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Pet Rats/Random aggression

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Question
Hi, I've had my rats for around 8 months. One is a proper "mummies boy" (Loki) apart from the odd  little mischievous nip he's as good as gold. My other rat who is slightly older however has random episodes of aggression. First we thought it was a dominate thing. He was going through a teenage hormone fueled thing and biting. He doesn't bite his cage mate just us. He doesn't only bite but he latches on and really goes for it. I started off thinking because I thought it was hormone related it was as though he was trying to "mate" with my arm and there was a pattern (we thought about getting his balls chopped, but didn't to see how things go) now there doesn't seem to be a pattern he is completely normal then just turn's into psycho rat. He bit me in the face this evening so he's become more bolder. We've trie to make a noise to tell him he's done wrong, put him in the back in the cage to cool off but nothing seems to work he goes back to being cute a fluffy until he decides to bite again! Please help. I've had 3 other sets of rats and never had this problem :( thanks in advance.

Answer
I'm so sorry I haven't replied to you sooner.  Your situation is a bit perplexing and I cannot say with certainty the cause of your boy's random aggression considering that he was sweet and tame prior to recently.  Rats become full grown around 6 months of age, so because your boy is 8 months old now, it makes me lean towards the idea that this is testosterone related.  Thus, neutering him would be something to seriously consider.  Because the aggressive acts are becoming worse, who's to say that he won't eventually turn on his cage mate, which could be tragic.  

Should you choose not to neuter, then the only thing left is to try to patiently work with him on relearning appropriate behavior.  

Aggression in pet rats Is an interesting subject.   I'm going to include this link to an article about aggression.  This website may give you some more ideas on how to handle the situation.
http://www.joinrats.com/ModifyBehavior/BitingRats/

Good luck with your boys and write back if you would to give me an update on how he's doing.  Please let me know if there's anything else I can help you with.

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Irene Murphy

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I can answer a variety of questions regarding adoption and care of pet rats throughout their lifetimes, including questions about their health and well being, temperment, diet, bedding, cages, toys, etc. I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability in a timely manner and I have an abundant amount of resources to help me to help you with your pet rats. I love rattie pictures, so include pics with your question if you can. You may ask me medical questions, but please be advised that I am not a vet. I may use my resources to answer some medical questions, however, I will need to refer you to your local vet with medical questions that I feel I am not qualified to address.

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I have been a huge rat enthusiast for many years. Since becoming a rat owner, I have educated myself in all areas of pet rats from every resource I could find including the internet, books, conversations with local exotic vets, as well as several local rat breeders.

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I have a college degree but not in the area of animals. I have obtained my extensive experience and knowlege of pet rats all on my own because in my eyes, pet rats are the most interesting and fascinating creatures you can ever imagine to have as pets. I also am saddened by how mislabeled and misunderstood these amazing and extremely smart animals are by the majority, and my mission in life has become to educate and change as many people's perceptions of rats as I possibly can.

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