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My albino/PEW rat, Elliot, is not viscous, even though he bites. 100% of the time when he nips, it's because he can't tell the difference between a human hand with fingers trying to pet him, and a treat being handed to him. I'm pretty sure of this. He's not being aggressive when he bites - he seriously thinks our fingers are a treat he needs to "grab and retreat" with. He responds positively to being petted away from his face/head. He doesn't even think we're a predator snatching him up when we pet his back. He just can't see or smell. I'm pretty sure 90+% of his "world" is auditory and touch.

I'm in it for the long haul with Elliot, but I'm considering getting a third rat to be a playmate for Oliver (he's our "normal" rat who can see and smell like most rats do.) Elliot NEVER plays with Oliver. Elliot never leaves their small "rat house" on the upper story of their cage. He even poops in there. Ugh.

Anyone been through something similar? All advice appreciated.
 

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Some folks with blind rats follow the hear, smell, touch method. First announce yourself and tell him what's coming. Then let him smell your hand and then touch him... You might try to announce a treat differently than you would your finger.... As in "hi I have a treat for you" or "Hi, I'm going to pet you"

We had a part wild rat and even though she had keen senses... She needed to hear someone's voice first, then she had to sniff them and then she could be easily handled. My daughter didn't need to follow the rules, but for the rest of world, she had her rules. And woe and blood be upon those that didn't follow the rules.

The relevant part of the story is that rats do use multiple senses to understand the world... and the sound of your voice and the words you use can prepare your rat for what's coming next.

Best luck.
 
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