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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.

I got a rat today and was wondering if anyone had any tips on taming her. I have let her rest all day and just tried to offer her a biscuit. She was very scared and refused to leave the dark corner of her cage. I don't mind waiting but I'm worried that the longer I leave it before handling her, the more likely it is that she'll hate me?!?!

Please let me know if you have any tips. I think I may be so worried about it because my last rat hated me and bit me whenever I put my hand in the cage.

Thanks!
X
 

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If you've only got her today, then you really can't blame her for being scared and timid.
Just talk to her gently through the cage. Always talk to her when you're doing stuff in her cage, changing water and food etc.
She'll get used to your voice and then eventually want to know you. It's always suggested that you leave an animal to settle down for 24hours before you start putting your hands in etc.

:)
 

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Congrats on your new rattie! :)

First off, are you planning on getting her a friend? Rats are so social, they really thrive with the companionship of other rats. Single rats can be lonely, unsure, and withdrawn. A same-sex companion would help her feel much more secure.

If you’ve only had her a day, don’t worry, what you described is pretty normal. I would let her settle into her new cage a little before trying to handle her. Keep offering her treats, it’ll help her associate your presence with good things. What I did with my girls was to wrap them in a towel and hold them on my lap while I watched tv each day. The towel helped them feel secure (like they were hiding) while they got used to me. Plus it made cleaning up any accidents easier. If you have a hoodie sweatshirt, or one with a big pocket, that will work as well. Be consistant and handle her daily and she will come around.
 

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Hi , Sonoma is right , getting her a little rat buddy is the best thing you can do for socialising your new rat.I was at my wits end with my 1st rat snoogles.She was terrified of me for months no matter what i did.

She was shy and timid , in-active , looked sad and lonely and wasnt interested in me atall.I tried all the advice given to me on this site (search for my posts) but nothing worked until i introduced her to little esme !

Almost imediately she perked up , was alot more active and generallly seemed a million times happier than before , after a week or so id come home from to find them both waiting at the cage door for me !

Looking after 2 rats is no more difficult than looking after after one and its so much more fun to watch them playing and interacting with each other !
 

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i think all the basics have been covered. patience and another ratty friend being key points here. a lot of tricks were offered to gary so you can look up posts in this section by him and get the information that way.

Gary26UK--- you can edit your posts with the edit button on the top corner across from your user name on every post. if you do it fast enough, no one will ever know you made a mistake in the first place. ;)
 

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at first when i got pooky she would always use the restroom on me and after about 3 or 4 weeks she stopped. It takes some time for her to get use to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your help everyone! As it stands I have had her for three days now and she still runs into this big tube I have whenever I look at her and doesn't seem interested in taking food from my hand. I talk to her loads and she doesn't seem vicious so fingers crossed she'll come up to my hand one day!

Also, I was wondering if it's worth taking away the massive tube I mentioned because I just can't get to her in there. I know she needs a hidey place but at this rate I will never get to handle her!
 

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She's bound to be timid at this stage - it's a habit that I've always found is broken head on. She might not want to come out of the cage - but unless you make her do it she'll never realise the wonders of the outside world.

The longer you leave her without handling her, the safer she will feel with her 'run and hide' behaviour. By leaving her alone, you are enforcing her beliefs that by acting like this, she will get what she wants and be left alone.

Try and get her out (force her out if necessary - but be gentle)- if at first only for a few minutes. I usually find a bed works quite well, as there's not normally too many places to run away. Just hold her on you (wherever she decide's she's happiest, be it shoulder, lap or in your shirt lol) and just pet her gently. Pop her away after a little while, leave a treat for her and repeat again after a couple of hours.

Be gentle, but firm. She needs to learn that you are not something to fear, and the more timid of our furkids find this a hard lesson to learn.

And, I would leave her tube in her cage for now - she needs somewhere that she feels secure while in the cage. It might also prove quite handy when getting her out - just taking the tube out while she's in there.

Good luck :)
 

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Ration1802 said:
She's bound to be timid at this stage - it's a habit that I've always found is broken head on. She might not want to come out of the cage - but unless you make her do it she'll never realise the wonders of the outside world.

The longer you leave her without handling her, the safer she will feel with her 'run and hide' behaviour. By leaving her alone, you are enforcing her beliefs that by acting like this, she will get what she wants and be left alone.

Try and get her out (force her out if necessary - but be gentle)- if at first only for a few minutes. I usually find a bed works quite well, as there's not normally too many places to run away. Just hold her on you (wherever she decide's she's happiest, be it shoulder, lap or in your shirt lol) and just pet her gently. Pop her away after a little while, leave a treat for her and repeat again after a couple of hours.

Be gentle, but firm. She needs to learn that you are not something to fear, and the more timid of our furkids find this a hard lesson to learn.

And, I would leave her tube in her cage for now - she needs somewhere that she feels secure while in the cage. It might also prove quite handy when getting her out - just taking the tube out while she's in there.

Good luck )
Call her name in a gentle friendly voice and immediately throw in a little tasty treat. In a few days she will associate your voice with the treats. after that you keep your hand in the cage at a distance where your rat still feels comfortable. As she is getting more confident you can have your hand closer by her. let her be your guide and don't force anything because it will set you back in her training. This technique has worked well with my mice as well and if I call them , they all come running out and even walk up on my hand.
Good luck, time will be on your side so have patience, it will pay back big time.
 

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twitch said:
i think all the basics have been covered. patience and another ratty friend being key points here. a lot of tricks were offered to gary so you can look up posts in this section by him and get the information that way.

Gary26UK--- you can edit your posts with the edit button on the top corner across from your user name on every post. if you do it fast enough, no one will ever know you made a mistake in the first place. ;)
Ha ha , thanks for the tip ! :D
 

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Rations right , taking her tube out would be forced socialization which should always be the last resort.

A little tip that helped me was to find a place with few hiding places , like the bathroom floor.Close the door and just sit in there with her with a few treats.Your movements may scare her a little at first but once she gets used to the idea that you moving about doesnt mean instant death or torture shell be alot more relaxed and less frightened.Try offering her the odd treat if she comes close to you , but to be honest mine was always far more interested in exploring than eating treats !

Good luck , i know how upsetting it can be when you have the best intentions but your ratty just wont seem to trust you.
Time , patience and a little ratty buddy for her is honestly the best advice,along with regular handling , even if it is just 10 or so mins to start off with.
 

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now, i have to disagree on the forced socialization needing to be the last resort. i know some people don't agree with it and that's fine but in my experience it works great. i've never had much problem getting rats to like me to begin with but with the ones that were more timid i just held and interacted with them more, even when they didn't want the attention because they were afraid.

mind you i'm a firm believer of: you have to work through what scares you to get over the fear and the best way to do that is to confront it until it doesn't scare you anymore. for instance, i'm afraid of uneven ice under my feet. it panics me everytime i have to walk on it but being in eastern canada its hard to avoid. last year i got so fed up with how terrified i was over it and how long and out of the way my path would become just to avoid a little bit of ice, i made myself walk on it whenever it was in my way. by the end of the season i was only nervous about it instead of heart in throat fear of it. its now winter again and there's ice everywhere. i've not had to deal with it for 3 seasons and guess what, i'm afraid again though not as bad as i was before. because i didn't have to deal with it i regained that fear. but i decided i was going to continue what i started last year and make myself walk on it instead of avoid it. its only been a week or so but already my fear level has gone down.

i've been terrified of ice for years until i decided to face the fear and i'm starting to get better about it. rats don't have years, or at least not very many, i'd rather have the rat get over its fear as fast as possible so it and i can enjoy the short time we get share together.

but again, that's me. its worked for me and makes sense to me, but that doesn't mean it will for everyone. anyway, just my 2 cents
 

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Forced socialisation (or 'gentle persuasion') is, in my opinion, the way to go.

I've just got 3 boys - who the day after I got them were the most timid little things I've ever seen, I've never known any of my rats hide so much. But after 'forcing' them out of the cage and to run around with me sitting by them, holding them and picking them up often - they're absolutely fine. Two of the three will now run out of the cage onto my shoulder, and the third will happily play around me outside the cage (albiet nerviously still).

For refence, I've had them since Sunday afternoon, so that's 4 days?

Patience is all well and good, but while you're waiting for the rat to come around to you, you're reinforcing their timid mentality.

That's my opinion anyway. Obviously there may be situations where excessive stress is caused by bringing them out against their will - but I've not experienced one yet
 
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