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Pet Rats/Introducing new males to females?


First of all, your website and books are a great help! I've stayed up entirely too late reading up on them, and I don't regret a moment of it!

I have seen how to introduce rats to each other, but very little on the situation I'm looking at. I have 2 young female rats, intact, that are 6 and 7 months old. I had ideally wanted male rats, because they're more likely to cuddle and more laidback, but the pet store pressured me pretty heavily to get the girls (they're more active, they're currently awake right now while the boys are sleeping, boys are boring and lazy, the girls are much friendlier and have been handled more, etc). The younger of the two is VERY active, inquisitive and into everything. Her older sister is a bit more laid back and less active. It's quite common for squabbles to arise because Skye (the younger) is pestering her sister to play and Pep doesn't want to.

There are several rat rescues in the area that have neutered boys (and our vet will neuter boys, but not spay girls, as he isn't comfortable with the tiny precision needed). I'm wondering if there's a way to introduce new boys to my girls? I'd ideally like to get 2 boys, but I'm willing to go with either 1 or 3 if need be. I'm just not sure if this is a good idea, or if I'm better off just cooling my heels. I feel a bit bad for Skye because even though I play with her, she clearly is still frisky and wanting to romp, and Pep just doesn't want to.

Any suggestions and advise?

Hi Amanda,
If your cage is big enough, you can certainly adopt a couple of neutered boys.

BTW, maybe if you tell your vet that I am not a vet, and I do spays all the time, it would encourage him to give it a try. (I just did 2 of them on Sat.) I would be willing to talk to him. They really are not hard to do at all. It really does benefit the females' health.

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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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