Introducing lone rat progressing slowly

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Beegu
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:27 am

Introducing lone rat progressing slowly

Post by Beegu » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:42 am

We have a very gentle and docile group of 3 boys who turned 2 in December. They spend most of their time (including when free running) asleep.

We saw a lone 2.5 year old neutered male at a shelter and after some research and thought decided we could offer him a good quality of life.

Initial introductions in neutral space went very well... they were all curious but no signs of aggression or dominance.

The lone rat then went into a separate cage overnight.

The next day we started the carrier method using their cat box. In here the lone rat was knocking them all over and grooming them (normal) but they otherwise just settle and sleep in a heap (all positive).

The next part is the part we are getting stuck. We have a smallish cage (certainly not hamster size but small for a rat) that we cleaned out, left bare and put them into. We scatter feed and leave a blanket for them to lie on. When they're in here the lone rat constantly harasses the three... following them around, squaring up to them and moving his face really close to theirs and nipping them. This bothers the 3 who then cower and shout their eyes and generally look very distressed.

So... back in the carrier they go. And no problems here, they act normally and sleep together.

It has been 8 days now and we seem unable to move beyond the cat carrier.

Is this normal? Should we allow them to just get on with it in the bare cage? The longest unbroken spell they have been in the bare cage was 48 hours but we moved them into the carrier as the behaviour from the lone rat was really stressing the other 3 out.

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cyber ratty
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Re: Introducing lone rat progressing slowly

Post by cyber ratty » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:34 pm

How long are you leaving them in the carrier for? They may need to be in there for several days.

Beegu
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:27 am

Re: Introducing lone rat progressing slowly

Post by Beegu » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:16 am

We left them in the carrier from the early evening until the morning, so perhaps not long enough if you are suggesting days.

What I've done is put a litter tray in the bare cage and bizarrely this seems to have worked wonders in making them settle and lie together in that.

Touch wood there has been no arguments in the past day. Hopefully we will not have to resort back to the carrier :P

Fingers crossed!

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