a reply to: Peeple
Husband and I had a lot of pet rats in college. They are awesome little guys.
Biting is more of a genetic behavior. If you have one that bites, then she will bite. It has nothing to do with her dominance. Don't let her breed
because she will pass that crap on to her kids.
We had one very awesome little girl, a golden curly coated Rex (means she sort of looked like a giant yellow hamster). We named her monkey. She was so
bonded to us that she came when we called her name and she knew the command "no." She used to curl up and sleep on my lap like a little dog when I was
doing homework. She loved to take rides shoulders, and for a long time when you stopped she would grab at your sleeve and we thought she was chewing
on you shirt, but what she really wanted was for you to extend your arm so she could keep going!
Gopher was her cage mate. Goof was really shy, but when she came out of her shell, she was a licker. She would greet you with licks like a little dog.
Goof was happiest when you created a little cave for her to hang out in, but she still liked spending time with you and being scratched behind the
Then there was Sexy Rexy, the one nut wonder ... *sigh*. The first vet who fixed him missed that he was monorchid, so after we put him in with the
girls, his other testicle dropped ... and boy was it effective! Rex was also a big cuddler, outgoing and liked spending time with his people.
None of them ever bit unless we were talking about the ladies defending their babies (post Sexy Rexy). But even regular dogs and cats can be defensive
of their litters.
I would suggest that you get some type of shaving for your cage bottom. Avoid cedar because the fumes are strong for them, but you need something
absorbant for the pee and poop. Rat urine is a lot less stinky than mouse, but they will quickly establish a latrine and start using it and the paper
you have in there will be overwhelmed.
Also, if you can give them a box that will fit in there, they will love you for life. Not only will they gnaw on it, but they'll hide in it. Get some
plain news print and other non-died paper in there that's torn up and they'll make themselves busy creating a nest in that box. Understand, anything
plastic with edges will be gnawed on, including any cage edges they can access, so keep that in mind. Give them things they can chew on that are safe
to be chewed on. They need it for their teeth so they have an impulse to do it.
You don't have to spend a bunch on it either - toilet paper tubes, etc. will work, but if you want to make them feel at home a cheap rawhide for a dog