help! bad first introductions!

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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help! bad first introductions!

Post by anna_marie » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:24 pm

hey everyone

i recently bought two dumbo rats around 3 months old and after a month of having them i thought i would try to introduce them to my lone rat sergent as his cage mates recently passed away. i had their cages next to each other for around 3 weeks and swapped over some of their bedding to get them used to each other smells, but the first intro was horrible within five mintues sergent had taken a bite out of one of the little ones side leaving a nasty looking cut - arthur (the one he bit seems fine and is acting normal!) really not sure what to do!!

any advice would be great


anna :)

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Re: help! bad first introductions!

Post by Werepuppy » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:11 pm

Did you introduce them on neutral territory? Smelling where a strange rat has been (urine or scent marking trails) can cause the rat to feel tense and threatened.
Rats heal very quickly and hopefully the little guy (presume they're all boys) will heal up fine.

When i'm doing introductions I take 3 basic steps;

1. Neutral territory for example a bath with a fresh towel laid down as a bare bath can be a bit scary to a rat.

2. If this goes alright and there is no sign of aggression, move to a carrier. I tend to give this stage 24-48 hours to really force them to bond properly.

3. Freshly cleaned out cage, no hammocks or toys or hidey holes. 2 Food bowls and 2 water bottles to prevent fighting over food. If they behave, add hammocks and toys slowly. If they start fighting, take toys/hammocks out, or in some cases revert back to carrier stage.

Stage 3 can be extended by using a smaller cage such as a 2-rat hamster cage, then moving to the proper sized 4-rat+ cages that you keep them in.

Hope this helps you.
My rats: Possum, Tasmania, Henna, & Trinity!
And lastly my kitties; Neko & Oliver.
RIP Toffee, Inky, Boota, Balthazar, Lady Serenity & Rosetta :dumbohalo:


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