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What first convinced you to bring a rat into your home? There are as many answers as there are rat owners out there. But I’m willing to bet what convinced you to bring rats into you home was a heartfelt plea from another rat lover that you not condemn a social creature to a life of miserable solitary confinement. Recent studies on the effects of solitary confinement point to the fact that individuals of any intelligent species who are left alone for any length of time actually experience profoundly damaging neurological changes: they lose their sanity. And rats are terribly, terribly intelligent, I assure you. Watching a helpless creature that you profess to care about slowly come unhinged is not my idea of humanitarian behavior. Don’t get one rat. Get two. Get three! Two or three are actually less trouble than one.

What OPuPo, the video producer, says:

Food for thought for those considering buying just one rat on its own, or those who already have just one rat:

Rats are really sociable animals and need company all the time, not just human interaction and cuddles but rat companionship. Someone to groom and to groom them back, someone to curl up with for warmth and safety at night, someone to eat food beside so that they don’t feel vulnerable. No matter how great an owner you are or how much time your rat spends with you, you still have to sleep and work and no human can replace a second rat for the interaction they get from one another. It’s so important for their quality of life to have a buddy with them at all times.

Please ask any questions and leave comments. I hope the video can start to show the connection and bond that two rats form. Whiskey and Womble would never want to be without the other.

Please note: If you do only have one rat at the moment then it’s important that you don’t simply get another rat and put it into the same cage. In that situation rats will often fight and could kill each other. For advice on introducing rats to each other please message me.

I also just want to add that recently Womble has been pretty ill and Whiskey has been so great to him. He cuddles and grooms him and won’t leave his side. They know when something is wrong with the other and will do what they can to help.

Thanks for watching

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And Thank you, OPuPo, for the good you’ve done the rat fancy through your marvelous videos. You are my inspiration. It was this video that finally decided me to bring rats into the house. And I’m so glad I did! BEST PETS EVER.

OPuPo is right, though: it takes a lot of patience to incorporate a new individual into a colony, even if it’s a colony of one. I should know–I’m in the middle of that process right now. Not three feet from my bed, Tybalt, a recently neutered male, is adjusting to life with the girls. He was a rescue and had been alone for many months. His lack of socialization and his fiery temperament made the neutering absolutely necessary if he is ever to have a normal life.

“Fiery temperament?” you ask? Hell yeah. Tybalt had been called some silly foo-foo name or other before I took him in, but he also had a bad case of fleas and ear mites, which pretty much voids any naming rights his old owners may have held, as far as I am concerned. They liked Tybalt, but they didn’t have idea one about how to care for a rat. Anyway, here’s the story they told me: they had put Tybalt’s cage on a stand next to a kitchen shelf the previous winter and woke one day to a CSI incident all over their kitchen floor. It seems a hapless mouse had been scurrying over the cabinet in search of a crumb when his eye came to rest on Tybalt’s food bowl, just a short jump from the counter-top and a quick wriggle through the bars. Oh, bad bad idea, little mouse. Tybalt opened up a fresh can of whoop-ass on that little interloper and tossed what was left over the side as a warning to other would-be burglars. God’s Bodkins, even their cats were afraid of Tybalt. If you haven’t read Romeo and Juliet lately, do take this opportunity to do so and remind yourself how appropriate was Tybalt’s new name.

“Was” being the operative word. When he first jointed the boys, Henslowe, Will Shakespeare, and Arthur must have thought I’d lost my mind and thrust a rabid weasel into their midst. Since his surgery, Tybalt has gone from psychopathic plague rat to the strong, silent type. With a nod to Rick Castle, suddenly he really is ruggedly handsome. Tybalt is the Gary Cooper of rats. The ladies love him. Or they will. In a week. Or maybe two. I hope. Luckily, there’s plenty of good information out there regarding best practices for introducing a new cage mate. I personally recommend “the pudding treatment,” wherein all members of the community and the new rat are smeared with vanilla pudding and deposited onto a neutral table or counter with a few boxes and hides to take the edge off everyone’s nerves. It makes them all smell the same, and, let’s face it: once you’ve licked pudding off of a person, well, you’re not really in any position to get all up in his face anymore, are you? Get lots of pudding…you’ll need some, yourself, to take the edge off your own nerves, won’t you? Yes, I thought you might.

Fromage, dears!

Dovey <:3 )~~~~

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