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I just adopted a male rat from a local pet store. I have two girlies already who are really young, but I felt sorry for this little (well big) guy that was on his own, so I adopted him and bought a new cage for him to be in ( I dont want any ratty babies :p). When I got him from the store he was very friendly to the staff (they handled him every day) but now he is at home here and in his cage after I let him settle he seems to want to try and bit me whenever I put my hand in. At first it was just a little soft grab with his teeth, which I just thought of as kind of an exploratory bite to see if it was food or not, but just now I had my hand in there petting him and he went for a little nibble and I let him, and then 2 seconds after then he went for me! He bit me really badly on the knuckle and I have a deep wound there now - wont stop bleeding :(.

Anyway, is this just down to being in a new cage and different smells around which means that he is scared and protective? Becuase he was fine at the store and was being cuddled by the staff before I took him. Anyway, any ideas/answers would help, since I dont want another deep bite on my knuckle hehe.

P.S. I bought him today and had left him for a few hours to get used to his cage, so I wouldnt have thought that he would have got defensive over his cage already... Plus he is 1 year old and an adoptee, so I dont really know his history - for all I know he could have been badly handled with his last owners...
 

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for all I know he could have been badly handled with his last owners...
That could be possible

Well this might help you, when he bites you make a little scream or a little eeeeeeeeee sound, that will help to show him that its hurting you, :D Hope this helps

PS: Get him another friend to be with :D
 

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One tip: Offer the back of your hand, its harder to bite.

He might be scared of you, I know my rats can tell the difference between me and my boyfriend or guests. Talk to him, sit by his cage while your watching TV, feed him treats (use a spoon if he goes after your fingers), let him run around on you.

If he remains aggressive you might want to look into a neuter. If you already have girls a neuter would be a good idea anyway, after he recovered you could try to introduce him to the girlies :) they might teach him some manners
 

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Some males when brought into a new home with existing rat smells will automatically become defensive.
Biting is NOT a normal behaviour and is not something they learn to do if they were mishandled in the past.
I highly recommend you have him neutered.
 

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The "rat smell" thing makes sense, but I disagree that you HAVE to neuter a rat to tame him. ****... you going to castrate a man if he gets angry? No, you will try to work with the man to manage his anger first. You should work with the rat first before you go giving him surgery.

Biting IS something they can learn when mistreated... they are very smart, and if they learn that biting keeps them from getting hurt by people then that is what they are going to try to do. You can show them over time that humans aren't evil, or at least some of them are not. Try using a paint brush to pet the rat, and also use gloves to get him out and to put food in, and otherwise treat the rat with care. I mean ****, you just got the rat. Rats take weeks, sometimes months, to get used to their new digs, give him before running out and cutting off his man parts, if you know what I mean.
 

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I took in a 2 year old male who very quickly went into a hormonal excess from the smell of girls for the first time, he became insanely aggressive and I was bitten very very badly. It happens. I had him and a younger male neutered. This rat was stalking me and would launch himself at me while out on the couch.

This is a possibility so keep it in mind. Plus she now has an intact male and 2 intact females...possible trouble there. ;)

Another thing is that a lot of rats in uncertain situations like a petstore often seem fine because they are unsure and stay quiet. But it can take a couple of weeks before you truly see the personality of the rat you have adopted. I take in rescues and see this alll the time. I would watch his body language and see if his nibbles are suggestions to you that you are scaring him and to stop and move away. If you respect a rat's wishes and let him tell you when you can go a bit farther it can work out very well indeed. Reading the body language is the hard part. I hate using gloves with biters as they sense your distrust and the gloves can frighten them more. Start with yummy food on a spoon so he doesn't always think hands in his cage means he is dragged out and held. Try him on a couch or chair where he can get away from you, or approach you in his own time. And if he gets panicky when you look at him, thats a predatory thing they see, so "ignore" him until he's more confident. Of course watch where he is in relation to your hands. I am working on a hand-shy rescue now, and he will climb all over me happily but still reverts sometimes to panic when held. Its only been a week though. :)
 

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I TOO HAVE A BITER. WE ADOPTED HER AND HER SISTER FROM A SHELTER THEY WERE ONLY 4 MTHS OLD. wE HAVE HAD THEM FOR A MONTH AND THERE HAS BEEN A HUGE IMPROVEMENT. I ALSO GOT ADVICE FROM THIS WEBSITE THAT WAS EXTREMELY HELPFUL. THESE GIRLS WERE NOT HANDLED NICELY BY A LITTLE BOY. THEY USED TO FLINCH WHEN MY FIANCEE AND I WOULD GO TO PET THEM. THE ONE JUST WAS BITING WITHOUT WARNING AND REALLY GOT MY FIANCEE ONE DAY, HE ALMOST HAD TO SHAKE HER OFF OF HIS HAND. IT WAS A BAD BITE. WE HAVENT USED GLOVES, BUT LAST WEEKEND I JUST SAT NEXT TO HER CAGE AND TALKED TO HER QUIETLY. I TOLD HER I LOVED HER, THAT SHE WAS SAFE AND THAT NOONE WOULD HURT HER AGAIN. SHE SAT AND LOOKED DIRECTLY INTO MY EYES AND LISTENED. AFTER I WAS DONE SHE GREETED ME 3 TIMES AND LAYED DOWN IN FRONT OF ME AND CLOSED HER EYES! SHE NEBER WENT TO SLEEP WHEN WE WERE NEAR THE CAGE! ONE WEEKEND OF CONSTANT TALKING TO HER AND LETTING HER COME TO ME DURING FREE ROAM MADE THE WORLD OD DIFFERENCE. SHE IS NOW LETTING US PET HER, CRAWLING ON US AND HASN'T BITE SINCE! IT TAKE TIME AND PATIENCE. WE HAVE 2 OTHER RATS AS WELL. I THOUGHT MY RAT WAS AGGRESSIVE I WAS TOLD SHE WAS ACTUALLY DEFENSIVE AND SCARED. ONCE I UNDERSTOOD HER IT WAS EASIER TO HELP HER. THIS RATTIE WAS ALSO EASILY HANDLED AT THE SHELTER AND NOT AT ALL A BITER. ONCE WE GOT HOME THAT CHANGED. YOUR BOY WILL COME AROUND. JUST REMEMBER TO GO AT HIS PACE, BABYSTEPS.
 

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yashu said:
****... you going to castrate a man if he gets angry? /quote]

But as you said in previous posts, Yashu....humans and rats are not one in the same. Or something along those lines.

Besides, we're talking about the rats goolies, not yours :)
Im pretty sure that yours are safe (unless you have REALLY hacked your wife off lately, and if you have, well, then all bets are off, buddy.


:wink: :p
 

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KAYLASMOM said:
I TOO HAVE A BITER. WE ADOPTED HER AND HER SISTER FROM A SHELTER THEY WERE ONLY 4 MTHS OLD. wE HAVE HAD THEM FOR A MONTH AND THERE HAS BEEN A HUGE IMPROVEMENT. I ALSO GOT ADVICE FROM THIS WEBSITE THAT WAS EXTREMELY HELPFUL. THESE GIRLS WERE NOT HANDLED....
Please take off your caps lock
 

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Haha, yeah my goulies are safe and sound, but I still don't think it is the right thing to make the first advice to someone with a rat that bites "spay or neuter". There are so so so many things to try before you go to this length. Not to mention, there is a cost, a vet $$$ cost, and that DOES have an effect on the human.

Sometimes there are rats that take longer to adjust to their new environment. It takes weeks, if not months. I would only look at this procedure as a last resort after exhausting every other option, including proper adjustment time.
 

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there are other reasons to consider a neuter but for mere temperament adjustment i agree with yashu. after all the reason for biting may have NOTHING to do with the hormones. you have the rat altered, but because it wasn't hormonal it'll still bite. then you have to figure out the reason why anyway and you've just dished out a heck of a lot of money.

not to say the animal is not worth it but when you have limited money you have to make cost-effective decisions too. cause you know it always happens that right after that operation that busted your bank account someone else gets sick and needs medicine or an emergency operation or something crazy like that. at least, this is what always happens to me....
 

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ive got a biter too (hyper), word of advice, if you slash your finger open and you have a baindaid on it, dont stick the finger with the bandaid in the cage, or your finger will be bleeding even more : (.................
 

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yashu said:
Haha, yeah my goulies are safe and sound, but I still don't think it is the right thing to make the first advice to someone with a rat that bites "spay or neuter". There are so so so many things to try before you go to this length. Not to mention, there is a cost, a vet $$$ cost, and that DOES have an effect on the human.

Sometimes there are rats that take longer to adjust to their new environment. It takes weeks, if not months. I would only look at this procedure as a last resort after exhausting every other option, including proper adjustment time.

:p I was just messing wiht you - we hadnt traded 'friendly zings' in a while and I didnt want you to forget me :twisted:
 

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Well you still owe me that PM! For that, your goulies would be in danger, but you have none! So, I am stuck having to type this out ;)
 

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The girls I adopted were not defensive at all at the shelter, but once they got home to their own cage the one became extremely bitey. Once I understood that she was being protective of her sister and cage and not aggressive I was able to help her. I sat next to her cage all weekend and talked quietly to her. She actually came and sat in front of me and looked directly into my eyes and listened. Then she greeted me twice and streched out and closed her eyes! She never goes to sleep with anyone near the cage. I have gone at her pace, just babysteps letting her come to me instead of trying to pet her. She climbed on my leg and has stopped biting. Her back wasnt archd last time she came out. The only time she really gets territorial is when she comes out and smells where the other girls cage is. It takes time but so worth it when they come around. My girls were handled roughly by a little boy and they associate hands with hurt. I have tried to let them know that hands are good by rewarding her with treats when she makes progress.
 

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I have noticed that rats take liquid treats more than solid, when trying to tame a new rat. A finger dipped in a sweet liquid, will be licked clean, while yogert drops and every other solid treat one can think of are ignored.
 

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rat_ratscal said:
ive got a biter too (hyper), word of advice, if you slash your finger open and you have a baindaid on it, dont stick the finger with the bandaid in the cage, or your finger will be bleeding even more : (.................
oh, it doesn't matter what type of rat you have for that. i have yet to meet a rat that will leave a bandaid alone. some are more gentle about it and others i think, think it is hurting mommy/daddy and must kill it. and which they choose to do seems random. i've had licky, kissy gentke opt for the kill one time and the nibble the other and the same is true for my more dominant or agressive rats. i've learned that rats just don't like bandaids....
 

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yashu said:
I have noticed that rats take liquid treats more than solid, when trying to tame a new rat. A finger dipped in a sweet liquid, will be licked clean, while yogert drops and every other solid treat one can think of are ignored.
That worked with my first boys so I tried it with John and Justin and I got bit... hard. Just throwing that out there, not all rats will bite but some do
 

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Well... I was only suggesting it for a rat that doesn't take treats outside the cage, not as a biting remedy. I am sorry you got bit though, I have been (BTW, the best way to stop bleeding of a deep puncture wound is to put superglue over the area after cleaning), and the rat turned out to be our biggest boggler/bruxer, so *shrug*, every rat is different, I suppose.

Sometimes it just takes time for a rat to calm down... there could be any number of chaotic things going on to KEEP a rat defensive like that... usually, a stable environment tames the rat, usually...
 
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