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 Post subject: Should I introduce a new (old) rat to an old boy?
 Post Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:03 pm 
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Location: Oxfordshire
Hi

I am down to 2 rats now, Bertie and Oskar, who are both 2 years 3 months. Bertie has paralysed hind legs (without pain) and is on antibiotics due to a respiratory illness. Oskar is still healthy, has weak hind legs but is still able to move around a bit.
I have decided that I don`t want to continue keeping rats for the moment as I find it so incredible hard to lose one rat after another now.

I worry that Oskar, as he is still healthy, will be left alone for an extended period after Bertie dies. My idea was to look for another old rat to introduce to Oskar to keep him company. Oskar was never a dominant rat, always calm and friendly. Would this be a good idea if I can find another old calm and friendly rat? Maybe I could also foster older rats until Oskar dies.

What do other people think and has someone else tried to do introductions with two old rats?


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 Post subject: Re: Should I introduce a new (old) rat to an old boy?
 Post Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:03 pm 
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No buck experience but my intros with older does have been some of my easiest - the older does have tended to sniff everyone, thought "yay, new pillows" and gone to sleep :lol: They've always seemed to enjoy the company. That said, if you get one old rat to introduce, you may still end up with a lone rat at some point so it may not be the best option for you. Fostering as company would seem ideal but I don't know how easy it is to find/do.

If your boys came from a breeder/rescue it might be worth having a chat with them in case they have any ideas. Hopefully Bertie will surprise you and be around for a good while yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I introduce a new (old) rat to an old boy?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:58 am 
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Thank you very much for your reply. I have read that it is often easier to do intros with old rats and your reply gives me hope. Unfortunately Bertie has deteriorated further and has now real difficulties to breathe. He was even briefly gasping for air yesterday evening so I decided it would be best for him to let him go as I want to spare him an awful death by suffocation.
Oskar will be alone now sooner than I thought.

I am already looking for an old rat to introduce to Oskar and hope I can find a suitable one soon. I know that I will then probably still end up with a lone rat at one point but hope the rat is then so old that he will only be alone for a short time.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I introduce a new (old) rat to an old boy?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:32 pm 
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Sorry to hear about Bertie, sounds like you've had a tough rat year :( Fingers crossed things work out for you and Oskar.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I introduce a new (old) rat to an old boy?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:37 pm 
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It sounds as though you're having a rough time, so sorry x

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 Post subject: Re: Should I introduce a new (old) rat to an old boy?
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:22 pm 
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Thank you. It is very hard at the moment, I have never lost 2 rats in 3 days. Oskar is alone now and copes ok so far, at least he is still eating. He gets lots of cuddles but we cannot replace another rat for him. I am currently trying to adopt a lone old male in the P@H adoption centre in Stevenage. If it works out I could bring him home on the Sunday 11 Dec to introduce him to Oskar. I hope 2 old lone boys will get on with each other.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I introduce a new (old) rat to an old boy?
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:41 pm 
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I thought I post an update. I went to the adoption centre in the P@H store in Wokingham on Saturday to collect 2 boys up for adoption. I was told on the telephone that they are 2 years old. When I was there I could see they are nowhere near 2 years, rather closer to 6 months. The staff at P@H have probably never seen an older rat, otherwise I cannot image why they thought that the boys are 2 years old.

As I was already there I could not leave them behind so took Zouma and Alfredo home with me.

They are friendly and inquisitive rats. After some handling they hardly squeak anymore when I pick them up. They already met Oskar in the playpen and while Zouma is reserved and a bit scared of Oskar Alfredo gets overexcited, poking, sniffing and groping poor old Oskar and even rolling him around (Oskar cannot walk properly anymore due to weak hind legs). I think he just wants to play with Oskar and does not understand that Oskar is just too old for this. Oskar got quite annoyed yesterday and even nipped Alfredo in the side, nothing bad, he just wanted to be left alone. Nobody shows any aggression but I have to wait and see if Alfredo and Oskar would get on with each other before trying to let them together in a cage.

Oskar does not show any depression yet and enjoys being cuddled, so he is ok on his own at the moment with lots of attention from us so we can wait a bit longer if the young rats would get on with Oskar or not.


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