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Pet Rats/My 8 month old Pet Rat attacked me and his brother


Hi Shawna,

I am not sure if you can answer or have any insight to my questions, but I am trying to figure out what to do...I have two 7 month old Himalayan bothers, Fuzzy and Sunny.  During the morning feeding and cleaning, Fuzzy attacked me, my hand was hurt badly (I will heal).  Later that day he attacked his brother Sunny, Sunny was rushed to the vet, he has a one inch rip on his back and one under his left leg (the vet was able to glue the wounds).  He is on pain killers and antibiotics (he is eating and walking around, doing quite well).

Since this has happened, Fuzzy, seems to be scared of me (as I am a bit scared of him at the moment).  I know he attacked us, but this is out of character for him.  I did not yell at him, or discipline him about what has happened.  I am going to take him to the vet to have him check out also, but right now he keeps hiding.  He does not seem to be hurt in any way, but his behavior has changes so much.  

I just want to know if you have experience or have heard of this happening?  

My vet is wonderful, they have been calling me for updates.

Hope to hear from you, thanks in advance,


Thanks for writing!

Rats, like people, have bad days. I am assuming that your Fuzzy is not neutered. Hormones often make male rats fight, even with other males they have been with since birth. As far as why he might have attacked your hand, I often find that rats that have never bitten in the past and have only had one episode, seem to have bitten their owners in error. It might have been you had something on your hand, such as the scent of food, that enticed them to bite. Its usually only coincidence.

Rats will often bite if they are stressed or injured. Keep an eye on Fuzzy for any indication that he could be in any kind of discomfort.

Hope that helps!  

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Shawna Laufer


Nutrition has always been an interest of mine as well as creating stimulating environments for rats. I conduct product reviews on my blog so I can take questions regarding products marketed or intended for rats. Other questions regarding basic husbandry, feeding, grooming, and other pet rat care will be accepted. I have very little breeding experience so I would not be able to answer much in the ways of breeding or genetics questions. I can help with some basic health care questions but am not a vet and always suggest contacting your vet for serious inquires.


I have over 13 years of experience with pet rats, having worked in several pet stores, as a veterinary tech assistant, and with my own pet rats. I run a highly regarded blog on the subject of pet rat ownership ( with a corresponding YouTube channel and Facebook page. I have been and always will be open to questions and comments.

A photograph of my lady rat's cage is being published in Worth Publishers' college textbook "How Children Develop, 4e" by Robert Siegler, Judy DeLoache and Nancy Eisenberg on the subject of how complex, stimulating environments and how they relate to the brains of rats.

I have some college experience, but not in the field of animals. I completed the majority of an at-home Veterinary Technician course which I was unable to complete due to financial reason. The majority of my knowledge on rats have come from personal experience, conducting my own research with the help of published medical studies and journal, the internet and through other knowledgeable 'rat people'.

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