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I recently rescued two male baby rats from a shelter. They're assumed to be brothers and they have both warmed up to me over the two months or so that I've had them.

While I expect the occasional accident while handling them, one of the rats has made it clear that he is urinating on me on purpose. For instance, if I walk by the cage and I say hi to them, let them kiss my fingers etc, he will sometimes lift his entire body up by climbing up the cage a bit, so that his genitals are near my fingers, and he'll pee. I assume that the purpose is to mark me as his territory, but I don't believe this is a behavior that is healthy to tolerate. I don't want either rat to feel that only they can enjoy my company. I obviously don't like washing my hands because my rat decided to pee on me, either. I haven't noticed my other rat performing this behavior.

Can/should I do something about this?

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If a rat pees on you in small drops, it is to mark its territory and designate what belongs to it as you guessed it. It's a natural behavior for rats, in a group they also pee on each other ... and for him you are part of the social group. It’s like a mark of friendship.

However, it is very difficult if not impossible to eliminate as a behavior simply because it is part of the social codes of the rat. This is an important behavior especially for males.

If the amounts are large, he may have a health problem. The marking pee, in principle, is one or even a few drops, but not a whole pee.

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