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Discussion Starter #1
One of my rats does this very funny thing. When you give her a treat, she will take it and put it in the food dish. She will then go try to steal the other rat's treats so she can put them in the food dish as well.

Once she has put her treat(s) in the food dish, she will come back begging for more, and if you actually did fall for her rouse, she would put THAT treat... in the food dish.

I think my rat has OCD.

She will eventually go back to the dish and eat her treat once she knows you won't give her more, but I thought this was such interesting and funny behavior, that it needed to be told.

Obviously, it's her cage, and she has determined that all food belongs in the food dish... no matter what... no exceptions!

Does anyone else have some funny obsessive rat stories?
 

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Well, i have a rattie that is exactly opposite. everytime we put anything in the bowl, he HAS to take it out. And then scatter it. I call it 'rattin'up the cage'
 

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I don't think it's obsessive but Lily (one of the 4 sisters I have) has suddenly started mimicing the other 3 when they drink out of their water bottle.

I watched her at least 3 times last night sitting next to one of the other rats, moving her lips as the other is drinking, as if trying to put them off. It's so funny. She doesn't want water (there's another bottle if she wanted one and when they stop, she wanders off suddenly un-interested) but she'll keep going at it lol

Lol, she's my little psycho rat
 

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One of my rats obsessively hides all her treats. Except for peas, which get eaten immediately, never hidden.
 

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I don't see why a rat cannot be OCD. If they can "think about thinking" (whatever that means,) then why not that? Is she compulsive about anything else?
Or...
I wonder if your rat sees you eating off of a plate or bowl and might be mimicking you.
Whatever the reason, it is really cute. Sounds like my kind of rat. We get our rats in less than a week, and maybe they will see how much I houseclean and will mimic me and keep their cage nice and tidy... :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes very compulsive about many things. I think I truly have a rat with OCD or related disorders like ADD. Seriously. Lab rats can be bread for all these things so I don't think it is far fetched that it can just "happen" naturally.

She chews and chews... and we patch the holes and rotate the blankets, but she will go to the spot that she remembers last chewing a hole and looks weird when she can't find it.

She is the only one that I truly observe the "thinking about thinking" in action. She will often start to do something, then change her mind, then think about doing it again, then change her mind, and then do this about 4 times and ultimately decide for or against depending on the situation.

This takes some background: The chewing was getting so bad that when she would do it we would give her a spray with a water bottle... and so it is very obvious when she is considering the implications of chewing or not to chew... head moving from side to side in consideration. It is funny to us, but she reminds me of a very compulsive and paranoid person... She will chew when we turn our backs or walk away and when we come back she will pretend she didn't do anything. We have not stopped her chewing (well at least she won't when we are visible), we have only taught her what it means to hide actions from another.

hehe Here I am typing this and my wife gave them some treats and she (Tubes, the rat in question) took hers and placed it in the food dish, then chased the other around the cage to get her treat and put it also, in the food dish... once she is done with this, she will come begging for more while the other rat can go eat hers in peace.

Between her and our other female that is utterly unstoppable since she has discovered "the floor", they are quite entertaining.
 

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:lol: :lol: :lol:
I think that Tube's behavior is very endearing. She sounds more like a person than a rat (no offense to rats, of course.)
Thank you for explaining the "thinking about thinking" thing. I saw it in an old post and have been wondering what the heck that meant. Makes sense now.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, I think the term is almost a misnomer, but basically rats consider their actions, and make determinations in a similar way that we do, when we decide between doing one thing or another, or to do something or not to do it. We consider the implications of our decisions and they do to, and I think that is what is referred to when you hear said "thinking about thinking". Their cognitive abilities are pretty astounding.

Our other female is just as savvy, but in a different way... she discovered the floor one day and it was a whole new ballgame, as they say. Now, after about 2 seconds of being out on the couch, she is on the floor darting around, and we have had to rat proof our livingroom as there is no stopping her. Watching how she explores, how she finds access to various places, is constantly interesting.
 

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I get it now. I was literally imagining rats sitting around philosophizing with them selves. Like, "I brux, therefore I am." :lol:
They really are the coolest aren't they.

We have a big house, I cannot imagine what it will take to rat proof. There is one room I have to keep them out of because I thin there is access to the garage. We are planning on fixing that next month anyway, who knows if it will happen that soon though. (lol...most people try to rat proof to keep the rats OUT. :lol: )It must be so fun for such a little creature to explore a huge floor space!
 

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Ration1802 said:
I don't think it's obsessive but Lily (one of the 4 sisters I have) has suddenly started mimicing the other 3 when they drink out of their water bottle.

I watched her at least 3 times last night sitting next to one of the other rats, moving her lips as the other is drinking, as if trying to put them off. It's so funny. She doesn't want water (there's another bottle if she wanted one and when they stop, she wanders off suddenly un-interested) but she'll keep going at it lol

Lol, she's my little psycho rat
lol i was just imaginging that, i laughed so loud everyone else in the house came over to see what was so funny
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We had no choice BUT to rat proof, since LTNG discovered that there is a floor there is no stopping her. It takes all of 2 seconds for her to jump down from the couch and she has no fear of anything. We will just walk around and she will sometimes follow us, and if I have long pants on my leg will be scaled and I will soon have a rat on my shoulder. Sometimes we set the cage on the ground and she will go in for a quick breather and come back out. We actually started to introduce the others to the floor, and it helps their moods quite a bit by allowing them to express themselves. They all can find their cage now and are aware of the situation, but some I trust more than others as far as chewing goes (Tubes, I have to watch very closely and was wary of giving her floor time, but she actually handles herself well, and is too curious to stop and chew... yet). It tires them out too so after out time is over, it gets nice and quiet... no fighting amongst the inmates.

I am starting to become a believer in the more time and space they have to run around, the better their moods will be, in general. It seems to have a positive effect on all of them, to have more area than just the couch and the cage.

Oh, and I absolutely love it... it is so weird to have rodents running all about. It is so... counter to our culture, to purposefully infest the house with "pests". I get a thrill from it.
 

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:lol: That's great. How long have you had them? How old are they? I have been wondering about how long it takes 'em to get so acquainted with their space that they know where their cage is no matter how far they wander from it, seeing as how their eye sight is as it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well... I want to say about 6 months for the rats in question, the most accustomed. LTNG was from a breeder and she has basically lived her entire life here with us, the rest were pet store rats, but Tubes was young too when we got her.

It did not take them long to learn what their cage was... and we knew that the day would come when they would discover the floor, we just didn't know when. We could always bring their cage over to the couch and they would walk in when out time was over... but man, once the floor was discovered it really is a whole new game. They still know their cage, so we can set it on the floor and they will go in and out, but we don't leave them there that long, it's just for their fun. Their cages reside on a table for most of the time.

I am sure they are all glad to get the increased exploration space.
 

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My boys hate to drink alone, the water bottle with sit untouched for an hour then all of a sudden both start licking the bottle like crazy, drinking while they try to push each other away. Its like its more fun with an obstacle :roll:
 

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I love when all four of them drink at the same time. :)
 

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I have a Dumbo, who also has some dwarfing (she's about 70% normal size). COMPLETELY OBSESSIVE about hoarding food. She'll find food in my backpack, or take treats, and will hoard with many, many repetitions. As an experiment, I left a bag with a large number of "rat nuggets," their standard food, and watched as she hoarded to the last nugget. It's always been hard to trick her into eating since she's so obsessed with the stashing aspect, she never gets around to eating. Meanwhile, her sister grows extremely fat, sitting back and eating from the larder.
 

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Cool article Kinsey!

I had a rat that was OCD. I mean REALLY OCD. One day she randomly decided that the paper pellets at the bottom of the cage HAD to relocate to the top. It was a four level cage and a large ferret litter pan was at the very top. She spent about 3 weeks carting 1-3 pellets up at a time. I used to watch her go back and forth, again and agin and again! She eventually got the entire thing full, and the pan was about 2 inches deep!

She was also obsessive about putting lab blocks in the litter try. I did not like this behavior all that much, but one day, her cage mate decided that the blocks should go in the food dish. What ensued was Nymphadora carting blocks to the pan, and Narsissa carting them to the dish! They would pass one another carrying blocks in there mouths and were always excited to see that new blocks were appearing for them to move! They went on like this for about 1 hour, moving the same blocks over and over and never seemed to catch on that they were not getting anywhere.

I have tons of stories about little Nymph being obsessive, but I think those two are the funniest.

LOL! I love rats :D
 

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My rats do the back and forth thing with the food pellets lol. Snitch and Rosebud will spend hours at it, while Romeo calmly takes one from the pile to chew on. He doesn't stash, just eats when he wants.
 
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