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One of my rats has become more and more aggressive over the month or so that I've had him. He's started biting everything. He'll come flying at my hands if they're anywhere near the cage, and he's even worse when I have my hands in the cage. I used to think he was biting me because I smelled like food, but he's been biting me constantly for the past couple of weeks, so I think it's more of an aggression issue. He used to let me pet him and handle him, but now he just comes charging at me and sinks his little teeth into my fingers. He'll take food from my hand just fine but if I'm near the cage and I don't have food, he'll just start biting. I never feed my rats through the bars and his cagemate has never attempted to bite me. Why is he acting like this? How can I fix this problem? I know neutering is an option, but are there any other ways besides neutering?
 

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Neutering is probably your best option. How does he behave away from his cage? He may be possessive of the cage. One of my little girls has an issue with one of their beds. She's fine with me doing whatever with the rest of the cage, but not one particular bed. She will lay her mouth on me, though she doesnt' bite down and she will grab the blankets in the bed and fight me for them when I need to replace them with new ones. Easiest way to handle it is to remove her from the cage before I clean that item.

Some things I would consider-Don't back down and give in to them, don't act like you fear them-they read that really well so put your best brave face on to show they can't intimidate you. If you need to clean the cage, remove him and put him in either in a play area or a carrier first. Protect yourself, if you know he will bite hard, put on some gloves first.
 

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I do address this in my stickied thread on immersion. Usually it's an issue with the social order in your family and your rat is making a play for leadership or alpha status. You really do need to back him down and take charge.... Welding gloves or oven mitts are useful, but there's a bit more to it than that.

We've fixed lots of biting rats through immersion, mostly through the extreme variant of the procedure, but be prepared it gets ugly before it gets better. And extreme immersion should never be done with normal rats. It's a procedure only for aggressively biting rats.

Best luck.
 
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