Rat Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the problem.

I've had rats for years, and have always had boys because of their calm, kind nature.

I just recently bought a baby female rat for the very first time. I have always known that females were the squealers, biters etc, however I thought I'd go for something different.

When I grabbed her out of the pet shop cage and held her for a few minutes, she was fine. She was placid, calm, quiet... A perfect rat.

It was not until I got home that I went to pick her up, and she bit me [drew a looooot of blood!]. Since then, it has been near-impossible to pick her up and handle her. Everytime your hand comes close, she attempts to rip off your fingers. Not playful biting, really agressive and nasty biting. She means it.

The funny thing is, ONCE you've actually picked her up and she is in your hands, she's perfect. It's just the getting her part that is the problem. It's gotten to the point where my 6ft 4'' partner isn't game enough to pick her up.

I would LOVE any help regarding this problem. She's a beautiful rat and I badly want to pay her a lot of attention, but I'm sick of having to bandage my fingers every day.

Please, please help.

Skye.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
If you got her from a pet shop, she probably hasn't had a lot of handling. Hands are very scary for such a small creature, and some react more aggressively than others.

She's also in a completely new place, and that can be very disturbing as well.

Just take it slow with her. Open the cage and let her climb around near where you are. See if she'll come to you once she learns you're not going to grab her and yank her out of her cage. Offer her treats. If she seems calm enough you could try petting her so that she knows your hands are nothing to be afraid of.

If that approach doesn't seem to be making progress I've heard some members recommend using a pair of heavy gloves to protect their hands until the rat understands you're not going to hurt them.

Does she have a cage mate? Perhaps if you got one it might calm her down. If the other rat is calmer being handled, it might let your girl know that you're okay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,641 Posts
Use gloves to pick her up, once you have her, remove the gloves so she realizes hands aren't so scary. the light will go off eventually.

Definitely some rats who are alone and frightened react very defensively...she needs a same-sex or altered sex cagemate desperately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
If she's okay once she's been picked up out of her cage etc, then maybe she's just very defensive about her home...?
I've heard many female animals can get territorial about their personal space but are perfectly fine when they are out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hm ok. She does have a playmate, my four month old boy. He's very calm and sweet and occaisionally I will put them in together. Sometimes he'll get a bit rough and we'll have to pull her out.

I give the cage option a go, and see how it progresses from there.

Thankyou kindly for all your help everyone. I appreciate it x)

Skye
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
There's a big difference between having a playmate and a cage mate. With a cage mate there is always another rat there to play with, sleep with, groom, etc. If it's very sporadic it may also be a bit confusing to her.

Either your boy or girl are fixed, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Definitely. Rats are much happier in pairs at the very least. It may have a calming effect on her as well.

As a heads-up, if you do get her a cagemate they may squabble/fight at the beginning (of course you should have a complete quarantine and intros first, instructions are all over the boards). Most people say no blood, no foul. Just be prepared.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok then. I shall look into finding a friend and read those posts, too. Thankyou so very much for your help! I canot begin to tell you how much I appreciate it.

Thanks again,
Skye.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top