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Discussion Starter #1
Bert is the sweetest rat, and he's come a long way since he started rooming with Bastian. They love eachother despite Bastian's constant humping obsession.

We play out all the time but he never likes to be out of the cage for long. He seems the happiest and safest in his cage. But I can most of the time take him out and have him play in the play area.

One thing I have noticed is a very real fear of the play area if I haven't had Morgan and Hobbes play there first. He pretty much hates Morgan, they are in separate cages and have separate play times. But every time I've tried to have Bert and Bastian play first, Bert will NOT play. I did this today and he sat on my shoulder and when I tried to put him down he would run and hide in the corner :/ Other times, when Morgan and Hobbes had played first he will jump around and play after just a couple of minutes on me. He mostly tries to stay up high or around me though.

It's getting to the point in which if I wonder if he has some anxiety issues. He never seems completely relaxed unless he is in his tube hammock sleeping. He will come up to me to be petted and climb onto me from the cage but prefers to stay as close to the cage as possible. I've played with him everyday for a long time and I have come to terms that the cage is how he is most comfy, but I've been trying to expand his horizons.

So what do you think I could do to eliminate his fear of the outside world? Why do you think him not smelling that Morgan and Hobbes have already played today in the play area makes him more nervous? Do you think that is even the reason why he is nervous there some days and not others? Could there be other reasons?

Help here appreciated! Bert is a complex guy.
 

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Unfortunately I can't help you there, because my rats do it too and I don't have any solutions. I've tried telling my vet but he says their probably just smelling the scent of something else and afraid of it, but I kinda already figured that out already. Since then I've just let those particular rats go first.
 

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Yeah, he's a happy boy. Sometimes I wonder if he would be perfectly happy without me taking him out of the cage ever *sigh* But I try to nudge him out of his 'box' as often as possible. Morgan and Hobbes ALWAYS want to be out and about (Morgan especially) And while Bastian hates the process of picking up, he loves being out as well and will run around like a little chubby dumbo maniac. Bert more so tolerates it... maybe eventually he will love it. He does alright sometimes I guess, but he never likes to be out for too long.

Ah well, he's still my heart rat of the bunch, although Hobbes is really really pulling at my heartstrings lately as well. And I love everyone else, but there is something about those two they just remind me of myself I guess.
 

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Rats are so picky *sigh*. Sometimes I like the pickiness but at other time's it's just plain annoying. I hope everything will work out with him, and if you find a solution please tell me!
 

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The only thing that I can think of is can you cover some of the play area with a blanket, so he feels a little more closed in? It seems to help our PEW, who is terrified of big open spaces.
 
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