One of my boys bites humans

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Dilori
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One of my boys bites humans

Post by Dilori » Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:52 pm

I have 2 young male rats, and we have got used to each other and they both seem happy. The grey rat is a little timid still but is gaining trust in me, as when I let him out he gently nibbles my fingers (I heard this is a rat's way of grooming or kissing you). But the white rat isn't so gentle. Every time your hand is near him, he will nip your finger hard enough to draw blood. But he is friendly; he is the dominant one, is more hyperactive, very inquisitive, and always wants attention. But then when I give him attention, he bites. He doesn't bite the other rat, just humans. I've even put gardening gloves on to stroke him but he still bites and it still hurts even through the gardening gloves, so his little teeth must be very sharp. So we are a bit afraid to pick him up, because he'd jump then bite. So if we have to get him out of the cage, we've found ourselves having to get him to go into his little house then bring the little house out of the cage and coax him out of the little house and into his pet box while we clean the cage out. But the grey rat is so easy, he never bites and you can pick him up and cuddle him.

How do I grow a bond with my white rat without getting bitten on my fingers? Each time he bites my fingers it bleeds like crazy, and hurts too. But at the same time he's friendly and inquisitive, and I do spend a lot of time giving them attention.

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cyber ratty
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Re: One of my boys bites humans

Post by cyber ratty » Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:54 pm

It sounds like he is being cage territorial. The key is to remove him from his cage, and take him to another room for bonding sessions. I've described a method in this thread.

I would also recommend double checking that both your rats are male, in case the biter is a pregnant female. PAH are notorious for mis sexing rats, and for homing pregnant females.

Dilori
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Re: One of my boys bites humans

Post by Dilori » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:32 am

They are both definitely males, as I can plainly see their testicles. I don't know how people can miss that LOL.

Thank you for your advice anyway, I shall take him out of the cage and try to bond with him elsewhere.

Samuel
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Re: One of my boys bites humans

Post by Samuel » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:53 am

Omg I am experiencing exactly the same thing and almost thought my partner wrote this post when I read it! We got our rats, Barry and Nigel, from PAH and been with them for over a month now. They were 12 weeks when we got them and very skittish for a while - now Nigel has turned out sweet, but Barry started to bite whenever we are close to him and drew blood various times.

My question with the method of bonding separately outside is - would it work if now he also bites when he’s outside of the cage? We have got to a stage that we are both scared to be near him and cannot imagine how bad things would get when he’s older and bigger

Our family and PAH have told us to send them (or just the misbehaving one) back but we have grown to love Nigel a lot and breaks our hearts to picture sending them to the adoption centre at PAH. It’d be cruel to just send Barry back as well as they love each other.

Desperately wanted to hear what people would do in such situations, would any breeder adopt? Thank you xxxx

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[cub]
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Re: One of my boys bites humans

Post by [cub] » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:49 am

Samuel wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:53 am
My question with the method of bonding separately outside is - would it work if now he also bites when he’s outside of the cage?
Probably not; a lot of rats who bite are actually just territorially aggressive, so that's why it's suggested to take them out of the cage for handling. If he's biting both inside and outside the cage, badly enough that you're scared of him, and is from PAH, I'd neuter him.
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.

Dilori
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Re: One of my boys bites humans

Post by Dilori » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:18 pm

I have actually took them out of the cage and put them into the bath (not with water in!), and it was easier to hold the white rat (the one who normally bites). Well, he didn't like being held, because when I did hold him he screeched. But he didn't bite, and he was easier to grab because he didn't open his jaws in attempt to bite. So, like one of the posters here mentioned, it must be a territorial thing (where he only bites if he's in his cage).

Dilori
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Re: One of my boys bites humans

Post by Dilori » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:07 am

My albino rat still keeps biting, even though I'm picking him up every day but using a gardening glove (I use the same glove). But last night when I was trying to pick him up he bit my hand, with the glove on, and it still drew blood. The pain was worse than a wasp sting and it throbbed on and off all night which kept me awake.

I don't know how to stop him from biting. I love him though and I wouldn't want to get rid of him, as my other rat will be distraught if they were separated. But I just want to be able to bond with my albino without him biting. His little sharp teeth go right into my skin and sometimes he doesn't always let go straight away. You can imagine the pain.

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[cub]
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Re: One of my boys bites humans

Post by [cub] » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:59 pm

At this point I'd get him neutered to be honest.
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.

Dilori
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Re: One of my boys bites humans

Post by Dilori » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:24 pm

Maybe I should get him neutered then. He does have higher levels of testosterone than the other rat. He shows affection towards the other rat such as grooming and they usually sleep huddled up together, but when he's in one of his playful moods he gets a bit over-erratic and sometimes bullies the other rat. Once or twice I caught him humping the other rat (is he gay???)
But I think his behaviour might be due to high testosterone levels.

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[cub]
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Re: One of my boys bites humans

Post by [cub] » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:46 pm

Humping cagemates is perfectly normal; it's generally a dominance thing, though does will also get humped by cagemates when they're in season. If you have a group of young does it can get pretty ridiculous some evenings.

If he's drawing blood even through gloves though, that's fairly aggressive and if he's otherwise in good health and you have a good rodent surgeon, I'd go for neutering as a first option. At least you can rule in/out hormones as a cause.
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.

Dilori
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Re: One of my boys bites humans

Post by Dilori » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:00 pm

[cub] wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:46 pm
Humping cagemates is perfectly normal; it's generally a dominance thing, though does will also get humped by cagemates when they're in season. If you have a group of young does it can get pretty ridiculous some evenings.

If he's drawing blood even through gloves though, that's fairly aggressive and if he's otherwise in good health and you have a good rodent surgeon, I'd go for neutering as a first option. At least you can rule in/out hormones as a cause.
Will it hurt or traumatize him though? I had a cat once and since she got spayed she was a very different cat, and we think she was traumatized.

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cyber ratty
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Re: One of my boys bites humans

Post by cyber ratty » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:43 am

No, it will chill him out. Obviously any rat will need post op painkillers, but they recover physically from a neuter very quickly. You should allow up to 6 weeks to see a drop off in hormonal behaviour though.

I recommend asking for some antibiotics to prevent an abscess in the op location though, they can be a common complication, although not serious. :luck:

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