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Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Adopting Baby Rats And Adult Rats

By Shellyane Bryan
A rat owner from England shares tales of living with her first rat, Queen Dumbo Duncanson-Bryan, and a rat named Mouse.

Click to enlarge
Rats Dumbo and Mouse share a tent
Photo Courtesy Shellyane Bryan
Mouse, a younger rat, was introduced to Dumbo, an older rat.

My friend recently asked me if it was possible for her to buy a baby, male rat to put with her adult, male rats. This happened because we saw some gorgeous, husky rats in a local pet store that were crying out for a home. I know how she feels, because whenever I see a lonesome rat or two, I wonder if they will ever find a home to call their own.

Anyway, as far as I’m aware, there is no issue with introducing a baby to adult males, the same way it is possible to introduce female babies to female adults. However, this is an issue I have had conflicting advice about before.

When I was buying my rat Mouse, the lady in the pet store said it probably wasn’t a good idea to put an adult female with a baby female. I knew differently, because my brother has frequently introduced young ’uns to old ’uns in his rat handling time. On the other hand, in a different store I was told there would be absolutely no problem with it whatsoever. It makes me wonder where they get their facts from. If I had listened to the first lady, I would never have been able to get little Mousey!

Of course, rat introductions don’t come without their risks. There is a hooded, female, dumbo rat in the same store that is not fully grown. I am very, very tempted to just bring her home, because I don’t think anyone else will take her. She might even be capable of putting Mouse in her place for a change. And, this weekend I am finally trading cages with my brother, so technically I would have room for an adoptee.

The biggest problem in this scenario is getting my mum to agree to a third rat, which, considering her current opinion of the little critters, isn’t all that likely. I would also be concerned about Mouse potentially terrorizing the newcomer. Of course, she doesn't mean any harm and is just a normal, playful teenage rat, but being as her claws are quite sharp, she can cause some scratches from time to time when she is being a little rough! 

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Awesome story!
Mike, Columbia, TN
Posted: 8/16/2009 4:28:33 PM
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