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bonding progress

579 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  newbie rat owner
I’ve had my rats for almost 2 months now, and they’re the first rats I’ve ever had (expect some other stuff before the main part of this)

when I got them, I’d had a huge cage for them, but I’d overlooked how small they would be at their age (>3 months), and they could slip through the 1 inch bars of their cage, and I’d had to buy a smaller cage for temporary placement (I felt horrible about it, felt so bad having to put them in such a small cage </3)

since I’ve gotten them they certainly have gotten bigger, and today I tested out if they could slip through again. I had a wire fence with 1 inch spacing from when I had a guinea pig, so I used that. I put them in, and they couldn’t get their heads farther than their eyes (can they physically not or are they like cats?)

anyway, they weren’t exactly used to fenced roaming. every night I’ll let them run around in my bathroom. as such, they weren’t accustomed to such a small space. while they couldn’t fit their heads out, they would grip at my fingers and try to pull me in from outside, and seemed very eager to be near me, I’m not sure if this is because they want to be near me or rather I am just a constant in their free roam time. they would jump the bars and crawl over me.

when I got them, I had expected patches, my more dominant girl, to be the most interested in me. she would eat from my hand and let me pet her (granted it was while she was eating from my hand) although now I’m noticing she is likely just food driven. noodle, my dumbo, was shyer and more timid in the beginning, however over time she’s become very sweet and outgoing and is usually the first to greet me.

now, they’ve taken to running up my hands and up my sleeves to sit on my shoulders (not for long, however), and noodle seems to be the most interested in climbing over me. patches will allow me to pick her up when she’s being fed, and I haven’t attempted this with noodle (I’m afraid to hurt any trust building), but picking up patches outside of food is a hassle. while they climbed on top of the fence, I picked them up to put them back in their cage (they were climbing over the top so quickly), patches clung to the fence like I was going to kill her! I got her off and she seemed ok going back in the cage. noodle was easy, she was willing to just crawl into my hand to go back in.

TLDR: 2 months and hopefully trust progress, but I want to know if weve peaked at trust. will they allow me to hold/pick them up in the future? will they become less erratic as they age? are they seeing me as a creature they want to give affection or just a jungle gym for them to run around on?
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It all sounds like it is going well.All rats are individuals and once the basic trust training is complete and they realise that instead of a giant predator that is going to eat them you are actually a friend that is going to look after them and provide them with food you just hang out with them and let your relationship with each of them unfold over time.....and it does take time.Does can be very skittish when young but often mellow as they get older.My little skittish one,Mango,is now 17m old and even though she has never liked being picked up and handled she has suddenly in the last month decided to constantly pay me attention by runningup onto my shoulder and grooming my head and licking my face.Nothing to do with me,all her decision!
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