Rat Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi! So I recently adopted 2 baby boy ratties from a rescue organization, they are about 5-6 weeks old, so pretty young! My question is if I should be picking them up as much as I can since they are so young, I want them to be used to being held and what not. I’ve only had them for 3 days now, but they seem to be pretty skittish. I have them in a somewhat quiet room, but one that my husband and I go in frequently so that they can get used to sounds and us moving around. I know it will take time and trust training for them to be more confident and trusting with us. But, they seem to only be hiding in one of their boxes and don’t come out for treats or food, mostly they run around when they know we’re not in the room. If anyone has any advice/tips/tricks please let me know !! I am a first time rat owner and am very excited. I’ve done lots of research but it will be helpful to hear from rat owners first hand, also with them being so young I don’t know if I should be doing anything different than if I were to have adopted older rats. Thank you!!! : )
 

·
Registered
Cloud and Dew (Pearl Merle and American Mink, both with Irish markings)!
Joined
·
239 Posts
Patience and time is key! Eventually your rats will warm up, especially since they’re so young. They haven’t had much time to have any bad or good experiences with humans, so that’s a plus! When you pick them up, confidence is very important. If you think you might drop them, then they will think you’ll drop them. Try baby food, applesauce, or Cloud & Dew’s Cheerio Paste to coax them out from their corner. I made a big mistake, by being too impatient. My girls’ are happier then ever now, but when I grabbed them from the corner they seemed to be attached to, the small amount of trust we had was shattered. You might think - “This is taking too long”, “Why are they still scared?” and other things like this, but remember that ALL rats take different amounts of time to warm up, based on their past experiences.

~Good luck with the babies! 🐭✨
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Congrats on your boys!! I just got 5 boys that turned 6 weeks on Sat. On the first day, I offered cream of wheat on a spoon, and they loved it. I gave them cereal several times a day, just a bit on my fingers to lick off. I pick them up quickly and hold them for a moment. I also just put my hand in the cage and clean up, move things around and stroke them. On day 3 I took them into the bathroom in the tub. I sit with them and talk to them. They were so scared and hid and pooped everywhere, but came out for cereal on my fingers. I've done this every day. Today, 7 days later, they can't wait to get in the hammock and go for Tub Time. They are all over me, and so fearless. Touch them as often as possible, but not always to pick up. Hands in the cage bring food, move things, clean things. They will learn not to be afraid. Oh, and the pic is not sensitive lol. Just rats in a tub.
 

Attachments

  • Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18
    1.2 MB Views: 4

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
Everyone has their own way of doing things but for me, I handle new rats early and often. I confidently scoop them up from their cage, bring them close to my chest, carry them to where I need them to be (playpen or safe play area), then set them down. I don't personally try to hold them in my hands for lengths of time but I definitely pick them up often. I try not to surprise, corner, or chase them around the cage as this can cause more stress than it's worth.

Some rats just want to hide at first. I'll wear a robe or baggy clothes and let my rats hide while snuggled up close to me or I'll put a small blanket over my lap and let them snuggle up to my legs. If they want to hide, I want to become their safe space. They'll soon start peeking their noses out and exploring but return to me when they want to hide. During playtime, I don't give new rats hiding places that let them hide from me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
yeah, I may have given them too many things and places for them to run to. They never come out of there box when they sense that I am in the room with them, and they don’t make it easy to pick them up by scooping them up.. I think I should try the robe or blanket method and hopefully they will start to at least trust me a little bit. I’m just afraid of picking them up and scaring them but also I’m afraid if I don’t pick them up they will never learn to be okay with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
After our morning cereal today, I realized that in 10 days, mine have gone from scared and timid to confident. Samwise walked right up my arm, and then Merry did the same thing, so I can't trust them now lol. When handling, I pick each one up, hold him to my mouth and whisper their name, give kisses then set them down again. I do this over and over, so they have no fear of my hands.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top