The Basics On Whether To Neuter Male Rats - RatCentral

The Basics On Whether To Neuter Male Rats

a male rat on a shoulder that has been neutered

If you are wondering whether you should neuter your male rat then it might be because of increased aggression with cage mates around maturity…

Other reasons might include integrating the male (buck) with females (does), or just generally you want to get them neutered so they are more docile for handling.

There are a lot of reasons, but the real question you’re asking is ‘Should I?’. Here’s our thoughts on the matter.

Should I Neuter My Male Rat?

There are several good reasons for neutering a male rat, there are also reasons for why neutering your rat would be a bad idea…

Acceptable Reasons:

There are several acceptable reasons for getting your Male Rat neutered.

  • 1. They are acting out aggressively toward cage mates or yourself.
  • 2. They are ‘humping’ or attempting to hump their cage mates.
  • 3. You want to keep them in a cage with a Female without her getting pregnant.
  • 4. Their testosterone level is lowering the quality of their life.

One of the main pros of neutering male rats is decreased aggression, they become more mellow once neutered. This is good for handling, but more importantly it reduces the risk of horrible fights between cage mates.

If you get one male done, it’s generally a good idea to do the same with other males. This is because the decrease in testosterone can lead other males to believe that they are now a female, this can increase the chances of them attempting to hump the now neutered rat.

Increased aggression toward the neutered male isn’t uncommon, fights can break out due to cage mates trying to re-establish the pecking order of dominance.

Additionally neutered rats should be kept separated from cage mates while their wounds are healing to prevent further injury and potential infection.

Bad Reasons:

There are many bad reasons for neutering your rat, reasons such as ‘they’re smelly’ and ‘their fur is oily’ aren’t really a good reason on their own.

If you decide to neuter your male/s then it should be because it’s going to improve the quality of their own life and/or that of their cage mates.

Other Considerations

When you decide whether to get your rat neutered, you should also consider factors such as age, general health and more…

– Bigger rats are more at risk of complications from the anaesthesia, as are older rats.

– Choosing the right vet is also very important as rats have some unique requirements during and post-op.

– You should ensure have their own cage to go back into for a few days post-op.

– Rats who haven’t yet reached adulthood aren’t really suitable for this kind of surgery.

– It takes roughly 3 weeks (at least) for the sperm stores in males to completely dissipate, so you shouldn’t introduce them with females for this amount of time.


If you have wondered about neutering your rat for good reason and all the other considerations are worth the risk, then it’s definitely time to start [looking for a good vet].

If you have any questions, ideas or tips for other rat owners about neutering then feel free to use the comments to let us know!

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