My rat seems to have OCD....

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frass
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My rat seems to have OCD....

Post by frass » Wed May 25, 2011 5:29 pm

Hi everyone! I am new to this forum and this is my first post.
I have had Margot and Sylvia for nearly a year (1 year old in august!) and they are great little ratties :) But Margot has been exhibiting some pretty weird behaviour that I'm curious about: she seems to have ocd like habits!

Only with food though. She will go up to their food bowl, which is one shelf up from the base level of their cage, grab something, run back down and place it in the poopiest corner of the litter tray, then repeat. She hoard food like this all the time, right in the pooiest part of the tray! What's more, is that she places the food down very sytematically, like for example; she will grab a pellet, bring it down, put it in the poo, run back to get another one, place it very neatly next to the first, repeat; until they are all in a neat line or pile.

The food stays there for ages! I know she may be marking it as hers (she is the non-dominant of the two) but I am worried that she will get sick or is not eating enough as Sylvia often eats what is maked as "margot's" anyway!

Anyone have any experience of this or advice? Margot is a bit skittish and shy and generally strange, but there has to be another little weirdo out there!

Lots of love, Frass.

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Eddy's mum
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Re: My rat seems to have OCD....

Post by Eddy's mum » Wed May 25, 2011 5:51 pm

Welcome to the forum!

Your girls sound like fun. One of my boys does something a bit similar; when he's out of the cage if he finds anything tasty but too big or too many to eat at once, he'll move it all to various secret stores around my room. I then come across them when I'm cleaning - but sometimes its so funny to watch him busily ferreting stuff away I just let him. By the way, he's the fatty of the group and obsessed with food!

But they all move food about the cage to hide from each other at times. I don't think your girls doing anything to worry about - but yeah a strange choice of location! Perhaps she's just keeping busy...

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Re: My rat seems to have OCD....

Post by daffee » Wed May 25, 2011 5:53 pm

Welcome to the forum :)

Don't worry, making food stashes is very normal, as is doing so in the litter tray :lol:

But if the food isn't being eaten then it's possible you arefeeding too much. How long doesit stay in thecage? Ideally they should have finished all of their food, including emptying the stashes, a few hours before their next mealtime. If it's still there then don't feed them until it's all gone and make the next feed a bit smaller - they'll tell you you're mean at first but will soon get used to it. :luck:
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Re: My rat seems to have OCD....

Post by Jemma » Wed May 25, 2011 6:00 pm

Making stashes is fairly common, especially in girls. Whilst there's no harm in it if it means there not eating all there food. If you want to stop this as well as adding a lot of excitement and challenge into there lives you could switch to a more varied mix (nuggets are very dull for such intelligent creatures) and scatter feed. This encourages them to hunt for there food in a vary natural way and they are often kept busy for much of there day for interesting and exciting bits of food
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Re: My rat seems to have OCD....

Post by Beeratz » Wed May 25, 2011 6:27 pm

One of my boys does something similar but only with walnuts that are still in their shells. He has 3 of them set in a line in his bed and if they get moved even slightly he will not settle until he has put them back just how he likes them to be ( he is a very odd boy lol ). He doesn't seem to exhibit this behaviour with anything else, only his walnuts!?!? Maybe it's a rattie thing?
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frass
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Re: My rat seems to have OCD....

Post by frass » Wed May 25, 2011 6:32 pm

Hi everyone, thanks so much for your replies! I think there may be something in the over feeding... I will try what you mentioned about smaller portions and stricter routines. I use the Shunamite Rat home-made diet, its great as you can vary the ingredients slightly to keep them interested (and keeps their coats so so soft).
Beeratz wrote:One of my boys does something similar but only with walnuts that are still in their shells. He has 3 of them set in a line in his bed and if they get moved even slightly he will not settle until he has put them back just how he likes them to be ( he is a very odd boy lol ). He doesn't seem to exhibit this behaviour with anything else, only his walnuts!?!? Maybe it's a rattie thing?
OH my gosh! This is exactly like Margot and her nuggets! So cute. We should get them together so they can be little neurotic ocd ratties together :)

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Re: My rat seems to have OCD....

Post by Alijane » Wed May 25, 2011 6:48 pm

My girls food stash and aren't happy until the bowl is emptied and the stash corner is full. Lola - my old lady - is in charge of stashing. Occasionally Rosie - her sweet, fat, very dumb daughter - gets involved. Rosie is very food orientated and wants to keep her stash in the safest possible place. So she stashes it under her bum. Unfortunately, she has an attention span of approximately two seconds, so makes a stash and then tootles off. By the time she remembers that she has got a stash, the others have eaten it. My cleverer girl - Dorothy - often sits beside Rosie, waiting for Rosie to complete the stash and wander off, then sits there, calmly eating it all. When Rosie stashed ice cream, it all got very messy ... :lol:

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Re: My rat seems to have OCD....

Post by Jimi+Milo » Wed May 25, 2011 6:59 pm

When I used to feed nuggets and in a food bowl Jimi always used to do this and always in the filthiest place in the cage :roll: .
When I'd spot him doing it I'd clean whichever spot he'd chosen as he was running back down to get more, also when he started getting fat I'd steal them from his chosen place and put them back in the food bowl so he'd be running up and down to collect the same 4 nuggets(cruel mummy :lol: )! It was like he thought I was never going to feed him again or something! He'd run to the bowl, stuff as many nuggets in his face as he could, run up to the stinkiest corner, line the nuggets up and repeat! His poor brother would be sat there wondering what on earth was going on lol.

There was 1 day ages ago where it was really hectic in the house and there was loads of people in and out, I assume the food bowl had been filled up about 4/5 times because there was a stash of about 50/60 nuggets in the top of the cage :o . He obviously kept emptying the food bowl so people just kept taking it upon themselves to top it back up again!

My current boys only stash the good stuff like the fish, its quite funny watching them run around the cage looking for somewhere to hide it, then the other will find it and do the same :lol: .
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