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My 8 yo son has 2 male pet store rats that are 3 years old. One is not doing well and needs to be put to sleep. The other is okay, though somewhat obese. He also has a hairless dumbo and a long haired albino, both female, both 3 months old.

My son is very upset about the sick rat. He is afraid the other male will be lonely when he is gone. I'm not crazy about getting another rat (or two) at this time, considering the zoo in our house, and I can't find any information on the age of fertility, or interest in breeding of elderly male rats.

Does anyone have any information on this? If I were to put the females in with the 3 year old male, what might be the possiblity of pregnancy? I'm not sure about breeding an elderly pet store rat of unknown origin with my pretty, sweet girls, either!

Help! :?:
 

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Well, if you get the females fixed and introduce them with the male that would solve the problem about him being lonely. You really shouldnt breed petstore rats, it CAN casue health problems later on down the road. If you are thinking about getting more babies you should consider getting them from a breeder or adopting from a shelter. :)
 

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I agree - the girls should be spayed so the male can live with them. For your best bet at smooth introductions, the male should be neutered also. True, rats should never live alone, so you're son is right thinking that the soon-to-be single male will be lonely.

Never breed pet store rats, since they have a myriad of health issues. Although your boys and girls may seem healthy, they can pass on bad genetics and underlying health conditions that didn't/haven't popped up with them. Only accredited, registered breeders should breed rats, and at that the rats should all have (at the very least) 5 generation pedigrees. Moreover, hairless rats are extremely prone to health issues - even some knowledgeable breeders refuse to breed them because of that.

Also - did you mean a rex rat? There's no such thing as a 'long-haired' rat :p
 

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That's why I didn't want to put them together......the females aren't pet store rats, I don't want them to breed with the pet store males, if any. I just don't know if there is a point where older rats become less fertile, or uninterested in mating????
 

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I'm sure they become less fertile with age, though it probably varies from rat to rat.
 

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To play it safe, you could spay the 2 young females for wonderful health benefits, but if you decide not to do this, your 3 year old boy can live out his life on his own, but he will need more Out time and attention since he's a single. I don't usually reccomend this but he is 3 years old, his breathing is worsening (pretty typical in older ratties) and he's slowing down. Love him every day you have him. If he's eating, drinking, moderately active and seems bright and happy, he's just getting older. :) Enjoy your geriatric. :D
 

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I don't know what you think about getting another rat, but you could get another male and have him neutered. He could be company to your three year old until he passes, then it will be safe to put the new rat in with the girls after that.
 

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Unfortunately, rats reproductive organs don't have a 'shelf life' lol Some are fertile longer than others and the only way to be positively certain they aren't fertile is to have one or the other fixed. Someone on another board had got a male and a female together and they didn't produce babies for a very long time, but all of a sudden one day she noticed the girl was getting fluffy. Needless to say, after months and months of being together without breeding, they did eventually breed.
 

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Night said:
Also - did you mean a rex rat? There's no such thing as a 'long-haired' rat :p
actuallly there is! its a new line but i believe its now just old enough that its being produced for pets now. they are called Harley rats and their hiar is longer. they actually look very very cute. its like a velveteen rex. their hair is all wild and long. but like i said, they're a fairly new line.

http://www.skyclyde.com/Harley.html this is the site of the breeder that first produced the harleys. adorbale little buggers!

as for putting the girls in with the oldie, i have to exho the sentiments of the others here. he may be old but that doesn't mean he still can't get the deed done. where he is so old and his health is already starting to slide i would just keep him company with a bit of extra human companship. he's male so he's likely to be a cuddle bug anyway then he's also old so you could probably just wear a hoodie or a rat bag and have hang out with for the day or at least most of it, instead of him being in the cage alone.

though the idea of getting a young male as a bud for the old guy then having him nuetered and intro'ed with the girls when the old man passes is another good option.
 

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I knew about Harleys, I just figured she was mixing up "long-haired rats" with rex rats. Harley rats look so messy :p I just want to bath them and brush them any time I see pictures of them!
 

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Actually most of the Harley lines have turned out to have some serious health issues, and short lifespans. There are only a couple that breeders are still working with, to my knowledge. Lots of breeders have completely stopped with their Harleys. Just thought I would point that out since Harleys were being discussed.
 
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