Introducing new rats

Topics on behaviour, taming, companionship, introductions, and training
Post Reply
Wren
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:41 pm

Introducing new rats

Post by Wren » Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:46 pm

I got my first three rats about one and a half years ago. They are wonderful and loving creatures, i look forward to coming home for snuggles with them every day!! Unfortunately one of them passed away a couple of weeks ago. he had a liver tumour which had gotten a lot bigger, and he was getting skinnier.He was clearly suffering, so I made the difficult decision to put him down. We really miss him-he was an amazing little guy.
I have been thinking about getting a couple more kittens to join the family (my other two are male). However I am worried that they won't get along. Could anyone tell me about their experiences introducing kittens to adults? I have researched this online and been told that they must be kept in quarantine, then the cages must be put next to each other. Eventually they must be put on neutral territory together and if they get along they can be housed together. is this right?
If anyone could give me tips, or tell me if adding more rats is possible and if so how to do it I would be very grateful.
Thank you xxx

User avatar
squeakrat
Posts: 822
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:59 pm
Location: Newcastle

Re: Introducing new rats

Post by squeakrat » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:12 pm

Kitten to adult intros should be fairly straightforward because the adults usually don't see the kittens as a threat and accept them easily.

If you get your kittens from a breeder or a good rescue, there should be no need to quarantine them. The only way to properly quarantine them is to keep them in a completely different air space, which is not very practical for most people anyway.

You should have a read of this article on the carrier method, which is the best way to approach intros. Don't keep the cages next to each other, it can wind them up being able to smell the other rats but not get to them. When I bring new rats home, they normally go straight into a carrier with my current rats.

Its a good idea to add a pair of kittens, as it means when another of your pair passes away (hopefully not for a while yet!), you won't be left with a lone rat. Also 3 is a nice number :)
Jenny x
:girly: Dory, Silvermist, Pocket :dumbogirly: Belle
:rattyrainbow: Poppy, Tarka, Jasmine, Flora, Penny, Lyra, Cassandra, Luna, Wren, Merryweather, Harper, Izzy, Tigger, Squeak, Bandit, Vandal :rattyrainbow:

User avatar
Caza66
Posts: 2778
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:02 pm
Location: warrington, cheshire

Re: Introducing new rats

Post by Caza66 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:39 pm

Agree with squeakrat. I use the carrier method very successfully. Three is a very nice number and you can begin to see dynamics of a group developing.
My current gang :hearts: Groot, Star-lord, Yondu
:rattyrainbow: To all those who have filled my heart, have fun at the bridge.

Wren
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:41 pm

Re: Introducing new rats

Post by Wren » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:58 am

Thanks for all the replies! This carrier method seems to be a good idea, but should I give the new rats some time to settle in before letting them meet each other?

User avatar
Caza66
Posts: 2778
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:02 pm
Location: warrington, cheshire

Re: Introducing new rats

Post by Caza66 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:59 am

I would do it sooner than later. The newbies will only have one 'new thing to deal with rather than 2. I would take your current rats with you when you go to collect you new ones and let them get to know each other and take comfort from each other on the 'horrible' car ride home.
My current gang :hearts: Groot, Star-lord, Yondu
:rattyrainbow: To all those who have filled my heart, have fun at the bridge.

User avatar
[cub]
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:04 pm

Re: Introducing new rats

Post by [cub] » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:31 pm

Caza66 wrote:I would do it sooner than later. The newbies will only have one 'new thing to deal with rather than 2. I would take your current rats with you when you go to collect you new ones and let them get to know each other and take comfort from each other on the 'horrible' car ride home.
I'd do the same (indeed, I have done the same), provided that the new rats are old/big enough for introductions. (Babies who are old enough to go to new homes may not yet be old/big enough to hold their own against adult rats.) That way, when the rats first meet each other, the adults will be on their back foot and less likely to be territorial: they'll be a bit shaken up from the journey there, and they'll be on totally unfamiliar territory. Also, if it's your first time introducing rats, it's comforting to start the process in the presence of a breeder or rescuer who's done it a zillion times before! Then all the rats get to have a mildly traumatic bus/car/train journey back together, and that will hopefully start them bonding before they get back to familiar-smelling (to the adults) territory.
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.
Avatar by Ursula Vernon.

Post Reply

Return to “Behaviour”