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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a little bit ago i got a new little ratty for my birthday. Hes been living with my four older boys for about six days. Im not exactly sure how old he is i want to say between 5 to 10 weeks. My older boys are... 2 are a year and 7 months another is about 9 months and the last about 6 months.

The first few days went really well the older boys where cleaning him and i would catch them all sleeping together i even watched one of the oldest teach the baby how to get down from a high place... however I've noticed the older boys are all getting little nips on their tails and i caught the baby doing it.

He was picking up their tails and pulling on them like he was trying to drag them. He seems to have gotten a few good bites too... should i be worried? There has been a bit of blood but im just not sure if hes just playing or if its a bad behavior. ..

Any advice would be very appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Now I've noticed hes started picking up his own tail and dragging that too?
 

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Well my guess is he is just being young and curious. But I would separate them at least for now. IMO he is a bit young to be with the older rats just yet. Perhaps when he is older u can reintroduce
 

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I also think having your baby away from the older rats for a couple of weeks wouldn't hurt. You could allow them to be all together in the cage when you're in the same room to supervise. Having them together for a few hours every day could be really good. You'll just have to see if the behavior continues. Might even be a good opportunity to do some training by diverting the perpetrator's attention whenever any undesirable behavior occurs. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay thank you for your suggestions ill see if i can put him back in his old cage for a bit longer
 

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If someone is really getting hurt I'd separate them... but if you do, you risk doing intros again which could also become a problem... I'd try and engage everyone in group activities as much as possible, keep your pack occupied with fun projects like scavenger hunts so they don't get bored and pick on each other. Also try and be the group leader and encourage playful interaction to support social bonding from the top down. As the leader of your group your rats look to you to set the standard and maintain order... when you see aggressive behavior intervene and make sure everyone knows that they need to play nice...

Best luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In the end i kind of did what rat daddy suggested.
My two oldest boys are such stange boy rats. They love younger rats and almost take them in like mothers do so they weren't a problem. Actually the two others weren't really the problem either they just wanted to play with him and were doing everything safely.

There was never really any fighting it was just the new baby tugging on the older boys tails for whatever reason he had...

I took the baby out for bonding time and everytime i would the others would look for him like he was missing, when i put him back he would be welcomed back with happy kisses and love just like they do whenever one is away for a while. So i decided to try and leave him with them just so i wasnt breaking up their group.. (they recently lost a brother so i was a bit afraid of taking anyone away)
Whenever i saw the baby going for tails i would boop him on the nose and say no and as far as i can tell hes stopped.

I do think he was trying to play with his new brothers and just didn't know how to yet so with a little bit of me redirecting his energy on bonding and teaching him how to play with me and his brothers everything seems fine now!
 

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Sometimes it's easy to forget that we have rats because they are smart learning animals... What good is all of that superior intellect if we are remiss at teaching our rats? We can get so hung up on what normal rat behavior is that we forget that normal for rats is to learn to live in peaceful social groups and they learn that from their parents and alphas... and in our mixed human/rat households that job falls to us....

Just a little loving guidance can go a long way...

Good to hear things are working out.
 

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This is a little bit late, sorry, but I read a while ago that tail pulling is a way rats ask each other to play. I've copied the behavior with my girls (Very gently and at the base!) and they respond with bruxing and playful behavior. He's probably just getting overexcited with it and biting too hard.
 
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