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its been 10 days now and the lack of handling seems to be making anna more jumpy not less. She got loose again today and i have spent 12 hours trying to tempt her into a box to put her back in the cage. I am not enjoying the whole rat owning experience at all. i cant handle them and i let them out to run around and then spend the rest of the day trying to get them back into the cage because i cant pick them up. Stoli is getting worse too- every time anna runs or gets jumpy- stoli gets nervous too. Im seriously thinking about returning both to the pet store and getting two boys that were in the cage next to the girls and having spoken to their breeder- were much happier and tamer. It would appear that the girls have had next to no calm handling prior to me purchasing them so it would be fair considering i told the assistant i had never had rats before.

I know it is cruel to return them- but if im not enjoying them and cant handle them i cant see another alternative.
 

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Did you try to get rats from a breeder near you instead of a petstore? That would be an easier way to get tamer rats. I know a lot of rats from petstores are not handled other than being picked up by their tails, so they tend to be more wild. Sometimes you will find a tamer rat at a pet store, but not always. I am sorry you are having such trouble with them.
 

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I trained my girls to be calm around me by doing a forced interaction.

I held one for about 20 min, 2-3 times a day. In that time I petted them and talked softly to them. The reason you do it for 20+min. is because rats aren't scared after about 15min, so the time up to 20 they are enjoying you and getting to know you w/o being scared.

I wouldn't give up on your ratties yet, they're still young, and can be trained.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the support and advice. There was no was i could hold either for 20minutes. I didnt even manage 5 seconds. It was near impossible to pick them up out of the cage as that was traumatic enough for them. I did take them back to the pet store today- having spent 3 days trying to entice them back into their cage after they got loose in my bedroom. The manager of the store said that this was the 3rd litter they had had from one woman and had rats returned or complained about from all 3 litters. They accepted the girls back and exchanged them for 2 males. In the hour that i have owned them I have already been able to handle them more than the other two in the 13 days i owned them. I know that the ones we returned will probably not be rehomed- but as a newbie to rat owning they were totally unsuitable as my first pair of rats. I now have a cream dumbo and 'chocolate' coloured non type rat about 6 weeks who have obviously had alot of loing handling to date as they are totally different. I am looking forward to making friends with these two ratties- but havent named them yet as i have no idea wot to call them.......any suggestions.

Hope i wont have upset anyone by returning them- Im not a cruel person, honestly, maybe a more experienced owner would have been able to turn them around but i am not too proud to admit that I dont have th experience.
 

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It's understandable when you hear that the other litters have all been returned! My goodness!
I hope you get to know your new guys well, and grow to love ratties for their loving ways. I'm sure their personallaties will start to shine and you'll be able to see what name they pick for themselves :)
 

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it could be the way you're picking them up. Da Vinci didn't like being picked up a certain way, I had to sc\
oo]p her up from behind with both hands, just try doing that, and then setting them in an area where you can pick them up, do it a few time just pick up and set down, then give them a treat. She likes being picked up and exploring now, which is why there's a messed up spot in this text.


... she just peed on my desk
 
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