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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was cleaning out the girls cage last night and my friend gave me a cat toy (ball with bell in it) for the girls to have and they all seemed thouroughly amused with it. But when Dandy went in the back of the cage with the ball, all of a sudden it looked like she just "puffed up". I dont know how else to describe it. She wasnt being aggressive (although I wasnt sure) she kinda sat there looking a little weird and was swaying back and forth on her hindquarters. Her hair was sticking up and it looked like she was severely bloated. My friend said there was a little ball of catnip in the center of the ball. She was still allowing me to pet her and was climbing all over us. Was this because of the catnip? Can the puffy thing be fear or excitement?
 

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I think it was recommended somewhere to use non-catnip cat toys. Not sure why, though. If she looks 'bloated' I'd take it away. Perhaps she's allergic.
 

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Its possible she smelt cat (enemy/predator) on it and was being defensive.

Did it look somewhat like this?

Here is my aggressive girl Moth taking her frustrations out on a waterbottle that smelt like other rats. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I dont believe it was a cat smell because it wasnt bought for a cat. My girlfriend who gave it to me does have 5 rats of her own but she always smells like her rats and always comes over and plays with my rats in and out of their cage. She did look like your rat in the picture but she was not acting aggressive just playful. It just kinda shocked me because I thought something was wrong with her at first. Never witnessed this before.

EDIT - I did exactly that (gave her space cause it scared me at first) but she was friendly.
 

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I was there when this happened....she did not seem aggressive in the least bit. She came over while she was still puffed up and wanted to be loved and crawl up our arms.........We both were taken aback by it and were not sure we wanted her up our arms. LOL! We both thought it was an excitment thing, but were not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No, she didnt appear to be pushy, but IDK. I just read this and will be sure they do not encounter any hidden amounts of catnip ever again. It was inside the little plastic cat ball (the ones with bells in them)


"catnip has a sedative effect on rats, like in humans when it is brewed in tea. Without knowing how much you can give your rat, the possibility exists that you could overdose and kill him."

I have never heard of this happening, but would you really want to risk it?
 

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*Note to self no more catnip*
I asked the girl at the petstore and she said it would be fine but after reading that I do not want to chance it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, Im sure your right, and eventually I will see it happen again. At least now Ill know to kinda give her space when she does do it and try to see what is going on.
 

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Actually, catnip has very much the same effect on rats that it does on cats. They may not roll around in it, but it does give them a bit of a buzz. It won't hurt them or anything. Some rats really like it while some don't pay much attention to it. I give my rats fresh catnip as a treat and they love it.
 
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