Thursday, May 27, 2010

Power Grooming or Fighting?

It's interesting to watch. They get so riled up and the dominant one it always seems is the smaller one.
What is power grooming? Well it's just like it sounds! One rat grooms a recumbent rat's belly. May be an attempt to reach the neck, which is the goal of play fighting. A question people have frequently is how do you tell whether from the power grooming, is it play fighting or really a bad fight starting. The rats could be playing, trying to figure out who is dominant or having a small disagreement (even best friends don't get along all the time). But at any rate, there's nothing to worry about unless either of them is bleeding. Rats will take a "boxing" position when they are threatened with one another. They stand on their back legs and will put their hands up in front of them. This is a common stance for pre-fighting. A fight will include them basically on one another, biting, scratching, it will look like they are in a ball. However if they are grooming one another there's normally not going to be a fight.
The best way to describe it all is "No blood, no foul" and they can sort it out themselves, so it's best to let the dominance be established. Grooming is not fighting!

Question of the day: What is your weak spot in ratty looks when you're trying to find (or fall upon) a new buddy?

My Answer: I have a huge soft spot for hairless and double rexes. Every time I see one I about fall apart. I have three of my own, Nigel, Flit and Olivia. I wouldn't trade any of them for the world. I also had a bad rex named Elsbeth, who developed a horrible URI which came on suddenly, and had to be PTS after my vet Dr. Hunter did everything he could to save her. She was a wonderful sweet little PEW dumbo girl (PEW stands for Pink Eyed White). Also if you look them up, there is something called a Patchwork Rat, that means they have spots of fur and bald spots, those are not common but absolutely cool looking!

Howl - He's my grey masked, dumbo eared boy. He came to me when a girl had two litters that she was trying to find homes for. They weren't intentional litters and she didn't have the room to keep them all. My friend Meaghan and I both took a rattum from that litter as we both fell in love with the beautiful markings and when we actually met them, completely fell in love. Howl has grown so fast, he's a HUGE boy for his age and I love it! His sister Yoppo is not nearly as big, or growing at the rate that he has, so it's interesting to see the difference. He is most definitely the dominant one of his little group, he makes sure everyone is in their place. He's an incredibly funny boy!

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