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Laurah September 15th, 2007 02:43 AM

Agressive Rat/Shy Rat
I am a new rat owner. I purchased two rats from a pet store. They are both three months old and we have had them for 1.5 weeks. One of them, my outgoing daughter's rat adapted immediately it seems. The rat is as outgoing as my daughter, though she has exhibited aggressive signs for two nights now toward the rat that is not developing as quickly and is more insecure. It seems like some of it is grooming where she might pin the smaller rat down and groom her, but on the other hand it seems as if she chases the smaller one and is attacking her, getting on top of her and biting her while the smaller one squeaks. I am worried about our smaller rat and don't know what to do. There is no blood. The bigger rat many times sleeps on top of the smaller rat. Is this dominance? Will they sort this out? They are both female. Do I need to intercede at all or stay out of it? My kids and I hold them and play plenty throughout the day. Another issue I am having is the smaller one is shy and seems to want to hide all of the time and not really spend time close to us. How long does it typically take for a shyer rat to adjust and want to be near us. My son is a very calm person and is very loving and gentle and protective over her. I have been so gentle with her myself, though she runs away. My daughter's new rat sits on her head and shoulder and is happy to stay there as long as she could. I know they have different personalities and that is a good thing. I'm just concerned about the adjustment period. How long is that?


Riluke October 9th, 2007 01:06 PM

Okay, I realize this was posted some time ago, but I will still give a response.

It is normal for rats to have dominance issues. I have two male rats and they seem to go back and forth about who is going to be the most dominant. They will sometimes 'fight' but it is only for a second or two, you will hear squeaking, but not long after they are sleeping on each other and grooming each other. They have been together for over a year now and no one has done any serious damage. It is the nature of rats to have a dominant member in the cage.

Rats also have their own personalities. One of our rats is very outgoing and loves to be handled, while the other is more tenative and startles very easily. Every rat is different, just like people are different. There are a ton of really good rat websites on the internet that have a wealth of infomration that you will find useful. I would suggest checking a few out.

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