Rat quarantine question.?
Ok. Here's the dealio. I'm getting a 7 month old Male rat (adopting) from Petco. He was left because someone couldn't care for him. Obviously, I'll need two rats. I am planning on getting the 2nd from petsmart. Do I need to quarantine if I put two new rats from different places in a brand new cage at the same time? Also, how do I quarantine? I just have the one cage. How long? By the way, the one I'm adopting lives alone.
- SheenaLv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
quarantine requires two cages.
the purpose is to prevent spreading of any illnesses that might be currently in a rats system but not yet symptomatic.
that way, you get one set of vet bills, and not two (or in the case of people with larger groups, not more. if I brought in a new rat, skipped quarantine and made my own rats sick, I would have EIGHT sets of vet bills. and some people have a lot more rats than me.) and there are some very virulent viruses around that can wipe out a colony, so it's very important to ensure rats are well before them meeting the family.
a lot of diseases are airborne, so in an ideal world, we would quarantine the new rat in a different building. however this is not practical for most people. so most people will quarantine the new rat in a separate room of the house, as far from the other rats as possible, with the doors kept closed in between, and change their clothes and wash their hands and face, and blow their nose in between handling the different rats.
this takes three weeks.
so a separate cage is necessary, but it doesn't have to be a brilliant cage. a smaller cage, like you would use for a sick or injured rats hospital cage, is fine.
if rats are from the same source, quarantine isn't necessary, unless you were bringing them into an existing group.
even if you weren't going to quarantine, you would still need two cages, as you can't just put the rats in the same cage, even if it is a new cage.
the rats have to get to know each other for short periods on neutral territory for at least a week. you slowly work up to putting them in a cage together.
introducing my females took just over a week, and my males have only just accepted living in the same cage and I started intros in mid december.
so a second cage is vital.
- MiaLv 48 years ago
I would suggest buying a smaller cage or tank (it doesn't need to be very big) and keep them separated for at least a week. This is just in case one of them has a nasty disease that you wouldn't want to pass on to the other!! If all's good after a week, you can move both into the large cage using the correct introduction methods. Good luck and have fun with your rats xx