Introducing rats to each other

About introducing rats

Introducing rats to each other can vary from rat to rat as they all have their own personality.

The first thing to know when introducing rats is that they are likely to fight! This is generally just them sorting out who is boss but be prepared to step in if things get out of hand. If you see ANY blood or you think they are not at all happy then it is best to separate them for the time being.
It is generally easier to introduce younger rats to each other and does also generally get along better with introductions that bucks.

how to introduce rats

Step 1:
Introduce your rats to each other on a neutral territory, i.e. a bed or a sofa. Let them sniff each other and get to know each others smell. If they start attacking each other and you see blood or it looks very serious then separate them immediately. Try this several times over a couple of days. If all goes well proceed to step 2

Step 2
Decide where they are both going to live together and make sure there is a lot of room for them to share. If the cage has had either of the rats in before make sure you clean everything thoroughly and remove any bedding or items that strongly smell of the rats. This is to ensure that both rats feel as if they are new to the cage so one of them wont feel as if it is their house and there is an intruder!!! If possible re-arrange the interior, i.e. move levels around and move the bowl from its previous location etc...

Step 3
Start this step on a day that you are free and are able to spend as much time as possible near the cage incase they should draw blood.
Introduce both rats to each other in a neutral territory again for about 10 minutes or so and then dab around their private parts with vanilla essence or similar to mask their smells and confuse the rats.
Place both the rats into the new cage and wait!!! They are likely to do a lot of sniffing around and there may be some pinning down and little scuffles. If you see them fighting REALLY badly or you see blood, then remove them both from the cage for a little time away. Then try again about 30 mins later. If this doesn't work then spend more time letting them play together on neutral territory and try again a couple of days later. If this has worked then just keep an eye on them for the whole day and see what happens. Some people feel confortable loeaving their rats together over night whereas others will remove them and repeat the whole thing again the next day. You decide what you think is best for your rats as you know them the best!!!

Sometimes rats just don't want to be with others and they will constantly fight, whereas other times they will be snuggled up sleeping together within minutes!!! Each rat is different.


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The information posted on this page is not set in concrete, it's only advice. See your vet for the correct advice for your rattie.