stress bar chewing

Topics on behaviour, taming, companionship, introductions, and training
Post Reply
Filigirl237
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:21 pm

stress bar chewing

Post by Filigirl237 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:46 pm

My rat woody chews the bars of his cage, hes been doing this since i first got him. Its been on and off. I first put this to boredem as I’m used to hamsters and this is the first sign or boredem in hams. But more and more I’ve put it to being stressed.

I’ve tried blocking his favourite area however this leads to him biting somewhere else. I’ve bought tonnes of toys to chew on and he just ignores them, they stay untouched in the cage (I try and rota them). After my boys goes back into the cage are their free roam time he goes straight to biting the bars. When its their meal time and I put their bowl back he goes and bites the bars rather than have food.

I’ve looked into castrations, as from my research it may help him as hes showing aggression towards me and his cage mate Buzz.

However I need a soultion untill hes older enough for him to be castrated due to their cage being in my room, he can keep me up all night chewing constantly.

Please help!!
Love Kat, Woody and Buzz
Love
Kat, Woody and Buzz :dumbo: :dumbo:

User avatar
[cub]
Posts: 779
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:04 pm

Re: stress bar chewing

Post by [cub] » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:05 am

I don't know much about bar chewing in rats specifically, but sometimes when an animal develops a stereotypical behaviour, nothing you do can deter them thereafter. That certainly happens with over-grooming, where a rat who develops that habit just has bald patches for the rest of their life.

I wouldn't necessarily focus on chew toys, but instead toys that encourage other activities. Ropes, climbing toys, an exercise wheel. (Just make sure the wheel is large enough: 12" is the absolute minimum, but 16" is better for larger rats like boys.)

The recommended 5-6 months minimum for neutering is in the interests of their growth and bone health, but you can neuter younger if there's a good reason for it, and I'd say aggression and obsessive bar chewing are a solid health reason. That kind of behaviour doesn't sound like a happy rat, and Buzz probably isn't happy living with a grump either. Just make sure you go to a vet who's experienced with rodent surgery.
Poo-shoveller to: Calyn, Din, and Zephyr Mick Jagger (Edgeworth).
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Donovan (Phoenix) the big dope, Xeltan, Lita (NLA32), Lia (NLA28), Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28), Falere (NLA36), Mirala (NLA36), Zephyr Opold, and Rila.

User avatar
cyber ratty
Fancy Rats Team
Posts: 6015
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Location: South Cambridgeshire
Contact:

Re: stress bar chewing

Post by cyber ratty » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:50 pm

It could also simply be that he's bored, maybe Buzz doesn't play the way he wants to, and the bar chewing could be a case of attention seeking.

Could you describe how his aggression towards Buzz and yourself is manifested? How old are they? If it's not serious enough to warrant neutering, then introducing a pair of kittens (aged 9-11 weeks) may improve things.

Filigirl237
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:21 pm

Re: stress bar chewing

Post by Filigirl237 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:14 pm

Thanks for your suggestions cub they seem like a good idea, I’m gunna look in to getting a wheel and more climbing things.

Cyber ratty, it could be attention seeking, on occasion I’ve got woody out, but he hates being handles and its bot so much into cuddles, when i put him back hes stops for half an hour then starts again.

His aggression towards Buzz, I’ve seen buzz with blood on his coat, not a lot but it’s visible due to his white furr. Hes bitten my mum and hes gone to bite me a few times, just as a warning. Woody is 5 months and Buzz is 4 n half months. Theyve been together since they were around 6 and 4 weeks. They’re from 2 different litters. I’d love to add more to my mischeif but I’m only allowed 2 rats due to parents rules.
Love
Kat, Woody and Buzz :dumbo: :dumbo:

User avatar
cyber ratty
Fancy Rats Team
Posts: 6015
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Location: South Cambridgeshire
Contact:

Re: stress bar chewing

Post by cyber ratty » Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:08 am

In that case, neutering does sound like the best course of action.

Incidentally, given that rats need to live in a cage that is big enough for at least 4 anyway, and that rats do best in groups of 3 or more, your parents should realise that permitting 2 more is important in order to meet the rat's needs - costs won't increase dramatically either.

Post Reply

Return to “Behaviour”