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I got my babes a week ago today and Im super confused. At the pet store they seemed super nice and were crawing on us as we were walking around the store! When we got home we put them in there new big wire cage which was explored throughly and as soon as they were done exploring they got cozy and went to sleep. The next day they didn't mind when people walked pass and they were still exploring and running aroud. but now they dont seem so play full. So instead of waiting the full three days of letting them sit I put peanut butter on my finger and they loved to lick it off. They would sit on the cage door and lick until they were full and then walk off and do something else. They didn't mind being petted through the bars and seemed to enjoy us looking in on them and talking to them. They really seemed to like us but when we tried to take them out they freaked out and would run behind the nearest object. So we let them be until yesterday when they're cage was in need of cleaning. I tried as nice as I could to get them to come out but wouldn't come. My mom finally took things into her own matters and cornered them with out asking me. We (me and my brother) held them for an hour or so and thats when I got really confused. One second they were pooping and peeing the next they were grooming them selves and didn't have a care in the world. They went from doing everything in they're power to get out of our sight to happy and relaxed. They went back and forth in like two minute intervals. So we shreded some newspaper and put it in a box for them to play in while we cleaned the cage. When we put them back in the cage they seemed fine. But today they seem really scared. They still eat from our fingers but insted of taking the food and just nibbling right in front of us they run and hide to eat and only stay in front of us as long as they have to. Yesterday I thought they liked being out but I was obviusly wrong and am now both confused and frustrated. With all of the past rats I'v had warmed up with in three days, and were unable to sit still. These girls sleep almost all the time and are super skittish. I don't know what I did wrong and want to know how to fix it. The last thing I want to do is hurt my little ratties! :cry:
 

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dont forget, ratties are nocturnal, so you are probably disturbing their beauty sleep... not that ever stops me from getting mine out to play.

just try putting your hand in the cage, and letting your girls come and sniff/lick/nibble you. they need time to adjust to their new environment and their new people, and some ratties take longer than others to adjust.

as for the taking food and running and hiding, thats what they do. its ingrained into their psyche's that someone/something will come and take their food if they eat it in public... because as those of us with siblings know... "whatever they're eating has to be better than what i've got"
 

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Supposedly rats cannot hold onto their fear longer than 20 mins which would be the switch from terrifed to relaxed and grooming...people say to hold them more than the 20 mins so their fear is over. Its called forced socialization and can work.

Your hands are like predators to them...swooping down from above and grabbing them...just like a hawk. Their cage is the Safe Zone, so you coming in trying to get them out of it is frightening. Your mom may have scared them too when she got them out, and they have pretty good memories these beasties which can be good and can be bad. They remember good treatment and bad. :roll:

I often hold my new rats the night I get them...but its more that I let them out on the couch with me and a blanket over us. I don't try to touch them too much but just observe their behaviours. if they are really scared give them a day to acclimate, but make sure you give them good yummy food so they associate you with good things and will end up trusting you more.

Go slow, talk to them, let them sniff you rather than you pat them...be harmless and be the Bringer of Good Things. :) They are in a new environment and they often will be nervous for a bit, babies or adults both.

Watch their body language carefully and when they are getting too frightened back off for a bit.

You'll do fine with a bit of patience. :)
 

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be patient and socialize them a step at a time twice a day. they are nocternal animals so they'l probably be in a deep sleep in the daytime. around six o'clock or seven o'clock they'l wake up and chances are they'l run to the cage door, adventerous and ready to play. if you bother them in the day time. it'l ruin their scedule so they won't want to play with you and just be tired, also they'l want to sleep in the evening to because they weren't able to get z's in the daytime. if you leave them alone during the day, they'l be ready to play with you twords mid-evening.

good luck with your cuties
 
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