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Discussion Starter #1
one of my three four-month-old girls has a bit of an attitude problem. matilda has always been skittish, and lately she's been flat-out refusing to come out of the cage on her own. the others (the two young girls and the old lady) all jump up and approach the door when i open it, wanting out, wanting treats and attention. but matilda usually jumps into the nearest available box, tunnel, towel, etc. she fights being removed from the cage, and if i pull her out, she squeaks bloody murder (she doesn't bite or scratch, but she certainly complains and squirms). once out, she again dives for the nearest hiding place, and doesn't explore like the others.

i've tried carrying just her around in a sweatshirt pocket or hood, but all she does is hide, and squeak and poop on me if one of the dogs barks or a door closes. i've had them since may, and this is getting ridiculous. her littermate, olive, is my most curious and brave, and they've got the same genetics and life experiences. so i don't know.

she does, however, curl up to sleep with the other girls, and wrestle with them- it's just people she doesn't like. should i just let her do her thing, have her ratty social life, and enjoy cuddling and playing with the other three while matilda sulks? i don't want to be unfair to her, but i've tried, and human interaction doesn't seem to be what she wants. what do you guys think?
 

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My four month old is kind of like that too, and it started about a month ago. She ran from me instead of to me and didn't like to be picked up, although she did still explore while she was out and never scared-poopied on me. I just continued handling her and spending time with her, I talked to her and pet her... and I'm just realizing now I kind of used forced socialization with her, even though she had already been socialized. I didn't want to leave her alone because I was afraid her dislike of being handled would get worse if she wasn't exposed to it a lot, especially since my other girl was a horrible biter and I never handled her. Now she doesn't object to being picked up, and she does still get sulky sometimes and will hide in my hair for a few minutes, but then she gets over it. Usually she's happy to get out and crawl around on me and even boggles now.

I'm pretty sure this is their "teenage phase" and she might come out of it on her own in a while. FS worked pretty well for Coconut, and it's working wonders on my scared shy little girl. But my biter stopped biting after a long interval of nothing after I had tried every forced socialization tactic I could find, so I do think just leaving her alone and letting her come around in her own time may work. I didn't handle my biter, but I talked to her a lot, and I would give her treats if she came to the cage door when I opened it, and eventually I started petting her a little before I gave her treats.. it seemed to work on her.

You'll probably get much better advice from people with more experience though ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i'm just hoping her interaction with the other rats will be enough for her until she's ready to approach people.
 
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