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So all my life I have been obsessed with my pet rats, always asking for more if em'. Now, I am 15, thinking about boys and I literally take them out for like 5 minutes a week. I feel sooo bad. I have 4 1.5 year olds and I don't pay any attention to them. I feel awful about it but I don't want to give them up. I want to be interested in them again so bad but I can't. Wtf is wrong with me? I love rats! I just think maybe I've outgrown them? I love my babies so much but at the same time I don't really enjoy them anymore? Idk what to doo!!!!
 

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My first suggestion would be to provide better care for your current mischief, and let them live out their lives. (They're already 1 1/2, and unfortunately ratties don't live that long, so depending on the rat, they might be nearing their time) If you can't manage to find time to give them the proper care, I would consider re-homing them. As much as that may pain you, if you can't/won't give them the attention they deserve, it might be better to re-home them.
I would say for at least one month, make it a habit to play with/free range your rats for at least 1 hour per day. (You might form a habit of getting them out everyday) If you find you can't do that, I would re-home them to someone who will. I would suggest going through a reputable rescue, as they will be able to get useful information from the possible adopter.
 

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Maybe for a bit u can do something like let them free range in a rat safe area while u do something like watch TV within that area? u can still keep an eye on them and they still get out of their cage but maybe that won't feel like as much work. perhaps that'll give u time to determine if this is just a phase ur going through or if u need to look into re homing. or try forcing yourself to play with them for say 30min and maybe it'll help you remember why you love them and you'll question how you ever thought u were "over rats" . I kind of went through a similar thing when I first got my rescue cat but after forcing myself to stop ignoring my rats I started to remember why playing with them didn't use to feel like a burden and soon I found myself looking forward to rat time again
 

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It's not that we stop loving our pets, it's that we change priorities normally as we age. At 5 my daughter was all about rats all the time, now at 9, it's like a few minutes a day... there are games on her tablet and other things that are taking away from going out to play with the rats... It's normal that at 15 other things will take priority over rats. In time you will grow back into them... As to what to do with your current rats, I take care of my daughter's rats, they are pretty much becoming mine.. I can't offer you any advise though, at 15 your interests are likely to be what they are.
 

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You have to remember that you are in control of your life and what u do. I think everyone has periods or days where they just don't have the passion/energy to give their pets everything they need. But u do it anyways.

This will be an amazing lesson to learn at your age and probably help u in so many other aspects of your life.

Make a daily/weekly schedule. Put in everything u have to do like school, homework, etc... give yourself free time for "thinking about boys" or whatever. Then also plan a block of time for your rats.

I am not saying it will be easy :) But when you are 30 and trying to juggle a job, housework, kids, husband and figure out when you are going to workout, read, have fun with your friends you will be so happy that you already learned the skills to juggle life!
 

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It's normal at your age to want to socialise more with friends, rather than your animals but don't worry; wait until you get older, like 20 and you'll jump back on the bandwagon. Please, try and make time for them and if you find you can't then give them to someone who will- It doesn't mean you're a bad owner, it just means your priorities have changed for now but you can't allow rats to live their already short life cage bound, it just isn't fair.

I'm sure you come home at some point in the day and I'm sure you probably chill in your bedroom for several hours doing whatever you enjoy doing after you've been out with your friends, rat safe your bedroom and just allow them to run around for themselves; you can even buy things in shops for them to play on, on the floor. If 2/3 hours a day is all you can do then so be it, there's 4 of them so they won't be as lonely as 1 would in the cage but they still need to come out for several hours a day otherwise it's just not fair, if you think you are unable to do this then I'm sorry but you might as well get rid of them and give them to someone who will show them attention.

I hope you decide on what to do and I hope everything works out for you. :)
 

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I went through that too. I had other things to focus on and it took away my attention from the boys. What really helped was ratforum and videos on YouTube. It helped me get excited again, to get the motivation to do more with them. I still wasn't perfect, and I never will be. But I'm a much better pet owner now. Especially since I've moved out and I'm living as an adult.
 

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I had that stage. I didnt want anything to do with them. Youtube was a larger priority. But then i thought from their point of view. And i relized that if i taught them things it would make it more fun. agility, tricks, and anthing fun that you would like them to do. The problem is, is that my boys are so lazy that they wont even do agaility for a treat. Try to make it fun for both you and your rats.;D
 

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That's pretty normal at 15. I'm 19, I've been there. Around that age our priorities change and become more centered around things like school, boys, boys, boys (you get my drift) and generally becoming independent so you can enjoy life. In a year or less you'll be eligible to drive depending on where you live and that's when there's no coming back (though, I still can't drive, haha). It's also the age when you start finding out about yourself and the things you are interested in. There's no reason you can't balance your responsibilities with your enjoyment. It's good to have friends and do fun things, just as long as you remain a responsible person and make wise decisions. Be smart and be yourself. You don't have to live up to any holier-than-thou standards, just be mindful of where you are in life and try your best to be a good person who makes responsible choices. Your future self will thank you.

No need to make rats a childhood thing to let go of. It's not like they're symbols of being a baby, like your barbie dolls or My Little Ponies (no hate to the adult fandom). They're pretty versatile pets for any age group. People rarely outgrow having dogs, even if they've had them as children. Do what some other people have suggested to get excited about rat keeping again, if you can. And make sure that you always treat your rats well. Dedicate your time to your current pets before getting new ones, especially if you're burnt out. You can go out with friends and have a date if you want, but set aside some time every day or at least every couple of days to take out your rats to free range. If you get bored, you can set them on your bed or some otherwise inescapable place and do some light homework, reading or another hobby while you supervise them. Make them a part of your schedule to ensure their well being, and remind yourself of what great little creatures they are. It also wouldn't hurt to make something for them or buy something for them so that you can give their cage a fun theme and express yourself at the same time. It helps pique the interest.
 

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You need to honor your responsibility to the rats. They have no say as to what happens during their brief lives. Don't abandon them, they need you.
 

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I was in your position for a while. Though my disinterest was caused by depression and anxiety causing me to do nothing at all, much less play with my rats. I had eight rats at the time and ended up rehoming three of them, mostly because those three were more than I could handle and I felt little to no attachment to them at that point. I hardly was giving any attention to my rats, but those three were especially neglected for reasons too long to explain here.

My suggestion to you is to look at what is important in your life. My rats were important to me, so I forced myself to take care of them even when I didn't want to. I'm glad I did because I was able to work through it and now I enjoy my rats more than ever after I made some life changes.

However, if you can't bring yourself to give your rats the love and attention they need, I highly advise you to consider rehoming. They need love, care, and companionship and if you cannot bring yourself to give that to them, they may be better with someone else. I know it's a hard thing to think about, but I hope you will use that thought as encouragement to spend time with your rats.

Which is preferable to you? Them sitting in their cage with no human interaction, them going to someone who will provide them with plenty of love and interaction, or you spending time with them and giving them the love and interaction yourself? Think on those possibilities and then choose what your priority is and do what you think is best for your rats.

I do have suggestions of things to try to get interested again. Have you tried teaching them tricks? Setting up a maze or an obstacle course for them to navigate? Though I haven't kept up with it, teaching Pooka and Anya tricks REALLY helped me find enjoyment in them. Even my ailing girl Eevee, who has since passed, got in on the action, so age has nothing to do with trick learning ability and it could be something as simple as following your hand, which is what I started with. Going through hoops is super easy to teach as well.

I'm sure you'll end up doing what is best for your rats. You clearly do love them. :) Everyone goes through hard times. I'm really not trying to be harsh by mentioning rehoming. I just know the idea of rehoming my girls was the kick in the behind I needed to work harder at taking care of them, because I certainly didn't want anyone else doing it. lol.

Best of luck to you and your ratties. I'm sure everything will work out right in the end. ^_^
 
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