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Hi everyone! I got two girls from PetSmart on Tuesday. I had to get them from PetSmart because there are no rescues, breeders, or small business pet stores near me selling rats. :( Anyway, I named them Boba and Tofu. They are sooo adorable.

Boba seems to be a lot more skittish than Tofu. However, considering that they're from PetSmart and probably haven't had a lot of human interactions, I was surprised that they almost wanted to come out of the cage and sniff around. I've started trust training by hand feeding them Gerber puffs. Tofu eagerly accepts it and runs back in to eat it, while with Boba I have to put the puff directly in front of her and wait about 30 seconds until she takes it. I hope that with time they will warm up to me more.

I have a few questions:

1. When I was hand feeding Tofu, she's bit me twice. The first time didn't hurt at all, the second hurt a tiny bit. Is it because she mistakes my hand for food? How should I react to her if she bites me again?

2. I notice that when Boba has food, Tofu tries to take the food from her. Should I be worried or are they just playing?

3. I have been placing their poop into the litter pan, but they always poop around it and not in it. I haven't seen them even go in it. I know it's only been a few days but I'm not sure that they realize they can get into the litter pan. Once they are comfortable with me picking them up, should I literally pick them up and place them into the litter pan so they know to go in it?

Thanks!
 

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First congrats on the rats. I got my boys from petsmart and they turned from skittish like your to so sweet so it can be done. ;).

1. For the biting you can say no and bop the on the nose or you can try and squeak but I feel stupid doing that. She probably mistakes your hand for food but if she is young they do that as a test and once they realize you aren't food they will stop.

2. My two older rats do that and i just make sure that they aren't loosing weight. Also rats like to stash their food and my rat will take from that if the other is stealing.

3. I've been doing that as well and they just aren't pooping in it anyway no matter what. Kinda annoying but maybe you can switch the corner they may like one better than the one you have it in. Good luck!
 

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Place the litter pan where they poop most. Mine like the bottom of any ramp or ladder, and corners. Keep placing the poop in there, get a pee rock for scent queues (just a flat rock--they like to pee on them, who knows why) and keep at it.

As long as your rat doesn't break the skin, she's probably not aggressing, just mistaking you for food. Keep an eye on it, though.
 
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