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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've never had a bitey rat before, as lucky as that is, but turns out Winston is a biter. I'm talking about real bites. I'm scared they'll break the skin.

I don't know if he's just scared, I only got him yesterday, but my other ratties have never done this. I put my hand in the cage, not to pick him up but just to show him I was there, and he launched himself at it.

He's a pet store rescue, could he have a bad temperament, or is there some hope? Is there something I can do to stop this biting? I've tried squeaking and it seems to be doing nothing.

Thanks guys!
 

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One of my boys, Jasper, is a biter without a doubt and has drawn blood from me on a couple of occasions. I've squeaked the house down trying to teach him it hurts all to no avail. But we've forged a peace and established our boundaries now, Jasper will come out when Jasper wants to come out and not before.

Once he's out and about he has never bitten me once. If we're on neutral ground there is peace (he's still as mad as a sack of ferrets of LSD mind you), but if I'm in his cage for anything other than delivering offerings of sacrifice (read "food") then it is war. So when its time for him to come out I simply have to sit with my legs by his door and when he's ready he'll come out of his own accord.

My other two boys on the other hand are completely different and will come running to me as soon as I enter the room, and Baldrick will take a flying leap for my shirt to get to my shoulder as quickly as possible.

Anyway, what was my point? Oh yes, the point I was tying to get to was that (in my experience) all rats have different personalities and it's just a case of working with them. That said, don't want to scare with you with stories of my rebel, it does sound to me that little Winston is just scarred and not too used to these big scary pink things. Take your time and take it easy is my main advice, but I'm sure there are some much more experienced people around here that might have better advice than myself. What ever the outcome I wish you and Winston and a long and happy (and bite free) life together. :wink:
 

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It sounds like the poor guy's just scared. He's in a new, strange environment, and coming from a pet store who knows what he's been through? I'd spend some time with him near the cage, letting him get used to your presence, talk to him and get him used to your voice. Try giving him treats (maybe long treats, so he won't chomp your fingers - I used strips of carrots a lot with my ex-biter), so he associates hands with yum and not fear. Definitely give it some time have patience ^_^
 

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I agree with Mana. I've had a biter before, and it is simply because you are scary to them, since they aren't used to you.

Definitely start off with just hanging around the cage, and giving bits of food to Winston. I doubt picking Winston up is a good idea until he is completely comfortable.

I don't think it should take too much love to get him to understand you're a friend. I am pretty sure that even if a rat is a major biter, they will grow out of it as they get to be more comfortable. I'd recommend spending as much time as possible around him, in a calming way, giving him just tons of good eats. What rat could resist letting their guard down after that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He's getting much better, thanks for all the help everyone. He's into hand wrestling at the moment, and no bites for a while! Picking up isn't too bad either, he'll hold still for it.
 
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