Rat Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, for a while, I've been wondering about the rats at the PetSmart near me. They've been there for a long time and it seemed like for no particular reason, they looked healthy enough and were absolutely adorable and gorgeous. So today I asked an employee about why they had been there so long, and the story was very puzzling. (To me at least, I have no experience with the stuff)

She said that when the rats were younger they were really friendly and outgoing and gentle. Then the store attempted to introduce them to some older bucks, and that really did not go well, and ever since, the younger rats have been incredibly aggressive towards humans. Like, whenever you put your hand into the cage they will draw blood.

I've never heard of that, has it happened to anyone here? Was the pet store just doing intros wrong? Also, I feel really bad because they'll probably become feeder rats if no one want to take them...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I got one of my rats from PetSmart, and she was very friendly but INCREDIBLY shy. The reason these rats may be doing this is because they are becoming extremely anxious. The small glass boxes that PetSmart keeps them in are only supposed to be a temporary home for them until someone buys them. There may be too many of them in there, which is causing the cage to become too crowded for them. Another reason may be the introduction to the older males. The young rats may have gotten very scared of the other rats. The reason being that they have been in the cage for so long, with the same rats their entire lives, and were scared to see rats much bigger than their small selves. The last reason I can think of, is that because they have been in their cages for so long, without much human contact at all, they have gotten squirmy. There are alot of reasons for them to be acting the way they are. Unfortunately, we cannot read their minds. The best anyone can do, is to keep working with them.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
Abused or neglected rats sometimes become aggressive... No there's no way to really diagnose the specific cause... it might have been something some deranged part time employee did to them or just neglect.

The future is not bright for these rats. Some chain pet shops put them on sale or even give them away, usually to some unsuspecting newbie that hasn't a clue what kind of trouble he's buying into and they wind up on Craigs list.... free to good home, cage included or worse.

These rats can be fixed through immersion or extreme immersion, but for the average rat owner that's a challenge they don't need. For example, I can fix most problem rats, but I have a little girl and a rat phobic wife in my house too... so I bring home friendly well adjusted little pups that bond easily and we train them to become true shoulder rats. I avoid rats that have been traumatized or abused or neglected because (from experience) they tend to never get completely right... Yes they become friendly and even sweet rats, but they often have trouble dealing with the extreme stresses true shoulder rats face outdoors. But if you aren't training shoulder rats, formerly screwed up rats can become great friends and even heart rats.

Oddly... I coached someone through extreme immersion once, he had a blast doing it and fixed his problem biting rat in very short order. He wouldn't even wear gloves as he claimed he didn't mind getting bitten by rats.... and as far as I know, he set off to find more screwed up rats to fix. Gawd bless the brave, the crazy and the volunteers. So there are certain people with the skills and the interest in taking on challenging rats... With all of the normal friendly rats out there, I personally don't recommend that people go out looking for problem rats to fix, but those special few who really want a challenge are the humans those pet shop rats really need about now.

Unless you are one of those folks that really want a real challenge and likely a lot of work or even pain, there isn't much you can do for those rats. On the other hand when you adopt a vicious screwed up rat some other friendly and sweet rat becomes snake food somewhere...

You can drive yourself nuts with the moral and ethical issues so it boils down to your own personality if you want to rescue rats like these... In any event, if it matters, the store is likely to give you the rats for free or at a very reduced cost (snake food prices)... not that money should be an issue with what they might put you through in extreme immersion.

Best luck.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top