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Pet Rats/rat bites need help


Hi Natasha

I told you about my new rats Doris, Moo-moo and Minnie well I need help with Minnie cos she keeps biting me and I don't know why.

My other two rats Doris and Moo-moo are so friendly and love coming out for cuddles. They sit on my lap and I feed them yoghurt on a spoon and when I put my hand in they just lick me and climb on my hand. They are so friendly but for some reason Minnie always bites me everytime I put my hand in. I tried looking all over the internet for answers and at some of the resources you gave me last time but they all say that rats bite for three reasons:
-scared or timid.
-Or just curious.

I don't think she's scared cos if she was scared she would run away from me when I put my hand but she comes towards me and then just bites me whereas the other two lick, she bites. She will take food from my hand but she snatches it and runs off with it.

She's not aggressive. She only gives me little nips it's not like she's attacking me.

I could believe that she is being curious but everywhere I look it says to stop a rat from biting out of curiosity is to pull your hand away and make a loud noise. I do this everytime she bites but it makes no difference, she just carries on biting.

Last night I wanted to gat them all out for cuddles but I didn't want to scare them by just grabbing them like I normally do so I thought I would let them come to me. Doris and Moo-moo came to me and licked me and were fine but when I went to Minnie she just bit so I couldn't get her out. I felt really bad. She will tolerate being picked up but she doesn't look to happy about it and I didn't want to make the situation worse by just grabbing her. I put some yoghurt on a spoon and put it in the cage and she licked it but she kept trying to bite the spoon and take it away so I had to hold it tight.

I tried to think why she would just continuously bite me. I thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that I gave them corned beef that night cos I heard that meat has protein in and is good for them but I also heard that it makes rats bite. It can't be that though cos they all had it and the other two were fine, I also heard that it's a myth that meat makes rats bite.

So why does she bite me all the time and how do I make her stop? I know I already sort of asked you about this in my last follow up and you said it's hard question to answer, so sorry to ask again but I've already looked everywhere else on the internet and couldn't find an answer. So what do I do? My mum said that if I just grabbed her she would get used to being handled but I thought I was frightening her. What do I do?



Dear Verity,

Wow I answered this and it didn't go through (my fault).

Trying again. I am not sure what I gave you; was it a list of links to read about biting? It is not easy to copy links on an iPad (let alone phone) let alone a list of them so I don't think I could have given you many... Just these two lead you to a treasure trove by two wonderful experts in rat behavior:

In the second one the transport box may be what you need to get her out if the cage if she is cage aggressive-- really you are in her territory in her cage and she has a right to be upset  if she didn't ask you in!!

Nothing to do with meat. What a silly rumor that is, sigh! :)

Sorry I let you down by not getting you an answer! :(. If this is really exactly what I already gave you (sorry!) then I can give your description directly to those two authors and see what they say. I am sorry to be so spacey; I am taking care of sick parents with very little useful internet access!



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Natasha Millikan


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!!): ***** ***** Excellent sites: **** **** **** **** **** ****


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.

My Facebook group is Rats (and Mice) are Awesome.

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

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I am honored that my rats love me!

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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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