Rat Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, Butters has been home with me for 3 days, now. He's loving his Ferret Nation cage to death! There are some things I'm really happy & excited about, and some things I'm kind of concerned about.
He always poops in his litter box, I've never found a poop outside the litter box. (Although he has pooped 3 times that I've had him out, but I hope that will start to improve with time.) I know he pees in his litterbox, because I've seen the evidence, but I'm not sure if he pees outside of it or not. I don't find wet spots on the pillowcases I used as bedding, but he did pee once on the floor when my roommate and I had him out.
Those are the things I'm excited about.
However...
He REALLY dislikes being picked up. I know this is just because he's getting used to me, and I hope as he gets used to me, he stops hating that so much. When I put my hand around him in the cage to pick him up, he backs up or runs forward to try to get away. And sometimes, he even squeaks.
While I'm holding him, he really likes to climb around on me, and he tolerates me petting him, but he doesn't really like to sit still. I know he probably just wants to explore his new environment, but he just runs all around my body, and seems almost frantic. He's bit my earlobe a couple times, and I think he's just testing it, but today, he must have bitten me harder than I thought. It didn't hurt too bad, but when my roommates got home, they told me that it was bleeding! So he bit it a little harder than I thought. LOL I'm sure this issue will resolve itself with time, as well, while he gets used to me.
Also, we did something stupid the other night. We tried to introduce my roommates' rabbit to Butters, but we didn't think it through all the way. We put her up to his cage (his territory... mistake!) and she just hopped in because it was a cage and she thought we were putting her in it. Anyway, he lunged at her and bit her once, and she hopped further back into the cage, and he bit her again. We got them separated and got her out. Anyway, we should have introduced them on neutral territory. We don't plan to home them together, or anything like that, obviously. We just wanted them to meet, and were stupid about it.
But that moment made me worried about him... I don't know how long he's lived alone. He was alone at the shelter, so I have to assume he was alone before that. He's getting roommates in a few weeks, so I really hope that those introductions go better than this (retarded) one.
Other than that. I'm excited to have him. I haven't gotten to spend a whole lot of time with him, because of moving in and stuff, but he's got to enjoy his new giant quiet home compared to the smaller cage he was in at the barky shelter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
I wouldn't worry that the the rabbit means anything as to how he'll react to other rats. Rabbits smell different. And they're bigger. He presumed it to be a threat, most likely, hence the biting. The bunny and the rats will likely not be chummy (especially after the biting. Poor bunny will be terrified).

He does pee on the other bedding, most likely, maybe not full pee, but markings, at least, which wouldn't really leave wet spots, unless you're looking real close.

The running about, squeaking, etc... he's still new and excited... he'll probably get over it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
My Walter still squeaks every time I pick him up. He did much the same stuff when I first got him home from the rescue, pooped on me a lot, wouldn't sit still, etc. Now, he almost NEVER poops outside the cage, and he voluntarily climbs onto my lap when he's tired of exploring the couch and settles down for a good skritch. But he does still squeak when I pick him up, I think he just associates it with being eaten by some predator, though if I let him climb onto me by himself he doesn't panic.

Butters will get better, you just need to give him attention and love everyday and within a couple months he'll be just the kind of rat you want. When you get them from a rescue or shelter at an older age, they always take a bit longer to socialize them. At least he's not like my other male rat, William, who bites me every chance he gets. He just HATES me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Hey first of all just want to say congrats on your new Rat. :)

Anyhow, the squeeking and biting sounds very common for a rat still getting use to his/her new environment. But if this rat is a full adult and hasn't been socialised much... well this can usually turn out a bit disapointing.

I remeber the first rat i ever got of a rat breeder was an adult, partially blind, and wow, did she give me one **** of a bite. She use to back up into a corner when i tried to even put food into the cage. But one day she sprint herself at me and gave me one nasty bite that went right trough my finger. 8O After this i could clearly tell nothing was going to work and she was very unsocialized to humans. I had to give her back and get a new baby one wich i had asked for in the first place.

Just be careful if you suspect this rat is very unsocialied to humans.

But when i got my other rat, yes he did pee and poo on me a few times, and bit me once or twice, but belive me, this will almost certainly stop after a while heheh.

Hope all turns out well for you :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
Heh... I consider all my rats to be partially blind... :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice, everyone! I'm sure he's gonna get better with time, I just wanted to share my concerns. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
congrats on your new rattie and for the ones to come! whats nice about FN cage is you can sit there with both arms laying in the cage. I did this once or twice a day just to teach them that i wasnt always in there to pick them up. I would sit still and let them climb all over my arms and up my shoulders and then theyd run back in. i think they learned pretty quick that my hands and arms were not a threat, cause now when im in there to do other stuff they wont leave me alone. It took mine a good week 1/2 to get used to the new cage too. i found that once i put alot more stuff in the cage they seemed to feel more secure. good luck with your rattie! im sure he'll come around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Forensic said:
Heh... I consider all my rats to be partially blind... :lol:

Lol that's true but she was also and Albino, wich made her double partially blind :p Poor thing though, i don't think she could even see past her nose, so you can imagine what i looked like to her, probably this big fuzzy feature heheh :p Bless her though, i hope she had a good life. x
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
So, Butters has been with me for about a week, now. And yesterday, he was joined by his new roommates Dagger & Riot. (Pictures of them, taken by the lady who rescued them and gave them to me, can be found in the same album as Butters, until I can get better pictures of them.) Introduction went well, in the bathtub with spray bottle handy. They had a few chases and scuffles in the freshly cleaned cage they went back into, but the 2 younger rats (Dagger & Riot, who are brothers) seem to have accepted Butters as the alpha rat. They don't really spend *too* much time, together. But I've caught them grooming eachother and cuddling together. But the young boys have been sleeping in the igloo while Butters prefers to sleep in the old pajama pants I donated to him.
He's getting a lot better about not freaking out when I try to pick him up. I have been taking Berks' advice and just putting my arms in the cage and letting them explore me on their own terms. Butters likes to crawl up one arm, go behind my neck, and crawl back into the cage on the other arm. BUT he bit me, again, tonight, on the ear. It's not an aggressive bite or anything, I can't tell why he bites my earlobe. I don't know if he thinks it's a tasty treat, or if he thinks it's soft and squishy and he wants to drag it into his pajama pants or what. I'm sure it's not an angry or aggressive thing. It's not like I make a sudden movement or touch him or anything that would make him scared or angry. That almost makes it harder to get him to not do it. I haven't punished him, of course, but I don't know how to show him I don't like it. It bled a lot, this time. :(
Anyway. Butters is making progress, but the 2 new ratties are still pretty terrified of me and adjusting to their new home. I've been giving them fingers dipped in yogurt to get them a little more used to me. I got a couple little nips in the very beginning, but now that they have the hang of it, they just lick lick lick.
I have high hopes for all 3 of my new ratties. With time and patience I'm sure they'll open up to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
dimitrius, mine used to taste test me sometimes, especially around the ears or on the fingertips. but i never found it to be aggressive. just checkin it out sorta thing. someone told me to give a good short calm EEEP! since this is what would happen with a litter mate who was being too rough. So far it has worked for me. If you dont feel too silly doing it, maybe its worth trying. who knows maybe they like the smell of your shampoo or conditioner. Just remember to keep it calm so you dont have them regress with any handling youve been working on. Glad to hear the introductions went well:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I try to keep it calm. Yesterday he bit the earlobe and I just turned my head and he calmly walked back into the cage. So I closed it up and went to the bathroom to tend to my bleeding ear. LOL
I am glad that he feels confident enough to climb me, now, though. And he can explore my body (well, that sounds wrong. :D) without being terrified of me picking him up. Actually, the last couple times I picked him up, he didn't freak out like he used to. He's showing progress. :)
The other 2 are still terrified, but they'll come around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,440 Posts
Yeah, definately squeek when he bites you. This will tell him 'no no too hard' if there is a session where he doesn't bite you award him with some form of awesome treat he rarely gets, a slice of advocado or a piece of banana would be great for that, or some fatty nut you don't normally give him but that he would love.

Bert tends to get a little too rough playing/powergrooming but never punctures my skin. He's so meticulous about my hands being clean after I clean his poops. He's pulled my skin before on my hand but surprisingly it didn't hurt or break O: Almost like he was scruffing my hand! I let out eeps when he plays too rough like that and he knows not to do that.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top