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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two identical albino rats, they are both very skittish too. I can not tell them apart and have named them accordingly, Mango and Tango. Does anyone else have this problem? If so, how did you make it easier for yourself. The only way I can tell who is Mango is by offering a treat, one does not like any food besides lab blocks while the other one eats everything. Yet, they are so skittish that it is not always an option to tell them apart this way.
 

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You could use vegetable based food dye on the end of their tails or something I think... I would get another opinion though, since I'm not completely sure what's harmful. It's safe for chicks though.
 

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Have you tried looking for any small differences in their body features, like size, shape, tail length, ear size etc those kind of small features tend to vary from rat to rat. But if you can't find any distict difference you may need to mark their tails but I'm not sure what with. Probably somethinng like what the above post mentioned.
 

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Sharpie markers are non-toxic and actually work great for marking tails. Mark the base of the tail where it's less likely to be groomed off, but you'll still need to reapply the mark once or twice a week maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had put pink food coloring on ones head once, but it rubbed off in a matter of hours. I think the other three girls cleaned it off.
I will try sharpie on the tail. although it doesn't sound safe, I am sure a small mark would not hurt.
 

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I have 3 himi sisters who I can't tell apart at all. They even are all close in personality that it just makes it impossible. I tried marking them but it just came off way too fast. Anything safe they are going to clean off and u will have to continue to redo it often.

I just gave up. lol
 

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I have a bunch that look very much alike. They do have markings on their bellies that are slightly different. However when we go through hormonal issues or I think something could be wrong I find dying their tail in food coloring works for a few days. I'll redye if I'm still watching someone in particular.
 

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I have three inbred wistar sisters rescued from a lab that I had a really hard time to tell apart, and to be honest I still have. Now that they are tame, I'm un the process of teaching their names, which will be really useful I think.

To tell them apart, I usually compared them when I first got them. There's one that is fatter and has a bit of a masculine face; named her Appa. There's the standar-sized one who happens to have bigger ears and also appears to blind, because she is the one to nip on my fingers everytime I put my hand on the cage. When she realises it's not food, she lets go; that would be Pinky. Then there's the third one who is just slightly smaller than Pinky but she's the one that's less skittish and jumpy, and I can even take her downstair when I brew my tea or prepare the mate; I named her Pelusa.

The process of telling them apart took me around 10 days (except for Pelusa who is kinda shy and more cuddly and was pretty small for her age when she got here), and I'm now just teaching them their names. I take turns to do so so no one gets confused, so I usually take one out of the cage, play with her, repeat her name a couple of thousands of times :p and go on with it while playing, cuddling and giving treats. I was seeing results but my dear cat Nero got sick and I spent all my free time with him until he passed yesterday, so I guess now I can continue with the training. I really thought of food-dye but I'm lazy and didn't bother to buy it.
 

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I had put pink food coloring on ones head once, but it rubbed off in a matter of hours. I think the other three girls cleaned it off. I will try sharpie on the tail. although it doesn't sound safe, I am sure a small mark would not hurt.
Sharpie is as non-toxic and safe as it gets. Food dye is diluted in foods for a reason and should not be put directly onto an animal. We use sharpie in our laboratory as the safest and most humane way of keeping track of our mice and rats.
 
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