free time to do other things. I've raised an only rat, and we provided human companionship 24 x 7. So our rat went shopping with us and traveled with us and as someone was home all day hung out with us... Once we had two rats, I could finally leave our rat at home sometimes and even take the family to a restaurant that didn't allow rats. A second rat actually made life easier in a big way.

We currently have two rats, Max and Cloud. Max is house safe and lives in a metal cabinet from which she can free range the house, Cloud gets bored and sometimes destroys stuff if left out overnight so she has to go back to the cage when we go to sleep. Last night when I called Cloud out to go to the cage Max came out of the nest first and pushed Cloud back into her nest and blocked me from reaching in to get Cloud out. There's no debate about it, Max didn't want Cloud to go back to the cage, she really wanted to stay together with her friend. Well, I offered to let her sleep in the cage too, but she declined. She's earned her freedom and she's not going to give it up for anybody, we'll see if this changes come winter and that cabinet gets really cold. When Cloud was injured she ran straight to Max an Max cared for her, they have a very special bond. Yes both rats are bonded to us and enjoy being and playing with us, there's no denying that they love to be together too. So unless you can be with your rat around the clock every day, she would be better off with a rat friend.

Lastly, I don't mean to imply that mice are stupid... They are pretty intelligent too. But I've got to imagine the best relationship that's possible between rats and mice is like a 15 year old girl and her 6 year old brother. Sure it's better than nothing but it's not like having a best friend her own age. Rats and dogs can even be best friends, but I have lots of trouble imagining a rat keeping up with a dog playing Frisbee at the park and my rats do go to the park with us. Your situation might "be working", loosely defined, but separate cages and a rat friend for your rat would actually work better for everyone.

Best luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That's not her cage, that's the carry cage of my boy mouse, she snuck out of her cage (which is a modified 1000 litre tank with a mesh top and tubes around the outside similar to the ones you see in a critter trail only bigger, Sophie has 2/3's of the tank and the mice have 1/3 and there's a wire barrier between the two.
 

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Looks like I'm getting another rat! And a glass or thick plastic barrier for the tank, as I think Sophie can lift the wire one up to create just enough wiggle room to get through. She also opens the doors on the top of the tank, which is just amazing and not something my mice would ever dream of!
 

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Have you thought about buying a wire cage instead of using a tank? Wire cages provide more climbing room for rats and actually help to improve their health. The Petco Rat Manor is cheap and makes a decent cage.
 

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Yeah I am with Mrs. Brisby on this one. Besides it kind of sounds like you created this interaction by housing them together with a piece of plastic between the two of them. Its only natural that she is curious about them. Please get her a wire cage as a tank is never an acceptable housing unit.
 

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To expand on the other responses, tanks are bad because they don't give sufficient airflow and the rat is at a much bigger risk of respiratory infection from stewing in its own waste all day. Don't use tanks. Make sure the cage is sufficiently large, rats need a cage that gives them room to climb and run around in.

Also, don't house the rat and mice in the same container, even with a separator, that's just silly. Although your mouse doesn't look scared in the pictures, mice don't react well to rats (because rats kill them): http://www.ratbehavior.org/RatsMice.htm#Muricide
 
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