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Hey guys! I got my middle rat, Grace, on December 13, 2013. But...We just haven't bonded, and I find that even though she's been constantly exposed to humans, She's till skittish.....How can I get close to her while she still has time with us?
 

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If you got her over a year ago, I would think she has come around just about as much as she is going to, but you can always keep trying. However if you mistyped and actually have only had her for about 3 months, you might be able to remedy the situation some. When you try to hold and play with her how long are the sessions? I read somewhere that a rat can only maintain a fear response to you (while in close proximity) for about 15 minutes, so sessions have to be longer than 20 minutes, ideally at least 30 minutes. going into a bathroom and sitting on the floor with her, or even in the tub with her, maybe even closing off part of the room if it is a large bathroom will force her into close proximity and may help her to not see you as a threat. Rats especially girls are very curious and will explore you in this situation given enough time. Giving her treats or handfeeding favorite foods (the way to a rat's heart is through its tummy) can also help. As with all animals each rat has its own personality and some will dote on you and want to be with you all the time or as much as possible, some will be able to take you or leave you, some would prefer you just leave that food and go. All we can do is give them as much attention, patience and love as we can and recognize and accept their own personality and preferences when they are clear to us.
 

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After a while rats get used to the way things are in their home.... the don't do more or expect more, so they tend to not change too quickly when you change the situation.... but be persistent and consistent and your rat will adapt to a new level of intimacy, at least to a certain degree.

Best luck.
 

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I disagree. Iris came to me at a year and a half, and she was aggressive. I constantly put work into her and before she passed away, nearly two years in my care, she would brux and boggle as I pet her. I never stopped trying; at first it seemed like we'd only ever be "room mates", but we grow to be "friends" and I'd like to think in the end we loved each other. Just keep trying, loving her, getting to know her, spending one on one time with her, making her favorite foods. Maybe it won't be a magical epiphany, but one day I'd like to say you'd experience what I did, just casually petting the rats when the stranger grooms you...petting all the heads when suddenly one brown face with ruby eyes starts bruxing and boggling and falling asleep in her contentment.
 

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My reply was based on the rat living with this owner for over a year, not on her being over a year old when she arrived in a new home. And, I did indicate that the owner can keep trying to improve the situation.
 

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To some degree, rats that have been neglected at their former home tend to expect to be neglected at their new one. And yes, it's a bit harder for rats that are used to a certain degree of distance from their owners to suddenly accept change in terms of added affection. This really isn't that rats resist change any more than humans do, or that they love you less.... It's kind of like hubby bringing home candy and flowers every day after 15 years of marriage. You're not thinking he's suddenly become romantic... you're checking his collar for a strange shade of lipstick. Perhaps secretly you might prefer flowers, but you expect... "honey I'm home... what's for dinner?" That's the way it's always been and that's what you are used to. So would you rush out to Victoria's Secret or hire a private detective?

Rats are a whole lot like humans.... when they have a perfectly dysfunctional relationship, they get used to it and they don't necessarily trust change.

Again, that's not to say change is impossible, but it takes longer to change a rat that's used to a certain style of life than a rat that's brandy new out of the box and has no other expectations.

Best luck.
 
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