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So... I have three girls, all sweethearts. The youngest and meekest, Trucker, 9 weeks old, has started occasionally chomping on me through my shirt. OUCH! Never draws blood, but each time (~half a dozen times in the last week, with increasing frequency) has hurt more than the last. She does it when she is hanging out inside my sweatshirt--just suddenly gives me a really sharp nip through my shirt, with no provocation or change in (calm, content) behavior beforehand. Rather than an "eep" I have accidentally responded with more of a growl/yelp, and quickly and forcibly put her back in her cage for a 10-minute time-out.

Are we playing some rattie game whose rules I don't understand? Is my reaction entertaining her? Is it a way of asking to go back in the cage? Is she too dumb to realize what is shirt and what is flesh? I can't figure out what is going on inside her head. Would love to hear any theories!
 

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I just don't think they realize that they are biting you. One of my rats will bite my toes if I wear socks but won't bite my bare feet.
 

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I have read in forum advice given by others (can't remember exactly where offhand) that if a rat is biting/nipping, and they get put back in their cage when it happens, they can learn to bite to get their way when they want to be put in their cage. If there is a chance your rat is biting because she wants to go back in her cage, you may want to consider not putting her back as soon as she nips.
 

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Time outs mean nothing to rats. Simply tell her no and bop her nose.

She could be hard of sight, she could be communicating something or she could be trying to be nice and is a bit rough. If you let her know what hurts and that pain isn't acceptable, it'll stop.
 

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Mine has been biting my leg through the pants but only when under a blanket! It really hurts! I finally had to just sit without a blanket, I don't think she realizes she is biting me, just the clothes. She is 7 weeks old and super playful, loves to wrestle with my fingers and race around under the blanket on my lap!
 

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I was going to mention the sock thing! I have the same problem if I'm wearing socks or gloves they chomp it, shits are also thin so maybe it has to do with that?
 
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