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Last night Brad and I had all the girls out free ranging in the room while we were watching t.v.

The boys had been out first, and I'm sure they did plenty of scent marking, since it's their favorite activity in the world...(this is for the sake of some background...)

Anyways, Dusty, whom we got as a young rat (maybe 8-9 weeks old), jumped onto the bed with her ears vibrating, acting skittish and clearly in heat. Brad moved his hand, and she ATTACKED it! I then jumped back, because none of our rats have ever bitten like this, not even mean old Matoska (whom we got spayed to curb aggression...which worked wonders, by the way). When she saw me move, she bit my arm, then my hand, and then finally my foot. It all happened so fast!

This is totally bizarre behavior for her, and we were totally shaken up by it. She has been handled since birth by her previous owner, and has always been so sweet to us. Is this a case of hormones? Any ideas? We're baffled...we actually had to use a towel to catch her and put her back in the cage before free range time was over, because she kept actively trying to bite us. Right before this, she had gotten into a fight with Matoska on the floor.

We almost always get the boys out after the girls; since we did it in the opposite order this time, could the smell of the fellas have sent her into a hormonal rage? :wink:

Thanks for any help you can give!
 

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Wow, that's...scary. I haven't had rats enough to be able to answer your question...I just wanted to say that it freaks me out how many people on here have insane, bitey rats like that. I've seriously never been bitten by a rat, and I always thought they were notorious NON-biters. I hear WAY less about biting on the hamster forum I frequent.

I want to get more rats in the future...I'll probably just stick with unspayed females..but yeesh, this is really scaring me away from getting more!
 

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Most rats do not bite. However, since rats are rather strong and many people are already frightened of them, having a biting rat can be a real issue. Of my boys only one will bite and he's mostly learned not to, since he's come to trust me. However, the issue can crop up when new people try to pet him or grab him.

I don't think it was a hormonal rage, else you'd see it every few days that she'd go somewhat crazy. And depending how close the boys are to the girls I'm sure she can smell them already. I'm not sure why she attacked the way she did, actually.
 

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Almi, I have had rats for 12 years or so, and this is the first time a rat has done this. However, of the 5 gerbils and 2 hamsters I have had (and will never have again), all but 1 gerbil bit, several times, some more. It really is uncommon in rats. And a lot of times when people refer to "bitey" rats, they just mean a rat who nibbles from curiosity and they're trying to break the habit. Which is usually easy to do.

Yeah, Forensic, this is totally bizarre. However, each time she's in heat, it's gotten more and more noticeable, with what I would call really "frisky" behavior. Guess I should have included this info... :oops: But really, nothing like this so far. And yesterday she was fine, back to her sweet self. Weird...I s'pose I'll call my small animal vet and see what she thinks.
 

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I see. I just found it odd because I only have one hamster out of 18 that bites (none of the gerbils or mice bite), and one rat out of four that will bite my girlfriend (enough to for it to hurt but not draw blood). Like I said, I thought that virtually no rat bit! I had no idea they got territorial like that; I thought it was just a dwarf hamster/gerbil thing. =P But yeah, I'm really feeling like a rat noob now. ^_^;;
 

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LoL, nah, you shouldn't feel that way. And anyways, once you think you know about a certain type of animal, you come across one that totally throws you off, like our schizophrenic rat Dusty. :wink:
 

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Perhaps something spooked her? I once had the most placid boy go absolutely crazy because that day we had got a new vacuum cleaner and left it in the room when he free-ranged. We got him out - he was acting quite afraid. Went to put my hand out and he flipped and bit everything in sight.

We only figured out it was the hoover when I went to put him away again, we walked right past it and he jumped out of my arms and went to hide
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Awww, lol, that's funny about the vaccuum cleaner. Actually, that sort of would make sense. She had just picked a fight with Matoska, then jumped directly onto the bed. However, she has been picking a lot of fights with the rats lately, it seems. She's becoming sort of a bully.
 
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