Rat Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, thanks for reading and any help you have to offer. We have four female rats, two are about five months and two are about three months old. They like playing with us and aren't afraid. The only problem is, we were bitten by pretty much all of them at one point (blood drawn) so we started using oven mitts to work with them. They're happy to climb on us and actually like being picked up, they just don't like skin. They will either bite it or avoid it. They're never aggressive about it—no raised fur, etc. They just bite. This is not my first time with rats, though it is my first time with girls. I had never really been bitten before. I always just picked them up and it was fine. Perhaps ours now were not handled by their breeder or at the store, or were even mistreated as babies. I should say we live in Japan, where keeping fancy rats is very rare and also new. The fact that there's a pet store near us with rats is kind of a miracle.

Anyway, any tips or tricks you can offer to help us get used to each other would be much appreciated. We love them and want to be even closer to them.
 

·
Registered
Rex, Penny, Sugar, Latte
Joined
·
430 Posts
The most common method is to show them a spoon with a licking treat on it, to get it they have to lick it off since they don't want to bite on the metal. You can also put a licking treat on your arm so they get used to your skin, and everytime they bite just take your hand away. Also, it's very important to watch your rats body language to make sure your not pushing them to much. For example if your rat freezes don't try to touch her, wait till she moves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The most common method is to show them a spoon with a licking treat on it, to get it they have to lick it off since they don't want to bite on the metal. You can also put a licking treat on your arm so they get used to your skin, and everytime they bite just take your hand away. Also, it's very important to watch your rats body language to make sure your not pushing them to much. For example if your rat freezes don't try to touch her, wait till she moves.
Ok thanks!
 

·
Registered
Rex, Penny, Sugar, Latte
Joined
·
430 Posts
Keep us updated on how it goes!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hi, checking back in. We're having some progress with the older rats but the younger ones are still really bitey. They see skin they want to bite. Any suggestions for how to get past this? I suppose I could just cover my whole hand in baby food. ^^
 

·
Registered
Rex, Penny, Sugar, Latte
Joined
·
430 Posts
Do they bite when trying to take food or just when they get near your hand?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
No, they'll take food from us just fine. They'll generally lick baby food from our hands too, but if they notice an area of skin that is bear they want to bite it. They're very friendly to us and obviously like us. I think they're trying to play with us and just don't know that it hurts. I'm wondering if there's a way to teach them that it hurts without actually getting bitten first. The fear of getting bitten is keeping us from moving forward with this as much as we'd like, unfortunately.
 

·
Registered
Rex, Penny, Sugar, Latte
Joined
·
430 Posts
If they're biting through skin that's worrisome and probably out of fear, but it doesn't sound like they are afraid of you or skin. If they are just nipping then they probably don't know it hurts, to tell them it hurts try squeaking loudly it's how rats tell each other that their hurt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
OK, thanks. We live in Japan and out vet said that Japanese fancy rats tend to bite more as they're a little more "wild." Keeping fancy rats is rare and relatively new here so maybe the breeds are closer to wild than in the west? I'm not really sure. They're very mouthy in general. We trained one to stop constantly biting our shoes and clothes, I guess we just need to work on skin next. Thanks for all your help.
 

·
Registered
Rex, Penny, Sugar, Latte
Joined
·
430 Posts
How did you train your rats to stop chewing your clothing? My clothing is super holy because of my ratties!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
It took a while but we presented the thing they like to chew (for us it's our slippers), they bite it, we let them know we're displeased (small push away, strong voice), and then do it again and again. Eventually, they figure out it's less of a hassle not to do it. But obviously we can't monitor every little thing so lots of stuff is full of holes too. 😁
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top