I have one champagne, broken hooded, Dumbo rat named Hope. She is alone in her cage but I take her out a lot, play and interact with her.

I got her in June and she has never had a cage mate. Several rat owners, the vet and pet stores' staff have told me it is okay as long as I give her a lot of attention. Is this true or is it bad for her to be alone?

I really care about her, but she shows no sign of depression, just happiness and sleepiness.

3 Answers 3


Definitely need more than one.

Even if you give her a lot of attention, you are not always with her when she is awake, you won't clean her fur like another rat would do. You won't run with her around like another rat, you won't do the wrestling, you won't answer in a ratty language when she asks...

Your rat needs you, but you cannot be like another rat for her.

  • Do you have resources on that? Dec 21, 2017 at 16:40
  • 1
    Yes, I cannot run around the cage so fast as other rats, I'm not good at cleaning the fur, and when it comes to speak rattish I can say one word right :) Rats live in groups being alone is not normal to them.
    – Picard
    Dec 22, 2017 at 22:49

Yes you definitely need more than one, even more than two is best, they are very social and without another rat can become very depressed and ill. A human cannot be with them 24/7 and will never be the same as interacting with another rat. I studied animal management at uni so this is my source.

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    rats are among the most intelligent animals and they need to have their intelect stimulated so they need company you alone can not do this atleast not over time. Jan 1, 2018 at 10:54
  • Even with little rat friends they still need Lots of enrichment, like sweetcorn bobbing (like apple bobbing), puzzle feeders, ropes, etc. They also need a hide and stuff to gnaw on otherwise they can get bad dental issues
    – user10625
    Jan 1, 2018 at 11:06

You don't REALLY NEED two rats (like a lone rat won't die) but I find that it's much easier when you have two. I am a person of many pets, and it is helpful to me to not have to spend every moment with my ratties (I'd love that, but you know) and my bois seem a lot happier together than they are when they are separated. The only real downside is getting a big enough cage, I personally recommend a WARE cage if you're on a budget and the You&Me Rat Manor if you're not (I'm saving up for this one and hoping to get another ratty pal when I do!:)

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