New female rattie biting

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New female rattie biting

Post by RatNanny » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:26 am

Hi there, new to owning rats and this forum,

I bought my daughter 2 female rats just over a week ago. We’ve followed all the advice about getting to know them and not feeding thru cage bars etc, but the bolder one is getting more and more bitey.

She started off with friendly nibbles and licks but now just launches herself and bites. It normally happens in her cage when spot cleaning or changing food, but now she bites whilst in the doorway. She drew blood this morning after I’d laid my hand out for her to walk on to.

She also bit my daughter out of the cage whilst playing on the bed yesterday.

She isn’t overly aggressive with the other rat. They seem fairly equally matched when they play fight.

We have been giving them treats in the cage and at the door of the cage as we’d been advised to help entice them out. I thought perhaps she was looking for food but she just goes for me without warning. It’s now hard to spot clean! And my daughters worried about getting her out to play. Have we gone too quickly with the taming? How do we stop the bitey behaviour?

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Re: New female rattie biting

Post by ScissorCrow » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:50 pm

Hi, sorry no one more experienced has replied yet, here's some advice I found around the forum...
I was taught a trick by someone on the forum a few years ago when I had a girl who used to draw blood. Ball your hand into a fist and just nice and casually present the back of your fist to the rat. If he doesn't bite, brilliant, give him some scritches, if he does, shout "eep" quite audibly and keep your hand there. If he does nip you this way he will get the back of your knuckles which does not hurt anywhere near as much. The idea is he figures out that it hurts you (in rat language) but you don't pull away, so there is no point in him continuing. I did this a few times with my girl who had been biting me for over a week and she pretty much stopped in 24hrs, so it may be worth a try for you.
from this thread

It can be scary to present your hand to a rat you think will bite you, but I've tried this method before and a bite on the knuckles hurts a LOT less than anywhere else.

Are you able to pick her up at all? Have you been able to put them inside a hoody or dressing gown you are wearing and just sit for 20 minutes letting them explore inside?

Might be worth a vet visit to rule out an underlying cause.
If you got them a week ago is there any chance she could be pregnant (ie did she come from a petshop that might of mis-sexed them?)

You might consider spaying her, I know in bucks it can help their temperament by reducing hormones. Plus there are other health benefits for spaying girls.

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Re: New female rattie biting

Post by liaren77 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:28 pm

I think I do not want to open a new thread, I guess I just want to share some experience and i am still a newbie, but it might different reaction to certain rat.

Sometimes the rat is biting everywhere because of the rat is bored, the rat sometimes needs some exercise or stimulation a lot to play, may be brought in the new toy or change the maze inside the cage or make something that makes the cage something new or something fancy regularly.

Sorry for the newbie opinion. Might be wrong.

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Re: New female rattie biting

Post by [cub] » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:45 am

I would have guessed territorial aggression, except for the fact that she's biting out of the cage as well?

Spaying can help with aggressive females; it's not quite the same night and day difference that you get with neutering aggressive males, but it can help them chill out. It's no guarantee though; my one territorial girl did calm down a bit after her spay but still made my finger throb on occasion. It's worth it regardless, in my opinion, if you have a surgically good vet as there are significant preventative health benefits to spaying, as ScissorCrow mentioned. This is especially true if the rat is from a genetically questionable background (which goes for any rat that doesn't come from a knowledgeable breeder).

In general, handle them confidently, use gloves if you need to. If spot cleaning is hard with her in the cage, remove her from the cage first.

(And I've never actually found feeding through the cage bars to affect the chances of biting. You might get an over-enthusiastic grab from an over-eager rat, but if they're biting you, it's generally because they mean to bite you, not because they're confused. Rats aren't complete idiots; they know the difference between fingers and food. It's just that some of them don't care. :lol: )
Poo-shoveller to: Calyn (NLA32); Zephyr Nyahir; Zephyr Zymandis; Zephyr Blasto.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Mick Jagger "Edgeworth"; Din (NLA28); Zephyr Donovan "Phoenix"; Xeltan; Lita (NLA32); Lia (NLA28); Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28); Falere (NLA36); Mirala (NLA36); Zephyr Opold; Rila.

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