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Rat People: Should I get another cagemate for soon to be single rat?

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  • Rat People: Should I get another cagemate for soon to be single rat?

    I currently have two male rats who get along fabulously. One is about 2 y/o (Bentley), the other is 3+ (Remy). Remy has some tumors but is doing really well and is still somewhat playful. Bentley is my chunkster who would much rather sleep than do anything.

    So my question is, these guys are pretty bonded. I got Bentley when I had Remy and Rebel, as I knew Rebel didn't have much time left (he suffered from severe URI's despite careful management). Because Rebel was in a very fragile condition and I didn't want to stress him, I waited until Rebel was euthanized to introduce Bentley to Remy (FWIW, Remy was only a few months old, while Rebel was 1+).

    I can't get male rats down where I go to school, as the petshop only sells female ones. So I need to decide whether to get a third rat now (and if so, should I introduce all three of them now?) or whether to let Bentley live alone once Remy is gone. (FWIW, the vet doesn't expect Remy to live more than another two months or so )

    WWYD?
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"

  • #2
    I had ratties, I had 5 of them at one point - all boys. It might not be a bad thing to allow Bentley to live alone. How old is he? My boys never made it to 2 years.

    because you should probably buy 2 rats so if Bentley passes on, the other two would be together, according to your line of thinking! LOL

    I think Bentley would be fine alone. You are his pal.

    Comment


    • #3
      I've had several groups of ratties, and in my experience every single time one rat died, it's cagemate died soon after. I've done just as you suggested, getting the new rat while both rats were still alive. I have still never had the remaining rat make it much more than a couple of months after its initial cagemate died. They seem to bond really deeply and take the loss really hard.

      Also - I've never had one go much past 2 years, and when they get close to that 2 yr mark they seem to age super quickly and go downhill fast. So you have that working against your little guy as well. Sad reality of owning rats...nice animals, all-too-short lifespans

      I guess it's up to you to decide if you want the responsibility of a couple of years caring for the new rat(s), or not. Sorry for the loss of your rattie.
      *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with HannahsMom. Unless you plan on permanently keeping the new rat separate from the others, I'd wait until you're totally rat-less again, & then buy 2 together at the same time.

        Even if the ones you now have would get along with a new addition, it's still a stressful situation, & in my opinion not very fair to submit your oldsters to.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          You all brought up good points. I guess I never thought of Bentley as being that old, even though I know he is 2. I know eventually someone is going to have to live alone, because while I love having rats, my life within 2-4 years is not going to allow for too much time to spend with my ratties. My initial intention was to get a cagemate for Bentley and then have that be the last one... but either way someone is going to have to live alone so it probably makes more sense to have Bentley be my last rattie. I'll just have to make sure to give him some extra lovins.

          ShiningWizard- you're right. They don't live long enough. They make awesome pets.
          "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"

          Comment


          • #6
            It's so sad that the small ones have such short lifespans. I had such a hard time with the hamsters.
            I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

            Comment


            • #7
              Rats are social animals and in general (there are exceptions) they do not like living alone.

              Why not buy two more rats and introduce them to Bentley.

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