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Tips For Taming A Pet Rat

Updated on December 21, 2010
My Beloved Pet Rat Blue, Passed Away Last Year.
My Beloved Pet Rat Blue, Passed Away Last Year.

How To Tame A Biting Or Shy Rat:

Pet rats are extremely loving and friendly creatures, provided that they have been tamed.. which can literally be as easy to do as to have contact with humans. Rats love to be around people, sit with them and be handled, without this interaction with humans rats can either get depressed or angry and therefor, vicious.

Most Likely Reason Rats Bite

The most likely reason for bitting and intentional clawing is for the rat to have not been raised properly and still being untamed towards people. Don't worry, this is an easy fix, although the older the rat is the harder it is to gain the trust of the rat, which is needed in order to begin a relationship with not only a pet rat but with anyone or anything... trust is the key.

Different Taming Methods Work For Rats

Unlike a dog where when it would bite, you would yell at it, tell it that it was a bad dog... spray it with water, smack it on the nose.. whatever method you would use... these do not work with rats. One thing people hardly ever take into consideration is that rats are smaller creatures, even a dog can be threated by the size of a human... yet rats are a LOT smaller.

Taming a rat is taken in a completely different approach then other animals such as cat or dogs, with the a cat or dog you teach the animal how to understand and respond when doing an unwanted behavior, with a rat you simply gain the trust of the rat and take slow baby steps towards the taming of your fury friend.

What You'll Need...

If your rat is biting whenever you pick them up, or even if you are unsure that they will bite the first step to do is to find a clean towel you can use to pick up the rat, even if you think the rat will not bite you at first I still recommend getting a towel simply for the fact that if the rat does bite it will be more traumatic to both you and the rat if someone gets hurt, making it almost impossible for the two of you to get into a good friendship with one another.

The Taming Process

Simply use the towel to gently pick up the rat from around the waist, and quickly have the rat supported in your hands (with the towel covering your hands) so the rat can feel ground under it's tiny feet. A stable environment is better then hanging in mid air... how sociable would you be hanging in mid air?

Once that rat is in one of your hands slowly use the other to pet the rat with your bare hand... from in between the ears on the top of the head to the tail slowly... and only pet from the ears to the tail, stroking backwards is uncomfortable for the rat. Do not try to pet the little nose of the rat before you have gained your rats trust... this is often the perfect time to bite and attack you if you startle the little pet.  Continue holding and stroking the rat for between 5 and 10 minutes spending on how much the rat wants to get away from you... the worse the rat is reacting to the taming process the less time you should have the rat out for.

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Ending Notes

Doing this action for a week or two your rat should get used to you in no time... once this happens you may start approaching your pet rat barehanded.

Here are a few more tips of things you can do to help tame your rat faster:

  • Hand feed treats
  • Put you rat's cage out where you are
  • Sit and watch and talk to your rat in a calm voice for a little while each day

Remember that if rats are not handled often the can become untamed quicker then they can be tamed, keeping your rat out and holding it for 10 minutes a day can prevent a rat from moving backwards in the taming process even can keep a healthy relationship going with you pet!

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    • Cam Anju profile image

      Cam Anju 5 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

      I would say you want a female Anonymouse. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Anonymouse 5 years ago

      This is real late, and I don't expect an answer, but what gender stinks the least, is better at learning tricks, and bonds with humans really well?

      Oh and sorry to hear about Blue :( R.I.P

    • andrebreynolds profile image

      andrebreynolds 6 years ago

      Wow great, this is very helpful.

    • profile image

      Regina Williiams 6 years ago

      my rat is from a pet store i don't know if they handle him or not or if they get them from breeder.

    • profile image

      scarlywarly 6 years ago

      i need some help my gorgeous new rat bit me and now im nervous to hold them what shall i do??

    • Cam Anju profile image

      Cam Anju 8 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

      I love rats too! I have had a few rats that were gotten abused and some that were not ever tamed, but mostly I have had wonderful times with my rats. I trained my last rat to come when I called her name and sit on my shoulder, the one in the picture was her, Blue... she was the best rat ever! :)

    • chauncygardener profile image

      chauncygardener 8 years ago

      I love rats. I have always gotten babies, so never had to tame an older one. I trained a few to do tricks when I was young, but usually just trained them to stay on my shoulder. :)