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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got 3 female rats from a breeder, they're just over 7 weeks old. I got rats because Google kept saying they were friendly/clever/curious/the perfect pets, but:

One of them bites me. The breeder handled them every day, and they've been treated well, and I was told none of them ever bit.

But when we got one home she got my mum's finger quite hard through the cage wire, then my sister, and she just bit me just now. We weren't invading their space or being aggressive, we were just putting our hand close to the cage to unhook the door. She also squeaks if you try to pick her up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, they all do that sort of mouthing-at-my-finger thing as if feeling what I am, and are very gentle when they do. It's just one that bites, and it is definitely quite hard/in an aggressive way rather than curious. I'll try to get back in touch with the breeder. Thanks for replying :)
 

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I'm in the same situation right now. Phyllis started off 'biting' my fingers, my knuckles, even my arm lol. First time she did bite me hard, but now it's just investigating. I either make a noise or blow a puff of air at her when she does, and in one day she has nearly stopped this habit. I give her the cereal on a metal spoon, and keep my hands in the cage, so she is learning my hands are not food. Keep trying, they learn really fast!!
 
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I've had this with one of my my male rats. He has stopped biting since. Here are some tips from my experience. 1) I wouldn't do anything through the cage. Don't feed the rats through the cage or put your fingers up against the cage. It often startles them and is "neither hot or cold" so they can't really tell your intentions or whether you're a friend or foe which might be the underlying issue. 2) Be assertive - not in the bullying way, but just decisive so you your intentions are clear, if you're overly cautious and timid, your intentions aren't clear and they can't tell if you want to cuddle them or hurt them. 3) When my male was a little "bity" I started to approach him with an open hand (usually back of hand) or my finger bent at the joint (better) which is too big for their jaws. I would then open my finger out slowly and that solved the problem. It could be that they are not settled in yet - that will change. Keep handling them, be bold and decisive so they know you are a friend that wants to pet them. They will warm to you (it takes time and patience). You might occasionally put some natural sugar-free yoghurt (no additives, etc) on you finger for her to lick so they get used to you hand as a pleasant experience. I wouldn't do this for too long, but it does help them build a nice connection. I'm not sure if it's good to do this for too long, but it might help in the short run. Also... girls are particularly energetic and playful (toys for girls, hammocks for boys). It's also important to switch the cage around every week or so as they have super-active minds and curiosity and new environments feed their brains and make them less "cage-bored" and hyper which helps... Congratulations on your new babies and understanding they need to be together. You might well be a little nervous handling them which they possibly pick up on, that will pass with some time and you will fall madly in love with them before long!
 

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Big tip, never feed you rats through the cage!!! This make them think food comes through the wires not fingers. That's normally the most common problem reason why they do it tbh. They are only young so they can be trained with time and patience
 

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my tip is to just leave her alone for now. Leave your hand in the cage and don’t really move around let her come to you. If she does bite hard make a high pitched sound. If it’s just small nipping that’s normal behavior think of it as she is just checking you out or something. If you feed through the cage by sticking your fingers through the bar she honestly might just be confusing you with food and too heavily relating you with it. If you think that’s the case lay off doing that for a bit. If you don’t maybe put some baby food on your hand and let her take it off you that’s pretty good for trust training with you. Remember that her completely trusting you might take some time all rats are different.
 
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