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Pet Rats/Followup question (previously asked Natasha)

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QUESTION: I asked Natasha about my new 2 fancy rats from Petsmart and their biting and drawing blood; she answered me today; since I asked her though the origional question, they have now taken to fighting each other and actually squeaking/squealing loudy while doing it; before when they wrestled they didnt make noises but are now; is that normal? also she suggested a "great wall" area to take them out of cage; would a small safe bathroom area work as well? thanks

ANSWER: Hi Liz,
First of all, about the rat biting you. That means they are not properly socialized and don't trust people. See the article called Trust Training on my website at www.ratfanclub.org on the Rat Info page.

When you see them fighting each other, does either of the have their fur puffed up? That would be a sign of serious aggression. If their fur isn't puffed up, they could just be playing roughly, or trying to figure out who is going to be dominant. How old are they?
Deb

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QUESTION: No I didnt notice their fur being puffy but trust me its already plain who the dominant female is in that cage lol......and I understand about the socialization and trust etc but it has been 9 days now and they arent getting any better about it, if anything they are biting us both now....bringing blood at all times.....i sit and talk to them, i open their door and just lay my hand in gently and after a while move it out so they know i wont do anything else, we do the treat thing, etc....are we being impatient or what?....the one sits in a corner and looks and sways its head back and forth like it is going to fight lol....sheesh....could they have been so mistreated they will never trust us?....should i try the bathroom thing? Ours is quite safe and i could wheel their cage is and open the door so they could get out, etc?????

Answer
When they weave their head back and forth that is not aggression, it means their eyesight is bad and they are trying to focus on you.

Have you read the Trust Training article?  I guarantee, if you follow the instructions for the trust training with the soft food on a spoon, the rats will trust you in a few weeks.
Deb

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Debbie Ducommun

Expertise

I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at www.ratfanclub.org/helpfinfo.html. If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.

Experience

I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.

Organizations
President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

Publications
I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.

Education/Credentials
BA in Animal Behavior

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