The information section contains the following articles on behavioural issues:
- Introductions - the carrier method
- How does smell influence behaviour
- Interpreting rat behaviour
- Litter training
- Rats that bite
- Taming your rats
- Training your rats
- Why rats need company
- Rhythms of rats
Q. Why do does mock mate one another?
A. 'Mock mating' is a well known dominance behaviour between females where they mount one another in order to mimic a mating and it usually occurs when a doe is in heat, resulting in her being mounted. It is thought that dominant females will mount other females far more frequently than submissive females, and that it is a tool to establish and maintain social hierarchy within a colony of does.
Q. Why does my doe wiggle her ears and jump when I touch her rump?
A. This is your doe showing she is 'in heat', this happens roughly once every 5 days and is her advertising her availability to mate. She may be a little hard to handle and jumpy whilst in heat but handle her gently and she will be fine.
Q. I've had my rats for a few days now and they still seem very scared of me, what am I doing wrong?
A. You are not necessarily doing anything wrong, rats (especially the young) can take a while to adapt to new situations. This is especially true if they have come from a background where socialisation was limited. Be patient, gentle and calm with them, and try and handle and talk to them as much as possible and they will settle in.
Q. I thought bucks were meant to be cuddly lap rats, mine are very active and prefer exploring to sitting on me, is there something wrong with them?
A. Bucks are not necessarily lap rats, this is a lot to do with their genetics, early nurture and how you play with them. Young bucks especially like to be very active, though some bucks stay this way through their lives.