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Old 02-03-2003, 03:29 AM
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We have two female rats that are kept in a wire cage together. They have occasional "spats" that never lead to anything serious. We use shaved aspen bedding and have never had a problem with mites in it. They eat regular rat food, both pellets and seed mixtures and we give them treats of our table scraps from fruit and veggies, sometimes bones, which they love and the bones help keep their teeth short.

Since we have gotten them, over a year ago, we have tried and tried to hold them and play with them. But it is a nightmare. The kids are scared of them and don't even want to feed them for fear of getting bitten. I take them out of the cage for cleanings and the kids clean it out. But I have gotten to the point of wearing gloves when I do it, I have lost too much blood to the cause. I refuse to get rid of them because I believe that pets are not disposable and I don't want to teach my children that they are.

We try every day to play with them, none of the children have ever been mean to them or hurt them, even by accident, so I'm not sure what to do.

Any suggestions? The reason we got rats in the first place was because of their reputation of being loveable and trainable, but these two have left us stumped.

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Old 10-17-2008, 11:34 AM
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Although these particular rats are probably no longer around, I think I'll comment on this anyway. First, I think there needs to be a distinction between nipping (not drawing blood) & biting (hard enough to draw blood.) Next, I admire your commitment to keeping them despite the problems. Wearing the gloves is great. Most rats (unless from an abused past) will care about their relationship to you & want to please. If they nip or bite you communicate your displeasure in rat language - a loudish, angryish squeak. This will usually work pretty quickly & you should be able to tell thru the gloves. As mentioned above, make sure your hands do not smell like food or even another pet. Also, female rats are generally more active & less likely to be still to be held. Males are more "lazy" and more likely to calm down enough to be held.
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:35 AM
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I had two runt rats about 20 years ago, not hairless though, and I read alot about caring for them before I purchased them (their cage, food dish and water bottle, and sleep accessories).
I also used old rags as part of their bedding so they had something to tear at besides trying to unlock their wire clasp. I suggest your daughter look into other types of "cages" for her hairless rat - one that will assist in keeping it warm without over heating it - such as an aquarium style ...
I agree with Sandychamp (and others), Rats are very intelligent and affectionate animals, and they really do not bite. Unless children aren't taught not to pull on their tails (like many other intelligent and affectinate animals).
Mine also took to their names pretty quick, and were responcive when spoken with.
If you see someone in need of help and you can do something, then do something — that goes for people and animals. If you can help out, try. That’s what I hope people take away from this.” -Alex Scroggins
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:19 AM
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Hairless do tend to be genetically weaker & don't have quite as long a life span. Ours live to almost 2 tho.
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