How Do I Introduce Two Pairs Of Female Rats?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 18, 2009 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

One pair is my two rats, Rachel and Staci. I’m considering adopting two more rats from a rat owner who can no longer take care of them.
As far as I know the other rats are in good shape but of course I’ll quarantine them for a week or so before introduction.
Once I know the other rats are healthy, how should I go about introducing the pairs? Is it the same as introducing a new rat to a group or are there any tricks/problems I should know about?

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  • Anonymous says:

    It is always best to introduce rats on neutral area eg. like on a couch. Then there won’t any fighting over who gets what ect. usually rats will circle each other first and then start sniffing each other. Rats are very social animals and propably won’t fight but it is best to always keep a watch when introducing new pets.
    i hope this helps.

  • inkrose8 says:

    Rats are usually pretty easy with newcomers, at least the females are. I’ve never made a big deal about this, and neither have any of my rats. Just observe them at first to make sure they aren’t killing each other.
    I did adopt one rat with a poor temperament, a biter. I put her in with 2 females in a fairly big cage. The new rat was aggressive with them too at first, but they straightened her out pretty soon, and then they got along fine. I didn’t handle her very much due to her biting, but she had a good home with the 2 nice rats.

  • ratlover says:

    Its alot like introducing a new rat to the group. Maybe even easier because they will have a friend to help them get used to the other.
    The biggest tip I have is to have an extra cage (which if you are intending quarintine I suppose you have). The extra cage means you won’t have to rush it. If they aren’t getting along, try again tommorrow.
    Nuetral territories are great for these introductions, and anything that can get their smell away(spray, vanillia, etc). Also make sure you have a spray bottle handy in case they do start fighting.
    Mostly though, you shouldn’t have to much trouble, girls are pretty social, so as long as none of them are particularly agressive you should be fine.

  • Rebecca says:

    Hi there.
    First of all, you really need to know about quarantining. The only way to properly quarantine is to keep your new rats in a completely separate air space from the old ones. This usually means that you need to keep them in a different house. Keeping them in a different room is not a good quarantine. Also, a proper quarantine is supposed to last at least 3 weeks. One week is not long enough. Rats can be infected with deadly disease like Sendai for up to three weeks or so before they even show signs.
    If proper quarantine is not possible, I would visit the rats you are going to adopt once. Then wait about a week. And then go back and pick them up. That way, you will have given them time in between to show signs if they were sick. You also want to be prepared just in case they DO bring something home to your old rats.
    Once you bring them home, keeping them separate from the other rats is pretty useless as far as quarantine goes, so you might as well start the introductions. I usually have great luck with females. They tend to make friends really easily.
    Maybe try letting them play together (all of them) on a bed or in a bathtub for an hour or so, just to make sure they are okay. Do this every day for about a week, and then when you are sure they are getting along well, clean the cage you will be using REALLY well and then put everyone inside. Maybe add an extra food dish, water bowl, and hammock/sleeping hut so they don’t HAVE to share. Watch them for about an hour to make sure they don’t fight.
    If they do fight, you might have to take more drastic steps. Using a few drops of vanilla extract on everyone’s back or giving them all a bath at the same time will help them all smell like each other.
    There are other tips at these sites:…
    Good luck!
    Please consider joining the Yahoo Ratlist Group and the Rats Rule! forum at!

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