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Pet Rats/My rat possibly in danger?


Recently, my zoology class did a project caring for 4 young rats for a few weeks. The project is over now and I have adopted a young male rat named pippin. When he was in the class he was very loving and affectionate and loved getting out of the cage.but when I brought him home he became fearful and nervous. It's been a week now and I'm starting to think he's having anxiety from being separated from his brother. he has stolen a fuzzy sock and loves to sleep next to it As if it were another rat. I want to get him a friend and there is one rat left in the class I could take but I'm afraid because it is a rat whose cage mate died in the class and he ate it. Imean not sure whether he killed it or not out if it just was a female however and he is male. Should I be concerned he would hurt pippin?

Hi Michelle,
God bless you for adopting this rat!  You're right that your new boy is fearful because he is alone, and needs a companion. It would be safe to take the other male. There is no way he killed his cagemate. It is common for them to eat a companion who has died.

See the article called Trust Training on my website at for how to get them more socialized to people.

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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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