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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got 3 boys, 2 of who will happily climb up onto me, come over during out of cage time, and have never once tried to bite me. The other rat seems to gradually be becoming more aggressive, both with me (and others in my house) and the other 2 rats. He's very protective over food and will constantly hoard it all, pinch it off the other 2, and then fight with them if they try to take any from his stash. Ive not seen any blood on the other 2 but I can faintly see scabs through their fur and they seem to be quite afraid of him. He'll fight with the other 2, which I'm fairly certain isn't play fighting as he'll hunch over and walk towards them sideways, chase them round the cage, and generally just bully them. He'll still cuddle together with them but if noticed a lot of dominance grooming from him and the other 2 squeak loudly when he does this.

When it comes to people he's also biting. I've been bitten a couple time where it's drawn blood, and a few where he's tried to bite me but missed and just grazed my arm. I know he's also bitten other people in the house when they've taken care of the rats when I've been out of the house. I'm not sure what else to try with him as I can't seem to get near him without him lunging. I've tried hand feeding him treats so he realises I'm not a threat, sitting near the cage and talking to him, putting my fingers near the bars and praising him if he doesn't lunge, but it's like as soon as he knows he can reach me he goes for me anyway as a few times he's suddenly lunged at me and tried to bite.

I'm just not sure what to do and it's stressing me out quite a lot as it makes me nervous when I go to try and handle the other 2, as it seems the moment I open the cage (and don't have a treat) he lunges and attacks. This is always without warning too as I've not noticed any aggressive signs before he lunges at me, He'll just be stood there and attack.

I've never owned rats before this and I really don't know what to do with him. 馃檨 Like I said I feel nervous opening the cage to interact with the 2 who aren't aggressive as the aggressive one will always come up and lunge. It makes cleaning them out difficult as I'm scared to pick him up to get him out of the cage since he attacks so I have to use a carrier and try and coax him in there. I'd appreciate any advice as the whole thing is stressing me out quite a bit, and I feel I'm not handling the other 2 as much as I'd like out of fear of the aggressive one attacking. 馃檨
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Edit: I forgot to add too that the other 2 rats show signs of being stressed when the other male is around, but when he's not around they're fine and seem quite content. For example when they're out of the cage I'll sometimes take the 2 of them out first and give them some food (since the aggressive one pinches most of it), and they'll happily eat together and play with each other, but the moment the aggressive one gets added they always look on edge and they either run away or freeze when he gets near them. The aggressive one will also chase/fight with them during out of cage time so I don't think it's entirely him being protective of his cage.
 

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I have had several cage aggressive boys in the past. Neutering them and re-introducing them has helped tremendously. Once the hormones calm down and are no longer there, they have calmed down considerably. I'd try that or I'd seriously think about re-homing. I am not an advocate of euthanasia because of aggression.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi there, thanks for your reply.
I've just booked him in to be neutered so fingers crossed that works for him! Re-homing him would definitely be a last resort as I'd rather try and keep the 3 of them together (plus I remember when I first handled him he snuggled right into my arm and I'd like to try and work with him to make hin friendlier towards me and perhaps get back to that!) and euthanasia definitely not an option or consideration.

Should I be separating him from the other 2 after he's been neutered or should he be okay going back in with them (with me keeping a close eye on him?). I don't actually have another cage I could put him in at the moment but I'm sure I could get my hands on one if needed.
 

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Yes, he will need to be separated for 2-4 weeks for healing. If he were to be put in with the others they might worry his stitches. You may need to re-intro them as well. You Tube is a great resource for information. I like Shadow the Rat and Emiology for informational videos. Just a note: I personally would never resort to rehoming or euthanizing as options for aggressive rats. That is just my thing. Rehoming before euthanasia always.
 
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