Rat Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to remind myself that it's only been the 5th day of my boys being home with me, also the fact that not every rat is the same. But I can't help but be concerned for my boys. I just wanna see if what im experiencing with my boys is common or not. Please let me know if you have or are dealing with any of these things and maybe give me some tips and pointers!

1) I don't feel like my rats are drinking enough water. I see Jekyll drink more often than Hyde, but sometimes I feel like he's struggling I've gotten them a new water bottle that seems to work just fine, but I dont know, I don't feel like they're drinking enough. I've also put out a water dish, and again Jekyll will drink from it time to time, but I rarely see Hyde drink. I don't see a big difference in the water bottle either (I tally where I fill it and see how much it lowers through out the day). Is there a better water bottle for younger rats?

2) My rats sleep a lot.
I've read up that males usually tend to be lazier, but these boys do play with each other. I don't see them chew much of their blocks, nor do they care for the wheel, seesaw, or dangle toys. They just like to stay on their second level and sleep. I took away their dark little hut (they'd sleep really fast when in it) and am using a see through igloo at the moment. I'll put the wooden hut back for bed time. Any tips to keep them awake or more active?

3) My boys don't like to play outside their cage.

Update: Today I got Jekyll to happily come out of the cage with encouragement and allowing him to burrow in a nearby blanket. He stayed out for some seconds then ran back in. Hyde came out for a sec too and again ran back in.

I realize I have to build more trust with them, but even if I just let them do their own thing they still just hate it. I brought them to a room where I just did my own thing and let them run around and be. They were making very loud clicking sounds and pooping everywhere and even on each other! Then they were literally jumping on the walls trying to escape the room. On occasion the climbed on my lap and let me pet them for a few seconds, but I could not once successfully carry them in my lap or pick them up.

4) I can't pick them up.
I've been trying to do the under hand thing - where you pick them up from under the belly into your palms rather than from above like a hawk. They immediately run away and get scared. No bites have happened to me yet but they immediately become suspicious of me for even trying. Jekyll has no problem going outside the cage for a treat in my hand (he does run back in the cage but he doesn't hide from me - unlike Hyde) but he doesn't seem to like crawling on me much.

5) Treat recommendations. The boys love their rat food (Oxbow) and I've currently been giving them carrots and grapes (in moderation of course). What treats have you been trying?

6) Hyde sneezed today for a few seconds (two separate spurts) and I am scared about it. They have a vet appointment this coming Monday. Jekyll sometimes does this funny twitching jump but again it's only for a couple of seconds and then he's back to normal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
I had similar things happen with "Mouse" lost him a month ago,,he was a pet store rescue,,,very leery,,,, and sometimes afraid,,,never bit me,,,I got 3 rats now,,,water,,,well, they will drink,,,sometimes more or less,they will adjust to a bottle, better than a bowl, which can soil. , the cage is their comfort zone,,,it does take time to lure them out, and as you say, you have had them a short time. Reward them with special treats when they come out. give them nuggies, ear and belly rubs,,,constantly talk to them,,,calm and soothing,,,thats how I got Mouse to accept me....he became a lap rat....do not give up,,,it is worth the time. I got Mouse to come into my hand,,,,first it was the scoop method,,,then after awhile I called him,,,held my hand out and and said ,,",up,,up,,up,",,he started to jump into my hand...and looked forward to getting some free range time...clicking,,,pooping it is nerves,,,getting used to a new home,,,a new caregiver, as a reward,,,,something you don't usually give them,,, that way they can associate special treat for good behavior, there is alot of foods you can give them,,,,I reward my boys with blueberries,,Hope you have a vet that knows rats,,,,,I wish you the best with Jekyll and Hyde,,,you are off to a great start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
1) I wouldn't worry about them getting enough water as long as they know how to use the water bottle. U won't see much of a difference in the level cuz they are so small. My 3 rats go thru a medium sized water bottle about every 2-3 days. And that's 3 of them.
2) they will start playing more outside the cage as time goes on. They need to trust their environment. I used a combo of immersion training and just letting them come on their own time. It will help to let them play in a small room like a bathroom where they can go back to their cage if they feel scared. Tempt them out further and further with treats like cheerios. My boys were fully comfortable during playtime after 3 weeks. It takes alot of time to build trust with some rats.
3) to help with picking them up try picking one up and then holding him in your arms for a couple mins. Then petting him to get him used to your hand. Don't put him down until he stops struggling. It's an immersion technique and it helps alot. I did this with my boy who hates being held so I can easily get him after playtime. Do it everyday a couple times.
4) don't worry too much about the sneezing. Some rats carry mycoplasma chronically and sneeze all the time when they aren't sick. But they do commonly get uri's so watch for congestion and rattling sounds. U can tell when their nose is really stuffed like a human. Also watch for red stuff on their nose or eyes. It's called porphyrin. It's a sign of illness or stress.
Things will get much easier after a couple weeks. It's just hard at first. Spend lots of time with them and they will warm up quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
I forgot to mention rats sleep alot. Especially boys. It's perfectly normal. They are nocturnal so they sleep most of the day. Boys are commonly not interested in wheels cuz they are lazy and rats who are older know wheels can be dangerous so they avoid them. Mine never used their wheel. If u want to play with them and they are sleeping they should wake up once they realize u are letting them out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
You sound like you're doing all the right things. My first pair of boys took about a month to really warm up to me, and did exactly the things that yours did, minus one of them figured out the wheel and would run in it. A year later, the other one did.

Some of my rats never run in wheels.

But give them time, and love, and attention, and chances to come out and play. I often would put their cage on the floor, open the door, then sit in front of it with treats scattered around me on the floor and on my lap. Slowly, they would come explore outside to retrieve treats and hop back in.

Eventually I would lay down on my back or stomach and let them run on me. (I swear, for one of them the carpet was LAVA!) This was fun bonding time, too. Of course, this was in a safe enclosed room with no hazards, so if they did decide to take off I could quickly and safely retrieve them.

They never did bolt, they were too chicken for too long.

But after a month, they totally warmed up to me and would bound out of the cage to climb all over me, looking for treats and, later, skritches and cuddles! (That was about three months into the bonding.)
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top