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A few months ago we got two new baby rats. When we got them, they were both a little shy - which we knew was completely normal - and one of them would nip at our hands a little when we reached into the cage. We figured she'd grow out of the habit once she got used to being handled, but she didn't. I'm out of state right now (have been for a couple of months) but my mom has kept me posted on the rats, and Aki is still nipping. She won't go after her cage mate Seika, only us. Just today, my mom was giving them fresh water and when she was attaching the water bottle back to the cage, Aki bit her, and this time she drew blood. Not much, but she still did. Afterwards, Aki was running around the cage, acting really out of character - normally she's very calm and stays in her igloo, but she was all over the place. When my mom went to put Seika back in the cage after holding her for a few minutes, Seika didn't want to go back in - Seika's friendly, but because of the cats, she prefers her cage to being out.
At first, when I heard that Aki had bitten my mom, I figured Aki might be pregnant - we let her and Seika out with our two males from time to time, and one will try to jump them every chance he gets - since we'd had a territorial pregnant rat who bit ME a few years ago, but when I heard about the running around the cage stuff, I wasn't so sure...
I'm worried something might be wrong with Aki. Am I just being paranoid?
 

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you really shouldn't let unaltered females play with unaltered males. it only takes a second, literally a blink of the eye, for them to get pregnant and the number of babies they can have is anywhere from 1-18, commonly the number being closer to 12 and there have been cases of rats having 20 or more babies as well. that's a lot of babies to find homes for and extra cages to get. not to mention all the problems that can arise in pregnancy or delivery.

as for the nipping nad werid behavior. it COULD be she's pregnant if she's been out with the males. it could also be her in heat. or it could be her going a bit stir crazy. i've noticed that if a rat doesn't get out enough or doesn't get enough attention they can get a bit cranky and nippy. even drawing blood. and it seems like the ammount really depends on the rats. i have one rat that needs to get out and cuddled EVERY day or she'll crakny where as if i'm sick or away the others can deal with one day or two where they don't come out of the cage without effect. Iedani also needs more attention when out then the others otherwise she'll be cranky. watch her weight to see if she's pregnant and prepare just in case and take her out more often with longer periods of cuddles to see if that helps. if its her in heat she'll be back to normal in a few hours but every 4-5 days she'll have her period of craziness when she's in heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
twitch said:
you really shouldn't let unaltered females play with unaltered males. it only takes a second, literally a blink of the eye, for them to get pregnant and the number of babies they can have is anywhere from 1-18, commonly the number being closer to 12 and there have been cases of rats having 20 or more babies as well. that's a lot of babies to find homes for and extra cages to get. not to mention all the problems that can arise in pregnancy or delivery.

as for the nipping nad werid behavior. it COULD be she's pregnant if she's been out with the males. it could also be her in heat. or it could be her going a bit stir crazy. i've noticed that if a rat doesn't get out enough or doesn't get enough attention they can get a bit cranky and nippy. even drawing blood. and it seems like the ammount really depends on the rats. i have one rat that needs to get out and cuddled EVERY day or she'll crakny where as if i'm sick or away the others can deal with one day or two where they don't come out of the cage without effect. Iedani also needs more attention when out then the others otherwise she'll be cranky. watch her weight to see if she's pregnant and prepare just in case and take her out more often with longer periods of cuddles to see if that helps. if its her in heat she'll be back to normal in a few hours but every 4-5 days she'll have her period of craziness when she's in heat.
I know it's not the best idea, but we need to let the two girls out with some of the other rats, and letting them out with the two older females is out of the question - the older ones will try to kill them. We've had babies before (plenty of times ^^;) so we know how hard it is to find homes and such, but we're prepared if it happens.

I'll suggest to my mom letting her out more. Aki doesn't like to come out, so we never forced it, but maybe the forced socialization would be good for her. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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I wouldn't try to force her if I were you. It will more than likely make her worse.

I had a rat about six years back and believe it or not her name was Seika to!! (I spelled it Seka though.) And she was one of the sweet'ist rats I had but she would bite and draw blood with everyone except me. eventually she stopped but it took her almost two years. And I had one that was imposible to even get near the cage not even I could go near her.

But to get back. I would not suggest forcing her you might unenvertantly make a mean rat.
 

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it is of course possbile to make any animal mean if you force them to do something they do not want to do. but there are techniques that can be implimented that can reduce that risk to next to zero. if you use proper socialization techniques then making her MORE agressive shouldn't happen. having said that there ARE different techniques. they range from forcing her to stay in your hands for a minium of twenty mintues to forcing them to stay near and in contact with at least one part of your body for a minium of 20 mintues. and there's different methods that can used with each technique. for keeping them near you there's tucking a blanket around yourself and letting the rat crawl in the darker and warmer space between you and the blanket. then there's the hoodie method where you let the rat into the pocket of the hood and pet her through the fabric or directly. theren there's teh chair method where if you are lucky enough to have a good chair where the rats can't jump off of and enough room for you to curl up in you basically share the chair with the rat. i've tried them all and have even mixed a few together with wonderful results though i always found that letting the rat have room to move around instead of being confined to the hands was always easier on me and i think the rat. i think the rat felt it had more control and not as cornered with the roaming abilty. my favorite method in winter is the balnket as we all stay nice and warm but in the summer i prefer a rat bag instead of the hoodie and the chair. the key in all techniques is for the rat to assoicate you with good things so bribery with whatever goodie you happen to be eating is always good. and having a place where they can "hide" (even if you just cup your hands) seems to help. but above all else be PATIENT. it can take anywhere from one session to weeks, i've even heard of a case where it took months. it all depends on the rat, its history and its current issue. for your rats i wouldn't think it would take long at all as they already know that humans mean good things, its seems that they just need that reinforced a bit.
 

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Kubo_Kita said:
I know it's not the best idea, but we need to let the two girls out with some of the other rats, and letting them out with the two older females is out of the question - the older ones will try to kill them.
Can I ask why they need to be let out with other rats? Two rats can be perfectly happy together as long as they get enough human contact. It seems very irresponsible on your part to risk getting them pregnant. Do you know their genetic history? Are they petstore rats?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
reachthestars said:
Kubo_Kita said:
I know it's not the best idea, but we need to let the two girls out with some of the other rats, and letting them out with the two older females is out of the question - the older ones will try to kill them.
Can I ask why they need to be let out with other rats? Two rats can be perfectly happy together as long as they get enough human contact. It seems very irresponsible on your part to risk getting them pregnant. Do you know their genetic history? Are they petstore rats?
Seika (Aki's cage mate) can't get Aki to play with her, so we let her out with the others. When we get her out, we try to get Aki out too, to keep Aki from getting jealous (we've had that happen plenty of times with Aki and others, and it normally results in a nasty scuffle).
If the males take more interest in the females than usual, we put the boys back and wait a couple days. At the moment, I'm not living with my mom, so I don't know how close an eye she's been keeping on them when she lets them out together - she's used to having my help with that.
They are all pet store rats (our rats have always been), and I know letting them get pregnant isn't the best idea. We've never had a problem in the past letting the boys and girls out together, but like I said, my mom doesn't exactly have any help keeping an eye on them. I just talked to her recently though, and by the sound of it, Aki's just being a territorial little brat towards everything that isn't her cage mate.
 

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Boys are always interested. 8) It's if the girl isn't in heat he'll get beat up. 8) :lol: LOL. So they usually keep there distance.

USUALLY...
 

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Boys..... :roll:
 
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