so I got two new rats yesterday, and they were fine at first, but now one of them has started to try to bite my hand whenever she gets near it. She drew blood once! What do I do! I'm scared to try to pet/hold her!
I have a feeling putting honey on my hand will encourage biting more, right? I tried wearing gloves, but then she doesn't bite at all. So what should I do if she does bite? Like, to discourage it...I've tried saying NO, but then she just jumps back and runs away, and does it again later....
I'd likely stick with gloves for right now, and would recommend you read my sticky thread on immersion at the top of this section. The first few pages should give you a decent idea what it's all about, I do realize it's gotten a bit long but most people seem to find what they need there now in order to properly socialize most kinds of rats.
Biting can be usually discouraged by shouting NO BITING! and a gentle bop (with love in your heat) but more than likely your rats need proper socialization more than being disciplined right now. Rats and kids can act out because they don't understand what's going on, are afraid or confused.... it's better to address the underlying issues than just fix the behavior.
You have to get them out of the cage. When my son was 12 and thought he was very grown up, I saw a notice that the circus was coming to town and bought passes for him, his best friend, and myself. I was very excited, but he didn't want to go to the circus. I dragged my son kicking and screaming (not literally) to the circus, where he had a good time and enjoyed himself. You know (or should) that what you want to do with/for your rats will be fun for them, so if you have to drag them kicking and screaming to do it, just do your best not to feel guilty.
Start one on one with the biter and get control of that situation first. Then spend quality time with the other or both together.
Thanks! I did finally just chase her around the cage until I got her, once I picked her up, she didn't try to bite at all. It seems that the one time she drew blood she was just scared because she was trapped in a corner. I had a bonding session and she was great! Still skittish though, but took Cheerios from my hand. Should I allow nibbling or should I scold her for that?