Georgia asked in PetsRodents · 8 years ago

My rats are fighting, should I seperate them or let them get on with it?

I have had my rats (2 male fancy rats) for a couple of months now, one is a lot larger than the other (I got them from the same litter as advised) however the larger is very aggressive to the smaller rat, the small one has 2 small scabs on his back where im presuming is from the larger rat. The small rat is always submissive and doesn't fight back, but the larger rat attacks him for no reason and chases him round, then pins him down on the floor on his back, and is either biting or grooming him, I can't really tell. The small rat often has a bloody nose, and I don't know what to do, I worry if I "leave them to it" I will come down to a dead rat one day.

I had a spare cage and I seperated them as I was going away for the night and couldn't watch them (but put the cages next to each other), and I've come back and both rats look extremely depressed, not even coming up to the cage to see me which is odd.

I don't know what to do! Can any rat experts help?

Would be greately appreciated!


Thanks to everyone for your answers.

I allowed the rats back in together, and at first they seemed really happy to be back together, however an hour or so later, I hear squeaking, and the smaller rats back is bleeding and he is scared to come out of his hidy hole even to see me, so I've had to seperate them, and will have to take the larger back to the pet shop to be put up for adoption I'm afraid as I don't have space for 2 large cages and don't believe in keeping rats in small cages.

I'm upset that I have to give him up and I worry where he will end up, but I think it's the only way!

Thanks anyway everyone!

11 Answers

  • 8 years ago
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  • 8 years ago

    Leave them together. Fighting is normal with rats. They do it to establish dominance and for fun. Sometimes they get too rough. Often the losing rat makes a big fuss and squeaks and squeals even when they are fine. The fighting your rats are doing does not sound serious.

    Signs of a serious fight are the rat puffing up trying to look bigger, standing up and "boxing", hissing/huffing etc. If they do those things often, you probably want to separate them.

    As for the bloody nose, that is actually porphyrin, which is a rat's mucous and is red. Usually rats clean it off. Red around the nose or eyes can mean your rat is sick. You might take him in to be checked for an Upper Respiratory Infection (URI), as they are common in rats.

    Source(s): I have four males
  • 8 years ago

    I currently have two male rats that fight, with one being more aggresive. I ended up leaving them together since I don't think they are seriously hurting each other and they like to curl up together and sleep. But if your rat is really getting hurt, then you probably should keep them separated. Maybe you could put them together during times that you can somewhat be observant of what is happening, like when you're in the same room. That way they can still see eachother, but you can make sure one isn't getting seriously injured.

    Good luck

  • 8 years ago

    The same thing happened to me with my rats before. First you should separate them. Since you said you have had them for only a few months I will presume that they are a few months old to around a year- during this time is when rats go in to adolescence. During this time period they become more aggressive and territorial than usual. This may be the cause of them fighting so badly. I would suggest you separate them until this time period is over (which may be up to 1.5 years of age) and then carefully try to rebond them together and hopefully they will like each other again.

    Source(s): Rat lover and expert
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  • 8 years ago

    My females go at it at least once a day. They are just establishing dominance. The "blood" you see is probably just porphyrin. If you want to read more about that I suggest this site

    They are brothers and, although they squabble, they love each other very much and need each other's company. Put them together again. If you notice any serious bites, you may want to separate them. But until then, it isn't anything to worry about.

  • If they are proper fighting like showing teeth and everything separate straight away. however if they are just biting each other and not screaming leave them till morning , they may just being having a scuff at each other :)

    Source(s): Personal
  • 8 years ago

    You put two male rats together? Big mistake. Males are territorial and will see each other as a threat.

    They will fight to the death if they have to, so when you see blood (which you said you have) you seperate them and never put them together again.

  • 8 years ago

    You should separate them just in case one gets badly hurt.

  • Daisy
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    Separate them! Don't wait until there's blood! They could kill each other, and no I am not exaggerating. Save them!

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    For their safety, separate them.

  • 8 years ago


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