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looking at finding a companion

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:53 pm
by JoJJ

I had 2 18 month old male rats (brothers) up until Friday when one went into respiratory distress and died so quickly - was heart breaking to watch, and even more heartbreaking to see his brother grooming him :(

Looking forward Coolio the remaining boy although he seems happy, I know that my families company is not the same as another rat. Please could anyone advise on, would I be best trying to get another lonely male rat, or another two if I can't find a lonely one? Do I need to get a similar age?

I have bonded female rats before but never males, I am worried as Coolio could live another year or so, and also concerned as I don't know what took his brother.

Thank you, from one very sad rat owner


Re: looking at finding a companion

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:24 pm
by [cub]
I'm very sorry for your loss. :(

It may be sensible not to rush into getting more rats immediately, just in case your other lad died of something acutely infectious. What looks like sudden respiratory distress is often a heart attack or stroke, though, especially if death follows soon after. And you only need to wait a couple weeks to make sure Coolio hasn't caught anything that would harm any new rats, so you can start searching for new friends for him now, especially as it can take a little while to find rats that fit your situation.

Adult male rats generally accept young males more readily; around 10 weeks is ideal as much older than that and they start to smell more adult, but much younger than that and they're not big enough to stand up for themselves in an argument. Rats that young will need similar age company though, so you'd need to get a pair. You could also get an older male rat, or an older pair/small group of males; adult male intros are (as I understand it) a little bit more tricky, but if anyone's causing problems, neutering usually sorts it out, or getting them the hormonal implant as an alternative to neutering.

Re: looking at finding a companion

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:03 pm
by JoJJ
Thank you for your advise, i think 2 younger boys may be best but yes need to give a couple if weeks to make sure all is good for Coolio.