When a rat dies


I have a bit of a morbid question for you, but it’s regarding an issue I never see mentioned on rat info websites, so I do hope you can help me. I was wondering what you should do when a pet rat dies: whether you should allow the cage mates some time alone with the body, or whether it should be removed straight away. When my first pet died, she was in my arms and out of the cage. I didn’t know what to do for best so packed her away immediately. However, I got the impression that her cage mate just didn’t know what had gone on and was a bit frantic when her sister disappeared. I feel as though I should have allowed her to see the body, but I’m not sure if this would cause distress. What do YOU do in this situation?

This is actually a REALLY good question. Thank you so much for bringing it up!! I think it is important. In my experience, rats cope a lot better when they can see the body. I’ve had several sets of siblings. With two sets (Pitter & Patter and Lukass & Rizzo), I had to put one of the rats to sleep and I didn’t put the body back in the cage. It seemed as if the remaining sibling was looking around the cage for its mate. Eventually, he or she would come to terms with the fact that the mate wasn’t going to come back, but it was kind of a long process. On the other hand, I had another rat die in the cage unexpectedly. It seemed to me that when Piglet died, Roxy (her cagemate) understood what had happened.
Based on these experiences, I think it’s better if cagemates can see the deceased rat’s body, so they understand that their friend has passed away. If I were to take a rat to get euthanized again, I would put the body back in the cage so the other cagemates could examine it. It might be difficult for me, but I think it would really help the surviving rat(s). Thanks for asking this. It is a little morbid, but it’s a fact of life.

83 Responses to “When a rat dies”


  1. 1 Robyn

    I had two sets of sisters together and Aero (one of the older sisters) died suddenly the two days ago while we were at work. When my fiance was came home and found her the other three (including her sister) were disposing of her (sorry, I can’t bare to actually say it) the best way a rat knows how. It was horrifying for me and very sad, but I know it is animal nature. It’s just very hard to think of my poor girl being treated this way by her cage mates. Has anyone else experienced this?

  2. 2 Sarah

    I used to have 2 rats, called Pepsi and Tango, both about a year and 3 months old. Tango developed severe pnaumonia in August and I’ve been trying to keep her going ever since. They haven’t been in the same cage because I was giving Tango antibiotics, but they still saw each other when they came out. Tango died on Monday. Pepsi hasn’t seen the body, as they werent in the same cage, but I think she understands what’s happened because she was in the same room. She’s acting like she’s depressed, not gripping my shoulder properly etc. and she keeps sort of crying in her sleep. There’s also what looks like blood on her bedding and round her nose. I know they often get this when overexcited, but is it just because she’s distressed or might she have pneumonia too? Do rats actually cry?

  3. 3 Taleya

    Sarah, I believe it is possible for rats to get depressed, and lonely. I had a pair of beautiful berkshire minks – Fiskas and Onion. We lost poor Fiskas mid last year after fighting through a kidney disorder, two strokes and pneumonia. (She wouldn’t let any of it get her down!)

    Onion went with us when we had to have Fiskas put to sleep at the end, and I will always remember her reaction on “viewing” the body – she sniffed at her sister, nudged her with her nose, then went and curled up in Fiskas’ nesting box.

    She went rapidly down into a depressive cycle after that. She lost a lot of weight, refused to groom herself, and spent a lot of time just curled up next to me. I would go as far as saying it was actively killing her.

    We got a pair of chocolate and cream hoods late last year, and even though they were in quarantine, as soon as they were in the house, Onion knew. She perked up, started grooming herself and eating everything in sight, and was incredibly eager to get out of the cage and had to be dissuaded on more than one occasion from trying to get into the other half of the house where the babies were situated. After the quarantine period was over, the introductions went insanely well – well enough that within a week they were sharing a cage. They still are, and Onion is a royal whiskering bruxer with her two compatriots

  4. 4 Jorge

    i use to have 16 rats (lil friggers wouldnt use condoms), but when one of the old ones die, they bury their own dead. i remember coming home from work and there was a huge mound in the corner of the cage. i reached in and Whiskey (mom rat) was in there. then a year later, another passed away and the same thing happened. i think it’s best to keep the body there so they can immediatley understand what happened to mom or their buddy. but, some rats (out of respect) will chew the side of their companion, so please if you see this coming, try to stop it….my friend went through that, and it was a mess. (the respect thing came out of a book…cant remember the name though)

  5. 5 Erin

    My friend had to rats, I had one and they shared a cage, my friends rats are called lucky and nibbler, my rat was called Holly. One day my sister let my rat out and she ranaway, I was soooooooooo depressed,sad and angry. I couldn’t cope, we tried to find her but we didn’t, lucky and nibbler her cage mates were very stressed, they didn’t know what had happened, they sat in the corner together and looked so sad. It killed my friend and I to see only to rats instead of one. Eventually after a week, lucky and nibbler started playing more, and then I got a new rat, Petal, and she has made lucky and nibbler very happy.

    From Erin

  6. 6 Aston

    today my rat mischief died i am sooo upset its tearing me appart . he was hanging upside down in his cage with blood dripping down from his nose. there was plenty of food/water. i just cant understand and the worst part in 2 weeks was his(and his bros) birthday what shal i do shall i get a new rat to be his companion and if so how do i quarantine a rat pl
    s tell me its tearing me up inside he was my best friend 1 year old in 2 weeks booo hooo

  7. 7 Jan

    To Robyn: I have had the same experience twice! First with a pair of little mice…when one died, the other nibbled on it. And again, with our gerbils…the one passed away and within the hour (I was out) the other one started doing the same thing. I don’t know WHY they do this, but it was very disturbing to me. I say to take them out of the cage right away, just so you don’t have to witness this among your pets.

  8. 8 JipRatMumma

    Homer and Monkey had been visiting the vets for 6wks to have treatment on skin problems and were starting to get all fluffy again but Homer had also developed abscesses on front of both ears…
    I had to let my baby Homer go yesterday,although he had been acting normal,eating,drinking and generally being cheeky JipRat,he was at the vets this time going under anesthetic so they could be cleaned out properly,the vet discovered that one had gone through to his ear canal(more than likely to happen on other side as well) and that it would be kinder if we let him go to sleep……My poor little baby,the thought that he was in ANY kind of pain kills me !!!!!!!!
    I brought Homer home so Monkey could say goodbye,Monkey did come over and sniff the body,sat on it for a second before going and curling up under their blanket on my chair,when offered treats he’s taken them and he ate all his food last night but i will be keeping an eye out for any change in his behaviour !!!

    R.I.P
    Homer AKA HomeyHomes.
    01-06-06 – 24-04-08
    Much loved by Monkey,Ryn n Jay xxx

  9. 9 Meagann

    Today our rat, Remy died. We have (had :( ) two of them, Remy and Emile. I took them in this morning to be neutered. I received a call saying they went through the surgery well and were ready to be picked up in a couple hours, but then, I got there a few hours later and Doc said Remy had passed with a heart attack. ( WTF?!??!??!?!??) We’re (me and my partner) both very, very sad. Im angry and of course feel guilty for the neutering. Boooo.
    Thanks to the above however, I think getting another friend (or brother) for our little survivor might be a good idea. Blessings to all.

  10. 10 Bryan

    I currently have three girls that I love to death, but this isn’t about them. Two days ago, I discovered a wild baby rat in my garage. He was still alive, even though his eyes were still closed (2 weeks old by my estimate). I took him in, gave him a warm box to sleep in, and nursed him with baby formula and cared for him for the last two days. He seemed to be doing well, but this morning he left me unexpectedly. I know I’ve only had him for two days, but I can’t seem to get over him (he was so small). I feel that it’s my fault for his passing even though I know he wouldn’t have survived for the two days that he did without me. I’ve been spending lots of time with my girls, but every couple of hours I start of thinking about him and break down. Hopefully sharing this will help but I don’t think so.

  11. 11 Koni

    Thanks for sharing your story, Meagann. I, too, lost a rat just after neutering, but to hemorrhage rather than heart attack. I felt guilty and angry too. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  12. 12 Suzanne Divine

    My young female rat had 9 babies and over a matter of 3 weeks all the babys died.Does anybody know why,I cant find an answer?????

  13. 13 Tiff

    I agree, it helps to bring closure in some way to the animals, with their senses I’m sure they can smell the chemical change, and see the “life force” is no longer with the other animal… I really believe it’s essential, tho almost heartbreaking, to allow companions of any species be it dog, rat, cat, or human to view and expierence the body of their dead friend to “get” what’s happened and not just be lost in the mysterious process.

  14. 14 Laura

    I have found that it is better for guinea pigs and rats alike to have closure, when they like us are able to say goodbye it helps them emotionally to move on and accept what happened.

  15. 15 bmermer

    I”m a new rat lover, my daughter got ouur first blue rat 2wks ago, but unfortunately we got a playmate for her after 7 days, put them together in a New cage to get friendly, everything was good until today 5 days later the new one died (?) my husband felt so bad he went an got a another one also a blue from pet supplies plus, she seems very shy, any suggustions on warmin her up? its only day 1 should i just wait an see? how long? do i cut thier nails or shoud the vet?

  16. 16 emily

    rats will eat the dead as a deffence mechanism
    in the wild the smell of a rotting body would attract predotors to their den

    i’d advise that you let them see the body but not leave it in their cage un attended

  17. 17 Tash

    In a similar situation to Robyn i found yesterday when i woke up in the morning that one of my rats had died (Frankiee) and my other had started to eat her face(Gee). I was very shocked and upset and but i also understand the reasons etc but i have no idea what to do next. Gee seems quite down and lonely already and she was crying in her sleep last night. i want to introduce another rat, but im scared that the same thing will happen again and is it safe to indroduce more than one rat to my remaning one? im lost at the minuite but i just want the best for Gee,i would be very grateful for any advice x

  18. 18 Audrey

    Last January, my first rat Fuzzy, a hairless dumbo, died at just over three years old. Her best bud, Shay, was in the cage when she died, and I came home from work at Shay came right out to me, as they always come to greet me at the door of the cage, and Fuzzy didn’t come out. She was curled up in their house, but Shay hadn’t touched her or tried to eat her or anything. I carried Shay around the rest of the night to comfort her, but she was still frantic for a long time after that, searching the cage especially at night and trying to find Fuzzy everywhere.
    I decided she needed company, and got two more black hooded girls – Bella and Scribbles. She wanted them in the cage, so after the quarantine period I put them in, but then they fought alot, and I was afraid because Shay was old that they’d hurt her (even though now I realize she’s the boss, even though Fuzzy was the boss when she was alive), so I put the new girls in a cage right next to her, so she could have company but not be bothered. Finally, a four story cage was the perfect solution. Now, Shay is getting really old (almost 4) and at a stage where I think she may not last much longer, and you should see the way the other two take care of her! They bring her food into the house and clean her and everything… I’m so going to miss Shay!

  19. 19 Andi

    Thanks for having this post. My rat Doppler turned 2 a couple of months ago, and over the past 4-5 weeks, it’s been like her warranty had just expired. Her spine started to degrade about then and her back legs have gradually stopped working. I had started getting her out for a few minutes before her cage-mates at night so I could feed her a little extra since she wasn’t able to compete for lab pellets as well. Her little eyes and nose seemed to be going too, she would nibble about 3 fingers before managing to find the pellet I was holding. She was still grooming herself and trying to get into trouble, so I figured she wasn’t too bothered, although she was a little worse every day.

    I left my rats with the sitter for 4 days, during which time the sitter sent me a couple of text messages saying that Doppler wasn’t looking so good and they were giving her softer food and soaking bread to get her moisture, but I thought the sitter was just talking about the paralysis. She was in bad shape when I picked her up. She was hardly moving and was chewing on her little hand until it bled. Her back legs weren’t working much at all, and her little toes were bloody – I’m still not sure how she managed that. She would bite you hard if you tried to move her, but wouldn’t move from where you set her.

    I brought her home and left her with her cage-mates Tilly and Macchiato (Doppler’s daughter). She would eat mashed potatoes and soaked bread, but couldn’t chew a pellet. Last night, she started refusing food and wouldn’t move at all. She felt cold and her breathing was very shallow. I knew it was her time and I think the other two did too. They would come over and sniff her a little bit, but otherwise left her alone. I put them in a different cage overnight so that I could leave her special food near her without them stealing it. Also, I didn’t want to deal with a partially eaten dead rat on Christmas morning – I’m glad this blog addressed that. Tilly and Macchiato seem ok by themselves so far.

  20. 20 k girl

    Hello, well I have a question, I had two female rats (sisters) sometimes they shared a cage and sometimes they would have to be seperated due to them fighting. But lastnight I put them in the same cage….filled up there water and food and i found them today both dead lying beside each other. they have no visible marks or blood on them…what do you think happened? I thought either poison which I cannot see happening because they have nothing to get into. or they ran themselves to death playing. is that possible. well thanks K girl

  21. 21 Joanna

    Hi. I’m having a bit of trouble. A few months ago My rat, Bonnie, lost her sister, Badger, and began to dispose of the body. Since Badger’s death Bonnie has been very weird and she is acting in really abnormal ways compared to how she used to act. The thing is, she’s gotten really violent and I’m really scared to open the cage and put my hand near her so she can even smell me to let her know it’s me. I don’t know what to do, I want to handle her again but I don’t know if itis a good idea? Help me :(

  22. 22 Eark K.

    I swore that I wasn’t going to get another rat especially after my last remaining one got a tumor. I was wandering through a local pet store in NY and saw a cage with 3 males rats but no price on their cage. I inquired as to why they were like that and was told that a lady had left town, gave them to the pet store to sell, but stipulated that they not be sold as food.

    I could see that they were well socialized, but didn’t wish to take on 3 new pets. They basically gave one to me, trusting that I would take care of him–even if it meant breaking up the trio. Well, a day or two passed and I went and got the other two. The three boyz were back together and were, well, quite happy
    .
    Carlos died about a year later for whatever reason, collapsing while going on his nightly run. The others didn’t miss him too much, or so I surmised. The Carlos had been the alpha male, and the two remaining ones had quite different personalities, with one, Edgar, being most decidedly at the bottom of the pecking order–very docile as well. Franklin, the middle one, was, in a word, wild. He was very much like a female rat in this regard as he would simply never sit still.

    Anyway, about a year had passed since the death of the first rat, Carlos. I went to the cage to let them out for the evening to find the really docile one, Edgar, dead. He had become my favorite of the three and I was quite sad. The weird thing was that I had to work many hours for the next few days, not having much opportunity to spend with the remaining rat, Franklin, as far as giving him a lot of time to roam. I would come home, check his food and water, then go to bed.

    At the end of this little run with work, about 5 days, I went to the cage to find Franklin dead. It wasn’t a coincidence–he had lost his last remaining friend and had nothing to live for.

    They are living, breathing creatures and they know.

  23. 23 craig

    my rat is dieing right now she is about 2and a half years old she gone blind couse she cant see were she is she can only smell things

    it hard for mr cuse i love my rat can any body help me and tell me what to do couse i am scared of what to do i cant face her dieing

    what should i do take her to the the vets or let her die in her cage?

    please tell me i need help

  24. 24 craig

    my rat i called her ratty (couldnt think of a good name lol)well she is about 2 and a half years old and she is dieing and i cant face it. it relly hard couse i love that rat and i dont want her to go.

    what should do
    should i take her to the vets and ask her
    or shall i let her die in her cage but if i do my 3 year old brother might find her and i dont want that to happen

    what shall i do

  25. 25 Buffy

    My little guy just died this morning. He was about 2 years old. He had been suffering some resp issues, as alot of rats do. I am still pretty emotional, but I have already noticed his little buddy looking around wondering where he is. I’ve had him all night trying to save him, but I think he knows now. I’m wondering if I should get him a new cage mate to keep him from getting depressed. Not sure how my husband would react to me bringing home another rat, since we were both VERY attached to the one that just passed, but I don’t want Jazz to get upset and start getting sick either. Any advice?

  26. 26 Lisa

    I’m so glad to have found this posting. One of my girls, Pixie, died this morning and I found Dobby eating her. It was incredibley devistating to find them like that and I was so upset wondering if I didnt feed them enough or something. I was almost a little angry at the living girl for doing that to her sister. I feel better knowing that it’s natural. Not a pretty sight, though. I still cant get the image out of my head. I miss her a lot already :(

  27. 27 daniel

    yer when your rat dies it best if u got a rat in the same cage to leave it until the other rat knows it dead other whys the other rat might try to ecaspe e.g bite to get out of your hand, it u leave him run around then he might try to find a way out.

  28. 28 Jaime

    I have three adult rats and two babies.  My adult girls are Snitch and Zipper and My adult male is Mr. Bean.  Mr. Bean is the son of Zipper.  Zipper had a litter of babies on accident by her son and she only had four babies.  I still have two left, both males, Cornflake and Pudge.  The other two I gave away to a girl.  One was a runt with not much hair.  He was healthy so I decided to let him go to a home.  Well today I saw the girl who took them and she told me that she came home and the bigger male rat was eating the smaller runt. They are siblings and she thinks it killed the smaller rat. I told her I wasn’t sure but if it was straving it may be possible. But I just don’t know. I have been raising rats for four years and never have seen this happen. Any Answers

  29. 29 chlolo,

    ive jus had a phone call from my ex to tell me that my rat had died, hewas only 5 months old so i have no idea what had happened, there w nothin wrong with him she said he was fine in the morning b4 she went to work bu came home to find him layin on the top tier all cuddled up as if he was asleep,the other rat was ontop of the water bottle near it and when my ex put her hand in to get my rat the other one (nugget) went for her and he was never viscious, im absolutly gutted i miss my lil boy he was calld peakaboo bt we called him peaka coz he was nervous when we first got him, any ideas as to why or how he died coz i am absolutly stunned!!

    rip peakboo ill always love you
    2009-2009

  30. 30 Emma

    I’m so confused.
    My boy,Rico died some time yesterday (he was fine in the morning,by evening we found him lying dead at the front of the cage) and his brother,Nico seems fine?
    He’s eating (more than usual,if anything!) and drinking and apart from seeming a little more exited than usual and being a bit wary of us,seems himself?

    Is it possible for them to NOT grieve/get on well afterwards?

  31. 31 Stephanie

    I have Owned several rats in the past but I currently had 5 rats. All females,: Adults(assumed 3 years or more)Mimu and Minge…And the babied who are assumed to be about 1 and a half years named Stinky, Peanut, and Giffy… For the past month and a half Giffy has had pnuemonia, bronchitis, and mycoplasmosis(they all have). Drastically she lost weight, NEVER ate, barely drank, and couldn’t move, just layed their staring, breathing very hard. In the last 2 weeks, she down spriraled instantly to the point of her mouth gasping open as wide as it can to get a breathe of air. This erratic, loud breathing broke out into panic attacks from not be able to get air and would run frantically around the bed scared shitless….. I’ve never felt so helpless…She would run on me or my bf as we lay on the bed with her..trying to comfort her as she struggled. In the past 3 days…I knew it…It was so bad at this point..She could hardely breath. She weighted nothing. The doctor told me it was a waiting game…and it was…Last night I cam home and layed with her as she struggled and her panic attacks were now as frequent as every 20 mins…for about 10 minutes a peice. She would leap into the air scared… Finally I fell asleep(trying to stay up with her) Then at about 2:45 A.M my bf woke up and said he hadn’t seen giff giff b/c she usually woke him up when she would run frantically over him while sleeping and wake him. He woke me up and I saw him in the corner of the bed looking under the pillow giff giff always went under…She was dead….I’ve never cried so hard in my life..I’ve been so depressed and can’t eat or anything. My rats are my babies, my life. And i cannot bare to do this again… let alone 4 more times… I left her body and took out her 2 other cage mates one by one and put them by the body…He sister Peanut sniffed her for a minute..then after I took the body away she sniffed the area giff giff was laying…She knew…I could tell…Stinky(not sister but still cage mate) quickly sniffed then went away…but she has ear infection which makes her verry hyper active and does not hold still.Should I have put the body in the cage..They are on my bed wayyy more then the cage so I brought the girls to see her dead on the bed…oh my god, i feel soooo giulty for not doing more for my geef geef.It seems i will never get over this….ever….i havn’t slept in 2 days b/c i was upo with her…then when i fall asleep…she passes away……oh my god….my poor baby….

  32. 32 Niall

    I have (had :( ) two males. I called them hannity and colmbes, because, I’m into politics and I thought it was funny to name the docile one after a liberal commentator (being a liberal myself). Anyway, about a month a go, Mr. Hannity lost the use of his back legs, I had given them a can of peanuts (almost empty of course), but I stupidly left it in a spot where one could be hurt if they fell on it. He broke his back, but he is still frisky and likes to play and loves getting out of the cage, since he got hurt, I give him a daily bath so he doesn’t get an infection. Last night, I took them both out of the cage one at a time, like always, and they played and ate out of my hand like the always do. When I came home this afternoon, Colmes was dead in the cage, he was curled up in the sleep position, but had been dead since at least sometime last night (he was stiff).

    Hannity didn’t start eating the body, or anything like that, he was actually cuddling with it when I came home. I just have no idea why the rat that was in better shape would have just dropped dead?

    Now Hannity seems depressed, and since he hasn’t been well, I know it’s only going to be a matter of a few days before he leaves me, too. Any advice?

  33. 33 Chase

    Stephanie…the one who wrote on Jan.16th/2010.
    Why would you let that poor rat go on like that? Ever heard of a vet?
    I don’t wanna be mean spirited, but, I read that about your rat and then I re-read it to my girlfriend and we both were appalled that you would let poor poor poor Giffy continue on in such a horrible terrible state until she passed away.
    A vet!!?? Did you take her to one? Did she have meds?!
    ….if you had a child, would you let her suffer like that?!
    Like, wow! Giffy, shoulda been to a vet and then medicated and if that wasn’t enough, put the poor creature down so she can be at peace. Which it sounds like the last of her life was anything but.
    I would never ever, EVER just let my rat deteriorate to such a state.
    Poor Giffy…..not ever close. Tragic is more like it.
    I am a rat owner and could never watch my rat go through anything like that….gasping for air….freaking out with panic attacks because of it.
    I am getting so upset thinking about what you let your little creature(s) go through.
    If you own a rat, dog, any animal…..for crying out loud! Take care of them as you would a new born. And don’t watch something suffer without doing every last thing you can. If you love something, that’s what you do.
    I don’t think you should own anything else till you “get” that.
    I do apologise for going off, I just read your blurb and my heart goes out to Giffy. Thank her lucky stars she is finally passed away. But too bad it was in such a terrible way.

  34. 34 kudra

    i had a very traumatic incident last week. one of my 8 week old rats had managed to get under a couch cushion. without knowing it i sat down on her and she was killed. i kept calling her and she would not answer so i went looking for her. i found her smashed down to one inch under the cushion. i was hysterical, crying and hyperventilating. i had to call my mom at 2 in the morning. she managed to calm me down enough to dispose of the body. i was severely traumatized and have not recovered. i can’t eat, i cry on and off during the day when i remember how she looked when i found her. i can hardly give my other rats attention and find it difficult to bond with the new one. please everyone remember that rats are very curious and can squeeze into the smallest places unnoticed. don’t let this happen to you because the quilt and the sorrow you feel is very real and painful.

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  36. 36 Meg

    Kudra,

    I am very sorry to hear that you lost one of your Ratties. The main thing to remember is that you didn’t do this on purpose, how were you to know that she was under the cushion. Just know that it was very quick I know that’s not a lot of help but at least she did not suffer. It sounds like you love your rats very much and I hope that you are doing better.

    Meg

  37. 37 Wendy M

    Thank you for writing your stories here. I was relived to know that our rat did not kill and eat his brother. My daughter woke up and found one of her young boys(pecos bill) dead and partially eaten. It was very gruesom, I couldn’t understand why his brother would kill and eat him. I now know he must have passed away and his brother was doing what rats do. We will miss our little pecos bill he was only 7 months old. We will have to decide if Huckleberry will get a new friend. He has never been alone :(
    thank you again for explaining this, it makes it easier to deal with.

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  39. 39 Narayanaswamy

    Dear Friends
    It is really surprising for me to come to know that there are several people in the world who brought-up rats similar to one like a dog, cat or bird. Even though I fail to understand any benefit associated with it, at least those rats will not create havoc with other people’s life if allowed to go scot-free.

  40. 40 Melody

    I had two rats, Jack Bauer and Tony Almeida. They were brothers and the best of friends. They were also our first rats. I was cleaning out the cage late last night and noticed that Jack had an absess. I don’t have any emergency vets open late where I live so I went online to get advice. My husband came home from work and we had decided to take Jack to the vet as soon as one opened. We tried to make him as comfortable as possible but unfortunately he passed away before we could take him. He was two years old. We put him back in the cage so Tony would know what was going on. I miss him so much and can’t stop worrying how Tony is taking it. I think i’ll try to get him some new compatriots in a few weeks but in the meantime, I’m gonna watch him like a hawk. He must be so lonely! My heart goes out to anyone who’s lost their furry friends. I didn’t think I’d take it so hard!

    Rest In Peace Agent Bauer!
    We love and miss you!!

  41. 41 Kate

    Last week one of my two rats, Fannie, passed away.
    I had been out during the daytime and I came home to find her laying flat outside of her little house with a very low body temperature. I put her on my bare chest to get her temperature up.
    I suspect she had some sort of brain bleed or something- nothing was wrong with her except for her body temperature and a slight drooping of her head. She would try to get up but her body wouldn’t let her.
    Within twenty minutes of my being home, she had a seizing fit. After that she began gasping for breath, and passed away right on top of me. This was the first time I have ever actually witnessed anything die, and it was quite amazing. I really believed she waited for me to get home to her so she could die.
    It has been hard for her sister, Loretta. I showed her the body to make sure she would have some sense of what happened. She has always been a bit of a loner, but has become far more clingy since Fannie’s passing. I also believe it has amplified some skin condition that has never really bothered her before.
    I just don’t want her to be stressed because of all of this! I know I am not- I am happy that Fannie gave me the opportunity to witness her expiration.

  42. 42 Chelsea

    I came onto this site looking for something else, but one of my first rats passed away last week and I had to say something :(

    I got Remus and Lucien at the end of September. They were both about two months old and as far as we knew came from the same litter (we doubted that later, but they were kept in the same cage, so that’s why we assumed). They never got along particularly well – not that they fought, but Louie is a very social rat and desperately wanted Remus’ attention and approval, and Remus just wasn’t interested in him and ignored him most of the time, although they did cuddle when they slept.

    Remus was sick since we brought him home. He had a respiratory infection on and off, and it had been working to treat it with Echinacea and Ferrit RX, but then he got something else… I don’t know. He got diarrhea over last weekend and by the time we realized, he was already far too sick. He got lethargic and weak, and was breathing hard. We kept trying to get him to eat something and drink water so he wouldn’t get dehydrated, but he wasn’t interested. He would fall asleep mid-bite and refused to drink.

    He also kept climbing out of his cage to fall asleep on us. We thought he would be more comfortable in his house, but no matter how many times we moved him, he’d drag himself out and climb onto our shoulders to fall asleep. I knew something was wrong but it was about midnight on a Sunday and the rat-friendly vet in our area wasn’t open. I had their number and was going to call them in the morning but it was too late by then.

    It only took one day for that all to happen. Remus was in the cage when he died, but he collapsed over by their food dish. When we found him, Lucien was hiding in their house, and peeking out at us from behind some bedding. Usually he comes out right away when we open the cage, but he stayed in there and just watched us. He didn’t try to dispose of his body or anything – he just watched. After we took care of Remus, Louie started getting frantic, and then was very clingy towards us all day, when usually he doesn’t particularly want to sit by us unless we have food.

    I could tell he was very lonely and we went out to get a new playmate for him right away. I wasn’t sure if it would be traumatic for him to have a “replacement” so soon, but since Louie is still very young (as is the rat we adopted for him) they hit it off right away. Louie is very happy now that he has a playmate who will actually pay attention to him. We love the new rat, too, he’s very sweet (his name is Mishka), but it’s still weird not to see Remus in there.

  43. 43 Miranda

    I rescued my rat, Remii, on October 28, 2005. He was around 1 and a half months old. He was black with a white belly and white speckels all over. It was love at first sight. He never bit and one and was such a sweet heart… I loved him dearly…

    He was around 1 years old when I decided to let him rome free in my room. He loved it. He knew where he needed to do his business, in his cage. He would climb his way onto my bed and literaly steal my blankets away! He’d great me every morning by licking the tip of my nose! I tought him how to do tricks, like, stand up and clap on command. He also would come running to his name. He was like a little puppy but way smaller (and cuter!).

    Our way of playing was like no other! I’d fill up the bath tub with water and he’d swim around for a bit, then he would climb onto a container I left for him in there if he ever got tired and didn’t want to swim anymore. Another game we would play is I’d run in circles while he’d chase after me! He was my best friend…

    One day I decided I’d move him out of my room and get him a friend. I bought him a girlfriend, Holly. Remii and Holly were the best of friends. About 3 weeks later we found that Holly was pregant. She had 7 babies that we sold to people who were looking for their new pets. Then around 5 weeks after that Holly was pregant again. She had 9 babies this time, again we sold them to wanted rat owners. Remii was the most cutest thing ever. I would watch them in my living room. Holly would lie on top of her babies, while Remii would go to the second level of their home to bring her food, and bedding. He was such a gentalmen.

    About 3 months later I had found Holly had a tumor. I took her to the vet, and the best option was to put her to sleep. I noticed Remii was depressed after that. He was lonely and bored, I could tell he missed her. So I moved him to my bedroom again. He started getting better after about 2 months. Remii was getting a lot older and was starting to loose his fur. I took him to the vet, and they said all it was was old age. They gave him around 4-6 months left. I was devistated… How would I cope with having no Remii, after I just lost, Holly about 3 months ago…

    I decided since he wasn’t going to be here anymore I needed to make the best of the time we had together. It was as if he knew it too. At night time I’d lie in my bed just thinking about him, and how amazing he is.

    One night I was lying there and started crying. It was then when I heard Remii struggle to climb on my bed. He slowly mad his way over to me. He grabbed my comforter in his mouth and pulled it up to my neck area. He made sure he was under the covers and lied down on my neck. Stretched out and relaxed. We both fell asleep like that. He made sure we did that every night. Even when I fell asleep without him there, I’d wake up to him sleeping there.

    It was on Decemeber 21, 2008 When my mother came into my room to find me sleeping in my bedroom. She woke me up and saw Remii beside me on my bed under the covers, curled up in a ball. He went to the heavens in his sleep.

    The doctors said he would only live to be around 2 and a half years old. He lived for another half of a year. He was 3 years old when he passed. He was a fighter and he lived the best life he could have. I will never forget him, and nothing could ever replace him. I bared him in my moms garden by myself. I didn’t want anyone around this is my pet and my best friend. There will always be a place in my heart, for a little rat named, Remii.

    R.I.P. Rem-Rem <3 You were my best friend and I hope you’re behaving up there and eating all the whip cream that you can eat! (his favorite treat). I hope to see you when my time comes. Until then, stay strong. I love you Remii. <3

  44. 44 ?????

    Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need, thanks for all the enthusiasm to offer such helpful information here.

  45. 45 ANNETTE

    I RESCUED 2 RATS 15 MONTH AGO BEEN RESCUED BY THE RSPCA, I TOOK THEM, THEY HADNT BEEN HANDLED TOO MUCH AND THEY WERE 12 MONTH OLD, IT TOOK A WHILE BUT THEY GOT TO KNOW ME AND MY ROUTINE ETC THAT WAS SO SWEET I SPOILT THEM AND THEY KNEW IT, HAD SEVERAL TRIPS TO THE VETS, PEGGY ALWAYS HAD A WHEEZY CHEST AND IVY WAS THE BOSS, PEGGY DIED IN MY ARMS ON SUNDAY WITH I THINK PHENOMIA, SHE HAD A STEROID INJ SAT AND ANOTHER COURSE OF ANTIBIOTICS,NOW IVY IS A BIT FED UP BUT PEGGY WAS MY PAL AND IVY ALWAYS DID HER OWN THING, DID PUT PEG IN THE CAGE AFTER TO LET IVES KNOW WHERE SHE HAD GONE,SO THAT A GOOD IDES BUT NOT FOR TOO LONG,WONT GET IVY A PAL AS SHE ATTACKS DOGS IN THE VETS HA HA SHE SCARED OF NOTHING NO KIDDING, DONT TRUST HER WITH OTHER RATS, BURIED PEG IN A POT WITH ALL HER FAVORITE THING INCLUDING A RECIPT(SHE ALWAYS PINCHED THEM OUT OF MY BAG)GOOD IDEA THE POT SO IF I MOVE SHE CAN COME WITH ME
    MISS YOU MY PEG PEG THE HOUSE IS SO MISERABLE WITHOUT YOU and ivy is just not herself xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    LOVE YOUR ADOPTED MUM XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  46. 46 Alex

    Hi, My four males rats all brothers in a large cage had them from 8weeks. yesterday the smallest rat was missing. I looked everywhere then found his empty skin and skull, i was horrified. Looked online and understand this is natural to dispose of their dead like this. But i come home today and find another one dead with half his head eaten. Im really worried one of the other two is a cannibal? They have plenty of room, food and water and nested, Im gutted as these are also my kids rats and they are devastated, will I wake tomorrow with only 1? HELP!

  47. 47 Jace

    Today I lost my little guy. Ender was just short of 3 years old. A good long life. I’m still looking for him on his cage. I miss him so much. Should I break down the cage right away, get another rat? I just want the pain to stop. I know that it won’t but I still wish it. I just want the thank everyone for posting about their lost loved pets. Let’s me know I’m not alone with this pain.

  48. 48 ali

    Yesteday i lost my rat JR. he was 3 years old his brother, Austin, left on February 18 they were my first pair. i burried them in the front tard and made head plates i miss them so much.
    R.I.P.
    my little buddies I will always love you

  49. 49 ali

    sorry meant yard not tard
    i was crying

  50. 50 ali

    i saw them the day they were born they were so little….

  51. 51 Melody

    Our rat, Tony Almeida was almost three years old when he died Thursday morning from old age. His brother, Jack Bauer had gone before him last November. They were our first rats and will always have a special place in our hearts. I can’t believe the time has gone by so fast. I wasn’t to thrilled about the idea when my husband wanted them but I was hooked as soon as we got them. We plan on getting a few more very soon. I hate seeing an empty cage and miss them terribly.

    Rest in Peace Agent Almeida
    We love and miss you

  52. 52 Kimberli

    Today one of our rats died in his cage, we had an appointment with the vet for tomorrow morning but we were not fast enough. We have had him and our other rat for about a year and a half and my question is what we can do for my surviving rat (stormy). I know rats are social creatures but i dont know if he will accept a new cage mate and my fiance thinks we shouldn’t get a new rat until we have gotten married and gotten our new place (which should be sometime before the end of this year) so what should we do? and what can we do to comfort stormy in the meantime?

  53. 53 kim

    i lost my little ren 3 days ago,and it is so hard.renny was my little buddy and his friend stimpy is still looking for him.he did lay on him after he died,but seems very sad.anyone have any ideas what to do.i feel so bad.my little ren was such a joy to have around.cant believe how much joy these little creatures bring into my life.

  54. 54 Kathryn

    Rats need friends :) Get a new companion asap is my advice.

  55. 55 Vanessa

    My rat Pretty Gurl died unexpectedly a few months ago. I’m not sure how old she was, as I got her at a pet store,(there were no breeders in my area) but she was young. A few days before her death, she was fine. Eating normaly, playing with me and her cagemate, but she started geting lethargic, her breathing became shallow, she didn’t want to eat and she rarely came out of her hammock. It was in the evening when I noticed this,(that’s when I play with them) and by then all the vets offices would have been closed, so I thought I would take her in the morning. When I woke up, she was lying on the cage floor, and Missy,(her cagemate) had chewed her jaw off. I took Missy out of the cage and waited till dark to bury Pretty Gurl.(Our landlady is strict about pets) We put a log down to mark the spot and I let Missy touch it. Now Missy has a new cagemate named Milky Way.

  56. 56 Turtle

    Alright so i have the kinda same senerio Had 2 rats they were sisters the other died recently and we noticed when she noticed her sister had died she burried her i imediatly took her out and now im kinda playing with her i didnt play with them much due to Other Stresses in life but like
    i just dont want her to go crazy or something

  57. 57 Jan

    I have been keeping rats for about 15 years now. The more I go through the process of selecting new rats, socialising them, taking care of them, and eventually having to deal with their passing, the more I learn about the best way to be a rat owner.

    To those of you out there going through the bereavement and grieving process after losing one of your rats: losing a beloved pet can definitely be one of the hardest things in life to deal with.

    One of my rats (Momo) passed away two days ago during surgery to remove an infected uterus. In the past I have always been with my rats when they passed, letting them lie in a towel in my hands and trying to comfort them until they went. (Obviously if your rat is very ill and suffering, it is a good idea to either have her euthenised or use some other vet-recommended means to make her as comfortable as possible until she passes – e.g. analgesics, a mildly warm hot water bottle). It is sad to see them go, but to know that you were there for them until the end is very comforting. It is important to keep in mind that there may be some distressing behaviour right near the end (gasping, contortion, defecation), although I have never experienced any of these with my rats, who have just quietly stopped breathing while I was stroking them. Compared to having Momo die in surgery (even though it was the only way to try and save her), the other deaths were much easier to process. I feel guilty now for not being there for Momo during the surgery, to calm her during anaesthetisation, and possibly to have made a difference to the outcome.

    I would recommend that you try to spend as much time with them as possible towards the end, and make them as comfortable as possible (or consider euthenasia if this is no longer possible).

    Also, a gentle reminder that not everyone has the same views on topics like euthenasia, and not everyone is optimally prepared for rat ownership. Loving your rats is one of the major requirements, but I would strongly recommend also doing some research on how best to keep and care for pet rats so that they can have the best lives possible and are not deprived of anything they need.

    Whenever we lose someone we love, there will be a bereavement and grieving process. You may feel listless, unmotivated, angry, questioning, sad, depressed, have no appetite, etc. It is also common for the sadness to come in waves, with bouts of crying, usually triggered by a thought about or reminder of the lost pet. Take comfort in the fact that you gave your rat the best life possible, that you had so much fun together, and that rat life spans really are only 2-3 years. It may take a couple of days, but the pain recedes, and you are left with only happy memories.

    I find that the ritual of a little ratty funeral and burial helps, where you can properly tell your pet everything you want to say and also say goodbye. Where you can commit them to your memory as you commit them to the earth to complete the inevitable cycle of life. Don’t forget to give the remaining cage-mates lots of love and attention (especially the ones that seem unusually quiet and repressed after the death).

    It gets easier, I promise. Once you have come to terms with exactly what happened, try not to blame yourself or feel to guilty (so easy to do when we think about how dependent on and trusting of us our little rats are), and try to learn from the experience anything there is to learn so that the next pet will have an even better passing, and the experience will also be easier on you.

    I hope this helps those of you in pain, and that you have many more years of ratty fun with remaining and new pet rats :)

  58. 58 MissDragon

    Hi I had two male dumbo rats ‘Hector and Eric’ and as you can guess I lost one ‘Eric’ a week ago. Couldn’t have happened at the worse time the day after boxing day. He had acute myco from the start and despite antibiotics and trips to the vet it didn’t do much good. In about two days he went from bounding around to lying in his cage. I took him out and held him thinking he’d passed and to my horror he was completely paralized. Sitting there helplessly he struggled to kick his feet and didn’t blink; his pulse was racing like crazy and he kept making raspy gasps for air – this being at 10pm on a day when the vets weren’t open. All I could do was comfort him as he passed which was thankfully quick.

    I’ve accepted eric’s death though it was the worse grief I’ve been through for any of my pets. hector has also accepted his brothers death, for a while he was really depressed; I played with him and stay with him for most of the day but I am not a rat and cannot be with him 24/7.

    Which leads to another problem, a new rat. I don’t mind having another one but my dad isn’t so keen. Truthly I never told my dad about the rats. I went to get a hamster and came back with a half chewed box with two long black faces poking out.
    My dad doesn’t want one, and thus is trying to make excuses, like telling me see how Hector goes and I should just play with him more.

    I’ve done this for five days and despite Hector seeming perkier soon as he goes back in his cage he lies on top of his bed staring at the wall. I’ve been mature about this and told my Dad that if Hector’s still like this on thusday then I’m calling it and getting another one. Hector’s only a year old, I’m not having him live in misery for the rest of his life; which in this state would be horribly short.

  59. 59 Jessie

    Last night I had to bury my Gus Gus :( We knew it was coming he was very old and it was becoming very obvious. His cage mate Haiji stayed with him through it all. I found them all cuddled up in the middle of the cage which is odd because they usually sleep together in their house. I had figured the time was close. Haiji stayed there with him till after he passed. I thought it was very sweet and sad. We buried him late last night and Haiji just isn’t quite normal. Not sick but he still wanders around the cage a bit looking. Idk if he is lonely or doesn’t understand?

  60. 60 Kelly

    Well, I had to babysit my niece this morning and I went upstairs to check on my boys Snitch and Remmy. Well I called them both and only Remmy came up to the platform. So I dug around a little in the cage because I just had a feeling, I’ve had the feeling for a well that Snitch was going to be leaving. Well anyways I found Snitch covered in bedding and with most of his jawbone exposed. I have had 8 rats in total now. Remmy is the 8th and I have never had a rat eat/chew it’s cagemate before. I understand animals do this I have a dog she eats animals all the time. But I’m not quite sure how to cope with it, and Remmy seems to be doing just fine. I don’t know if I should introduce another rat or not. I don’t know if there is anything I can do for Remmy. Right now he is by my side. My other rats were very depressed when they lost a cage mate…but I don’t know what to do with Mr. Rem.

  61. 61 Kelly

    To Jesse

    When I had my four boys, when Rocky died, the other ones wondered around the cage for weeks I left them alone for a couple days and played soft classical music for them. I fed them and watered them of course.

  62. 62 Jullzz

    I came home from work for lunch today and one of my rats Princess was dead. She was fine this morning. She was on her side at the bottom of the cage. The other 3 were on the top level. I can’t stop crying. There was no warning. I played with her last night. What could have happened?

  63. 63 abby

    My rat, annabelle is about 10 months old and I bought her when she was really young. Now I want to adopt another dumbo
    eared rat that’s a lot younger than her to let her have a playmate. With vacation and school I’m not homw as much as id like and I worry that she gets lonely. But I’m afraid that because she is so used to living happily on her own that she will not receive her new playmate well. Any advice would be greeatly appreciated

  64. 64 Madelaine

    The very first rat I had (4 years ago) become very ill a few months after I bought her. She was so skinny and would barely eat, so I had to feed her some sort of milk formula. On her last morning, I set her on my electrical blanket (warm blanket) and took a shower. When I got back she was very still and close to death, or already dead. I wondered if she may have just succumbed to the warmth and passed away peacefully. But because she was outside of the cage, I never put her back in for her cage-mate to see. I wish I had, because they were close. Her death was very hard on me, but after that it was easier to deal with other’s passing away.

  65. 65 Mia

    Today my poor baby rat died (Whiskers). She was just 1 month and a week old. Her sister Scamper and her were fighting so I let them out to run around on the desk. They had ran around on the desk many times before without any problems. Whiskers fell off and I heard a crash. She was rolling around frantically with her hands over her head. Her back legs were moving up and down really fast like she was trying to jump. Her nose was bloody and I was so scared I was screaming. I picked her up but she died :’( I didn’t want Scamper to be lonley because I know it’s like torture to keep one rat on it’s own. Poor Scamper :( Whiskers was her best friend and she was only 1 month old :( Now I have a friend for Scamper called Jemima. I miss you so much Whiskers, you were the cutest rat :’( R.I.P whiskers, I miss you <3

  66. 66 Kate J

    Rats are incredibly social animals, they will not live a happy, fulfilled life if they are alone. Even if you give them loads of attention, they do need a companion of their own species. If you are trying to decided whether to get another rat for your remaining rat, I would say this is a MUST. As long as you introduce the new rat the correct way, as rats may be aggressive when meeting the first time.

  67. 67 SAMIJO

    Our little rat Peepers died today, she was a year and half. We called her Pee Pants and loved her so much. I was looking online for info on what to do about her sister thats left alone now. These are our first rats. Wasnt happy when my teenage daughter brought them home but eventually they won me over. So sweet and friendly and funny. Really great pets! im So sad too! wanted to post bc this was such a great site to come across that other people feel as deeply as I do about how great these little animals are and how genuinely upsetting it is to lose one.
    l

  68. 68 Charmaine

    I have experienced quite a few rat passings as I have a rescue. I have only found a rat seeming depressed if they had been the only 2 in a cage. I have never had the others in a colony ‘dispose’ of the body when one of them has passed in the cage. When I find one sick they are immediately moved to a nursing cage in my room. They have almost always been with me when they passed. I do take them for a last visit to their colony in case any need that moment to understand they are gone but usually they have figured it out. I have experienced a rat from a completely different colony cry on my shoulder when I was crying over the loss of another. It was the sweetest thing ever.

  69. 69 Alice

    My sister’s rat was killed by our cat early yesterday morning. Phoebe had managed to open one of the cage doors and chewed through a plastic bag that we kept around the bottom of her cage (to stop her kicking paper). She got out and Sabbath killed her and ate half of her!!

    I got up to go to work and stopped by to talk to her and realised she wasn’t in her cage. I looked around the lounge and under the cushions (her cage was on an end table) and then I turned around and spotted something white in the corner. It was the bottom half of her body. It was awful, she had no head and no front legs. There were a few smears of blood around her, which makes me think that she was already dead when Sabbath took her into the corner. I hope it was quick or that she had died on the lounge from a heart attack and Sabbath found her and ate her. I can’t bear to think that her last moments were horrifying and that we didn’t hear any squealing or mowling from the cat.

    My sister, of course, blames the cat. But you can’t blame animals for their natural instincts. We can’t blame Phoebe for jiggling open the door and chewing her way through the plastic either. Rats are clever and sneaky and it was just bad luck that Phoebe worked out how to jiggle open the door (it has a catch on it) and go wandering.

    I feel incredibly guilty, as we put her cage in the loungeroom during the summer, because it was nice and cool. Phoebe liked it better there because she would watch TV and there were people to see.
    I can’t get the image of her little body out of my head. I had to clean her up and then go tell my sister. I couldn’t even let her look at her body because it was horrible.

    We’re slowly coming to terms with her death. Phoebe had a tumour in her groin and she was getting old. She had scabs on her wherever she scratched. She was just over 2.5 years old when she died. We never expected this to happen, she was always safe in her cage and we didn’t know that she could open the door.

    Rest in Peace, Phoebe. See you on the Rainbow Bridge.

  70. 70 Rose

    I lost my first (and last) pet rat on July 30, 2013. We got Albert – when my daughter’s friend’s mother threw him out. He was half-grown. Having never had a rat, I was amazed at his beauty – white coat, pink eyes and a face like a teddy bear.

    We named him Albert. We learned that he’d only bite if we stuck our fingers through the bars of his cage (thought they were treats). As he grew, he loved sitting on my shoulder and cuddling. I grew so attached to him – loved giving him baths and listening to his tiny rat squeaks, hysterical in such a big boy (about 2 pounds).

    He was only a little over a year when he developed mycoplasmosis. I found him lying on his side, dehydrated and nearly dead. I started him on powdered tetracycline and force fed him water. He recovered, and we took him to the vet. He got the usual antibiotics, and he improved for a few days… and relapsed.

    I called the vet, and she said that in all honesty, he would probably not live, and didn’t recommend blood tests, etc., because it would only stress him more. She recommended euthanasia, but I wasn’t ready to give up at that point.

    I bought injectable penicillin. That helped for a week or so before a relapse. I tried other things – countless things. He’d be okay for a few days, then he’d relapse. We force-fed him watered down peanut butter with vitamins, as he had no appetite. Sometimes, he’d try to eat. He survived about 6 weeks after the initial bout. I grew so close to him during that time. He understood we were trying to help him, and never tried to bite, despite the discomfort of shots and being force-fed. I’d hold him close and feel his small heart pumping. I’d feel the life force that was Albert, and I’d cry. He tried so hard to survive…

    In the early hours of July 30, 20313, I found him on his side. His body was still warm and pliable. It hadn’t been long. I cried harder than I have in a very long time, and I still cry three weeks later. Rats have such a bad rap, and they’re such fine, smart little creatures. How could anyone feed a live rat (or mouse or rabbit) to a snake? Such feeling, sensitive creatures…. It boggles the mind.

    I’ll miss Albert – always. But, I can never have another rat. They are not bred for longevity, but as science experiments and snake food. It’s a damned shame. It would tear me apart to go through this again. But, Albert will always hold a special place in my heart.

  71. 71 Wolf

    I know how you feel. :( . I had kept my dog out of my room A LOT, but I came home from my dads house and my sisters guenie pig and my rat had passed away. Last night I didn’t get to sleep until two o’clock a.m.

  72. 72 The truth

    Don’t bring rats home period. Even though they are called pet rats, a rat is a rat. Rats are not meant to be domesticated. The truth is we don’t know enough about them to give them what they truly need. When my older sister began to bring them home I was against it, but I warmed up. But now it is getting out of hand and she seems like she is collecting them.(She gets a new one what seems like every 2 weeks.) they end up dying even though she does all the research on the best ways to treat them. Bottom line they are not meant to be broken they are wild animals, you ruined their lives, because now they have to be stuck in a cage and if they get out into the real world they wouldn’t last a day. They might act like a small obedient dog, but they are far from it. They also DO carry diseases. My family seems to have been getting sicker more often. They also like to escape from where you put them and let me tell you if you want them sneaking up on you while your sleeping or resting then go right ahead and if you don’t mind the smell and countless trails of poop go ahead.

  73. 73 The truth

    Honestly rats don’t have souls, that’s why it’s so easy for them to consume parts of their deceased. They don’t see them as their “former friends”, but as waste/another body to dispose off.you are delusional if you think it’s out of respect. If you want to go through the pain of losing a “pet that only lives MAYBE 2-3 years go right ahead (more likely at least 10 months. They can die any second that’s a fact you have to be aware of and comes to terms with. If you can’t bear losing and/or cant properly take care of one please, please, please don’t get a new one. because you will repeat the process till you succeeded in killing at least a dozen, because you won’t know how to stop.

  74. 74 Sarah

    My little guy Cola died on New Year’s Day. He suffered with long term pneumonia that not even antibiotics could treat, despite many many visits to the vets.

    Before he passed away he lost all his body heat and went stiff but was still breathing gently and lifting his head to look at me. It was def too late to take him to the vets again so I wrapped him in a little blanket and held him close to my chest for warmth and stroked him gently until I was sure he had passed away.

    It’s not easy losing a pet you love, but anyone else going through the same thing I think you should take comfort in the fact that you gave them the best life possible and they were loved right to the end.

  75. 75 jenna

    my rat has been laying down darely able to breath and will not eat..i dont have the money to put het down but she seems like she dnt want to die..she has a almost bloody discharge coming out of her noise..iv tried givin her water by a surringe(sorry if i spelt tjat wrong)but she takes alittle of it then it starts to come out of her noise..i dont know what i can do for her but to watch her die..shes only alittle over a year old..i got her as confortable as i can get her and im tring to stay by her so she doesnt feel alone..do you have any idea what could of caused this

  76. 76 Sarah

    My rat White died this afternoon, she was about 1 year & 3 months old. I got my first pets ever, Browny and Whitey, when I was at college living in my own apartment. When I finished school in July, I moved back to my parents’ house and they tried to bring my pet dumbo rats to the Humane Society. It was a miracle that my parents let me keep them, and actually my Mom grew to love them more than I ever imagined.

    We took excellent care of them, they ate super healthy and ran around the house for hours each day. They always lived in a nice, big, clean cage.

    Whitely was always amazingly healthy and I never once worried about her. She was extremely smart and looked like an adorable mini polarbear. 3 days ago I could tell she had digestive issues, but she didnt eat anything new or strange. I thought it would pass in a day or 2. Then it seemed as if she went blind within 24 hours… walking in circles, crashing into things. I didnt know if the problem was with her eyes or her brain. Her motor function was terrible. It all happened overnight. Her tail dragged on the floor and she walked funny. This is when I knew it was going to be bad. Then in her last hours, she was extremely clumsy and cold we had to hold her in a blanket. The last 10 minutes she was wheezing and making audible noises of discomfort. So we prayed that she would have peace and released her to God and asked him to take her home. AT THAT VERY MOMENT, she took her last breath and went to sleep.

    I have no idea how this happened. If we saw signs of sickness earlier, we would have taken her to the vet. But it was shocking and so quick.

    I THINK her cagemate and friend Browny knew she was sick. Even though they always slept together, Browny kept her distance the past 2 days. We didnt show Browny the dead body… I was afraid it would traumatize her. But, I hadnt done any research because I didnt know Whitely was going to die until about 2 hours beforehand. Maybe Browny could just sense it from the other room?

    Im worried browny will get lonely because shes way more socially and needy with attention. But shes also a year and 3 months old, and dont know how she’d react to a new cagemate? On about 5 occasions, Browny would randomly start a fight with Whitey out of no where and we had to separate them for a day. But, overall, they loved each other.

    After one rat dies, how long do you wait to get a new friend for the one that’s still alive? Does the age difference matter?

    I’m also heartbroken for my Mom. I’m 23 years old, and we never had pets in my house till I brought my rats home (beacause of my brother’s severe allergies). But my mom had cats and dogs growing up. She has a pretty hard life. She often gets bad anxiety and depression, but she grew to love my pets. They were one of the few, greatest joys in my Mom’s life. And Whitey was BY FAR her favorite. Whitey is the reason she didnt give them to the animal shelter. I want to get another rat… but my dad doesnt. I can’t stand the thought of Browny dying and having this empty cage. But I still have time before that.

  77. 77 Kennedy

    it was a really warm day out so I decided to take my two rats out to enjoy the fresh air. I’ve done it before, they just stay close to me for shelter. I was still thinking of names for them, but I couldn’t find anything to suit them, one was a couple months old, (so I called her baby for a nickname,) and an older 8 month old who was previously named Ruby (but I wanted a new name.)I have a cat who is very docile and would never hurt them, but she was curious and came over, (they were hiding under my legs) and rubbed against me. she laid down beside me but the older, (very timid rat) ran off under the trailer, so I scrambled to get her but it was too late, I’m pretty sure she ran off into the woods. the last time I saw the younger one, she was sniffing around the garden, I went back to look for the older one but she was gone, and when I returned to the garden, my baby was gone too. I searched around for an hour or so, I even trekked into the woods but it was too thick (bushes and trees far over my head) so I couldn’t find anything. I set their beloved tissue box outside of the forest entrance with some bedding for the smell and some food and treats. by the garden I sat their tank with their ladder propped against so they could get in, more food and treats around it. I keep checking but I just know they’re not going to come back. I can’t stop crying, I’m hurting so badly and it’s so horrible not knowing where my babies are, I just want closure. this is so hard. I know it hasn’t been a day yet, and maybe they will come back but I just feel myself giving up.

  78. 78 Kennedy

    my baby has came home <3 it was such a hard day, I kept checking and checking but nothing was happening. I did one final check tonight with no rats in sight. as I got ready for bed I tried to adjust to the silence and emptiness where the cage was when suddenly I heard mom coming upstairs saying "look what I've got" and I knew she had my baby, I cried so much and she burrowed right in my shirt and licked away my tears (she started getting very vigorous :') ) I've got her in a makeshift cage for now while the tank is outside, hopefully the smell will lure back my other. we don't have near as much of a bond but I still miss her dearly, especially for baby's sake. I think she might need more time since she's so timid and hard to bond with. if she doesn't return soon I'll be getting another rat to accompany baby so she's not lonely. I've got my fingers crossed she'll be coming home soon.

  79. 79 Helen

    My first rat Alex died today.
    I saved him for becoming a snake food. Soon after I got him a friend rat whom we named Marty.They bonded instantly and were sleeping,eating and playing together.
    I hadn’t let them out for run for just two days. When I went to pick him up, he looked much bigger and his belly looked engorged . I thought that he just ate lil too much …..
    Didn’t see it coming at all that he would just die as he was still active, eating and drinking fine. He’s friend Marty was fine at first( alex died at night and was in the cage untouched by Marty)
    He’s eyes were still lil open!!!!???????? I wonder WhY or what went wrong cos it is so dramatic for me! I’m crying like a baby cos I’m so sad for Marty because I see that he missed him sense he is acting soooo different. Sleeps a lot and doesn’t perk up as I come to see him. He was a happy and active rat before today . It’s breaking my heart to pieces . I didn’t know how hard this was going to be for me. I’m ok for Alex being pain free in heaven but I can’t see my Marty this sad depressed lifeless lil rat.
    I did pamper them with good food and attention . Big cage that I actually enjoyed cleaning cos I saw how happy the rats got with fresh bedding and new settings and toys.
    From one day to another…. It was full of play and fun and LIFE.
    It feels so empty now????

  80. 80 Brie

    This morning, I lost my pet rat, Scabbers. She had shared a cage with her “sister” (my little sister’s rat) Hermione. Scabbers’ death hit me really hard, since she was my first rat. Hermione doesn’t seem to be taking the loss well either. I know she was able to see/visit with the body because I have no idea how long the body was there before I discovered it. But she already seems depressed. She hasn’t really moved much since I got home from school (so little, in fact, that I had check and make sure she was still alive) and it seemed her breathing was off. Also, she didn’t really respond that much when I was calling her, though her breathing got a little better after I started petting her. I’m beginning to worry if maybe Scabbers was sick and that’s what killed her. And if so, I’m worried that Hermione will get sick too.

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