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I've inquired about some of these issues in another topic, but wanted to put them together with some of the other questions i have.

1. Coming to their name
Simply... they don't. They will come to me. No to their name, but they will come to me... when they feel like it. Hasn't really been an issue, but I would like to give them more freedom, but I think I need to get this down first.

2. Taking treats
They won't take them while I have them out... they hardly show interest in it, but as soon as I put them back in their cage, they'll grab it so fast... This is a problem, because most of the positive reinforcement comes from... treats... how am I supposed to teach them their name or anything really, if I can't reward them while they're still out?

3. Running when I try to pick them her up
Only one of my rats does this. She'll run every time I try to pick her up. Once she's out though, she's fine. Maybe she just views it as a game? While in the cage, if I stick my hand in there, she'll come sniff it, whatever. She only does it when I go to pick her up... She'll even come sniff me right after I've tried to pick her up, but as soon as that hand goes over her, she's running again lol.

4. Sleeping too much?
They don't seem to be too terribly active. Well, somewhat. I heard the wheel going last night, I got up and looked, could only find one of them. The other was up in her hammock napping. That same one also seems to sleep later than the other and she doesn't run around on me as much. I took them to the vet a few weeks ago and they were perfectly fine. She's eating fine still. Maybe I'm just catching her at her down times?

That's all I can think of atm. Any help would be appreciated... I'm just not feeling that strong bond I've heard about. I love them to death, don't get me wrong... I just feel like both them and I are missing out.
 

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1. Coming to their name.
I'm still working on this one with ours - I've got the eldest trained, but the youngest still ignores me when I call her. Best I can suggest is give them a treat every time they come, but not when they don't. Rat's respond very well to rewards for good behaviour. And keep persevering.

2. Taking treats
If they are girls, it is likely they won't take the treats until they have been out of the cage for a while - they have far too many other things to be interested in to think about eating. Our girls will take the treats after they've been out for 15 or 20 mins.

3. Running when I try to pick them her up
This is pretty much normal, if my youngest girl is anything to go by. Try to make sure you are getting a good grip on her, ie not just getting her belly, supporting her legs, too. If you are already doing this, try sitting or crouching in font of the cage and letting her climb out onto you, then grab her! :lol:

4. Sleeping too much?
As you'll probably know, rats are nocturnal. It is most likely that they are up in the wee hours when you are sleeping. If the vet has given them a clean bill of health, I wouldn't worry too much. Maybe, if you have room, you could put more things in the cage for them to play with, to encourage them to be a bit more active.

The best thing for most issues with rats is consistency. They are very intelligent and if you keep at it, they will learn eventually. :)
 

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Something you can try that a friend of mine did and worked. Try to offer them more treats while they are out than in the cage. If you want you can only give treats while they are out. With my friend after about i think it was 4 days they would take treats from her in and out thier cage.
Then once they take treats the name coming should be a lot easyer, Then Donnak Coverd the last to the same as i would :p.
 

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Coming to names is the one area where i've had success with my boys!!!! Oscar comes to his name every time without fail - Moss is getting the hang of it, but he's still just a baby so hopefully by the time he's Oscar's age he would have perfected the art too :D

I started off by giving them a treat (yoghurt drop, chicken, bread - in very lttle bits though, so it doesn't take them long to eat it) every time they came near me, and crinkled the yogie packet, or rattled their treat tin (quietly), They'd be so curious about the strange noise that they'd come to investigate, and find a treat waiting for them when they came to me! Oscar soon began to associate the rattling of the tin and yogie packet with food. Once he'd learned to come to me with the tin-rattle, i started saying his name either while i rattled it, or in-between rattles. I gradually stopped rattling once they got good at coming to the name-rattle combo. I then began by just saying his name, making sure i said their name until they came to me (in the same tone of voice) and while they were eating it. Now Oscar comes to his name AND the biscuit box, which is good but a pai if i'm trying to fill it up quietly while he's asleep! They both go crazy if i even lift the lid off lol :D

I know that's a bit of a ramble bu it worked perfectly for me and so long as you've got some time and patience to put in (and don't mind monotonously saying your rats name over and over again :D) it should work for you too, fingers crossed!

My rats will also only eat small things like yoghurt drops and tiny bits of food outside their cage - anything that's bigger is a prize deemed worthy of stashing so they take it in their cage and hide it to eat later. Eating outside of the cage will probably only happen whtn they trust you and know you're not going to steal their food xD

DonnaK: Rats are nocturnal? I thought they were crepuscular...they are active during the dusky/twilight hours of morning and evening, and they sleep off and on during the day and the night in shifts...my boys sleep from about 11pm (my normal bedtime) and sometimes don't even wake up when i get up to go to College the next morning at 7am. They're in my room and i'm a light sleeper, i rarely if ever hear them up in the night.
 

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Sara_C said:
DonnaK: Rats are nocturnal? I thought they were crepuscular...they are active during the dusky/twilight hours of morning and evening, and they sleep off and on during the day and the night in shifts...my boys sleep from about 11pm (my normal bedtime) and sometimes don't even wake up when i get up to go to College the next morning at 7am. They're in my room and i'm a light sleeper, i rarely if ever hear them up in the night.
Ours also come to the crinkle of the treat packets. That's a really good idea. I'm going to try that with our youngest :)

As far as I have always understood it, they are nocturnal, but I may be wrong. I just assumed they were nocturnal, based on our rats' behaviour and reading other people say that they were.

Our girls are still awake when we get up in the morning. I feed them, we have a playtime, then they go to sleep. They sleep pretty much solid until about 9 or 10pm, then they are up and about. I can hear them knocking about in the night, and if I wake up early (say 4 or 5am) I can hear the wheel going and bells ringing.

EDIT: Actually, I remember reading in my rat book that they do adjust to your way of living and the times you keep. I'll see if I can find that chapter again and see if there's any more info than that on it.
 

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For some reason, even without positive reinforcement my ratties have learned that quickly. It's not 100% but they do know to come to their names. I think I should work on the treat thing though to make it 100%
 

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The book (Rats - Complete Care Made Easy by Debbie Ducommun) just says pretty much what I already said -

"Naturally nocturnal, rats are awake and ready to play in the morning and ready to play in the evening when most people are home from work or school. If the house is empty during the day, they're content to sleep, but rats can easily adjust their schedules to match those of their human companions."

Our rats are in the same room as us for all our waking hours - both me and the hubby work from home. The only time they are alone is overnight. They still sleep through the day, only getting up once or twice for the loo or if they smell our lunch and fancy some :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thnx for the response guys, I'll have to try them out. Unfortunately, I don't have time to get them out for TOO long, But i'll try to make time.
 

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TheMutt - rats need to be out of their cage for at least 2-4 hours a day.
 

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No way! That's awesome :) I'm really happy to hear that, since rats need a lot of stimulation and attention because they're so intelligent and personable. Some owners don't understand this at all, so I'm always glad when others do! I let my rats free-roam in my room most of the day. I leave their cage open and have a ramp down to the floor so they can get out. They love it :D
 

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i have made sooo many card board box mazes for them it isn't funny they free rome on the couch most of the time and they all poop all over it LoL thank god for old sheets being put down first plus my kids play with my ratties all the time (they have both been trained very well to 1. never pick them up 2. never stick their fingers in front of their faces and 3.NEVER NEVER try to hurt ANY of MOMMIES rats or I will personally see to it that they get whopped LoL just kidding i don't beat my kids but they will get corner time if i hear any kid related/caused squeaking LoL
 

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im not exactly sure how many hours my rats get out of the cage, but lately it's been spent just on my shoulder. they're guys so as u no, they're not as spastic as girls (however amusing that is :wink: lol) so is that ok that they're usually on my back? its just hard to let them go cuz im usually running around the house and i dont have any rat-proofed rooms.
 

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Well, make some rat-proofed rooms! ;) Being out on your shoulder really doesn't count as playtime, since they're basically not moving at all. They need to run around, explore, climb, et cetera. If you can't rat-proof a room currently, look into getting a playpen for your rats (Martin's Cages has a great large one).
 
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