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This started about a few days to a week ago. I have two female rats, Pepper and Alice who I thought were introduced successfully. But suddenly they started to squabble more which I thought was them just getting the pecking order together, but now, Pepper (the more dominant rat and the aggressor) is grabbing a huge chunk of Alice's skin and fur then yanking on it to the point where Alice retaliates and then a fight ensues. Pepper usually is the aggressor in which she grooms too hard/too much and Alice usually lets her know when she's had about enough but sometimes Pepper doesn't really listen.

I'm going to be taking the two of them to the vet if this doesn't stop soon. They were in heat just the other day but I feel like this isn't rat-PMS or something. It's also not "mother/nurture" behavior because of how hard she's biting (but she's not leaving a marks/drawing blood) and she's actually younger than Alice. If Alice was actually the one doing it to Pepper that's what I would have hought.

What do you guys think could be the issue?
 

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I have a boy that does the same thing to his brother. I call it "chomping". He'll get a big mouthful of fur/skin and then yank backwards. These two have their little arguments a lot but haven't had many actually angry fights. Sometimes Berki will get annoyed, and usually when Charlie is chomping him, he'll then kinda fight back, but other times he'll just ignore him and wait until Charlie gets bored and stops. Sometimes I'll separate them, just pick up one rat and move him to another part of the cage.

You could try just separating them maybe or give a distraction with a treat after separating possibly? As long as there's no blood or bite marks, it hopefully would be ok. It sounds like the sister is just a little less tolerant of being chomped than Berki.

Hopefully they work out their differences soon. Or one girl gets more tolerant and the other gets less annoying when she realizes her sister gets angry when she does that. I think it's just annoying playing, not really aggressive. At least that's how I see it for my boys.
 

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Rats have razor sharp teeth... it's a miracle of self control when they don't punch holes in one another. If your rats aren't punctured and bleeding, it's mock fighting or play fighting... it sounds like they are bored and not busy doing something otherwise destructive so they are picking on each other to pass the time...

Try and get them out more and tire them out doing something they find interesting with you... that usually helps.
 
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