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Barnabas, Edward, Jack, Vincent
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, about a week ago i got two new rats (Jack and Vincent), and besides them both being very underweight, Vincent is very hostile and he stands with his ears back in a corner every time i try to interact with him, hes also bitten me quite hard a few times. Of course ive been feeding them plenty of fatty foods to make them gain weight and be happier but he just wont come around to me. Ive tried to free roam him a few times and he just sits inside a cardboard box, which i let him do because i wont force him out of the place that hes most comfortable. However i really need advice on the biting issue and how to make him realise that im not going to mistreat him like his previous owner, (hes under 6 months old btw, id say around 3 and a half months). Im not sure what to do as Jack is very sociable and has never bitten, i need to do something before i introduce them both to my other two boys. Thank you, any advice is appreciated. - Arthur
 

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Barnabas, Edward, Jack, Vincent
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So, about a week ago i got two new rats (Jack and Vincent), and besides them both being very underweight, Vincent is very hostile and he stands with his ears back in a corner every time i try to interact with him, hes also bitten me quite hard a few times. Of course ive been feeding them plenty of fatty foods to make them gain weight and be happier but he just wont come around to me. Ive tried to free roam him a few times and he just sits inside a cardboard box, which i let him do because i wont force him out of the place that hes most comfortable. However i really need advice on the biting issue and how to make him realise that im not going to mistreat him like his previous owner, (hes under 6 months old btw, id say around 3 and a half months). Im not sure what to do as Jack is very sociable and has never bitten, i need to do something before i introduce them both to my other two boys. Thank you, any advice is appreciated. - Arthur
also forgot to add; he’s lost his fur on the skin on his back before his tail, which is also a worry…
 

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A week is still very early on in the process.Will he take treats from you?I got a rescue once that had been badly treated,she never allowed me to handle her and never got out of the biting habit but I still managed to train her to go in and out of the cage with food rewards,and she was the sweetest,gentlest rat rowards other rats.You could try training him to get in and out of a fleece bonding bag.?also could you manage to post a pic of Jacks back?
 

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Barnabas, Edward, Jack, Vincent
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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A week is still very early on in the process.Will he take treats from you?I got a rescue once that had been badly treated,she never allowed me to handle her and never got out of the biting habit but I still managed to train her to go in and out of the cage with food rewards,and she was the sweetest,gentlest rat rowards other rats.You could try training him to get in and out of a fleece bonding bag.?also could you manage to post a pic of Jacks back?
As u can see hes also very dirty because of a mite treatment that his previous owner used on him? I havent tried to wash him yet as i know some rats really hate baths and i dont want to bathe him unless absolutely necessary as it could stress him out even more than he already is.
 

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It looks like he or another rat is barbering or over grooming ,a nervous habit rats have.Also male rats secrete buck grease from their skin which can make it look a bit oily.
I agree,bathing him not a good idea,it won’t help with the bonding process.I only tend to bathe rats when they are old and have arthritis and can’t keep themselves clean properly,then they tend to really appreciate it and the warm water soothes their joints.
 

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Barnabas, Edward, Jack, Vincent
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It looks like he or another rat is barbering or over grooming ,a nervous habit rats have.Also male rats secrete buck grease from their skin which can make it look a bit oily.
I agree,bathing him not a good idea,it won’t help with the bonding process.I only tend to bathe rats when they are old and have arthritis and can’t keep themselves clean properly,then they tend to really appreciate it and the warm water soothes their joints.
When i stroke him or let him sniff me he puts his mouth to my skin but most of the time he doesnt bite he just keeps it there until i move it, any idea what this is? Thank you for the advice by the way!!
 

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When i stroke him or let him sniff me he puts his mouth to my skin but most of the time he doesnt bite he just keeps it there until i move it, any idea what this is? Thank you for the advice by the way!!
He's totally checking you out, very normal and a good sign. He is smelling, tasting, sensing, gaging the situation. The less you move the more confident he will feel.

For a social treat, try using a metal spoon with some wet cereal or baby food on it. He will learn to lick it off because the metal isn't fun for their teeth. I have had every one of my rescues learn to gently lick the cereal off my fingers without biting using this method: I tap the dish, call everyone for treats, and spoon feed them, pulling the spoon closer to the door and to me each time to sort of lure them out of their safe corner. I usually don't try to pet, I just sit quietly and let them enjoy
 
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