Pet rat: how do I handle when 1/3 rats is found murdered?
I had 1 older pet rat who I really really loved. And when her sister died I got two younger rats to keep the remaining one company. I took the time to introduce them, and they were doing just fine until today I found the older rat dead. Jaw ripped off. I'm not sure what to do with the other two. Are they dangerous?
- 7 months ago
As sad as it is to say, when rats die, their family will eat them, as weird as it is, it's true. It's because in the wild they need to dispose of the body as to avoid other animals smelling it. They aren't dangerous, don't worry, unless they start to bite you and draw blood, then we might have a bit of a problem but again, that might not be them being dangerous!
- OcimomLv 78 months ago
Rats don't live a long time. If your older rat already died, the sister would not have that much longer to live. I doubt the younger rats killed her - she probably died in her sleep and the other two just started using her as a food source. Rats will eat almost anything including meat. To them she was dead and they just started eating on her.
- 9 months ago
How old was the older rat? Was he acting weird beforehand? Have you noticed any fighting? It could be he passed away of old age and they cannibalized his body. While there is a major ick factor, this is normal and does not imply any danger.
- NathanLv 49 months ago
They aren't dangerous, this is your fault.
They either were not introduced properly (there are many stages which can take weeks to complete), or you did not notice signs of arguing.
Is the cage large enough? Don't immediately think it is, especially if it was bought at a pet shop. Rats need 2 cubic inches of space each, though bigger is better, so a trio should of been living in something similar to the savic suite royal 95.
Was there enough enrichment, multiple litter boxes and water or food sources? Rats need their cages filled too to bottom with toys or they get bored which can lead to aggression, and they are relatively territorial so they need multiple places they can get something in case one of those areas are being guarded by another rat.
This is NOT their fault - you made a mistake which led to this happening, you will want to figure it out but if you can't then make sure to be extra careful in case these two start fighting.
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- NamelessLv 79 months ago
How long had they been together? How old was the old rat? I wonder if that rat passed and the other 2 started to eat her after she died.
How big is their cage? How did you do introductions? Did you ever notice them fighting over anything?
- daniel gLv 79 months ago
Well, they are not dangerous, but this is not uncommon either.
My guess is dominance fighting, and two males it is common.
A trio will need a LARGE cage with plenty of hides and amenities to keep them occupied. Maybe spend a lot more time with your ratties, especially taming, playing or trick training, and don't forget favorite treats. Chopped cashew or a small smudge of peanut butter they get addicted to. First training is coming when called, then lots of out of cage time either playing, socializing, or best is trick training. These smart buggers can learn about any trick, even stealing money from a purse or wallet.
That sort of interaction can be fun for all and forms one strong bond.
My best choice is a neutered male and pair of females for a trio, a hand full, my female/male pair was like one happy family for life.
- PearlLv 79 months ago
i would hope theyre not dangerous
- 9 months ago
This is what rats do when more then two rat in a cage. I had a mommy and daddy they had babies well the babies when they got older killed the dad, mom and the smallest out of the littler. Two rats left. I got read of the two cause they was mean as heck