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I just adopted a 5 month old female japanese hooded rat and I've had her for about a month and she has been a complete doll!
She loves sitting on strangers shoulders and crawling around my lap when I am reading or watching tv and often she just passes out in the hood of my sweater!

I was keeping her in a ten gallon glass tank because I heard those were fine for rats but she seemed so bored and sad I got her a three level wire cage and she seems to love jumping around in it and climbing the walls and such!

But yesterday something was different....she was acting ridiculously hyperactive and literally bouncing off the walls. I took her out of her cage and let her sit on my shoulders where she usually just bundles up in my hair and relaxs but instead she was running back and forth as if she was in a panic!

I put her back in her cage and about an hour later I was sitting next to her cage and poked my finger in for her to sniff, like usuall. Sometimes she would lick my finger but thats all....but today she bit me! not horribly hard, just a little nibble, but it scared me because she has never bitten before!

Now when i try and get her out of her cage she runs and REALLY doesn't want to be held....Whats going on with my punkin?

please help!
 

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She may just be in heat... my girls definitely go a little crazy when they're in heat, so it's probably not anything to worry about.

The other thing is that she may be becoming more comfortable in her new home, and so doesn't need to stick with you the whole time anymore, and wants to explore EVERYTHING. Believe me, I've been there. :) If she's truly panicking, as you said, she'd be more likely to find a place to hide, than to run around.

So yeah... probably in heat, and probably just happy to be out and explore.

Edit: To be honest, you may very well be right, and she may be bored in her cage. Unfortunately, rats are such social little creatures that no matter how much time you spend with them there will always be times where they need more social interaction than a human can give to be happy. Have you considered picking up a playmate for her? Taking care of two rats is almost the exact same as taking care of one (very little extra work/expense) and she'll be a LOT happier. So will you too, when you see them play together, it's adorable!

And no matter how many rats you have, it's still ALL about you... don't worry about them needing you less if they have a playmate, they'll just love you more since they're happier.
 

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I think a cage mate and more entertainment in her cage would really help. The more rats the better, for her and for you. Rats love a social environment. A wheel is just the tip of the sword; there's tubes, hammocks, braided fleece, balls to hide food in and anything else a dream home for rattys could possibly have.
 
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