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Hello!
I have two male rats, simon and lewis!
Only issue is a can't get them to like me, i've had them just over a month and they wont let me pick them up. when i went in the cage today to pet them and simon turned round and bit me! like a ready quick sudden bite for no reason, didn't break the skin but i don't know what to do about it! I can't pick them up because the freak out and try to run back into the cage if i move them!!

help??
 

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Hi there, love.
I'm sorry to hear that you're having trouble with your boys.


It's not that they don't like you, at all! Your ratties will be all over you in no time. Rats are naturally prey animals and they're very territorial.
Plus, to boot. The majority of ratties have bad eyesight.

So, you perhaps may need to look at it from your rat's perspective to understand.
A big object coming at you in your home, whilst your cornered.. Going to take you away and God knows what's going to happen. I'm sure you would react negatively, too!

I started off with two boys and my rat pack has now grown to 8.

I can really only give you what I've done and my personal experience. A lot of people immerse their ratties in different ways.
ALSO: A Really good thread to look at would be Rat Daddy's Immersion thread.

Anyway, it really depends how often you take your rats out. See, I don't know the relationship between you and your boys but I can only assume you may not take them out very often/they're not used to you being in their cage.

So, first steps..

Placing your hand in the cage:

->Be slow and cautious, but confident. Try placing your hand, palm down flat on the cage floor.
->Let your rats come to you. Let them sniff you, lick you, nibble you. You want them to do this. As long as there isn't any blood drawn, that's wonderful.
-> Once they're aware of your presence, try picking them up. You need to support their butt too, or they will feel unsupported and squiggle.

If you do NOT feel safe/confident in picking them up, you may want to try to get them to take treats from your hand in the cage.
At the very beginning of the immersion process, treat overload is a good thing. You want your fur babies to associate your hands with something good.

As male rats are generally lazy creatures.. In my opinion, a really good place for bonding sessions is on a recliner or love seat, if you have one of these available to you that's great.
Be sure you have some time on your hands, (AT LEAST a couple of hours.) Place a blanket on you, or a towel.. and have treats at hand.

Let them explore your lap, sleep in the blanket and you can stroke them, give them treats. They'll more than likely stay in the towel for a while.. Place your hand in there so they get use to your scent and stroke them.
Co-erce them with treats to come out of the towel and talk to them.

If you do not have a recliner/love-seat.. your bathroom is your next best thing.
*Block off behind the toilet*

For bonding sessions, the smaller the area the better.
You want your babies to be used to you, you want to gain their trust.

If you only have a bathroom do the same thing, put them on your lap, with a towel.. play with them.. treat overload.

----
When I got my first 2 boys, I had no idea what I was doing. It came just kind of naturally.
I was off of work for a week and had nothing to do. My initial 2 ratties were pretty shy.. But I would spend 12 + hours with them... Whether it be on my lap on my recliner, my bed, in my shirt.. Giving them treats and stroking them.

I now have 8 and they all eat from my hands and cuddle/sleep on me.. So I must be doing something right..

ALSO: Maybe when your rats start eating treats out of your hands, try putting yogurt on your fingers.. this is a GREAT trust training tool.
It allows them to differentiate between you and food and they can't run away with it and hide.

If you have any other questions, I'm always here to help!

Best of luck. :3
 
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