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Would it be bad to downgrade a rat from a DCN to a SCN

2172 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  crazyratgirl101
My female rat, Peach, is getting older and is not very active. Her cagemate died a month ago. (These rats don't have the best genetics.) I very recently saw an ad on Craigslist for two young male rats for sale. I really want to have male rats, but my only option is to put them in the critternation. So I was wondering if I should separate the crittenation and give each group a part. I feel bad though as Peach has had the whole DCN her whole life. She doesn't use a much space though, she mostly sleeps or occasionally goes on her wheel. Also, I'm not that concerned about her getting pregnant as she probably has gone through menopause. (But don't worry I will still work VERY hard to keep them separated.)
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A compromise: You could just neuter the 2 males and Peach would have the same amount of space she always did :). But honestly, 1 critter nation can hold up to 6 rats, so she's got a ton of room already. If you still feel guilty, just let her free roam a little more :).
I have 3 females in the top half of my DCN and they have plenty of room. I don't think she would mind the downgrade, just make sure you rearrange her houses / hammocks and maybe provide a few more climbing ropes for her. Especially if she is getting older, I'm sure she won't be quite as active so the smaller space will be OK. Keep in mind that a SCN is still a LOT bigger than most rat cages out there.
I didn't think about neutering, but Peach doesn't have much time left, and I feel like it would be a waste to neuter them if they will only be with her for a few months. So I will just separate them.
As she is older, it may actually be safer to downgrade as it will make sure she doesn't get injured with the heights. I would stress though no matter how old she is you cannot assume menopause has occurred so make sure there is no cross contact between the males and her. I would swap the bottom pan (no cut out) with the top (cut out) and make sure the ladder is fastened tightly.
you can also order an extra bottom pan, or order metal bottom pans from bass, which is what I did.
Downgrading doesn't seem like it would affect her. If she's old and not moving much, it could actually be better to put her in one level. Really make sure the boys cant get to her.
I called the owner of the boys on Craigslist and they were already sold :( I do want some boys though. I will have to keep looking
I say go for it girl! Sorry you missed on on the boys but more will come around. 1 senior rat would probably prefer a smaller environment. A scn is huge in itself for 1 ratty :)
I'm still watching Craigslist and nearby shelters for boys! I hope I can find some soon.
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