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Website Updated 9.20.2017

Is Spaying or Neutering Rats Necessary?

Amy of Camarattery 3.11.2016 ©

This is a very easy topic to address because of the common sense issues involved with it. But it's also an issue that many new rat owners get conflicting info about. Because the info they are getting is 20-30 years old. So I will address this issue here.

1st)

Q: Is there a benefit to neutering males. Conflicting info says you should do it to stop adult aggression in males.

A:  You do not need to neuter rats to stop aggression when you can very simply get rats that are bred for good temperaments. I never understood that. That's the same thing as saying male rats are horrible pets because they are aggressive unless you surgically alter them. Otherwise you can't keep them in your house. That is exactly what people are saying when they reccomend neutering.

Now if you have an older male that has aggression issues, neutering may be a last resort to calm him. But you should never neuter a baby for aggression. The only other reason to neuter a male is if you want to house him with females. But he will still be fertile for a month after surgery.

 
So don't follow people that believe that way. Rats naturally make great pets.
 
 
2nd)
 
Q: I have heard its better to spay female rats to prevent mammary tumors. Is this true?
 
A: No you do not need to spay female rats to prevent tumors. That is like saying females are genetically inferior and cannot survive without being surgically altered. Same goes for females as it does males. Why do that when you can simply adopt rats from lines that have been bred for generations to be free of tumors to the best of the breeders knowledge. The fact is tumors are rare. Not the rule. If you want to adopt feeder rats who have been never been bred for health, that is a risk you take. But that is something that applies to feeder lines. Not lines who have been breeder bred for many, many generations. In breeder bred lines its not 100% certain that you won't see a tumor, but it is extremely rare to see them IF you have fed them properly and housed them properly.  You can very easily see tumors in new breeders lines as well, since their lines are unpredictable. So that is something that for the most part you can control by properly choosing and caring for your rat.
 
Please remember that spaying is MAJOR surgery, and baby rats cannot handle it, neither can older rats. And for rats in their prime, its still a very dangerous, and very hard surgery to recover from. Surgery is a last resort for a female whom you know is at high risk, such as a girl who's sisters and mother have already had a tumor. Only then would surgery be reccomended.