Updated 8th June 2017

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Often some one has a favourite rat die and they naturally think to start again.

Some wise advice:

No. 1   If you ever kept a rat by itself -  avoid keeping a single rat the second time.

In the beginning it is essential NEVER to buy and keep a single lone rat ! A small social

group of three (or more is recommended so the rats have a normal happy social life.

Rats are an extremely social animal - like us humans ! Like us they become sad, disappointed,

frustrated, even get angry when kept alone, but always - are very lonely in spite of your

caring and feeding etc.

So here come my self explaining 'maths lesson'

For example, you may have an old buck, his brothers died one by one, leaving him now all alone.

An experienced rat breeder might in that case - put an old doe rat

( who was far too old to have kittens 14 months old or more) with the old buck, they invariably will live in harmony into their real old age.

But lets take it 'she' is not available. What you do if possible,  

Lesson no. 1 is to obtain 3 nice young kittens bucks around 7 - 9 weeks old.   You put him and

them into a fresh bedded cage that the old man has never been in !.

Watch them, but usually after a few sniffing and tipping over sessions all four will settle down to be friends - and he will enjoy ' teaching the youngsters' tricks, how to wrestle and

play tag etc, bringing him back to his youth a bit.

Second part: Later ... ...  eventually the old boy dies happy. Now the Maths is working well you

still have a social group of three.!  Much much later 1 of those dies - but you still have

a social group of 2. Then much much later one of those brother dies - leaving him by himself,   but you have already been out and about at your local rat club YRC - explaining to friends you have there ...that you will soon need 3 young 7-8 week old kittens to cheer up the old man rat you have at home.

I write this because if people remember this simple bit of arithmetic - they and the pet rats in their lives will have a much happier future.

from Colin Arundel     NFRS Rattenfänger Stud, YRC Life President

It comes down to simple Maths when keeping our rat friends