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Death, Grieving and Coping With Loss Coping with loss is difficult at any age, but you are not alone during this difficult time. Reach out to other users in this forum.

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Grieving pets - May 23rd 2018, 11:20 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of death or grieving, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

So Tuesday morning I woke up to find one of my beautiful little ratties had died in his sleep. He was an old man, at least 2 and a half, and had otherwise always been really healthy. The problem is, I have two other rats who have lost their brother.

One of them is more or less acting normally, but the other has slowed down a bit more and isn't eating as much or playing as much. I know rats are really social animals, so I'm worried that this is going to get harder for him. I'm also worried because if he passes away too, I'll have one rat on his own. I'm not able to introduce new rats as I live with my parents and they have said I can't have any more, and I work 4 days a week and for various reasons none of them were ever hand tamed, so I don't know that human interaction will be enough if I have just one rat.

I don't know what I'm asking here, but I've never dealt with this before. I've always had lone animals, so never had to worry about how they would react to someone dying.

Does anyone have any tips or advice for how I can help them through this, and, for when the time comes, how I can keep a single rat occupied when people aren't around all day to play with him?

I feel super guilty because I didn't think this through and it's breaking my heart a little bit every time I see them both cuddling up together without their brother there too.

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Re: Grieving pets - June 1st 2018, 02:23 AM

Oh my goodness, I am so sorry! I thought I'd replied to this already.

First of all, I'm so sorry for your loss. Even when a pet passes away naturally of old age, it's difficult - especially if they leave family behind. In terms of keeping your remaining rats occupied, I think the best thing is to give them as much enrichment as you can, and to change it up often. Change the layout of their cage, the toys and treats they have, everything that could make it more exciting for them. Ideally you should probably do it before you go to work or whenever you're going to be away for a long time so that it gives your rats something to do while they're alone. You could even ask your parents to pitch in if they're comfortable with it; if they're home while you're not you could ask them to add in some enrichment during the day to keep things fresh.

Sorry again that this is such a late reply. I'm still on leave and slowly working up to being active again, and as you can see I'm not exactly on top of everything yet. Hopefully this still helped though.

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Re: Grieving pets - June 19th 2018, 04:06 AM

I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

I can emphasise with how you feel.

If you need anything, feel free to message me.

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