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I found a baby rat behind my house this morning, and he was soaking wet and shivering. I brought him in the house and put him in a little box with some old pillowcases and a homemade heating pad so he could dry off and get warm. He has been inside his box and with me for a good few hours and he is dry now. His eyes are open and he can hop around, so I don't think he's injured. However, he's refusing to eat. I've never owned a rat before, so I don't have any food meant for a baby rat, and I don't have access to any kinds of milk intended for baby animals. I have tried to give him normal milk and water through a dropper, but he refuses to take it. Sometimes he opens his mouth, but he won't suckle from my finger or the dropper. I have also tried giving him peanut butter, cheese, and bread crust soaked in milk, but he won't touch any of it. Any advice or ideas? All are welcome.
 

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If his eyes are open and he's hopping then hopefully maybe he's old enough to be off milk. It's hard to know without a photo. Any way you could snap a pic? Also I recall reading somewhere a breakdown of various milks from different animals and very few things being quite as nutrient dense as rat milk. I'm trying to find the study but I think the closest was kitten formula? I could be wrong so please take that with skepticism.
 

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This is him. His name is Wilson, by the way. I also recall reading that kitten milk substitute is the best thing to feed them, but I only have access to regular human milk. He also won't touch any of the solid foods I've been offering him
 

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Awww, what a cutie. That is a loooong tail for a baby and my brain is yelling at me that he looks very mousy. I could be wrong, heck, I struggle with human features let alone rattos and mice. If he is a rat then I'd say maybe 20 days along? I'm going by this: AFRMA - Baby Rat Development from Birth to 6 weeks Here's the mouse one for comparison: AFRMA - Baby Mouse Development from Birth to 5 weeks
It could be he's a little frightened still and stressed so not into taking foodstuffs yet. Still I'd try maybe a bit of a moist fruit or veggie in the box squished and if you have any oatmeal or dry grains perhaps those soaked in water rather than the bread or cheese. Leave him in the quiet and see if that helps. Disclaimer: I've never raised any orphans. Just looking up things to hopefully help.
 

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I am not not really knowledgeable in raising wild rats, I think you should call a vet for some advice but if the rat seems well and healthy you may want to consider putting him back where you found him. But please get advice first.
 

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Honestly, you should've left it alone. You have no way of knowing if he was "abandoned" or if his mother left him temporarily to find food. Even if his mother weren't to come back, it would be for a reason. Please stop trying to mess with wildlife, you're posing a risk to them, yourself, and your pets. Also, that looks like a roof rat, not Norway rat.
 

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Honestly, you should've left it alone. You have no way of knowing if he was "abandoned" or if his mother left him temporarily to find food. Even if his mother weren't to come back, it would be for a reason. Please stop trying to mess with wildlife, you're posing a risk to them, yourself, and your pets. Also, that looks like a roof rat, not Norway rat.
 

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I found a baby rat behind my house this morning, and he was soaking wet and shivering. I brought him in the house and put him in a little box with some old pillowcases and a homemade heating pad so he could dry off and get warm. He has been inside his box and with me for a good few hours and he is dry now. His eyes are open and he can hop around, so I don't think he's injured. However, he's refusing to eat. I've never owned a rat before, so I don't have any food meant for a baby rat, and I don't have access to any kinds of milk intended for baby animals. I have tried to give him normal milk and water through a dropper, but he refuses to take it. Sometimes he opens his mouth, but he won't suckle from my finger or the dropper. I have also tried giving him peanut butter, cheese, and bread crust soaked in milk, but he won't touch any of it. Any advice or ideas? All are welcome.
When I found a baby rat in my garden who was quite young but had his eyes open, I researched online and learned that giving the baby rat soy- based infant formula through an eye dropper or syringe ( the type sold at pet stores for feeding baby animals) would work. I also learned that with a very young baby rat, you may need to take a soft wet rag and rub his bottom to stimulate bowel movements, the way his mother would have done. I did both of these, and the little baby rat I had found thrived. He grew very attached to me as I did to him, and became one of the best and sweetest little buddies I’ve ever had. My little friend was with me for 3 1/2 wonderful years before he passed away from old age.
 
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