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Discussion Starter #1
My S/O's mom loves our rats and thinks they are cute, which is more than I can say for my own mother, and for this I am grateful. BUT I really don't like how she handles them. :/ She is too rough with them and gets frustrated eaisly...anyway, as you can probably tell I'm fickle about who touches them. I know them well and can see when they aren't being handled correctly. I try to not get upset but she never listens! She does what she wants and is very stubborn and gets her feelings hurt when I correct her. This is actually the reason I keep them in our room. Does anyone have any advice? Nice ways to say "Stop holding my rat like a three year old? "... I hope to be moved out in a few months...but until then she is driving me crazy.
 

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Maybe make it about what works better than stopping current behavior? Like... "They actually feel more secure and like it best if you hold them like this..." and then show her.
 

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I'm afraid I'm no help in this situation. I have no problem yelling at people when it comes to my girls. They're my kids. If i see them being mishandled my first reaction is a "HEYHEYNONONONONO!!!!" After they're safely back in my arms then I'll explain what they did wrong and if they do it again I have them leave. I don't mess around when it comes to my kids.
 

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Before you let her handle them show her to do it correctly. So get them out yourself and say 'I learned the other day that they actually prefer to be held like this, someone showed me and its so much better'' then show her how to do it correctly. This way you're presenting yourself as not knowing something and she should feel less stubborn, rather than being the person that knows everything and telling someone else off, you're presenting a situation where you learn together.
 

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It can be awkward when people take things personally and don't listen on top of it. Unfortunately you have to be cruel to be kind sometimes in life. Try the suggested method where you say 'Its better for them and prefer being picked up this way', then show her. If it doesn't work, you'll have to do it the cruel way. 'No picking up my rats till you do it the way I showed you'. Can't have your Ratties stressed out!
 

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Are your babies actually getting stressed or suffering from the situation? Rats are very resilient and although I'm not recommending picking them up in a rough way, unless they're sqeaking they probably don't care too much. Obviously we all mother them loads but they can take quite a lot! And if it upsets you I would definitely try and sort it :) However I would never suggest yelling at someone whilst they're holding animals or around animals, it can stress the rats out more because they don't understand the shouting. You want your rats to continue to be a positive presence in her life, but I would agree with Akarah and if she doesn't listen to you when you try and teach her then I wouldn't let her pick them up until it's the correct way. I definitely wouldn't go about shouting at her though.
 

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I think everyone has already given you great advice. I second the no yelling thing. I wouldn't yell either. My rats are like my kids, and that's exactly why I try not to yell around them. It just freaks them out more. Positive vibes. You can always see if your SO might want to talk to her. Sometimes they know a better way to approach their mothers. Unless they blames you. "XYZ wanted me to talk to you because XYZ doesn't like the way you hold our rats." That wouldn't look good at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks guys...wrote out this long long thing that got lost, ugh. I have tried "they prefer", she didn't really seem to care. Next time she has one of the girls out I'll try showing her what I learned, I like that idea. I wish I had the guts to say 'you aren't holding them until you can do it right.' I doubt I ever will :(
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Today she asked why don't you ever let me hold Pinwheel? Pinwheel is a beautiful fawn girl, she is a warm rich color, absolutely stunning. I love her to death but she is, erm, special. Pinny is a rats rat, she is very finicky and will barley tolerate ME holding her, much less being roughed around by S/O's mom. She takes everything as a personal attack. It can get very frustrating!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I guess this has been bothering me more lately because we just got a new girl. Lovelace is still getting use to everything, and it doesn't much help that she is constantl being manhandled. Though I do appreciate her interest in my girls, it's annoying that she only really wants to play with the 'special' ones (my dwarf and my harley) I have ratties with much better personalities, no offense to the two girls, that she never wants to handle. My PEW may not be stereotypically cute, but she has the sweetest disposition and loves meeting new people. She is very much a people rat all around.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Makes me so happy that you like them! I love all my babies names and it takes me forever to find the perfect one <3
 

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Well you can always treat her like a child. Hold the rat and remind her how to hold her hands before handing the rat over and if she changes position cheerily go "whoops she's a squirmy one! Let's let you readjust" while moving forward and gently lifting the rat up out of her hands while talking. Doesn't leave much room for protest or argument. Sounds like the more you make it the rat's fault for being in the wrong position or anyone's fault but hers, it'll go better.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good idea webspinnr! And she certainly acts like a child..well if the shoe fits.
 
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