Choose littermates of the same sex to reduce the chance of chinchillas fighting. Only put them together if have grown up together – and make sure they are of the same sex – male with male, female with female.
Avoid unwanted litters. Keep male and female chinchillas apart well before eight months old, as this is when they become sexually mature. Unless neutered, they will breed and usually produce a litter of two babies. It can be difficult to find homes for their young.
Choose littermates of the same sex to reduce the chance of ferrets fighting. Only put them together if have grown up together – and make sure they are of the same sex – male with male, female with female.
Avoid unwanted litters. Keep unneutered male and female ferrets apart as they will breed. It can be hard to find homes for their young.
Avoid unwanted litters. Keep males and females apart as they can breed from about 10 weeks of age. Each litter can produce three to six babies, which can be hard to find a home for.
Choose littermates of the same sex to reduce the chance of guinea pigs fighting. Only put them together if have grown up together – and make sure they are of the same sex – male with male, female with female.
Avoid unwanted litters. Keep male and female guinea pigs apart unless they are neutered. Males can father babies at around nine weeks of age – and females as young as three weeks old. They will breed litters, usually of one to six babies, which can be hard to find homes for.
Keep rabbits and guinea pigs apart. Rabbits can bully and injure guinea pigs. They need their own kind for company.
Avoid unwanted litters. Keep male and female mice apart from before six weeks old. After that they become sexually mature, they will breed and produce an average litter of 5 to 12 babies, which can be difficult to find homes for.
If they do live alone, let them interact with you and other people they trust every day.
How to put rats together
- It’s best to put littermates together who have grown up together – males with males, females with females – as they are less likely to fight.
- Females are less likely to fight each other than males living together.
- Keep males and females apart to avoid unwanted litters.
- To put two males together, it may be better to make one of them a baby male, as the older one will be more likely to accept them.
How to introduce unrelated rats
- Always introduce unrelated rats on neutral territory, as rats can be very territorial.
- Initially let them meet for a small amount of time. Gradually extend the time, until they show signs of getting along. Give them a couple of weeks to learn to get along: after that, they usually become the best of friends. They can then move into a cage together that neither have lived in for a week or so – or the smell of the other rat will be there and rats will become territorial.
- Keep a close eye on them and if there is bullying behaviour or fighting, it’s best to keep them apart. You need to remain calm too: rats are very good at picking up signs of stress.
Avoid unwanted litters. Keep male and female rats apart from five weeks old. They become sexually mature between six to eight weeks old and can produce litters of between 8 to 18 babies.
How do I know if my rats are being aggressively fighting or just play-fighting?
Look for the signs below. Rats often play with each other, even as adults. Some owners confuse harmless play fighting with true aggression – and make them live alone unnecessarily. Squeaking doesn’t always mean a rat is harmed: they do this with both play fighting and aggressive fighting.
Signs of aggressive fighting:
- One of the rats’ fur stands on end during the fighting
- Injuries are caused
- One rat attempts to bite the other’s bottom or sides
- One of the rats – the weaker one – hides a lot, or creeps nervously around the cage
Signs of play fighting:
- Both rats take turns in chasing and pinning the other rat
- The “bites” – which don’t cause injury – are aimed at the back of the neck
Separate rats who frequently fight each other aggressively, to avoid stress and injury.
Syrian hamsters must be housed alone or they will fight if kept together. Dwarf hamsters will often live happily in pairs.