Rat Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
sorry, as i said in my last post i am a first time rat owner. i have yet to hold my rat at home (i only got her the day before yesterday and they told me to leave her alone for 24 hours). every time i open the cage door, she gets completely scared and runs to her far corner even though i was holding her fine at the pet store. now i know that i need to pick her up to make her friendly and keep her friendly, but what is the best way to do it? normally ill walk over to her cage and talk to her quietly and let her smell my hands first so she knows its me. just want to know the best way to approach her. do i just reach in and grab her? im worried that if i do that she may bite me and never want to be held. please help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
First off she should really have a friend. She'll be more open to exploring new things with another rat to comfort her and ease the stress of moving to a new place. :)

At first when I had just started to consider a rat as a pet I only wanted one ...But as the weeks went by and I studied rats more and more, I learned of the health issues that appear in lone rats. I also started to think of how I would feel if I didn't have my Fiance. See, I just recently moved from Washington-state to Virginia, and if I didn't have him to comfort me as I adjusted to this new house, I would have literally gone insane. I figured it's not fair to keep a rat on it's own, because I wouldn't want to be on my own, so in the end I got two girls.

A great way to show a rat that you're a gentle giant is to give them a treat that they can't snatch and run away with. Lots of people use vegetable baby food, but I bit a grape in half to show my girls that it's safe, then offered it to them while holding it tightly so that they couldn't take it and run. That way they were forced to stay in front of me to eat. Any time they test-nibbled my fingers I'd say "No" in a gentle yet stern voice, then move slightly to attract their attention back to the grape. ^_^

She might bite when you pick her up, but don't be afraid of the chance. Animals can sense fear, and if you're scared then she'll be even more scared.

Good luck with your new rattie!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
Don't be afraid - that's the main thing.

Of course you can just pick her up (in my experience the more they are held (on and off, not constantly) the faster they adapt to their new home and routines). She may wriggle, squeak but if you're gentle about it, I can't imagine her biting. The sooner she understands that one of the reasons you're there is to hold her the sooner she will settle down and allow you to.

I am a bit of a hard-nut when it comes to introducing them to me though, so you may want to take things slowly, it depends on what you feel more comfortable with. Many people give them a few days to settle down, holding/petting them within the cage. Feeding them treats/food by hand etc. Once she gets used to your presence, you can begin bringing her out of the cage and getting her used to being held and running around outside the cage.

Ultimately, it's your decision and will depend on how comfortable you feel about holding her. Forced socialization (the first method) or the patient approach can both be very effective. The main thing is being gentle with her and watching her body language - obviously you get her out of the cage and she is not handling it well at all, the patient approach should be used. Or if the patient approach doesn't work - you may have to try forced socialization etc.

It's a lot of rambling, so I apologise. But I hope it helps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
Most definitely get her a same sex buddy. Rats are extremely social.
I would pick her up as often as possible and cuddle her, or keep her in your shirt. The longer you are together the faster you will bond.
Two rats are a lot more fun than one. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
thanks everyone, that did help. i held her for a little bit earlier, she was squeaking and squirming so i didnt hold her long, but im going to work on it little by little :) im definitely going to get another rat as well. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Good job. ^^ Keep that up and she should soon realize you're nice.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top