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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there,

given that winter is coming here now (Scotland), we've started putting on the heating. Now when our three about 4 month old boys are running around the living room, one of them keeps on touching the pipe of the heater which is really hot and apparently hurts himself in the process(he keeps on cleaning his nose afterwards and it looks a bit redder than usual) . He then tries to do it again soon afterwards, even despite us trying to keep him away with our hands or clicking our tongue softly(which is their sign that they're not allowed to do something and which they usually understand) . Yesterday he went back again and again and even started bruxing and walked with one of his flanks against the wall while also making himself slightly bigger with his fur (not sure what the proper word for that is). I kept trying to give him alternative things to do with rewards but he keeps on going back to doing it. Should we be worried? They have plenty of stuff to play with, get loads of time outside their cage and are fed a varied diet. They also otherwise seem like happy, well-developed rat boys, although I have only had one solitary rat before who I cared for for his last months (he had been alone all his life with someone else, but that's another story).

Thanks :)
 

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I couldn’t help but smile a bit at that one. What he’s essentially doing by fluffing up and bruxing (he’s actually probably teeth chattering, which is a bit more aggressive) is threatening the nasty pipe that hurt him. He’s treating it as something which has attacked him as he doesn’t understand that its inanimate and its his fault hes getting hurt. I had a girl do this once with a bath pearl, she loved the smell but when she bit into it it tasted so bad she leapt back, wiped her mouth then tried to attack the evil bath pearl for tasting so bad (which needless to say involved biting it again all fluffed up).

In terms of how to sort this out, it’s a tough one. In time he should learn, as long as he;s doing nothing more than making his nose sore. If its hot enough to cause an actual burn though (I would test this myself and see if it just hurts or causes damage to me) I would block off all access to them (perhaps with wire mesh around them or corregated plastic). In theory you could use pipe lagging, but I think that would be very attractive to the rats. Perhaps a more rat proof option would be to get some old hose pipe, slit it along its length and tape it around the pipes. I’m sure that will be fairly well resistant to the heat and not too easy for the rats to destroy
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That makes so much sense! And also in an odd way super adorable :D Yeah we'd thought about the mesh before, we'll do that then to save these little nosies <3 Thanks a million :)  <img style="margin: 1px;" src="http://www.ratforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=186802&stc=1" attachmentid="186802" alt="" id="vbattach_186802" class="previewthumb">
 
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