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Hello everyone, today I was giving my rats yogies after separating them from their cage for a cleaning. During the feeding, my rat(Cheese) bit me while trying to grab the treat. It seems that he thinks I am trying to take it rather than offer it to him. He often hides and breaths heavily as I come near the cage, as well. When I first got him he squeaked every time he was picked up. Is there any way to stop
the aggression? How can I train him and get him to like me if he won't even let me give him treats without biting me during the process? ???
 

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How long have you had them? This seems typical for newer rats who aren't yet comfortable with their new home.

On the other hand, if you've had these rats for more than a few months, then I couldn't tell you.
 

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If they're just getting used to you as you've recently got them then this is normal behaviour for them. Maybe try a different approach when offering a treat. Announce that you're there so it doesn't startle them when you put your hand in their home and maybe have the treat in an open palm so your fingers aren't attached around the treat and making them believe it's being taken away rather than given. That's just from my personal experience and it has worked for me. Hopefully it will work for you also :).
 

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I've have the rats for 3 weeks. I'm not sure if they're comfortable but they rarely hide and they always come to the front of the cage when I walk over to it.
I'll try the open palm approach. Thanks everyone.
 

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Yeah, sounds like new-rat behavior. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for rats to truly feel comfortable about you.

Check out the immersion guide. There are some handy tips in there. The short of it is to try to spend some time with your rats in an enclosed space like a bathtub or the bathroom floor. With you being right there, the rats quickly learn that you're not such a bad guy and in fact can be pretty fun. Engage with them, but give them room to back into a corner and consider you. Have treats that you give them when they climb up on you. They'll probably take the food and scamper off into a corner to eat. That's fine, but don't give them too much food so that you reinforce that behavior. Mix it up by putting a dab of yogurt on your forearm so they can't just take the food from you.
 

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I am in the middle of socializing a group of new rats. I have found that just walking around with one of them on my shoulder has helped immensely. I feel like rats are intelligent, and each time they get taken out for a solo trip and it ends well, that registers with them and their confidence in you builds. I have made definite progress with my girls, but there was a time a few years ago when we had to re-home a lovely male hairless rat because he was SO pathologically timid that there just weren't enough hours in a day we could devote to socializing him. I think it partially depends on whether the shyness is part of their personality, or they are just adjusting to a new environment. Lots of solo time helps, though.
 

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I adopted Baloo as an adult and it took maybe 3-4 months before he became comfortable with us, and stopped abruptly snatching food and biting my fingers (unintentionally) in the process.
Try giving him a regular yoghurt from the open palm of your hand, later from fingers. And try to pet him while he eats. Rats are such foodies that eating takes over fear. And he will get used to your touch, and associate it with something nice, and will know that this is the hand which gives treats, and you should not bite it.
 
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