You are here:

Pet Rats/Brother freaks out

Advertisement


Question
I have read other answers online and think neutering my male rat maybe the next step. However my situation seems slightly different and I would like to ask my question.  I have had rats over the past 10 years. I currently have three male rescue rats that are 1 in October 2014. Most of the time my three boys look like they get along with each other and will snuggle together.  However, there are random times that one gets up set and has bitten me twice, plus others. He will go after one of the brothers and whichever he chooses will scream and try to run away from him.  Then those two will huddle together somewhere looking scared hoping he will leave them alone.  I believe it has been well over a month since the last episode. It never seems consistent, but this time I had cleaned out the cage and put new food in. He was the second one in the cage. I believe he is usually first. When he is mad he puffs himself up, his eyes look wild, and his breathing hard. Is he still trying to be dominate or is he crazy? I have never had a rat like him.

Answer
I don't know if there is scientific evidence that rats can have psychological disorders but many rat owners claim they have had rats that did.  Consider that the physical makeup of rats is extremely close to humans, which is why they are studied in labs.  And like humans, they suffer many of the same disorders we do: cancer, heart failure, stroke, diabetes, etc etc.   And it is a fact that rats often suffer depression, sometimes severe, when they lose their lifelong companion.  Rats also suffer stress from various things, including fear, which can make them ill.  So I myself do believe that a rat can be "crazy".  Whether your boy is that, or whether he just has an excess of randomly surging male hormones, we'll never know, but you are correct that neutering should be done soon to prevent any further fear by his brothers and injuries to all of you.

You may consider keeping the aggressive boy separately until his surgery for the safety of his brothers, and separately as well for at least 3 weeks after surgery as it takes that long for the hormones to lower to a normal level.

I hope this gives you enough to make the right decision for your boy and please do write back if I can help you with anything else.  

Pet Rats

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Irene Murphy

Expertise

I can answer a variety of questions regarding adoption and care of pet rats throughout their lifetimes, including questions about their health and well being, temperment, diet, bedding, cages, toys, etc. I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability in a timely manner and I have an abundant amount of resources to help me to help you with your pet rats. I love rattie pictures, so include pics with your question if you can. You may ask me medical questions, but please be advised that I am not a vet. I may use my resources to answer some medical questions, however, I will need to refer you to your local vet with medical questions that I feel I am not qualified to address.

Experience

I have been a huge rat enthusiast for many years. Since becoming a rat owner, I have educated myself in all areas of pet rats from every resource I could find including the internet, books, conversations with local exotic vets, as well as several local rat breeders.

Education/Credentials
I have a college degree but not in the area of animals. I have obtained my extensive experience and knowlege of pet rats all on my own because in my eyes, pet rats are the most interesting and fascinating creatures you can ever imagine to have as pets. I also am saddened by how mislabeled and misunderstood these amazing and extremely smart animals are by the majority, and my mission in life has become to educate and change as many people's perceptions of rats as I possibly can.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.