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Pet Rats/2 female fancy rats BITING

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Question
Hi....we just got 2 pretty female fancies wednesday of last week from Petsmart (no one else private, humane, etc had any)..brought them home put them in their new cage (3 level large) and let them settle for a few days....they played, sniffed our fingers, etc....we then moved them upstairs to their permanate room and took them out for a couple minutes so I could start with clean bedding again...since then the one started biting us enuf to draw blood...then the other one started...one day they will take a treat off our fingers if we stay still and the next day will bite us again...HURTS :)......we are honestly starting to despair they will ever be sweet...we have not attempted to handle them again in anyway, letting they destress, etc but still they keep biting....any ideas on how we went wrong, what to do, etc....we really want to keep them because I HATE people that get animals and then dont keep them...not the animals fault ...thanks for any help you can offer....

Answer
Hi Liz,

Too bad you couldn't find a breeder or a rescue. As I am sure you know, pet store rats are just not bred so much for temperament as well bred rats.

There are a number of places to read about trust training rats.

http://ratfanclub.org/trust.html

http://www.joinrats.com/EarningTrust

http://www.joinrats.com/BitingRats


My own suggestion is to take them out of the cage with gloves and interact with them in a closed environment such as a Grrreat Wall pen as in this video of mine:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150091824234803&set=vb.564919802&type=3&theater

You can give them all sorts of things to do in it when they are alone, and then when you get in it you can remove most so they aren't too distracted. Let them take their time deciding to crawl near or on you. Don't push them. Read a book. To make them look forward to this instead of being afraid of being taken out, when you put them in immediately set them in front of a bowl of something delicious such as blueberry soy yogurt (recommended by my boys).

I love your attitude. As I tell people, they are being rats the best they know how.

Best of luck :)

squeaks n giggles,

Natasha

Pet Rats

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Natasha Millikan

Expertise

Consider me a sub, when no one else is available. NOTE YOU MUST NOT HAVE ONLY ONE RAT. JOIN MY FACEBOOK GROUP (because there are smarter people than me there!!): ***** https://www.facebook.com/groups/RatsandMiceareAwesome/. ***** Excellent sites: http://ratguide.com/ **** http://lilspazrats.wikispaces.com/ **** http://www.ratbehavior.org/rats.html **** http://www.ratfanclub.org/ **** http://www.sandyscrittercity.com/ **** http://www.ratwhisperer.net/ ****

Experience

I have had rats for 3-1/3 years and have researched them extensively. I am a mouse expert with 40 years' experience with mice. The two species are similar and yet also quite different.

Organizations
My Facebook group is Rats (and Mice) are Awesome. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RatsandMiceareAwesome/

Education/Credentials
I have a Bachelor's and two Master's degrees in Linguistics

Awards and Honors
I am honored that my rats love me!

Past/Present Clients
My Facebook group, Rats are Awesome, serves at the moment 5300 members, and, considering all the huge rescues, probably averages 5 rats per member. That means my clients are about 25,000 rats!!!

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