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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there!

I recently acquired 2 rats on Sunday, and am working on building trust with them. As of now, they will take food from my hand and will even follow the treat to the door and allow me to give it to them.

However, I've found it difficult to pick up the rats and bring them into a rat-proof socializing room without them scurrying about and running away.

Basically, I am trying to found a less scary way to gather my rats outside of the cage. Also, I have a Martin's R-280 (Rat Lodge), and the big ramp right at the door obstructs this as well. Any suggestions? If I keep doing the food/treat method, will they eventually become less scared and willing to come out? I feel really bad forcing them into a corner and out of the cage.
 

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Yes, they will eventually become less frightened as they start to associate your hands with good things. When we first got our boys, we would put our whole arm into the cage and they would climb up our shoulders where we would feed them a treat. We took small, gradual steps - rewarding them for closing the gap every time. First, they may only be comfortable running up your wrist - this is perfectly fine, just reward and build up their trust. Liquid treats are great for this since they have to stay near you to eat. You can try baby food, yogurt, oatmeal, baby cereal - limitless options. Just be patient and keep spending time with them, it will get better!
 

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I find that it's easiest to pick up an uninterested/frightened rat by slowly petting them with one hand and then scooping them up by the butt with the other from behind. They're usually so focused on the petting hand they don't notice the other until you've got them. Once you've got them cradle them in the crook of your arm and pet them with the other hand. Usually scritching them on the back of their neck works best. Eventually they'll get use to it and not put up such a fuss. Especially once they realize that you doing this means they get to have free time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Good looks on both of your replies!

My plan tomorrow is to sit by their cage and repeatedly give them attention for a few hours. Give them treats, read a book out loud by their cage, etc.

I really want to get them out of the cage for some playtime tomorrow, but I don't want to force them out and scare them as an expense. Guess I'll be taking it slow and steady with these 2 guys.
 

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Try taking them into the bath tub and then letting them have free run all over you. That did wonders for Tempy when he was young and terrified of me.
 
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