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Pet Rats/rat companionship


so, my mother used to breed rats about 10 years ago, so i never had an experience with a rat living without another rat friend. I've had hamsters all my life, and i know they do better alone. i currently have a hamster I've had since September and a new young rat i got almost a week ago, but of course I'll never let them meet because i know they'd kill each other.

so Rem, my new rattie, is probably one of the most well behaved rodents I've ever met. he took to me immediately from the point where i held him at the pet store, cause he kissed my hand. that's how i choose my pets, to see how they behave when i hold them. Rem sat on my shoulder while i watched a movie the first night i took him home, and he stayed there, bruxing. now, i take him out every day, multiple times a day to play with him and give him love. he is always very content, and is always by my side. he NEVER strays too far from me. he likes to "mouth" my fingers, where it's like he goes to bite, but doesn't bite down at all, so it's not even a pinch. i call them love bites.

anyway, I've been doing a bit of research because i know rats are very social. however, from what I've read, it sounds almost as though rats NEED at least one other rat friend. Rem seems very happy, but is he not going to be TRULY happy unless i get a second rat? i mean, i nearly spend all my time with Rem except when I'm sleeping or going out. however, i am gonna be going back to work soon, so that's less time to spend with me. i just wanted an expert's opinion on the matter. i don't want my Rem to be unhappy.

Hi Kara,
Rem is a very lucky rat to get to spend so much time with you! However, he would most likely enjoy living with another rat, and especially if you won't be able to spend as much time with him in the future. So, I think it would be a good idea to get another rat. Maybe you could save one from a rescue group. You'll find instructions for introducing rats on my website at on the Rat Info page.

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Debbie Ducommun


I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.


I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.

President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.

BA in Animal Behavior

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