Don't know what I am doing wrong. My rat keeps biting.

Topics on behaviour, taming, companionship, introductions, and training
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Tasena
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:29 pm

Don't know what I am doing wrong. My rat keeps biting.

Post by Tasena » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:46 pm

About a month and a half ago I purchased 2 female rats from the pet store. I didn't have much money so their cage isn't the largest, but they seem to like it. So, I got these rats for my 8 year old step daughter who we have every other week. Well, we started out talking to them and hand feeding them treats in their cage and they seemed to take to it. The past 2 weeks we have taken them out of their cage in the bathroom everyday for about an hour a day. Well, one of the rats keeps biting my 8 year old daughter, it isn't a playful bite. Yesterday she went in to pet the rat while it was out of the cage and the rat lunged at her and bit her making her bleed. The same rat has nipped at me as well but not so aggressively. That same rat has attempted to bite me as well but I feel I sense it more so then my daughter and can move away before getting bit. My daughter has been bit about 5 times from the same rat. The other rat is really skiddish and would rather hide then have anything to do with us. What should I do to help them bond with us and to be the rats I know they can be. Thank you.

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Onthewires
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:02 am

Re: Don't know what I am doing wrong. My rat keeps biting.

Post by Onthewires » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:31 pm

The hoody trick always seems to work with mine, essentially you just put on a loose fitting hoody or jumper and pop the rats in for a while every day so they get used to your scent and learn to associate it with being safe. However personally I'm not sure how much I'd trust them doing this if they've been known to bite for no apparent reason!

Could the biting be fear related? I've got a poor sighted girly and if you make her jump or go to pick her up when she's not expecting it she's known to nip - I've also had rats that are not used to handling who've learnt that a bite means they get put down/left alone. Check out the articles on the forum about taming rats, it gives a lot of suggestions for building rats confidence with you (there's also a section on biting rats now that I've looked!). I haven't had any rats bite aggressively before, but hopefully because they are so young, if it's something non-fear related it shouldn't become a permanent habit.
Leah

Tasena
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:29 pm

Re: Don't know what I am doing wrong. My rat keeps biting.

Post by Tasena » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:32 am

Thank you. I have tried putting the one that bites in my hoodie but she jumps right out. The other rat I am successful with getting in the bonding pouch, but the one that bites, will get half way in and then back out..maybe I will keep working on her with that. I will check out the tips! Thank you so much!

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