Rats are extremely social creatures. In the wild, rats live in large colonies, in some places, numbering
in the hundreds. Although it might look rather chaotic to see so many rats running around, there is more organization
than it appears. Each colony has a "pecking order." Some rats are more dominant than others, and each holds their unique place
in the colony.
Therefore, one reason we feel at least 2 rats should be purchased together is so that they can maintain
their social structures. Another reason is that rats can actually become neurotic or insane due to social deprivation. Yes,
even if you handle your lone rat quite often, he may still start to develop territorial behaviors towards you. This is similar
to a person getting desserted on an island. After a length of time, their mental state changes dramitically due to a lack
of human socialization. Even though you may take your rat out and play with him all the time, no amount of human attention
can replace that of another rat. With 2 rats, they can sleep together, eat together, play together, and do everything together.
What if you already have another rat at home? The baby rat would be going into a whole new enviornment,
with whole new people and new cage. And, he would be totally alone for his 3 week quarentine. This is very stressful
on a new baby. This is why having a sibling or another ratty friend from the rattery will help him deal with all of these
enviornmental changes, and keep him company during his quarentine.
Therefore, we only adopt rats in minimum lots of 2 or more, of the same sex, of course. Rats are
colony animals and should stay that way.