Rat Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I felt like this topic needed it's own thread.

One of our rats just had a litter of 6. We've gone through this before, but the last Momma was *much* sweeter. We adopted this girl from a friend who didnt have the time to play with her. Needless to say, she was a pretty vicious rat when we got her. We spent LOTS of time and energy gaining her trust over the last 6 months. She hadnt bitten us since the first week we had her, and she's even learned to come out of her cage willingly. HUGE progress!

Now, that's all gone out the window. When I saw the eepers in the cage, I wanted to check for milk bellies and possibly sex them. My wife warned me that rats get maternal and bitey sometimes, and she was right. Spicey (momma) bit me when I tried to pet her. Later on, she was away from the babies and she let us pick her up and take her to the play room for a bit. We made our move then. 3 boys, 3 girls ... 3 dark eyed and 3 light. All dumbo standard fur.

ANYWAYS, my point is this: she's being very difficult. I learned last time that you should handle the babies as often as possible, or at least once a day for a few minutes. But momma hardly ever gets off the babies, and she's impossible to coax off them. When she returned from her playtime and went back into the cage, she moved the babies to another location to try and hide them from us.

Will she always be like this, or will she lighten up? I feel like she doesnt trust us anymore, and I am kinda hurt. I want to socialize the babies as much as possible, but I also dont want momma spicey to hate us. What can I do to help?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Well I don't know too much, since I am in the same situation as you, only I had gotten rats from a pet store and one of them happened to be pregnant.

Anyways Pip[momma] was always skittish but a few days before she gave birth she got really bitey, and drew blood several times. Its been about a week and a half later and she's calmed down. I still use a towel to pick her up tho', since I can't trust her.

So, from the little experience I have, it seems like she should calm down once the hormones subside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
It may be easier if you have a helper. One of you take momma out to have some free range time while the other tidies up the cage and plays with the babies.

The more you socialize the babies the better pets they will be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
995 Posts
Also try to be VERY calm when near the mom. It helps.

And DON'T move your hand when she bites not an inch!! It shows you aren't scared and it usually shows you don't mean any threat.

The more fear she gets from you the more fearful she will be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
i dont know if i could stay still if my rat nipped me.i will tell you one thing if my rat nipped me she would be in for a world of hirt.i dont except thoes animels in my house.i have an 8 year old son that handles my rats i dont think thay would ever bite though...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
So Ben If your son were scared and couldn't tell you and bit you would he be in a world of hurt too? Momma rats defend their babies just like people do, they always let us know when they don't want to be bothered. It's up to us to listen to them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
997 Posts
ben123 said:
i dont know if i could stay still if my rat nipped me.i will tell you one thing if my rat nipped me she would be in for a world of hirt.i dont except thoes animels in my house.i have an 8 year old son that handles my rats i dont think thay would ever bite though...
I'd have to strongly disagree with your reasoning there.

Rats will often warn you before they bite(puffed fur, hissing possibly, stiffness), it's human ignorance that, in my belief, causes the actual bite.

In this case, the mother rat MUST be taken away for the well-being of the kittens. Bites will be inevitable here, and they are all in defense of the kittens.

You really must understand that an animal will not bite just to bite, they will ALWAYS be provoked and ALWAYS have a cause. Animals are proven not to reason like us, to lash out randomly with no provocation is a human trait.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
People who would hurt an animal just because it nipped them and had a reason for doing so shouldn't have animals at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
I second that. People that are so ignorant they only know how to react to situations with violence really make my skin crawl.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,640 Posts
As the supposedly more intelligent creatures here, why aren't more of us trying to understand our pets "language" rather than thinking they should be able to learn ours?

Rats have an amazing body language that anyone can read and understand if they pay attention. They have little nuances that mean different things. I had a biter boy here last year for 2 weeks that I had to socialize and then re-intro to his ladylove (he'd been neutered) otherwise he would be pts as unhandleable. Shrek taught me a lot about body language. He was frightened and had drawn blood on scores of people, but I stayed calm and watched his behaviours. I would "ask" if I could pick him up and he would let me know when it was okay. He'd hunker down and stay still so I could pick him up. After some teaching for me and for him he turned into the most amazing sweet rat who just wanted to love. :)

If a rat bites you, there's a reason, you just have to figure out what you did wrong. They are tiny creatures with few defenses and since we stick them in cages their first defense of running away they cannot do, so they will warn and then bite when frightened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
ben123 said:
i dont know if i could stay still if my rat nipped me.i will tell you one thing if my rat nipped me she would be in for a world of hirt.i dont except thoes animels in my house.i have an 8 year old son that handles my rats i dont think thay would ever bite though...
Uhhhh...

In for a world of hurt? I hope you don't treat your eight year old son the way you'd treat your rats.

Don't be thick, rats don't bite just to spite you, and they don't deserve violence in return. They need to know that they can trust you before they stop biting you. They bite because they are afraid, or nervous, the same way children lash out.

You sound like you can barely handle your pets, let alone children.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top