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Hello! My name is Hannah, and after about 2-3 years, i finally decided to get rats again! But this time, im a bit older and did my research. Before, i only had one rat at a time. They never had any depression issues and seemed very happy, but i realize now that was very cruel to them not to have rattie friends.
This time, i got a pair! I havent yet given them names though, im trying to learn their personalities before i name them. The first girl is a white one with red/pink eyes. She seems a lot more curious than the other girl and leaves their little hut a lot more often. The second girl is a lot more shy, shes black and white/hooded with some black going down her back. She also seems to eat more too.

Previous to this, i had three rats. All at different times, though.
My first rat, Poppy, had the most personality. She was a huge daredevil and would jump off my bed! (Which, i must say, is quite high up.)
She liked Cheez-its and was best friends with my dog. They would cuddle and she would stand on top of him. It was really cute. She was also my only dumbo rat. Her ears were precious.
She died in my arms, from what im going to say was a heart attack. She got into some of my candy. Im sorry sweetie. Please forgive mommy.

Second up was Abbey. She was very short lived, she got under my foot, and.. well, i guess i dont have to explain what happened. She was still very small, my poor baby. I have a framed picture of her somewhere, it got lost when i moved. It was a picture of her from the side, and it looked like she was smiling. RIP, my little angel.

My last rat was Missy. I probably had her the longest. She was my only rat that wasnt black and white, she was grey and white. She liked to cuddle with me while i watched TV and played video games. She was really fast and would sprint in short bursts, it was cute. She died of some sort of tumor on the side of her head. I tried my best by looking up ways to help her, but one morning i found her cold. My poor baby. Mommy misses you.

Now that im older and more responsible, im dedicated to being the best mommy ever for these two ladies!
I've been looking for the best type of food to feed them, and i've seen a few home-made food mixes that seem popular. But i've also seem people talking about lab blocks? Apparently they are not sold in stores. I'd love some input on this from experienced rat owners!

And one more thing i'd love some advice with. All the rats i've had previously had been pretty people-friendly. They were never really scared around me and warmed up to me very quickly. But this time, these rats most likely havent been handled much, and they're already pretty big. Not quite full grown though. Anyway, they're very nervous when i pet them and seem quite scared when i get too close, i've been being very gentle and slow. So, could i get some advice on how to go about this? How often should i pet them? I dont want to scare them by going in too much, but i also know they need to get used to me and be able to trust me.

Any advice is appreciated. Im very excited to meet other rat lovers. Thank you! <3
 

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The only thing you can really do to get them to warm up is to pet them a lot and do a lot of bonding. You could take an old hoodie and let them sleep in the hood/pocket.
 

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Bonding time is super important, they'll warm up to you eventually. You can try giving them fruits by hand, I do that for mine since they're still a little skittish with me (but they'll still take blueberries from me). Also, for rat food, everyone likes Oxbow Lab Blocks, and really it is worth the buy if you can order it online. I haven't found a store that sells them (I hate ordering food online...)
 
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