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Hi, I'm not sure if its okay to ask for advice on this forum but if not please delete or lmk!

I got two baby females around a month and a half ago and they're growing and doing well. Since I got them I've tried to handle them every day and ensure that I'm interacting with them.

They are used to my hands and when I sit at their cage they'll approach me and crawl over my for treats and food.

They're great at approaching me for food but when I take them out of their cage to play with them they seem so skittish of me and try their absolute best to get back into their cage - so much so that one of them will jump off of my bed onto the cage and climb her way in.

Ive tried following all the advice online that says I should sit at their cage and talk to them, get them used to my hands etc but they still don't seem very social with me.

Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations or know what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks!
 

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Rex, Penny, Sugar, Latte
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Hi, I'm not sure if its okay to ask for advice on this forum but if not please delete or lmk!
You're perfectly fine

They are used to my hands and when I sit at their cage they'll approach me and crawl over my for treats and food.
This is a really good start, it's a great sign that they come up to you instead of hiding in the corners or in a box.

They're great at approaching me for food but when I take them out of their cage to play with them they seem so skittish of me and try their absolute best to get back into their cage - so much so that one of them will jump off of my bed onto the cage and climb her way in.
If they only become skittish once you take them out of their cage then you can try two things
1. You can lure them out of their cage, by teaching them to come out on their own it teaches the confidence, it shows them nothing bad will happen if they come out, and by making their own choice to come out it will stick more in their brain. So before moving on to bonding time on your bed, you might want to get them used to coming onto you or the bed themselves.
2. You can get them used to you holding them. If you haven't done this yet then it can really help in the process of bonding with them, it'll get them used to being near you, being touched, and will also help to boost their confidence.

Once you get them to your bed a great way to bond with your rats is to empty your bed of hiding spots and wear some kind of sweater or put a blanket over your legs. This does a few things, it gives your rats time to explore and exercise their confidence in their surroundings and if they need to hide they need to hide near you which makes you safe place in their mind.

If you have any questions, concerns, or problems feel free to post them, and good luck!
 

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Unfortunately, I think some rats are like this. I bought a pair of rats from a pet store that were like this. After doing some digging, I found out from multiple other sources that they also bought unsociable rats from this same local pet, always from the same dumbo/rex line. (The fancy rats from this shop were apparently fine). My rats would also scramble to get back in the cage, cling to the wires when I tried to pull them out, pee and poop everywhere when I took them out, hide and refuse to interact with me or their surroundings outside the cage, and basically wanted nothing to do with me. This was a stark contrast from the friendly rats I owned in the past. After hearing from other experienced rat owners that their rats from this pet shop remained like this their whole lives, I decided to rehome my rats. I also called the pet store and gave them a piece of my mind. They were clearly breeding rats not for temperament, just for looks so people would think they looked cute and buy them.
 

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Keep picking them up often and working with them daily. Some of my most skittish rats have become my most affectionate over time. It's difficult to be patient but your rats are worth it. Giving up on them would be a disservice to them.

If your rats are uncomfortable outside of their cage, wear a baggy sweater or a robe and let them hide inside. You can also put a small blanket over your lap and let them hide while snuggled up to your legs. Either way, make sure that the only available hiding place requires them to be close to you.
 

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Unfortunately, I think some rats are like this. I bought a pair of rats from a pet store that were like this. After doing some digging, I found out from multiple other sources that they also bought unsociable rats from this same local pet, always from the same dumbo/rex line. (The fancy rats from this shop were apparently fine). My rats would also scramble to get back in the cage, cling to the wires when I tried to pull them out, pee and poop everywhere when I took them out, hide and refuse to interact with me or their surroundings outside the cage, and basically wanted nothing to do with me. This was a stark contrast from the friendly rats I owned in the past. After hearing from other experienced rat owners that their rats from this pet shop remained like this their whole lives, I decided to rehome my rats. I also called the pet store and gave them a piece of my mind. They were clearly breeding rats not for temperament, just for looks so people would think they looked cute and buy them.
What kind of bonding have you tried so far? I completely agree with CorbinDallasMyMan, sometimes you just need to be patient, if one thing doesn't work we can try to find something else that will.
 

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What kind of bonding have you tried so far? I completely agree with CorbinDallasMyMan, sometimes you just need to be patient, if one thing doesn't work we can try to find something else that will.
I had a bonding bag, I let them sit on my lap while watching TV (under a blanket), one would ride around on my shoulder (the other would jump off), and I was picking them up and taking them out of the cage at least twice a day. Me and my son would give them treats in the cage several times per day. I did this for about 6 weeks and they just got worse and more stubborn about being in their cage. They were obviously visibly uncomfortable outside the cage. I think they were a little slow, possibly inbred. They also would not play with toys inside their cage, they wouldn't wrestle and play together like my previous rats had. They would just lay in there, and they would freak out at any little noise outside the cage, or if the cat walked by (The cat would in no way harass the rats, just the cat's presence would make the rats go bonkers, crashing into the walls of the cage and darting around. My other rats never did this and were curious about the cat).
The thing is I bought these guys for my son, expecting them to behave like my previous rats. Instead they refused to interact with him, they scratched him and ran away when he tried to cuddle or pet them. I was cleaning out a big cage every few days for what felt like very little reward.

After talking to several people who also bought rats from this breeder (and told me their rats never got any more social, just ended up hating people more and more as they got older) I ended up rehoming them to a nice college girl who seems happy enough with them. She posts pictures nearly daily of them on her instagram. These are her first rats so she doesn't know any better.

I got my son another hamster. She is not very affectionate as hamsters tend not to be, but at least she doesn't desperately try to run away every time we interact with her. I'd like to try rats again one day in the future, but we live in a rural area so there isn't any reputable breeders, as I would want to go through next time
 

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I'm sorry you had to rehome them but I'm glad they got to find a good home, hopefully you can one day get back into rats, they are fantastic and loving creatures.
 
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