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Okay so here's the story. I got a rat after doing tons of research on them. I got a single female rat with the intention of introducing her to another rat, so i am a first time rat owner. I gave her a day or two to settle in before i started feeding her treats. But, on the second day of owning her, i reached my hand into her cage to fill her bowl with food because she was out and she lashed out and bit my finger without being provoked.
Within two days the bite looked infected so my mom took me to the doctor and i was put on antibiotics in case she had any bacteria she transmitted. At that point, i started to fear her because just a little bite bled for about ten minutes and wouldn't stop.
After that i gave her a day, assuming she was scared and just attacked. Now, fast forward to today. Its been a week since i got her and her cage needed desperately cleaning. So, i tried to coax her out of the cage and i sat there for ten minutes waiting for her to approach me. She started to grab my finger like it was food and i pulled away and squeaked as many suggested when your rat bites. So, i got gloves to get her out so i could possibly hold her without her biting me. She kept biting the gloves and holding it with her feet like it was a piece of food. But after squeaking and saying "eep!" she continued to chew on the glove.
I'm at a loss. She was alone when i got her so i figure its a socialization issue (i know that all too well, i have a guinea pig who refuses to be housed with anybody because she was alone all her life). My guinea pig never bit me one time even when we went through that weeks trust training period, she would only lick my fingers to see if it was food first.
Any help would be much appreciated! I love her, and i only wish she'd let me hold her or maybe even pet her!
 

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Rats and very young rats will test bite when they smell food. Was the time when you put your hand in the cage with food the only time you put your hand in the cage? If so she might have smelled the food and wanted to go after it, but didn't even notice your hand (since she wasn't introduced to it before). I'd imagine she didn't mean to draw blood.

When you wanted to clean the cage it seems like she was interested in you. Some "bites" are okay it's how they communicate, they'll grab your finger with their teeth and or paws and either try to pull you in or just test the pressure. If you stop them from doing this they might not know how to properly approach human fingers.

I recently got three little girls and they're constantly grabbing each other with their teeth when they're playing (no blood). So when they do it to me I know they are just interacting with me. It's weird at first I know, but they aren't doing it out of fear or malice.

However I do not fully know your issue. Your rat will need a buddy to socialize with and in turn will better interact with you. If she's doing it out of aggression then it might also stem from not having another rat buddy to play with.

What you could do in the meantime is read the stickied threads about Trust Training and Immersion, they're both techniques you can use to help socialize your rat with you.
 

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Rats and very young rats will test bite when they smell food. Was the time when you put your hand in the cage with food the only time you put your hand in the cage? If so she might have smelled the food and wanted to go after it, but didn't even notice your hand (since she wasn't introduced to it before). I'd imagine she didn't mean to draw blood.

When you wanted to clean the cage it seems like she was interested in you. Some "bites" are okay it's how they communicate, they'll grab your finger with their teeth and or paws and either try to pull you in or just test the pressure. If you stop them from doing this they might not know how to properly approach human fingers.

I recently got three little girls and they're constantly grabbing each other with their teeth when they're playing (no blood). So when they do it to me I know they are just interacting with me. It's weird at first I know, but they aren't doing it out of fear or malice.

However I do not fully know your issue. Your rat will need a buddy to socialize with and in turn will better interact with you. If she's doing it out of aggression then it might also stem from not having another rat buddy to play with.

What you could do in the meantime is read the stickied threads about Trust Training and Immersion, they're both techniques you can use to help socialize your rat with you.
Thank you for the quick reply!
The first time I stuck my hand in the cage was to provide her with food. And because of the initial scare of the infected looking bite I did not do it again.
Now, when I feed her I give her carrots and stuff with my fingers first before filling her bowl so maybe she'll realize that I'm not here to hurt her and I'm trying to take care of her.
When she bites my fingers it really hurts and I'm scared that she's learning that biting is okay so how can I show her it's not okay?
I'm a first time rat owner so this is all foreign.
I will, however, be getting another female for her so maybe that will fix the issue altogether
 

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Thank you for the quick reply!
The first time I stuck my hand in the cage was to provide her with food. And because of the initial scare of the infected looking bite I did not do it again.
Now, when I feed her I give her carrots and stuff with my fingers first before filling her bowl so maybe she'll realize that I'm not here to hurt her and I'm trying to take care of her.
When she bites my fingers it really hurts and I'm scared that she's learning that biting is okay so how can I show her it's not okay?
I'm a first time rat owner so this is all foreign.
I will, however, be getting another female for her so maybe that will fix the issue altogether
I totally understand your hesitation of putting your hand in the cage after she's bitten you, but maybe it was a misunderstanding. It sounds like the times you interact with her in the cage is with food or cleaning (correct me if I'm wrong I don't want to assume). If that is the case try having a time where you have just your hands in the cage and let her come to you.

When she is biting is it always breaking the skin or is it just very uncomfortable? Does she look frightened or puffed up? I just want to make sure where she's coming from.
 

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I totally understand your hesitation of putting your hand in the cage after she's bitten you, but maybe it was a misunderstanding. It sounds like the times you interact with her in the cage is with food or cleaning (correct me if I'm wrong I don't want to assume). If that is the case try having a time where you have just your hands in the cage and let her come to you.
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When she is biting is it always breaking the skin or is it just very uncomfortable? Does she look frightened or puffed up? I just want to make sure where she's coming from.
I try to interact with her by talking to her and feeding her. The past few times she bit it broke the skin. What do i do to deter her from biting if she does it when i offer my hand to her?
She looks puffed up. i think she's still a little scared of me because this morning i fed her and left the room and came back and she was eating but she stopped and huddled into a corner when i entered the room and stayed that way until i sat down on my bed.
 

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Do check out my sticky thread under behavior on immersion, you honestly should try and get her socialized before you do intros or anything else. Managing the intros will be easier when you can safely handle your new rat and it's already bonded to you.
 

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Your rat is acting like many, if not most pet store rats would. Pet store rats are often mishandled, not handled at all, or abused. They also come from rat mills where unspeakable cruelty is taking place every day...Your rat is traumatized by what other humans did to her or was never handled at all. It will take time but you can turn her around with the immersion technique. Good luck and please update us on her progress.
 

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I try to interact with her by talking to her and feeding her. The past few times she bit it broke the skin. What do i do to deter her from biting if she does it when i offer my hand to her?
She looks puffed up. i think she's still a little scared of me because this morning i fed her and left the room and came back and she was eating but she stopped and huddled into a corner when i entered the room and stayed that way until i sat down on my bed.
I would suggest again to look into the immersion thread : http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?67442-Immersion-Training-The-Guide

Or the trust training one: http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?39776-Timid-or-Aggressive-Rat-Trust-Training

Both have good advice and you can cater to what you feel the most comfortable with. She will come around.
 

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Petey, my "was supposed to be snake food" rat and I went from biting frightened rat and equally frightened bitten owner to good friends and getting better in just about 10 days using the immersion method. I really am a fan of the method.
 

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Your rat is acting like many, if not most pet store rats would. Pet store rats are often mishandled, not handled at all, or abused. They also come from rat mills where unspeakable cruelty is taking place every day...Your rat is traumatized by what other humans did to her or was never handled at all. It will take time but you can turn her around with the immersion technique. Good luck and please update us on her progress.
I understand that entirely. It was a big mistake to get her from a petstore. But, last night she allowed me to hold her without biting me so we're making progress!
 

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I understand that entirely. It was a big mistake to get her from a petstore. But, last night she allowed me to hold her without biting me so we're making progress!
Don't feel bad for getting her from a pet store if it was your only choice. There were two options for me male rats from a petstore or a lone female from a rescue. So I went with the males because the girl was in a foster home and I couldn't find another girl. Also don't pull away if you get bitten even if you want to. Your rats will usually feel bad when they relize it was you and may be hesitant to do it again.
 

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I'm happy you're making progress. If she bites you strongly eep very loudly, she should soon bite less strongly so eep less loudly...she should get it. Obviously if she draw le blood start with gloves. Have you tried the immersion method yet? Although if she makes progress on her own, you can skip it. Keep us updated of your progress.
Also as JAnimal said don't pull your hand away- it is very important or she will bite more thinking that biting take the scary hand away;)
 

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Every rat needs a good forever home and will most likely reward your love in the end with love in return... that said having someone else pre-socialize a rat for you and raise it to know and love humans is about as good as it gets for a new rat owner. Since I developed and introduced immersion we've socialized thousands of rats and some were pretty wickedly screwed up... We've had to fix a very few rats from supposedly reputable breeders and we've had a few horror shows from certain rescues that don't really work with their rats, but older pet shop and feeder bin rats often have very little human contact and have been fighting for survival all their lives and they sometimes need a fair bit of work. When you adopt from a pet shop or feeder bin, it's best to get to know the rat in the store... handle it before you take it home.

In my time teaching immersion, I worked with one single person who enjoyed socializing super screwed up rats and didn't even wear gloves and wrote me they didn't mind getting bitten by rats... that scares me just a little, but it's nice to know there's someone out there for the worst among the problem rats and by the way was remarkably successful with them. On the other hand there are plenty of nice normal rats, even in pet shops and feeder bins that need good forever homes that aren't going to send you to the emergency room, so choose wisely.

Don't be afraid to armor up when you work with your rat as long as it still bites, you measure success in how well your rat learns to understand and trust you, not how much blood you lose in the process. I recently had the pleasure to work with someone that actually wore a helmet because their new rat struck at their face.... Last they posted they were making good progress with their problem rat... still, needing a helmet is a pretty extreme way to socialize a pet.

If I may add, I'm no fan of eeping, and I'll tell you why. Originally eeping was supposed to imitate a rat being submissive. Honestly, I don't think most rats are going to get that because most rat vocalizations are way above human hearing. But really, why would you want to be submissive to a rat that's attacking you? I think it sends a horrible message, you are telling your rat if he attacks you you'll submit which would reinforce his aggression. Instead, if a rat attacks me, I shout "No Biting!" and if need be, swat or bop back (with love in my heart and certainly not hard enough to hurt the offender). My message is that I'm not a snack or a chew toy and I'm in charge...

For the most part I'm the most super permissive rat parent here... our rats literally walk all over me and live free range in the house. Our older rats learn to ask to be picked up and to point where they want to be taken so I even become a mode of transportation for them. But at some point or another, when they do something really stupid or dangerous they find out that I'm not just a teddy bear... this bear has teeth. When I raise my voice, which is rare, our rats immediately stop what they are doing and when I show them what they did wrong they usually don't do it again. Our rats understand that they shouldn't poke the bear. So they know that daddy is nice and daddy is generous and they can come to daddy and take advantage of his good nature and laid back demeanor, but never to make daddy angry.... In order for a rat or a child to become competent, it has to learn that it's actions have consequences. Be nice to daddy, and do good things and treats and good things happen in return.... cut his computer, electrical, stereo or telephone cables or dig up his orchids and things are going to get ugly fast. I don't mention biting, because our rats never bite, I'm pretty sure they know how ugly that would get without even testing me...

So, I don't eep, I use a stern voice, sometimes I even shout and very, very rarely I bop or even swat and our rats get to live free range in the house and even go outdoors like little dogs. We have a great bond and our rats live very unrestricted lives because they are responsible for their own actions. In fact, they get a lot of respect, because they have earned it. Usually it is great just being your rats human friend, but sometimes you have to be the parent too. Some people use the term alpha, but it's more like parent in my mind.

Best luck.
 
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