Need Advice! My rat is clawing at my mouth and eyes?? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Question Need Advice! My rat is clawing at my mouth and eyes??

Hi All!
Vlad here again. Just as a refresher, my husband and I adopted a pair of dumbo boy rats (Klausse and Wolfgang) and they are now just over 3 months old. We LOVE them and they love us and all is super with them. They have totally bonded to us and we have pet and cuddle time with them several times a day so they are very happy and so are we.

That being said, Klausse, our Russian Blue boy seems to have a strange habit. Several times now, when one of us has him on our shoulder or if he is playing on the bed next to me, he will suddenly slash out with his front paws and pull/slash at my mouth or the side of my eyes. It was very startling and I got some scratches from this and it hurt like ****. I basically gave a strict "No!" in my strict Mommy voice and made a "squeak" sound to let him know that was not a fun thing for him to do to Mommy.

He has done it to my husband a few times too. I know Klausse loves us to death and he is very affectionate and loves attention and pets so I know this is not something he is doing to be bratty or because he is unhappy or anything. Is this his attempt to get our attention, or his form of rough play or something? I just want to understand the behavior a bit better. His brother Wolfgang has never done this. Klausse is also the mouthy one, who grooms our fingers and nails the most, just as an FYI. Any thoughts on this behavior? Anyone ever have that happen with their rats?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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My boy's have done it too, but mostly to my mouth. It's just them being curious and trying to clean you. It's a sign of affection and them thinking you're a ratty like them. That's what I'm getting, from the sounds of how bonded and loving you all are to each other, I highly doubt it's aggression of any type.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, Klausse actually had a tendency to perform "dental exams" on my husband and try to clean my husband's teeth so it could be that he is also trying to pry my mouth open to groom my teeth as well, but he is just being a bit rough and snatching when he does that so I guess I have to keep telling him "no" when he scratches at me (because it hurts!) but I was confused about him snatching out at my eyes too, which is kind of weird...but someone else mentioned their rat does that in an attempt to play with her eyelashes!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 07:05 PM
 
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If you let him do it to you once, or just go along with what he's trying to do, he'll usually not do it as often. Rats can be very persistent. Once their curiosity is filled, they won't do it as often!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 04:48 PM
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your rat dont sound agressive as every one has siad but persistent. you can do the no thing becuase granted letting them do it after a while they lose intressed and dont do it as often or train him to do it when you tell him like a trick. Turn a habbit in to a trick. Also when he dose this and is ruff you can rat roll him. turn him on his back making the sound they make when they plat with one another and the other has had enough and rolls them on thier back to say hey enough. exsposing his belly and if he just lays their after the sound made keep him their till you count to 5 while making the noise one or 2 more times then let him up and give him some love pats to asure him your not mad but you have had enough. the more he dose it the longer you can hold. ushally when this is done they gey back up before you can pet them and bounce around in play becuase thier like ok got the message lest play something eals.
I have done this rat rolling on very agressive rats and have had sucesse with in 3 days to only a week of working countinulessly with them. I also do this to all my rats even babies and they see it as yes play but they also see it as oh mom and dad are nicely showing they are head of the mischife (pack of rats) to them its a form of play and showing dominets in their langue. There is also a place on yahoo groups called joinrats which is for thouse who are trying to better understand the rat and relate to them in their own lauge and much more. it foucuses on temper and comunication with your rat so you can live in harmoney and understadn your rat better to pin point signs they may give that they are sick that cant be seen yet, or in pain but not making a noise. there is this site (same as the yahoo group) http://www.joinrats.com/ or this one http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/JoinRats/messages
all are welcome to join. but I dont think they are doing it to be be mean they are just playing ruff.
Diamond


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 07:40 PM
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No one said that her rats seemed aggressive, the thought that the rat was curious.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 10:34 PM
 
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I said he doesn't SOUND aggressive, only curious. >.>

If you let your ratty have what it wants a few times, it'll loose interest. All my boys wanted to clean my mouth, I let them once (haha ew, I know), and now they don't. Tada!
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 01:21 AM
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two of my girls always want to do this, i usually let them because it's cute and i let them out just before bed time, so i can wash my teeth and mouth really well before i go to bed anyway. if i'm in a grumpy mood or just don't want them to do it, i brush my teeth with a toothpaste called euthymol. it's a really strong, wierd anaseedy taste and my girls don't like it.

if you don't want to subject yourself to mouth grooming (we call it "rodentistry"), let them do it a few times and hope they get bored of it, just hope they're not like mine and never get bored of it!


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Great posts everyone, thanks! My husband actually loved when Klausse would groom his teeth but our small animal vet said that although she knew we thought it was cute and fun, that people have so many germs and bacteria in their mouths that it is not really a good idea for the rat to get nasty people germs on them, so I understand.
As for the clawing at our mouths and grabbing hard at my face, Klausse has gotten much better with our "eeps" and "No's" when he is too rough. So he is doing great with that!

Vlad
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 03:06 PM
 
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Glad to hear everything's going alright. Klausse is a good boy! My ratty boys are too spoiled to listen to me half the time.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Aw, thanks for the post! Yes, we are very proud of Klausse for trying so hard. He IS a good boy! We spoil them both rotten too, so I am glad he still listens to us.
I have to really get around to posting some pics of my boys. Klausse is the most sweet faced Russian Blue boy..just a sweet pea. And his brother Wolfgang has that scrappy doo agouti face that I love. Okay, I am gushing now. More later. Cheers!

Vlad
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-2009, 10:44 AM
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awww he sounds like a sweet rat, although i didnt know they do teeth cleaning, you should be careful as you said the bacteria from your mouth can harm the rat, and its not all that hygenic for humans either!


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-2009, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, our small animal vet said that teeth cleaning is not hygenic or healthy for either us or the rats and we stopped Klausse from his mouth cleaning, reluctantly, as my husband just got a kick out of having Klausse "clean" his teeth.
But we did stop and Klausse lost interest in being a dentist.
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