Intros with an elderly rat - should I be doing it?

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joskel
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Location: Surbiton, Surrey

Intros with an elderly rat - should I be doing it?

Post by joskel » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:53 pm

We have a neutered male, a rescue so I don't know his age but I'd guess 1year to 18months, and a two year old female. She is very small and showing her age now, she's less steady on her feet and sleeps a lot. She's also very wheezy and has to be on antibiotics practically permanently now. She still climbs around the cage and pounces on her food, but she's definitely winding down.

We are taking on her younger half-sister, who is now on her own, and will be introducing her to them next weekend - It just makes sense as the new rat needs some friends, and our Frank is getting a bit bored because Lupo doesn't really play much these days. We've used the carrier method successfully in the past, but I'm wondering if I should even be thinking about inflicting a new cage mate on our old girl?

Does anyone have any advice/reassurance?!!

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[cub]
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Re: Intros with an elderly rat - should I be doing it?

Post by [cub] » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:59 pm

I definitely think it's worth doing the introduction. Lupo doesn't sound super-old, and given that the introduction is to a related rat, it may go particularly smoothly? (I'm sure I've gotten the idea that rats can recognise their relatives by smell from somewhere...)

And not to be paranoid, but it's quite possible that Frank could die before Lupo does, at which point she'd be in definite need of new companionship but even older than she is now. Best to do the introductions now while everyone is still relatively fit and well, and give Frank someone to play with. Lupo will probably appreciate that too, if Frank is always wanting to play and she'd rather be left alone to nap!
Poo-shoveller to: Lia and Lita.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit (NLA28), Falere the contrary (NLA36), Mirala the best and finest (NLA36), Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.
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joskel
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:19 pm
Location: Surbiton, Surrey

Re: Intros with an elderly rat - should I be doing it?

Post by joskel » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:04 pm

My instinct was that we should go ahead, but I suddenly worried that it was a mad thing to do!

Of course, you are right, we could lose either of them at any time - we are hoping to add a pair of kits in the new year, but I'll be relieved to have our number back up to three in the meantime.

So, I guess we'll supervise a meeting in the bath, and then pop them all in the carrier for a while, barring serious fisticuffs.

Thank you!

:smile: :smile: :rattyrainbow:

joskel
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Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:19 pm
Location: Surbiton, Surrey

Re: Intros with an elderly rat - should I be doing it?

Post by joskel » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:55 am

A quick update: the introduction was a complete non event! We put all three rats in the bath, and it was if they'd been together all their lives. Squid was so pleased to have ratty company, she would just rest her head on whichever rat stood still long enough. We used the carrier for a few hours and then a hamster cage, but we probably could have gone straight into the clean main cage. Piles of rats from the first few minutes.

Thanks Cub for the encouragement- we are really glad we went ahead.

:smile: :smile: :smile: :halo:

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RedFraggle
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Re: Intros with an elderly rat - should I be doing it?

Post by RedFraggle » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:38 am

Great news!
Slave to: Rescue boys Howard, Archie Broadstripe, Ray Shortstripe, Norman Wonkystripe, Albert, Bisley and Walter
Too many on the bridge to list.

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[cub]
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Re: Intros with an elderly rat - should I be doing it?

Post by [cub] » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:58 am

That's wonderful! :D
Poo-shoveller to: Lia and Lita.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit (NLA28), Falere the contrary (NLA36), Mirala the best and finest (NLA36), Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.
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