Anonymous asked in PetsRodents · 1 decade ago

I need help. I bought a feeder rat for a pet because my roommate has a pet rat and she is so sweet and fun-?

Well, I got my rat straight out of the shipping box and when I got her home I noticed she was a wee bit sick. After doing some research I found out that they get upper respiratory infections and found a site that said I could use tetracycline. So, I went to the pet store and got some in the fish section and started dosing her with that. After 5-6 days and no improvement I took her to the vet who changed her medication and that has worked and she is getting better. NOW- my problem is that whenever we put our hand in the cage to pet her to take her out she bites the crap out of us. She's drawing blood. She gets very weary and you can tell when she's about to strike- it's almost snake like. My roommate decided that if she flicks her she might stop but she hasn't- I have been blowing at her and it works fine but she still gets a bite in here and there. She bit my roommate pretty good and my roommate threw her- I think that will just cause her to dislike humans more though..My questions are; why would her behavior shift like that and how can we stop it? Thanks


WOW- I'm amazed at the people who don't even understand what they read before they write something stupid. I'm asking for advise that's what the question is for. I know flicking the rat and throwing it is not good and I will handle that. But, if blowing at her is bad when she bites then what am I supposed to do to correct the behavior? I don't need people saying that's bad and you need to give your pet away- I need advise on how to correct her behavior. Thank you to those that understood the question.

11 Answers

  • Fete
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    First of all, fish antibiotics aren't going to treat a rat. They're not in the proper dosages, and most vets will prescribe either doxy or baytril to a rat who has a URI.

    In addition to that, it sounds like you should probably find a better home for the rat. The roommate had no reason to THROW the rat. That can kill a rat, and is going to scare her badly. She needs a single sex friend, and she needs a home that is understanding that she needs socialization work.

    I've gotten rats that did not have very good socialization when I got them, sometimes even to the point of biting. You need to be patient and understand how to work with them. Flicking her when she bites is encouraging aggression.

    With a sudden behavior shift, I'd want to check out to see if the rat is pregnant. Females get a bit testy later on in their pregnancies. But it could also be due to the illness, so you might want to have a vet check it out.

    To get a rat to stop biting after it already fears humans, you need to go slow and earn the trust back. If she bites, Do not yell, do not scream, do not react. If she learns biting makes people go away, and she doesn't want to interact with people, biting seems like a good thing for her to do. (In her mind.) Offer her treats, and watch her body language. It'll take time and a lot of work to earn her trust back. If you see she's going to strike, back off.

  • 1 decade ago

    I wouldn't allow that roommate near her again. Throwing her is animal cruelty and absolutely horrible. I'm appalled she herself owns a rat.

    Feeder rats tend to have temperamental problems as they are not bred for health or behavior. When you got her you really needed to quarantine her in a separate air space for three weeks. Not doing this can result in two dead animals as the new rat can bring something into the room that your older rat can pick up via the air.

    To stop her obviously flicking her is not an option. Blowing at her won't work either. Do NOT tap her on her nose! A spray bottle with water is a decent option if you don't spray her in her face or by her ears. This has been tried by many owners and found to work. Do not do this excessively!

    To be honest I wouldn't punish her biting at ALL. Her biting can be out of fear. Just work with her. Let her come to you don't invade her space to pick her up. Spending time with her to socialize her is the best option for you. She sounds like she just needs some love and soft words in a soft voice with slow movements. Some rats can take a few months to become sweet. Don't lose your patience with her. You are new and scary to her. Soon enough she'll think of you as a friend rather than foe.

  • 4 years ago

    All rats in a pet store are sold for feeders unless the pet shop breeds them themselves and socialize them, and only sells for pets. You can go ahead and get them, but it will take a lot of treats and trust training to get them to come around. Just like any rat it does take time maybe more time consuming, depending on if they were ever socialized. When I rescued my two rats they were different temperaments my creme hooded rat Delrio only took a couple weeks before I could pick him up, pet,and hold him Daniel my hairless dumbo I am still working with him and its been about a month, Rats like any animal have their own personality, and it will take time how much time well it depends on the rats.

  • Miss D
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    do I understand that you mail ordered a rat? why did you not buy one locally? I would never order live food for my pet and have it shipped from who knows where. She may have gotten sick from the food.

    When was her last good shed? she may be getting testy if her humidity is low causing pain in her shedding cycle. Check out the site listed and see if these symptoms match at all, loss of appetite, milky eyes, moody...

    Yes, brutality will definitely make her turn more, I would not be throwing her around that's for sure and honestly I think flipping her nose will just make her mad.

    Are there any other pets? Sometimes a change in attitude can be from other pets stalking. Once a friend of mine had a snake that was really cool and all the pets got along or so she thought, her neighbor reported to her that her cat sits next to the tank and just stares at it all day (this is after aggressive behavior elevated from the snake)

    Well good luck, I know its a had one to figure out but it will get better, be patient.

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  • 1 decade ago

    This rat was probably not taking care of. was abused or handled inproperly by humans. i way to get this rat to b have is to have it trust you. dont let your room-mate near it. seems like your rat doesnt like him/her very much. play with her daily and give her treats. make her eat the treats from your hand. its a big trust thing for them as it is with any animal. i mean its like you taking candy from a stranger, but if you trust that person then youll take it. dont do anything that will miss-lead her in thinking you are going to hurt her. my rats are like my daughters so if i get mad at them they arent really affected by it but with a new rat, epecially abused ones, can b very difficult.

    to stop the biting for the time being tap her on the nose LIGHTLY. rats are smart and will figure it out. DONT flick them! your flick is to hard for there poor little bodies to take! you can cause seriouse damage!

    in the end if you feel like you cannot handle her then i would suggest taking her to a pet store or rescue center who doesnt sell rats as feeders. bcuz as you have experianced the feeder rats are NOT treated rite.

    if you can get her to behave and take care of her, which it seems like your really trying, then she can be the best pet youll ever have. rats are awsome creatures. you cant help but falling in love with them!!

    if you have anymore questions just message me!

    Source(s): rat owner.
  • Sara
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Throwing the rat, blowing in its face, and flicking it .... ok now what if u were a rat and someone threw u, and blows in ur face and keeps flicking at u wouldnt u bite too????!!!! I suggest u give ur rat to someone who doesnt abuse it and who will love it!!

    Source(s): Owner of 2 rats, and 2 hamsters.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    rats usually bite because they either come from a bad breeder or an inbred litter. ive got two rats myself and it took a while for them to get used to me. it sounds as if you haven't even got to know your rat, you have to build up a bond with your rat, so that they trust you, otherwise whenever you go to handle your rat she will bite and try and protect herself. firstly build up that trust, its so important and secondly, don't ever let your roommate near your rat again! you don't throw a rat, how dumb is she, if i was you id throw her, see how she likes it and she shouldn't be flicking rats either, in-fact, if that's how she treats hers then she shouldn't even have them. if someone ever did that to my 2 rats id go mad at em, its just plain cruel.

    rats are very clever, and will learn to trust you if you treat them well. using treats is a good way to start. mine love oranges and grapes! rats are greedy little buggers so befriending them with food will set you in the right direction!

    and if your gonna write in your question that your roommate threw your rat then people are going to comment, you dont need to wait for someone to mention it then say your gonna deal with it, just dont write it in the first place. like i said, the only way for you to get your rat to stop biting is to get her to trust you, shes biting out of fear.!!

    Source(s): owner of 2 rats
  • well maybe the medication is making her tired and weary and she feels annoyed when u bother her. I'm not saying it's ur fault, i'm just saying leave her alone for a few days and you might get some improvement.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    unfortunately feeder rats are bred for just that - to be feeders. many of them are inbred and not all that domesticated. i have not had good experience with them as pets and i have had a few. all i can suggest is to work with your rat daily and try to get her used to you but she might just plain be mean :( good luck!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, I'm not sure, but if she likes rats, please check my source. It is something funny for all rat lovers. Anyway, I'm sorry about what happened. I don't know if you should be asking the people on here.

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