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Discussion Starter #1
alright so i just got my rats yesterday, Molly Mayhem and Zombina (to see em go to the hello forum and see my post) and i had a few questions

1 how long does it take them to socialize with a new owner, like t get them to come over when i call for them and all that

2 what are some good training ideas for my ratties and how can i go around and teach them

3 what hours of the day are they most active

4 my cage has wire and has two high platforms and the wire spacing is about 1/2 inch apart, will this damage their feet at all or should i cover the platforms and ramps in an old tee-shirt. i've noticed that only Zombina goes on the platforms while molly stays to her corner waiting for Zombina to come back.

5 Should i be worried that they aren't eating much right now, i have only had them for less then a day i bought them last night and their food bowl looks hardly touched. is this just from the stress of being in a new environment and stress form the car ride still?

6 (the last one) what type of toys do your rats enjoy in their cages cause right now all i have is a wheel that came with the cage (its really funny they will climb on top of the wheel and try to run on it) a chube, and a cat ball that my girlfriend gave me (yes its clean she pulled it out of the package and i washed it incase it had her cats smell on it)

thanks for reading and i hope to get some replies soon
 

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1. It depends on the rat and how much they were socialized before you got them, some take a couple weeks, some take a couple months. Just make sure you spend as much time as possible holding them daily and you'll have two great rats.

2. Litter box training, start puting their soiled litter and poops in a litter box.

3. They are by nature nocturnal, so they'll be most active during the evening and night. But, then, my rats seem to have periods of activity throughout the day, and it can be spurred by giving them some treats, mine get excited and start running around after that.

4. Wire platforms will only damage their feet if they aren't cleaned on a regular basis; dirty bacteria can lead to bumble foot. However, that being said, would you like walking around on wire floors all day? Probably not, so you can cover it with some tile or whatnot.

5. I wouldn't worry about them not eating that much just yet, it probably is just the stress of the move, and if you changed their diet, that could be it too.

6. I think toys greatly vary depending on what rats like. Some of my rats like ping pong balls, little hangy things like hammocks and ropes to climb on, fishing for peas, and tubing.

:D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks so much, i will try the whole litter box training except they tend to only poop when i let them out and into their ghetto rigged play pen so should i just put those in the litter box in with them and they will start to use it? also would cardboard be good to cover the platforms with?
 

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cardboard is likely to be chewed up pretty fast as well as start to stink after only a couple days. if you have enough to keep replacing the cardboard then it'd be fine. but if you want something that is reusable then fabric that can be washed or sticky back lino that can be wiped cleaned is your best bet. both can be found cheaply at a dollar store.

i'm not sure what you're asking with the litter box question.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
by lino do you mean linolium? and the litter box question they only seem to poop out side of their cage so would i move their poop into the pan i want them to poop in and put it in their cage so they will start pooping there?
 

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yes, linolium.

yeah, that would work. by putting their poop all in one place it gives them the smell that that is where they should be pooping. but keep an eye on them in the cage too. they will poop there eventually and they tend to do it in mostly one spot. when you find out where that spot is (and if it isn't already the litter box) then move the litter box there.

another thing you could train them for is to come when called. first they'll need to know their names though. so whenever you pick them up or talk to them or give them treats (though with treats make sure you say something like yumyum or treats as well so they don't think their name means treat--don't worry they'll learn to distingush) say their name. eventually they'll catch on. once they learn their name then call them. "come Zombina". when they come give them a treat or a good skritch and praise them. keep making them come further distances each time. eventually call them and don't give them a treat everytime until you can have them come without giving the treat at all. this trick may even one day save your rat's life if they are getting to close to an edge or danger. it also really helps when play time is over and its time to go back to the cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
awsome thanks zombina is starting to learn her name molly is still being a nuisance they were cuddling up with me while i was watching dead alive and molly pooped on me lol i still need to find treats they like i have the yogies but they don't seem to like them and zombina kinda likes the carrot i brought up from the kitchen
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ok good, and ive been playing with my girls all morning and i've noticed something, molly seems to just stay in the corner of the cage when ever shes in there, she does sneeze alot but i don't see any discharge from the eyes or nose, should i be worried or is it just getting used to the new environment
 

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give it a week. if it hasn't lessened then it cuold be illness and get her checked with a vet. until then though i wouldn't be worried. its just the new place and smells.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ok good cus i fell in love with them ever since i picked them up yesterday and i would hate for something to happen to one of them so quickly
 

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I agree with the yogurt drops. It's the only treat that my rats would literally tear my finger off for. Usually they take things from my hand real sweet and slow but those they'll grab at you for. They don't eat the crunchy center, they just eat the yogurt off then beg for more. Then they start popcorning around like it's the best thing they've ever had.

As far as toys, a hammock isnt really a toy and it's taken my girls like 2 weeks to get used to it, but it's definatly their favorite thing to lounge in and chew on right now. Also bird toys are great. Most of them you can hang from the cage and they're made out of wood that it's ok for the rats to chew on. They have this star like windchime thing made all out of wood (a bird toy) and they love to climb on it and spin around and they chew on it, it's great.

As for as potty training them, I'm still stuck on that. Mine don't really poop outside their cage unless I leave them out too long and they just have to go. I have a potty area for them with a little pan and I am a very good about putting the little poops in there but they like to dig the raisins out and scatter them all over the floor. They don't take any of the litter out of the pan, just the poops, so weird.

I also have one of those crinkly ferret tunnels that I have in their play area that they love to run through and climb on and I have a smaller cage in their play area that they climb up the outside of and jump down, they're real climbers, so anything you can do to give them not just levels but actual vertical climbing space is great.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanx for the ideas penelope, the climbing is a great idea, especially for molly. my girlfriend bought me one of the ladders for a bird cage and now molly doesn't even use the plat forms but just climbs the ladder and then climbs the side of the cage to get to the top level for her food and water. its really cute
 
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