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Pet Rats/Older rat died, and left behind one insecure rat.


Hello. I sent in some questions regarding my older rat, Ralphie. Unfortunately that same night, he passed away in his sleep. I'm absolutely heartbroken, but I'm also confused as to my next step for my other rat, Flick. I got these two rats at seperate time and Flick came from a petco as a feeder rat, and was much younger than Ralphie. He was the last one and I was intending to buy him, but he spoke to my heart. I took him home and introduced them gradually and they loved each other! After about 3-4 months as Flick got older, they started fighting. I assumed Ralphie would be the bully, but it was Flick. Ralphie was always super friendly and cuddly, but Flick has always been very skiddish and anxious from day 1. I've figured this may just be his personality as its been around two years now. It got so bad that I had to keep them separated. Luckily, I have a massive ferret nation cage that allows me to seperate the top and bottom and give them each plenty of space without feeling stressed out. So flick has been alone most of his life mostly out of fear that he would hurt any other rat I tried to pair with him. And ever since my oldest rat died, I crave a new baby, but I'm scared that Flick will hurt them pretty badly. I should also mention that Flick is neutered, so I'm not really sure what else there is that I can do. Should I give it a shot or waiit til he eventually passes before getting new babies?

Hi Lauren,
I'm sorry to hear you lost Ralphie. I'm sure you will miss him terribly. Some male rats stay aggressive toward other rats even when they have been neutered. You could certainly get 2 more babies, and just keep them separate from Flick.  I recommend putting the babies on the bottom and Flick on the top, because sometimes the tail of the rat on the top can dangle down into the lower cage and an aggressive rat there can bite it.

If Flick shows interest in the new babies and doesn't seem aggressive toward them, then you can try introducing them, maybe just for supervised playtimes.

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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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