hello. my daughter had 2 female rats, about 3 yrs old. larger "bully" one died unexpectedly, looks like cut or gash on it. other one seems fine. not around any other animals. we heard rats should have a partner. is a single rat likely to become neurotic or develop behavior problems or suffer medically? could the smaller rat have attacked the bigger one or do rats try to canibalize dead rats? thanks for any insight
Rats do get very lonely without a partner and also pine. There are good articles on single rats on www.fancy-rats.co.uk. I bought two young does just before milly had to be put to sleep. Intros can be difficult - there is a lot on the rat forum about this, but mine went superbly. Especially as your rat is older, it is best to get two of the same sex as your remaining rat so that when he/she goes to the bridge there are two left.
Yes, it is quite common for rats to cannibalise their dead cage-mates - apparently an instinctive thing from where the main thing was to get rid of the body fso it did not attract predators - nothing malicious in it.
Good luck with your rat. I must go and play with my three before work.
I am the mom of a 1 1/2 year old rat who is and has always been an "only child". I have also wondered if my rat is better off with a cagemate. But, then again just like human children, I know that she relishes all of the undivided attention that she gets from me and my husband. She is a very happy and spoiled little furball and is loved by all who meet her. I think as long as your lone rat is getting all of the love and attention it needs it should be okay.
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