help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Discuss rat companionship, introductions and behavioural problems such as biting or shyness or tell us about your rat's unusual habits.
JordanLouise92
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help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by JordanLouise92 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:27 am

i already have two female rats around 4month old

and ive offerd to give two baby male rats a home
when they are older around 10month i would like to put them in the same large cage as my girls

would this be ok?
or would they fight etc..

i dont want to breed them i just want them to live together...

help would be great!
Jay :)

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Golgotha_tramp
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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by Golgotha_tramp » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:31 am

No, you cannot house them together unless your does are spayed or (and as babies they will not be) the bucks are neutered. Any animals of opposite sex kept together will mate.

If you want to keep them seperately and put toghether later after neutering you could, but surgery is risky and, in my humble opinion, too invasive and high risk just to put them with the opposite sex.
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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by ErnieG! » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:32 am

Well, considering they wouldn't be neutered, no they can't live together as both the girls would have babies.
Unless you got the boys neutered, which at ten months would be a good age to get them done, but I am against a surgery that is just for personal gain.
It's up to you though :)
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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by Jemma » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:42 am

I do think that generally speaking neutering male rats is to there own benefit, it is proven to extend there average lifespan and does lower there overall stress levels. The surgery does carry a risk though (as any surgery does) but if you can find a vet that has pleanty of expereince in neutering rats then it's quite a low risk and i feel that in most cases it's a pretty even thing to do (e.g. benefits are pretty even with the risks). It's definitley the only way that girls and boys should perminantly live together though, and you do need to leave them time after neutering to stop being fertile. It's also worth mentioning neutering can range in price from £30 - £100+ depending on your vets so this needs to be taken into account.

Also make sure if you are tempted to get these boys and keep them seperatly to your girls that you never let them play together, even for a really short time. Rats take seconds to mate and have litters of around 8-10 (but 20+ isn't unheard of). They also only take 3 weeks to have there babies and can immediatly get pregnant again. The babies themselves will become fertile around 5 weeks old so you can imagine just how big a problem you could have if you kept boys and girls together.
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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by NickyE » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:44 am

sadly rats just don't get the concept of "let's just be friends" and as has already been said they will mate.

Rats are capable of reproduction from around 5 weeks. Gestation period is around 25 days and the female can get pregnant again as soon as she's given birth if still kept with a male.

edited to add Jemma beat me to it :D

Some people do consider though that males shouldn't be neutered until 6 months of age as it can affect their growth adversely - there's quite a bit of info on here about it.
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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by JordanLouise92 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:07 pm

thanks guys

but what i ment was if i do have them neutered then would they be ok to live together?

or will they fight? or would they be ok
Jay :)

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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by Tammyrat » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:15 pm

You cant neuter then until a certain age, and they cant go back together for a few weeks, There could be fights as with all introductions but if there is no advantage to doing it unless the boys are aggressive. I cannot see the point in doing a procedure on an animal, putting it through the risk of surgery just for personal gain. If you want to get some boys i would invest in another cage and keep them as separate groups. The risks of surgery are not worth it just so you can have boys and girls living together.
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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by LondonBells » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:41 pm

Hope this isn't hijacking your thread in anyway jordanlouise (if so just say and i'll post elsewhere) but your question makes me beg a related one.

I know that people keep mixed sex rats in the same room, unneutered/unspayed but in single sex cages...therefore i have no doubt it's fine.
However i've always wondered if there's any stress involved in keeping hormonal/pheromonal rats in close proximity (i.e same room) to opposite sex rats 'giving off the signals' so to speak. If they're both sexually capable, but just beyond each others reach, does it not drive them loopy? Or am i just thinking too much in human terms? :-?
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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by ErnieG! » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:51 pm

I've recently required a lone intact boy and he is sending all my girls crazy.
I've had to keep him in my room, because the girls just weren't happy at all, with them constantly being in heat all night. I wouldn't keep boys/girls in the same, just because of this reason.
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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by Lillyland » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:59 pm

I have 10 boys (9 intact) and 19 girls in one (very small) room - and they are all absolutely fine!

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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by petrify » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:00 pm

I kept both sexes seperately in two halves of an explorer and i cant say that they were any more stressed out or that either sex particularly cared. When they freeranged they were more interested in getting into troublesome places than in eachothers cages.
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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by ErnieG! » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:02 pm

Maybe mine are just crazy :lol:
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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by philosophyfox » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:09 pm

They'll be fine in separate cages in the same room. Any age over 6 months is a good age to neuter males. you have to wait 2-3 weeks after the castration to introduce the males as they'll still be fertile. I castrate all my rescues routinely (I know the risks but I believe non breeding males who are healthy enough to have an operation are much happier without their increased testosterone).

I think the dynamics of mixed sex groups add enrichment to the rats' lives and also a group of four will only add to the enrichment. Of course it depends on the health of the rats and the competence and experience of your vet.
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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by Tammyrat » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:10 pm

As soon as boys come into my house they are all on heat! With in like half an hour!!! Winnie hates boys with a passion and if she smells them on you bites - which is so unlike her. Wel i say she bites, she only did it to my dad after i warned bhim but he is a bit of a fool! lol x
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Re: help! can i keep female & male rats together?

Post by stormsmuggler » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:33 pm

I've got two groups in the same room although there is a neutered male in with the girls. The only problem i have is that if the girls get free ranged first the boys will scent mark my lap a bit more than normal and if boys are free ranged first I get a little extra attention from the girls but only those who are in season, they like to sit on my lap and vibrate like crazy but neither group seems stressed by it. In fact if anyone does get a little stressed it is the neutered boy who gets abit foofy about the boy smell on me :lol:
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