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Discussion Starter #1
I have three rats, Joshu Odin and Bastian. Odin only has one eye because that was how he was when I purchased him but he gets along fine without it. Joshu is a sweety and loves human attention, although lately he's been very sick which I am taking care of hopefully :(

But Bastian doesn't come out of the cage easily. He usually puts out his back legs and holds on. He loves being petted inside the cage and when you get him out he licks me to death (constantly it's really cute) but it just doesn't seem like he's comfortable outside his cage at all.

Odin HATES getting out of his cage and will claw at me to stay in. He usually wins as he is huge and strong. He squeks and avoids human contact :( Sometimes he will let me pet him without hideing and gives me kisses but he will not ever want to go out of the cage.

What do you suggest I do? I'm trying to keep the cage open when I am in the room to show that they can get out and look around the table they are on when they want to. This seems to have Bastian warming up to being out but not Odin. I've set it up as well so that their door opens as a ramp to their smaller carrier cage if they decide they want a change of scenery.

I've tried to lure Odin out on his own with treats, it doesn't work he will keep his back legs onto the cage no matter what and stretch as far as he can for the treat. He will loose interest in getting the treat no matter how tasty before he leaves the cage :(

Any suggestions. If Joshu continues to go downhill I will have two non social rats to take care of. Being a first time rat owner, that seems like more of a hastle to me then fun as I love to cuddle and hold and interact with my animals. So I have to try harder at making our relationship work :(
 

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Forced socialization - grab the rat, and hold him for at least 20 minutes at a time - talk to him, pet him, whatever, just keep your hands on him for at least 20 minutes till he calms down. Use gloves if you have to. When he's calm and not squirming anymore - put him back in the cage and give him a treat so he associates the experience with a reward.

It's the quickest way, believe me. Both my guys would squeak and squirm about when I first got them. 2 weeks was all it took. They practically won't leave me alone now.

Rick
 

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i agree with rcropper. that is THEE fastest way and it works great. i've also found that they will bond rather well if you share a shower with them. i'm not sure why this works as most rats hate getting wet but it does. adding showers to the forced socialization knocked my time down from about 2 weeks to almost 1. so when you take a shower in the morning or whatever taime of day you do, take them with you. you don't have to wash them everytime (though i take advantage that they're in the tub and wet anyway from time to time), just being in there will help. i've also noticed that this works well when introducing new rats to each other. let them play and meet each other in the tub for a bit, thoroughly scrub out the resident cage, then bathe them all at the same time together. its amazing how fast this little trick gets them to get along with each other.

you may want to try hoodies when you're doing the forced socailization bit too. they can stay in the pocket (a nice dark and warm place to be for a rat's nerves) and you can still pat them and be with them. tucking them in a balcnket with you will also work. if you tuck the ends around yourself so they can't sneak out then put them in there, they have more room to move but they also have to be on you and again you can get your hands in there to pat them and give them treats.

to sum up though (after my little tangent) is to do the forced socialization and take them in the shower with you. that'll get them coming out of the cage and being with you just fine. keep us posted on your progress.
 

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twitch said:
I've also found that they will bond rather well if you share a shower with them. i'm not sure why this works as most rats hate getting wet but it does.
That is extremely interesting to me. See - I was introduced to rats at a behavioral research lab. Next to the parrot they had 8O , the rats were by far the most interesting animal. They put cats to shame on the intelligence scale. Dogs too in some respects..... dogs have an advantage in that they are on the same size scale as we are, and have better eyesight. Rats cannot understand what *we* are beyond a big blurry thing that smells uinique, and comes bearing treats :wink: .

Anyway, to put out a theory as to why this might help, I would sugest that it has been found that steam helps to clear breathing passages, and the heat relaxes the muscles. I would surmize that the rat finds it as pleasing as we do, and probably it's simply working as an positive association. Sharing the pleasent experience is much like giving them a treat in a way. But better for them, and easier to administer to uncooperative rats.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hrm... Although the shower is interesting I'm not sure I want to try that this time. Those two really like to use their claws o_O And they seemed to hate their dip.

Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a go and tell you what's going on <3
 

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i took my rattie (grim) in the shower, and i think i got more dirty then clean, he urinated on me most all the time the shower was on... xD


the sad part is, THE SMELL STICKS >.<


but reaper, he loved it :D
 

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well you're not supposed to let them climb on you or leave them on your shoulders. i just let mine run in the tub (i have a shower/ tub thingy) while i wash. then at the end i give them a bath (if they need one this time) or just kneel down and play with them a bit. after the shower is over i dry off my hair then with that towel thoroughly rub the rat dry. this way keeps them from peeing on me, or scratching me to ribbons. they'll a little excitable for the first few mintues in the tub but they settle down fast. and i find they really love the rub down. mind you they're calmer by the rub down part (i take 20-30 min showers afterall). i know some people take considerably less time. i don't know if less time would work well (i've never tried it) but the way i do it works just fine.
 

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yea, i learned that trough experance... but i also tend to take EXTREMLY hot showers... as to the point im bright red when i get out... so i let them chill in the steam, and not the water when i crank it up that high... but i actually bathed them today.... reaper is active as heck anyways... and with some johnson & johnson baby body wash, it was like squeezin a wet bar of soap, lol... grim tried to go down the garbage disposal after leaping out of the sink several times...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
working on it. Odin takes a lot more work than Bastian but surprisingly Bastian is warming up rather quick.

Problem with Odin is he get so scared, he defecates and urinates... and his poop is HUGE ><
 

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Da Vinci didn't seem to like going in the shower. She spent the whole time trying to jump out (I didn't know she could just that high!) but she did enjoy being dried off and is now happily warming up inside my robe
 

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at first they will try to get away. except on the rare occasion most rats don't like getting wet. but if you keep putting her back in the shower with you and make it so the shower head can't reach at least one corner where she can get away a bit she should calm down in few minutes of the shower. and i swear rats have springs in their legs just for freaking out their human parents at bath time! and i have yet to meet a rat that didn't like the dry off bit. i once had a rat that liked the whole thing actually. he'd play in the water and brux like mad as you rubbed the shampoo in then brux again when you rinsed him off then would almost fall asleep as you dried him off. he was quite the character! anyway, with time she'll become accustomed to shower more and won't try spring boarding out of it so much.
 
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