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 Post subject: Young rat biting: Play or aggression?
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:59 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:51 am
Posts: 1
I have four females (two year-old sisters, a baby, and a juvenile). They get along well.

The juvenile rattie is SUPER energetic. She chases my hand around when everyone free-ranges and wrestles with it. I've heard this is normal.

Anyway, the other day, before I let em out and she was super hyper, she started chasing my hand-- and bit me multiple times. The bites didn't break the skin and they weren't even the slightest bit painful, but I am still paranoid that she's showing signs of aggression.

Any advice? Is this normal?

 Post subject: Re: Young rat biting: Play or aggression?
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:24 pm 
Fancy Rats Team
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Posts: 5731
Location: South Cambridgeshire
It is advisable that rats should have some same age companions so they can develop their social skills together and have someone with a similar degree of energy to play with. Since you only have one juvenile and one baby, neither of them have a same age companion, and that may be a reason for this type of behaviour - a mix of frustration and not being matched in her activity needs at this time of her development.

I would recommend looking for a second baby to prevent yours having the same issues once she reaches teenage. Ideally of the same age, but a week younger or a week or two older would be fine.

As far as your current teenager is concerned, make sure she knows that her nips are not pleasant for you by giving a high pitched 'eek' whenever she does it. Also try giving her some rough physical play with something other than your hand e.g. a cat wand with feathers on the end which she can hunt and 'kill', and she may also benefit from some 1:1 training to use her energies up e.g. running or jumping tasks/tricks.

Mary x

Zephyr Rat Stud

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