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Hello! My partner and I adopted two male rats from our local Pets At Home (UK equivalent to PetSmart) 1 week ago. I was wary about getting them from there but they'd been up for adoption for ages and no one wanted them and I'm a sucker for stuff like that. The pet shop didn't have much info on them which leads me to think they haven't had much human interaction. I'm not sure on their ages either.

Needles is the bigger male, he's white with grey specks. He seems to be more at ease around humans and won't bite or scratch straight away. He has some breathing problems so sometimes he clucks a bit, but we're using clumping cat litter which isn't dusty at all and keeping it the cage clean. Jinkx is albino and one of his eyes is a bit cloudy. He's VERY nervous and bitey. I don't think he bites out of fear, I think it's his way of seeing what things are. But he cowers away and jumps at everything.

I want them to be able to trust me, I'm just not sure on the best methods! Does anyone have any tips? I care for them dearly and they're lovely rats, they're just really nervous and I don't want them to bite me.

Thank you in advance!!
 

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I tend to agree with the vet check up. Then take a read through the immersion guide at the top of this section. That should give you a running start.

Best luck.
 

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Sometimes rats can get a bit sneezy in a new home but if he is making clucky noises I'd agree with others a vet is probably needed.

I also strongly suggest not using the cat litter. It is not ideal or IMO a safe bedding for rats. Paper, aspen chips, paper pellets or fleece are all much better options.
 
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