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Discussion Starter #1
Our boy whom we have had since he was a baby (3-ish months old) Chong, is now about a year old and has become what seems to be cage-aggressive. We recently got him an even bigger cage (very tall 3-level cage) and a 100% edible bowl (they also come in houses, logs, etc).

So here's the problem.. the other day I went to give him a treat and he snatched it from me, so I said 'Chong!' and just light tapped him on the back to get his attention to let him know that wasnt acceptable. He followed that with sticking his head back out of his cage door before I could shut it and bit my thumb and drew a little blood. :evil: He has also been taking the food we put in his bowl and tries to "scoop" up 2 or 3 pieces (rodent blocks) in his mouth and front paws to move them into the furthest corner from the front of his cage and goes back and does it until all of his food is in that corner. He then hunches over his pile of food and "guards" it like he thinks its going to be taken away. He has not always done this. He is fed & handled everyday and usually wont take treats or food when outside of his cage. He has also taken up sticking his nose out the corner of his cage and "huffing" as if to say "yeah, just come over here..!"

What in the world has gotten into him? I'm leary of handing him food now bc I dont want to get bitten anymore. Now when he's given treats I just drop them into his bowl for him to find. Any advice as to redirecting his unwelcomed behavior?
 

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Making a loud "EEP" or something along those lines is a good start to stopping that bad behavior. The minute he does that, close the cage and walk away, he'll soon learn that that stuff makes you go away. Don't give him any treats if he's acting this way, it's just condoning it.

Does he get out of the cage much? He might be getting very bored and therefore getting aggressive. I don't know too much other than what I've mentioned on this subject, so hopefully someone more knowledgeable comes along. :)

Goodluck with your naughty little boy.
 

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Hmmm...he sounds hormonal to me. Young bucks go thru a phase where they can get hormonally aggressive...more territorial, huffing and puffing, etc. Btw touching or tapping the back is an aggressive thing with these males. They will whirl if poked in the butt or back, since this is where males attack each other. Be careful and hopefully he'll settle down. If not you might have to get him neutered.

OR he is not getting out enough and becoming cage aggressive. Do you have him out much?
 

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Jeffy had a streak like that, just a bit younger than the age above. I guess it's storytime, lol
***
It was just another, fun outtime, and Jeffy and Shadow were side-by-side, sniffing a previous pee spot in which one of the girls have left behind, before the boys were able to finally come out. Moo was eager for some funtime, as she stretched his little paws in front of him, finally moving about for his daily excercise. He walked over to Sam and Frodo, who were going about their business with Chad, the one who strictly is their "boss," and upon immediately seeing that they wouldn't be paying any attention to an old rat, he bounded over his mama's lap, where Jeffy and Shadow were now lying down in their own places.
Possibly, it was boredom that sent Moo to provoke the play? Whatever the solutions could be, there he was, nudging the closest rat he could find-Jefffy, only to be pushed away with his front, little paws at each attempt he had persisted, until the young rat couldn't take it any longer! With a gentle nip to the old man's neck, Jeffy made a small "eep" sound and then went about his old business.
Moo felt a tinge of disappointment, for he knew that he was the oldest one here. He was now yelling at him, with his cute, spotted tookus bopping into Jeffy's side, where this time, the young one jumped onto him, leaving the poor, old rat with a bloody scratch in his skin, and Jeffy in the cage immediately after.
There he was, carried away by his mama, as he looked up in a tearful way at her face, then his boo-boo (old as he is, young in heart as he is, all the more), and allowed her to gently wash his fresh wound and put the "Sting" on (Peroxide-wrong to use??? :S), to stop the bleeding. Back to the couch for outtime again! This time, he tried to get Shadow to play in the same manner.
This fat rat is tired, and only wants to nap. The same things went on then, and the result was two rats standing stiff and still on their hind legs, their little, front paws pushing each other like a little fist-fight. One actually played-one was naughty.
***
After some strict attention to Jeffy's behaviour, I have noticed that his stress level was higher than the others. His hair was more coarse since before the incident, making me study him a little more. He only got this way around those playing, making me wonder, "Did something snap in his brain?" I looked at Shadow one day, who made me realize the result. Even though I have completely missed it, all my little boys were growing up, and Jeffy was just a bit more "aggressive," whether he was in the cage, or not. This made Moo VERY upset, for as boys, all the young rats were under Moo rule. Jeffy was testing the Moo rule, resulting in an angry, old rat. When Sam and Frodo saw this (these two are wise rats-when they were young, they followed the Moo rule-Get along with everyone else. They already learned and followed this rule, even after they became a year old.), these two boys teamed up together and MADE Jeffy follow the Moo rule, regardless if it could be the Sam/Frodo rule, as Moo knew that he had been beat in dominance for good. But, he gave up his position happily to these two teamers, glad he's made a change to all of the boys successfully. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have asked our vet about getting him neutered. She said that she has done surgery on rats at his age and older, so the anesthesia wouldn't be the problem. My question is with his hormones already in full swing, would it still be effective? She normally neuters males between 3 and 6 months and has never neutered one at his age.

For another reason to neuter male rats though, she's noticed that males tend to get skin infections much easier and more frequently than females, but that occurence goes way down (in her experience) after they're neutered.
 
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