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Trouble with Biting and Housing

3025 Views 14 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  envisionary333
Hello. I have posted here a couple of times, and last time I got no response, so I am going to try again. I adopted two female rats several months ago from someone who no longer wanted them, and they have not been properly socialized. When I tried to handle one of them, Panda, she bit me and left a pretty severe puncture wound. My other rat, Puppy, is too scared to even approach me at all. Since the biting incident I have been taking things very slowly, and bringing Panda fruits and veggies every day and feeding her by hand. She usually just takes the food and runs away to eat it.

About a week ago, things got complicated when my rats managed to escape their cage. I had made them a C & C cage with mesh grids (see guineapigcages.com for reference), and used velcro cable cuffs to hold the doors closed. The rats had chewed through the coroplast (corrugated plastic), and then removed the cable cuffs and got out. I was able to catch them without injuring them using Havahart animal traps. I have now constructed a new cage for them that is much safer and there is no way they can escape. I have also moved the cage upstairs near my bedroom so that I can interact with them more often and hopefully get them to trust me.

The problem is, the new cage has holes that are larger than the mesh (1" diameter), and the rats can stick their noses through the cage. Panda does this constantly to sniff around and see what's going on. I have three cats and a large dog, and all of them like to watch the rats. Panda always comes up to sniff them, she really has no fear. When my dog lied down next to the cage today, Panda was able to reach her ear and she bit it almost straight through. My poor dog yelped and was pretty upset.

So now I am debating whether I should move the rats back downstairs, or if I should trust that the animals will learn to keep their distance. I think that rats like it better upstairs where there is more going on. I also am wondering what I can do to gain Panda's trust so that I can hold her. I am very scared of her biting, so I would probably need some gloves. Any advice on some good, long, thick, flexible gloves to buy? Any advice on what to do with the cage issues and the biting?

I would really appreciate some help. Thanks.
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i used a towel to pick up my nervous boy...i took the cage off the base so i could grab him with the least stress to him possible and let him hide in the towel when i was holding him. make him socialise with you, he will soon learn that you = food and fun.

keep perservering, you sound like you are doing well with them :)
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