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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my little guy since June and he's been great, but I've felt bad about not getting him a friend. (He's approximately two and the pet store said not to introduce a second one because of his age. Additionally, there are no breeders or young pet store rats in my area.) So I've been reading the threads looking for advice to keep him happy and now I'm actually rather nervous to get a second one. There are just as many posts about the "need" to have at least two as there are posts about how to deal with injuries or intros not going well. I kind of feel like what's the point, because if i get another one and they hurt each other, then now I have two rats that have to be kept alone. FWIW, he get free range time with me for like 4-5 hrs a night. Thoughts?
 

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That's why it's always suggested that you get two new rats so that if the old one doesn't play nicely the new ones will not be alone.
 

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Is there a rescue or anything nearby so that you could foster a rat? If introductions don't work out then you're not committed to keeping the foster.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The pet store had another rat but
they wouldn't even show me because he was so mean and they were afraid to take him out. Crazy! That's why I only got one initially. Figured it was better to rescue that little guy than have him live where he was. Anyway, I've checked all the places I could find and apparently rats aren't in popular demand in CT. I found two girls but they are older and he's not neutered so that won't work. The only breeders I saw online were in the midwest or Maine. Urgh!
 

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I think most of us know how hard it can be finding a decent rat or just any at all sometimes. Was he living with the other rat at the store or was he housed alone? The only reason I ask is because, depending how long he was housed alone for (if that was the case), it could be very difficult to do introductions. Not impossible, but there'd be a lot of patience, frustration and potential failure involved. If you have the means to get him neutered, I would suggest doing that and getting the older girls. I've taken in some boys that lived alone for half of their life just due to ignorance on the part of the previous owner. Some of them take to a new cagemate, some are absolutely adamant about staying alone. If you think he's happy then it's really your judgement call here.
 

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Hey!

I understand where you are coming from. We have a two year old rescue who is currently housed on his own. We have been trying every introduction you could think of with him and our boys since July when he first came to us. Unfortunately due to his awful past with other males, I do not think we will ever be successful and at this point it is more stressful than anything else. I am fortunate enough to have been able to rehabilitate him in his associations with humans so at least he can enjoy our company even if he never wants to be with another rat again. My advice to you would be to be on the lookout for rescues or shelters in your area and ask around for any fostering programmes so you can trial him with another rat and see if it works out. Just be honest with them about your intentions. If you cannot find anything like this in your area, you could try browsing Craigslist for rats in need of homes and try to get a couple of socially well adjusted adult rats for your existing senior. Babies may not be the best idea since their energy levels will most likely not match up. This way you can start trying to introduce the three and if it does not work out, the other two are already pretty happy on their own anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I believe he was housed with the not so friendly rat since he had cuts and bald spots on his head. (which have all healed) When they took him out he was so friendly he couldn't get out of the box and into my arms fast enough. That was it; i was in love :) Thanks for everyone's advice. I'll keep checking for some suitable playmates!
 
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