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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey there,

My boyfriend and I recently adopted what we thought were two male rats, only to find out that we had a female and a male. I can't tell how old they are, but my best guess is maybe 5-8 weeks old. We separated them as soon as we figured it out (about a week after having them) so we're hoping we prevented a pregnancy, but we'll have to wait it out to see.

After we separated them, we got them both a cage mate to keep them company. Introductions went extremely well as we had only had the rats for a week or so before getting more. Just a few days after getting them, the new male passed away. He seemed fine at the pet store, but at home he was lethargic and seemed sort of out of it before he passed. Not sure what happened.

My other male hasn't stopped sneezing since we got him. I know sometimes it takes them a bit to acclimate, so I didn't want to assume it was respiratory right away.

Here's where I need some advice. Should we get my male rat a cage mate (no ratteries around here so he'd have to be from a pet store), or should we wait for him to be of age to neuter so that we can reintroduce him to the females? With him sneezing, is it better to keep him separated until he stops sneezing anyway?

Thanks in advance!
 

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If you can only acquire rats from a pet store I think it would be better to wait for him to be neutered. The problem with pet stores is that you can't see the breeding conditions the rats are coming from so you may be supporting bad breeding conditions or lineage. Many people have gotten rats or other pets from pet stores that have become sick or turned out to be a different gender then promised resulting in accidental pregnancies. If you don't have a nearby rattery, then what about a rescue? Meanwhile, you will want to spend as much time as possible with your male to keep him from becoming lonely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you can only acquire rats from a pet store I think it would be better to wait for him to be neutered. The problem with pet stores is that you can't see the breeding conditions the rats are coming from so you may be supporting bad breeding conditions or lineage. Many people have gotten rats or other pets from pet stores that have become sick or turned out to be a different gender then promised resulting in accidental pregnancies. If you don't have a nearby rattery, then what about a rescue? Meanwhile, you will want to spend as much time as possible with your male to keep him from becoming lonely.
Thanks so much for the advice, Rex! We're giving little Ziggy (the boy) as much love as he'll allow (he's still a little skittish, but we're working with him. There is still a small chance that one of our girls is preggers, so if that's the case, we'll keep someone from her litter to keep him company instead.

Do you know of any rescues in mid-Missouri? I'm interested in continuing to own rats, but I DO want to prevent buying from pet stores.
 

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Do you know of any rescues in mid-Missouri? I'm interested in continuing to own rats, but I DO want to prevent buying from pet stores.
I don't know about any specific rescues near you, but a look on Petfinder.com usually reveals quite a few adoptable rats nearby! (rescues and owners all use Petfinder to list adoptable pets! :))

Some rescues still let possible customers meet their rats, obviously taking COVID-19 precautions, and if possible I recommend meeting some rescue rats before adopting them so you find the best possible match!
 
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