Rat Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Butters keeps biting my ear. Always the same ear, and seemingly without warning. Like I said in the other thread about Butters, the first two bites didn't seem aggressive, but this last one did. He lunged at it and bit through it so hard (this time higher up, the first 2 were on the bottom part of the lobe.) that I heard his teeth crunch together through my ear... I didn't want an ear piercing, thanks, Butters...
I honestly don't know what to do with him, I'm regretting getting into this whole rat owning thing... I try to be patient, but the 2 younger rats are still terrified of me, after much yogurt-finger-licking.
I don't understand why Butters bites. I put my arms into the cage to let him climb on me and he did the same thing as yesterday. He climbed up on me on his own, crawled behind my head, turned around to come back the way he came and then he bit through my ear. I don't know if I buy that he thought it was food, or that it smelled good, because he's gotten used to licking yogurt from my fingers rather than bite onto the finger to try to drag it off to some corner to eat the yogurt in peace. I really don't understand why he's biting me, and I don't even want to hold him anymore, because I just can't trust him, and now I'm scared the other 2 are going to bite, too. I seriously just want to put them and their cage up on Craigslist and just let somebody else have them.
I know it's irresponsible, but I don't want bitey rats that I just have to feed and clean up after, I want loving rats that I can cuddle with or at least hold for 2 seconds without them trying to get away or biting me.
Please help. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
Don't let him up near your ear. Squeak when he bites you. Don't pull away or let him get the idea that that's the indication that he wants to go back in his cage. You have had them long yet... give it a while longer, perhaps handle him in a towel or a pocket, instead of on the shoulder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,440 Posts
Don't handle him on your shoulder, on your lap seems better. And yes please do squek when he bites. He might need neutered.

Biters don't happen too incredibly often from what I hear. I've not had a biter yet. So I wouldn't worry about the other two. Give them forced socialisation with food. I think one will come out and be a cuddly lap rat. I'm sorry your having a hard time but you did take them in, I wouldn't give up after a week or two, it's not enough time for bonding. Keep at it, don't worry.

And if you want him on your shoulder, maybe invest in ear muffs? I know it sounds crazy but if the temptation is there he might go for it. But yeah for a few weeks, don't let him on your shoulder, just have him on your lap or arms.

Keep up at it, try different approaches and also don't let your new scardy rats intimidate you. Take them out, give them forced socialisation with treats and I know they will come around. I'm sure your biter will too with time (and perhaps a neuter). Keep at it, it's still only been a short time.

Sorry they didn't warm up right at the start. Many don't unless you get them as a baby from a republe breeder. Bastian and Odin were like that and after a few weeks of forced socialisation they came around, ESPECIALLY Bastian. You just really have to keep at that, don't give off scared vibes. I know you can do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Simple solution: If he always bites your ears don't let him be on your shoulders. Handle him in your lap until you are comfortable with each other. He may never be able to be a shoulder rider. This shouldn't be a reason for you to get rid of him.
I don't know how long you've had the other two but you had to have known it would take some effort to get cuddly rats. Talk to them, keep one in the pouch of a hoodie while you watch tv or read, or sit in the bathtub or an empty closet and let/force them to use you as a jungle gym.
I don't like that you seem so eager to give them away and I admit that I don't know everything about your situation, but you really do need to give them more time and not think of them as machines that can be given away when cuddle mode isn't functioning as soon as you think it should be
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
655 Posts
You waited a long time for your rats and read so much positive stuff about them. What a disapointment.
I thought for a while Lola and Poppy had been a bad idea, they were nervous and Poppy bite me-my feelings were hurt more than anything. I know there are tricky rats that wont come round but there are many success stories too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,755 Posts
do you have earrings in that ear? my rats love to play with mine and sometimes they miss the shiny bit and snatch my ear instead. i've been lucky that by the time they discovered the earring we had a pretty strong bond and they knew that human skin is very fragile so be gentle.

but i understand you're disappointment. its easy to be discouraged when these are your first rats and you've not yet experienced a well adjusted and well treated rat from birth. but problem biters really are rare. just because butters is starting off being a bugger doesn't mean that the other two are going to start biting you too.

with butters biting two weeks really isn't enough time. i took me nine months of work before i was able to figure out that nothing was going to work with iedani. that not because i was in denial, it was because that's how long it took for me to try everything to get her to stop without success. to start you need to establish a better a relationship with butters. i know its difficult with him biting and its hard to stop emotions that have been placed by fear of being hurt but this is what you have to do. instead of putting your arms in the cage leave you hand in there (probably a little less comfortable but your ear won't be biten). when he crawls onto your hand cup his body and lift him out of the cage and onto your lap. don't let him up on your shoulders. do all your interaction with him on your lap and food food food. if you have some time on you hands that you can be there every couple hours take his food away from the cage and feed him from your hand every couple hours for a few days. i know this sounds mean but its VERY effective for the challenge rats. once he completely assocaites you with only good things (stritches, and food) then his desire for biting should be gone. if it isn't then there is a different reason for him biting other being nervous but we can cross that bridge when we get there. following this method it should take anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks for it to effective. so try that first with butters before giving up. i know its a pain to have to go through all this when all you wanted was a nice sweet little buddy but at the end you'll be closer then if you had gotten him as a friendly boy right from the start. if after 2 weeks this hasn't helped update us and we can move onto another method.

with your other two just start normal forced socailization. if there are any problems, let us know and we'll try to help you as best we can. but really it is too soon yet to give up. there is still a lot of hope for them to come around.

good luck and keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,409 Posts
The first two times I let our eldest girl on my shoulder she bit my ear. The first time, it was just a nibble. I thought it was just a test bite to see if it was food and thought nothing more of it. The second time she almost pierced through!

After that, I didn't let her on my shoulder again for a long long time. In fact, it is only since I have been working with her these last few weeks that I now let her on my shoulder again, and I always cover my ears so she gets the back of my hand to bite, rather than my ear. She never bites my hand.

She has always been a test biter, but it's only since the misunderstanding we had a couple of months back where she bite my hand quite badly (it was my fault) that she's been confident in her "test" bites and has been biting harder.

I think the best you can do is try to discourage it with your actions. Like someone else says, if he bites you, try not to move (the big mistake I made when I got bitten badly) and don't put him straight back into the cage after he has bitten you.

I tend to cover my hands with my sleeves when I handle my nipper, and she doesn't seem to bite me then. She is still a nipper, because the first thing she'll do with something new is bite it to test it, but she doesn't seem interested in biting my sleeves (or me any more *touch wood*).

I seem to remember reading about your troubles with Butters before, so I'm sure you have tried quite a bit with him already. I can certainly understand you not wanting to have rats that you feed and clean and that's it - we thought that was what we would have with our eldest after our incident.

The best remedy we found was to give her more rope... we took the chance with her and let her out on the couch with the other rat and let her check stuff out - even though, at that stage, we couldn't even confidently pick her up without the fear of her biting or wriggling loose. Her behaviour and social skills have improved so much since we took that chance and she now comes out daily to have a play. She also seemed to feed off of our (albeit feigned, at the time!) confidence.

I wish you all the luck in the world with Butters, I really hope you can turn him around and have a happy healthy relationship with him.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top