Female rats will do almost anything to get to their male counterparts.
The first two rats we ever purchased were girls, Freud and Skinner. They were so calm, so civilized, so friendly...
Soon after, we purchased two more rats, LJB and Rattus Rattus. They were so playful! They were boys.
All four of them, housed separately of course, were rather young. They were probably in the 6 weeks to 10 weeks age range. We had them housed in same-sex pairs, in glass aquariums with closed plastic lids, one on the right side of the kitchen, the other on the left. This was, after all, the least breezy part of that particular apartment.
After about a week, we realized they needed some space to climb and crawl around in. We realized that we couldn't offer such space to each pair at the same time as we were not prepared for kiddies, so we would alternate open-lid-day. This worked out well and surprisingly, nobody jumped. Of course the girls never seemed to come out, and Rattus Rattus would just sit down below and eat no matter how hard we tried to get him to come up on top with LJB. LJB love it though. He would spend his days and nights perched on the corner of the lid, closest to the doorway leaving the kitchen. After a bit, open-lid-day was every day for LJB and Rattus. The girls, for some reason, just had no interest in hanging out on top.
One evening however, both girls had completely chewed their way out of their cage, scaled their way down the Yaffa Blocks on which their cage was perched, scaled their way up the Yaffa Blocks on which LJB and Rattus' cage was perched, and decided to hang out on top with LJB for the rest of the evening. When we human's awoke, the three of them were sleeping snuggly, side by side while Rattus Rattus was down below eating. Eek!
We immediately put girlies back in their cage, duct-taped the holes, and crossed our fingers. The next morning, Freud and Skinner were back over at the LJB/Rattus residence hanging out. As a result, we went out and bought some of that fencing stuff that exists for the sole purpose of ineffectively keeping rabbits out of your garden. We lined the girls' lid with that. Apparently the girls are quite the weight lifters because a week later there they were, snug as a bug in LJB's arms.
Well, we couldn't afford one of those nice big powder coated rat mansions at that time, so we moved LJB and Rattus into our bedroom and left the girls in the kitchen. I guess they couldn't smell the boys as well because although they sometimes jumped, they rarely chewed at the bedroom door, and more often than not, were found camping at the complete opposite end of the apartment. I'd like to say that this was a successful solution, but in this case I think we were just lucky.
Lesson learned this round? Girl rats have a keen sense of smell. Girl rats are strong. Girl rats have very good teeth. Girl rats need satisfaction.
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Disclaimer: There are many non-sarcastic accounts and tips on the web regarding rat care. This is not
one of them. These are merely accounts of our experiences with rats, our perceptions of these experiences, where we've failed
and where we've succeeded. These accounts are here for two purposes: