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ThreeStep
Nov 5, 2009


After weeks of access to to the desk during free roam, the rats have suddenly developed a disturbingly strong attraction to my computer cables. If I'm not watching them, they're usually trying to taste the forbidden licorice. Time to rearrange things and block off my computer until I can order some cord protectors.

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Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



ThreeStep posted:

After weeks of access to to the desk during free roam, the rats have suddenly developed a disturbingly strong attraction to my computer cables. If I'm not watching them, they're usually trying to taste the forbidden licorice. Time to rearrange things and block off my computer until I can order some cord protectors.

You should be glad that you have the opportunity to fix this before any forbidden licorice was tasted. My first rats chewed through every single PC cable I had, power, monitor, all usb cables, sound system, etc.
Rats are rascals.

That's why they're now jailed for rat crimes

Not really, they still get to free roam all the time

Falstaff
Apr 27, 2008

I have a kind of alacrity in sinking.



If those cables aren't supposed to be chewed, why did the rat gods make them so much fun to chew and put them in the most interesting places?

Mushika
Dec 22, 2010



Grimey Drawer

For a split second I thought the jailed little one had an adorable knit hat on. Then I realized it's like a basket handle or something in the background and there's no way any rat I've ever met that a hat like that would stay on for even a fraction of a second anyway.

I kinda can't see and don't want to.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010




I love these two assholes.

ThreeStep
Nov 5, 2009


Jack Trades posted:


I love these two assholes.

Those are some adorable assholes. Mine just discovered my USB-C cable. Which is white. Much like the twisted up sheet of paper towel I've been using to play tug-of-war with them. So now I have to hide that too. Along with a couple journals, my tablet and sometimes my phone. They've gotten extra chew-happy lately and it's been a pain.


Also, here's Snorkel trying to dig a carrot out of some cardboard. The carrot fell out right next to her but it took a while to figure that out.

redcheval
Dec 26, 2009

That's a little better.



Has anyone ever gotten anything like a cat tree for their rats? My two new babes are balls of lightning energy and can (and WILL) climb into anything and everything in the room they free-roam in. I feel like every pair of rats is smarter than the last but these ones are achieving heights I did not believe possible, haha! I would love to get them a massive cat tree or something to go ham on but keeping it clean seems very daunting.

Falstaff
Apr 27, 2008

I have a kind of alacrity in sinking.



I haven't personally, but I know of owners who have. While they're in their primes they might take an interest to it, though this depends a lot on the design of the cat tree - the more levels and hideaways, the better. Once they're past their primes and jumping isn't as easy for them, they'll use it less unless you modify it quite a bit.

I don't recall any complaints about cleaning. I'd imagine just a spot fabric cleaner would work just fine.

Animal-Mother
Feb 14, 2012

RABBIT RABBIT
RABBIT RABBIT

As long as it isn't used. Rats instinctively run from the scent of cats. Dogs, though? No problem.

Falstaff
Apr 27, 2008

I have a kind of alacrity in sinking.



Rats don't like the smell of cats instinctively, that's true, but they can actually get used to the smell - and even cats themselves. I wouldn't recommend anyone doing this unless you know exactly what you're doing (seriously, I don't want to be responsible for any tragedies), but my sixth rat (Sylph) lived in the same house as three cats and they actually became friends. (Well, kinda. One cat enjoyed her company, one tolerated her, and the last really resented that she couldn't hunt Sylph and so would always leave the room in a huff when Sylph was out.)

You also need to be careful with dogs, particularly big ones - even if the dog is well-meaning, an excitable dog can do a lot of damage in very little time.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




If you're worried about them peeing on it, perhaps something with removable covers that you can throw in the wash.

ThreeStep
Nov 5, 2009



Bought a Kong toy today and, uh, is this normal?

Falstaff
Apr 27, 2008

I have a kind of alacrity in sinking.



Perfectly. Chewing things is among the top three ways rats learn about the world around them, unfortunately.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




As long as they're not actually eating it

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010








We were doing an explore.

ThreeStep
Nov 5, 2009


Falstaff posted:

Perfectly. Chewing things is among the top three ways rats learn about the world around them, unfortunately.


Jaded Burnout posted:

As long as they're not actually eating it

Don't think they're swallowing any of it, but I've been keeping an eye just in case. Just didn't think their teeth were that sharp but every time I think that they find a new way to surprise me.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



ThreeStep posted:

Don't think they're swallowing any of it, but I've been keeping an eye just in case. Just didn't think their teeth were that sharp but every time I think that they find a new way to surprise me.

Rat teeth are in fact harder than steel.

They also have the strength to chew through bricks if they wanted to.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




ThreeStep posted:

Don't think they're swallowing any of it, but I've been keeping an eye just in case. Just didn't think their teeth were that sharp but every time I think that they find a new way to surprise me.

Yeah they take a real liking to anything rubberised.

RoboRodent
Sep 19, 2012

Please get me out of this snake.




Jack Trades posted:

Rat teeth are in fact harder than steel.

They also have the strength to chew through bricks if they wanted to.

I had a rat years ago who would take my finger in her teeth to move my hand out of her way. Her grip was very firm but she never broke the skin. Her control was always kind of astonishing.

Falstaff
Apr 27, 2008

I have a kind of alacrity in sinking.



Rats are pretty gentle creatures most of the time, when they're not in fight or flight mode.

Also, your avatar is stressing me out, RoboRodent.

Animal-Mother
Feb 14, 2012

RABBIT RABBIT
RABBIT RABBIT

Falstaff
Apr 27, 2008

I have a kind of alacrity in sinking.



Yessir, those are some handsome rat bois/pretty rat gurls. (I love the right one's coat.)

phasmid
Jan 16, 2015

Booty Shaker
SILENT MAJORITY


Hello, rat thread. I was wondering if anyone in this thread could advise me on a current development with a girl of mine.

We (my gf and I) have kept pet rats for about six years and have had 10 females in that time. They have all been very different but none of them has ever been aggressive for too long (a couple had small spells of being afraid and one of them took a hostile pose when introduced to a new roommate). These incidents were brief and concluded with everyone getting along. We let our rats play in carefully supervised areas and they have a large living area and a good deal of elbow room.

Currently we have three girls and they have so far been getting along well. The younger ones are only about 6 months old and the eldest is closer to 1 1/2 years. They roughhouse occasionally (lots of barbering and infrequently boxing) but they seem to have no trouble playing, no one injured, etc.

One of the young girls, a ball of energy really, has become somewhat aggressive towards us. We sometimes have the girls on our bed to play and often when grabbed or even touched slightly on the back/flanks, she will bend around and bite the hand that touched her. It's not a nip, either. She holds on like a bulldog for a second.

We just put her and her sisters to bed without knowing exactly how to respond (except for not reinforcing any behavior inadvertently). She has always been a very sweet rat and cheerfully wants to be on us when we are walking around/doing things. It's unlike her and I'm worried that if we react poorly, she'll take it too hard and get bent out of shape about it. We don't want to punish her, we just want to correct this behavior.

snoo
Jul 5, 2007

In the future, please draw rats Thank you.









is she spayed? or showing signs of pain?

phasmid
Jan 16, 2015

Booty Shaker
SILENT MAJORITY


snoo posted:

is she spayed? or showing signs of pain?

She's not spayed, no. However we haven't really observed any signs of pain. She's eating normally and is often times immediately remorseful, offering to lick our hands after the bite, which makes me think it's more of an automatic kind of lashing out.

GF says they might be hormonal or trying to figure out which rat is the dominant one but I'm not really so sure. Since being put in the cage about 30 minutes ago, they've all interacted normally with no squabbles at all.

Although she did bite us when she didn't want to go back inside. Had to wrap a hand in cloth to pick her up.


e. Not to be glib about the spaying part. I'm sure there are strong voices in this thread with more wisdom than me, we just never deemed it necessary since things tended to work out fine (we never kept males and we don't breed them.)

phasmid fucked around with this message at 07:37 on May 19, 2020

snoo
Jul 5, 2007

In the future, please draw rats Thank you.









I just wondered if not being spayed might contribute to hormonal stuff or being in heat (making that area uncomfortable for her). is she drawing blood?

I have experienced waking up a rat or otherwise bothering a rat who wasn't paying attention and did that quick gentle nip before they realized what was going on.

we've only have had one rat who drew blood and it was because she smelled food / wanted small food we were holding tightly, and all accidental really, so we just don't hold small things she can get mad about. but that's an easier situation to fix and I can trust her around fingers now.

I hope someone else can chime in and be of more help. I hope she and the others are doing alright otherwise!

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




snoo posted:

I just wondered if not being spayed might contribute to hormonal stuff or being in heat (making that area uncomfortable for her). is she drawing blood?

I have experienced waking up a rat or otherwise bothering a rat who wasn't paying attention and did that quick gentle nip before they realized what was going on.

we've only have had one rat who drew blood and it was because she smelled food / wanted small food we were holding tightly, and all accidental really, so we just don't hold small things she can get mad about. but that's an easier situation to fix and I can trust her around fingers now.

I hope someone else can chime in and be of more help. I hope she and the others are doing alright otherwise!

No more help from me, I'm afraid. Similar experiences to yours, but all boys.

They were particularly sensitive to being touched further down their back, though.

phasmid
Jan 16, 2015

Booty Shaker
SILENT MAJORITY


They seem to be. Thank you, snoo. We're probably all of us due for sleep here soon but would welcome any advice, questions, what-have-you.

Yes, she did draw blood from us. She didn't seem to have it in mind, didn't charge at us or anything. It was just as though she woke up one day a week or so ago and had a new threshold. It's new to us, but we love her and I think we can figure it out.

e. To the poster above, when you say that they were sensitive, do you mean that they reacted aggressively?

Thanks for the replies. If I don't respond, it's because I've fallen asleep at the computer. But if anyone prefers, my PMs are open.

phasmid fucked around with this message at 07:56 on May 19, 2020

Animal-Mother
Feb 14, 2012

RABBIT RABBIT
RABBIT RABBIT

Antimony is quite groggy and upset after having a big ugly tumor removed, but she isn't turning down perfectly good food:

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Good baby. :3

Meanwhile here's one of my assholes digging up potted plants.

Prism Mirror Lens
Oct 9, 2012

~*"The most intelligent and meaning-rich film he could think of was Shaun of the Dead, I don't think either brain is going to absorb anything you post."*~






Well, the last of my original two girls (the white one in these photos of when they were young) has just been taken off to the vet for the last time. Iíll keep this short cause you all know what happens to old rats, they get tumors. She was always pretty grumpy except when she was stashing treats, and she left me with a good bite on my finger to remember her by. RIP girl, you were a cool and good rat, Iíll miss walking you back to the cage after free range time because you were too dignified to be picked up and carried like the others.


phasmid
Jan 16, 2015

Booty Shaker
SILENT MAJORITY


Hello again, Rat Crew.

My little one with the biting problem is now completely sweet and hasn't bitten us once in the last week. We started handling her with gardening gloves and trying to speak to her softly so she would not be afraid or think she was "in trouble". She is being surpassingly sweet to us and her sisters (although she still likes to knock things over and shimmy up any appendage no matter how unwilling).

Anyway, I don't lurk this thread as often as I might but I appreciate the help offered. Still at a loss as to what really changed her behavior but in the end it might just boil down to rats being extremely responsive animals. She realized her behavior was bad and she changed it herself? Or maybe it was just some weird stage of late adolescence. But she's a law-abider now. For the most part.

Animal-Mother posted:

Antimony is quite groggy and upset after having a big ugly tumor removed, but she isn't turning down perfectly good food:



That's a handsome girl. Hope she is still doing well.


Prism Mirror Lens posted:

Well, the last of my original two girls (the white one in these photos of when they were young) has just been taken off to the vet for the last time. I’ll keep this short cause you all know what happens to old rats, they get tumors. She was always pretty grumpy except when she was stashing treats, and she left me with a good bite on my finger to remember her by. RIP girl, you were a cool and good rat, I’ll miss walking you back to the cage after free range time because you were too dignified to be picked up and carried like the others.




Rest in Peace, good rat.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




phasmid posted:

Hello again, Rat Crew.

My little one with the biting problem is now completely sweet and hasn't bitten us once in the last week. We started handling her with gardening gloves and trying to speak to her softly so she would not be afraid or think she was "in trouble". She is being surpassingly sweet to us and her sisters (although she still likes to knock things over and shimmy up any appendage no matter how unwilling).

Anyway, I don't lurk this thread as often as I might but I appreciate the help offered. Still at a loss as to what really changed her behavior but in the end it might just boil down to rats being extremely responsive animals. She realized her behavior was bad and she changed it herself? Or maybe it was just some weird stage of late adolescence. But she's a law-abider now. For the most part.

That's great to hear

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phasmid
Jan 16, 2015

Booty Shaker
SILENT MAJORITY


Jaded Burnout posted:

That's great to hear

Thank you.

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