Rat Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I posted a long time ago because I had gotten a bad bite from my newly adopted rats. I have been taking it very slow since then. I bring them a bowl of fruits and veggies every day and give it to them by hand. Actually, only one of the rats- Panda- comes up to get it. The other rat, Puppy, is very skittish and won't come out when I'm around.
Today I wanted to move forward with Panda and try to pet her, but I'm really scared of getting bitten. I put on some thick leather gloves and put my hand in the cage after I handed her some treats. She sniffed the gloves a lot then tried to nibble them, but I don't think it was an attack, then grabbed the treat and ran away to eat it. My concern is that the gloves smell very strongly of leather and I don't know if the rat recognizes my scent beneath it. I am too scared to hold her or pet her without gloves since the last bite was so bad. Is there a way to have the gloves smell like me? They are thick leather gloves for gardening, I believe. Are there any better gloves you can recommend that are more flexible, provide more coverage, yet are still thick enough to protect from a bite? Should I begin "forced socialization?"
I would really appreciate any advice you have to offer. I have been trying to be patient with the rats, and I really would like the opportunity to bond with them even more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
try putting the glove in the cage and leave it with them for a few days
it will get covered in their scent and should help
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,409 Posts
The thing I found helped with our biter was having her out on the sofa with me. I let her run around on me and the sofa without having to handle her so much. Very soon, she wasn't biting any more and would actually come sit beside me to eat her treats etc. Now, after a couple of months, when she's been out a while and getting tired, she will cuddle in my arms for a good back/head skritching :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
maybe pick her up in a towel? gloves tend to scare them especially if they have bad memories of scary pet shop hands grabbing them. the towel will keep her secure and she shouldn't be able to bite you. don't be afraid of her. if you can don't stick your hand in the cage as that is her "safe" space. as Donna says getting her on the sofa is a great way for her to not be scared of you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
My rat Mama was a biter after she had her babies, and it took a good 2 month's to get her to stop biting down too hard. Somtimes they don't realize how hard they're nibbling and it seems like a bite. Be brave, take each one out on their own, maybe wear 2 layers of clothing, a long sleeve shirt and a hoodie, pick one up using a glove or towel and put them in between the 2 layers of clothing. If they get used to your smell their less likely to bite. Even though Mama was a biter for a while i never used gloves, i'm so used to handling animals and getting all scratched up it didn't bother me, and without the gloves she could more closely connect to me, If she went to bite, i made a loud *SQUEAK* to let her know it hurt. Try this, you will get better resuts it you do "bonding sessions" out of the cage one on one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,755 Posts
the sofa trick is wonderful. for added security feelings for her and to keep her more on you, lay down under a large blanket on the sofa and tuck the edges of it under yourself, add rat. the darkness will be a comfort to your rat and all that blanket will be fun to burrow in. if the rat wants she can even come out and explore above the blanket. but all the while she'll really be on you and smelling your scent and learning to associate you with fun and safety. if you do this method though wear sneakers. i have yet to meet a rat that doesn't want to nibble feet and they seem to nibble just a bit harder then they should. also it bloody well tickles! lol the sneakers will keep them from being able to tickle or nibble too hard and you from jerking away and scaring the rat.

if you want some good gloves anyway though, thick leather riding gloves are very flexiable. to get your scent on them more though means you have to wear them for quite a while and perhaps sleep or hold them under your armpits and let your sweat get on them for a while too. shoving them in your dirty laundry hamper would help too. basically you want to them to have your human stink all over them. anything that you can think of to make them smell more like you, give a try. maybe shove them in a pair of boots and wear them on your feet for a while. i know it sounds fololish but if you want them to smell like you then you got to put them where your smell will come off strongest.

as for forced socailization, well the blanket is one method to go about it and i think they would have had plenty of time to get used to their environment by now, so it would be about time to start with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
oh yeah, the SQUEAK, that really works. Mario my rescue used to "taste" me, never aggressively but used to bite hard. i did a high pitched squeak just like the ratties make and he still "tasted" but a lot less hard. he really does it gently now. sometimes he bites my hand just for the fun of it...just sniffs and nibbles but he is only exploring. this is a rat that wasn't picked up or spoken to for the first 8 months of life and within 24 hours he was fine. i took the lid of his cage and quickly grabbed him in the towel. he soon realised hands can mean nice things and now comes to me to be picked up. As an aside he used to squeal whenever i tried to pick him up but after a few days that stopped too. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
sorry just to add i just stuck my finger out in front of mario as he wanted to come and see me...he grabbed it to "taste" again and was uber gentle, in a split second realised i was not food and came for snuggles. try not to feel nervous or she will pick it up too and feel nervous. when i first got him i tried to hand feed him and he grabbed my finger and pulled it in to his cage. surprisingly for me i didn't freak and just let him drag my finger. when he realised that finger is not food he stopped. had i pulled my hand away he could potentially have freaked out and bitten down.

our rats do sound different, these are just some suggestions you could try with her.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top