getting a new friend for tess or not

Discuss rat companionship, introductions and behavioural problems such as biting or shyness or tell us about your rat's unusual habits.
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emay
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getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by emay » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:49 pm

Hi all, I was given 2 female rats about 6 months ago by a friend of a friend, one (Nunu) was never fully fit and always seemed to have a wheezy chest so I took her to the vets and gave her all the medication. But unfortunantly 4 days ago she died. Her friend (Tess) has begun to get some lumps, I have had 2 removed already, but she seems to be fine. After reading some stuff, as they are my first rats, I think they are older than the 18 months I was told they were and that they were possibly purchased from pet city (named pet cemetery for obvious reasons) and this would explain some of their problems. But Nunu and Tess were very close as most coupled rats they slept together, played together and obviously loved each other, Nunu was the dominant rat and I think that Tess may come to miss her. Now the question after this back history is do I get another couple of rescue rats and hope they get along, or do I find a good breeder and get a couple of babies, cause I have read that she may take to these better, or do I leave her on her own, which sounds a bit wrong as they are pack animals and love to socialise. I work during the day and cant give her the attention that she deserves if on her own, when I get home however I let her out the cage and she has the run of my front room and comes for cuddles when she wants, they were both well handled and have never been aggressive to anyone including children who have visited and got excited about them, or the vet who was pulling them around. I would hate for her o feel isolated and depressed in her grief, but equally I would hate her to fel pushed out and bullied by other rats. Any advice and help would be great, thank you rat experts x
RIP my wonderful Girls, Nunu and Tess, love you always and forever x

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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by Ratty_Rhian » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:54 pm

I would definitely consider some friends as rats really need company but they will need a cage which is large enough, any idea what cage you have? The first few intros I did were adult ones and they went fine. Some people say babies are easier but I found these more difficult so it's upto you which you go for but I would suggest you either try a rescue or a good breeder and not support pet shops.
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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by Morgawse » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:58 pm

Hi there,

I'm sorry to hear you lost one of your girls :( In your situation, I would try and find a breeder or rescue who has babies available now or very, very soon. Babies are usually very easy to introduce, especially to lone, older rats - the times I've done it they have all been living together the same day I got them home. The difference it makes to the lone older rat is usually amazing. When I lost two out of a trio of sisters within the same week, the remaining elderly girl became extremely depressed. It took me three weeks to find a pair of available babies. As soon as she met them, she cheered up and I genuinely think they gave her a whole new lease of life. You should get two babies though, so that they'll have eachother to play with when Tess just wants to sleep. They won't bully her, but they will be more energetic than she is and so it's good for them to have eachother so Tess can get some peace and quiet :)

Why don't you have a look on the rehoming board and see if there's anyone trying to rehome babies near where you are? Or if you see some babies that are too far away, often they can be got to you through the kind help of other forum members who will transport them closer to your home. It never hurts to ask!
Jennifer

:) Lily, Ffion, Stanley and Bailey :)
Always missed: Yuki, Small, Midge, Hecate, Spider, Cookie, Megumi, Coconut, Miko, Willow, Echo, Crystal, Freya, Splodge, Bluebell, K'mee, and Meg :(

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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by emay » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:49 pm

Thank you for all your advice and i will be looking into it all. I have a ferplast cage, think its about 80cmx80 one, it is quiet big and has two landing things and I filled it with toys, I bought it not long after I got them cause the one they came in was not big enough fo rthe two of them and I hated the idea that they couldnt move about and play
RIP my wonderful Girls, Nunu and Tess, love you always and forever x

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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by emay » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:02 pm

I have looked at RSPCA and they have 2 that are about 6 months will this be too old?
RIP my wonderful Girls, Nunu and Tess, love you always and forever x

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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by Ratty_Rhian » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:40 pm

emay wrote:I have looked at RSPCA and they have 2 that are about 6 months will this be too old?
Personally I would say that was fine. My intros are normally between adults and it's usually fine. It would be a good idea however to read up on intros in the behaviour section first so you know what to expect and have a plan for how to do it.
Anwen, Ceinwen , Delyth, Hazel, Ruby, Willow :smileyrat:
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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by vivree » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:31 pm

I'd reccomend looking into any currently available kittens from a breeder before looking at rescues.

Kittens from a breeder are more likely to have a more calm temperment and be well handled, which will make introing a bit easier. Whereas with rescues you never really know what they'll be like. If there are no kittens available currently though I'd go with a rescue anyway, as it's best to get companions as soon as possible.

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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by Morgawse » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:38 pm

I've had rescue kittens several times, both born in rescue and handed in as very young babies, and if you get a good rescuer such kittens will be just as well socialised as breeder kittens - so I really wouldn't let that put you off. Judge the rescuer or the breeder, not the rats. (By which I mean, work with somebody you get a good feeling about, who raises kittens, regardless of origin, well and socialises them.)
Jennifer

:) Lily, Ffion, Stanley and Bailey :)
Always missed: Yuki, Small, Midge, Hecate, Spider, Cookie, Megumi, Coconut, Miko, Willow, Echo, Crystal, Freya, Splodge, Bluebell, K'mee, and Meg :(

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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by emay » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:16 am

Thank you again for all your help and advice it has ben great to have all your support and knowledge x
RIP my wonderful Girls, Nunu and Tess, love you always and forever x

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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by vivree » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:43 am

I hope I didn't give the impression that rescue rats are a nightmare or anything, I just mean with kittens from a good breeder you know they've been well handled since birth, whereas even if a rescue is well handled etc. you still don't know how it was treated in it's previous home, and may have behaviour issues because of it. But I do agree it depends highly on the person you're getting them from.

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emay
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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by emay » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:51 pm

No I understood what you ment and Nunu and Tess were kinda rescue ones, and as im new at this and want it to be successful for Tess and the two new ones I want to give it the best chance.
RIP my wonderful Girls, Nunu and Tess, love you always and forever x

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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by emay » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:58 pm

Just an update for those that maybe interested Tess and I are going to visit some 6 week old Black berkshires rats on Monday to see if we like them and hopefully I will start intergrating them then. I got a smaller cage for the process but hoping it wont take long for them to be friends.
RIP my wonderful Girls, Nunu and Tess, love you always and forever x

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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by emay » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:30 pm

Ok we picked up two little girls one is silver (sookie) and one is brown (bella), Tess went in their cage to say hi and she was happy with them all over her, actually she seemed not interested. So on the way home i put them in the same cage, they fell asleep together and I have kept them in the small cage all morning and they seem happy with each other. So now thinking all that planning and research was a waste cause my girl Tess is a soft touch. The babies are all her and her food and tess seems to not be bothered so thinking they can all go in the big cage together what do you think?
RIP my wonderful Girls, Nunu and Tess, love you always and forever x

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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by Morgawse » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:40 pm

Yes, if Tess is that unbothered by them, I would just put them all in the big cage! Keep an eye on them for a few hours in case she suddenly gets territorial once they are in 'her' home but if she seems that happy around them now that is unlikely.

Glad to hear it all went so well, and that you have a pair of lovely babies :) :hearts: Now we need pictures of course! ;)
Jennifer

:) Lily, Ffion, Stanley and Bailey :)
Always missed: Yuki, Small, Midge, Hecate, Spider, Cookie, Megumi, Coconut, Miko, Willow, Echo, Crystal, Freya, Splodge, Bluebell, K'mee, and Meg :(

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emay
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Re: getting a new friend for tess or not

Post by emay » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:28 pm

ok i would but how do i put photos on here being really silly i know ?
RIP my wonderful Girls, Nunu and Tess, love you always and forever x

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