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Discussion Starter #1
I've just aquired two male kittens from a guy at work and had them nearly two weeks. This is the first time I've kept rats so am unsure about what to expect from their behaviour.

My fiance and I take them out of the cage regularly every night just after dinner and try to play with them for at least an hour. This last week though as soon as we take them out to play with them they can't seem to wait to get back in the cage. The cage is on the sideboard next to the sofa and as soon as we sit down Tuppe is the first to make a break for it. At first I was worried that he was trying to escape but suddenly he was scaling the side of the cage and leaping in through the entrance. Cornelius is always close behind but it has taken him slightly longer to learn the quickest route.

I'm concerned now because if they don't have enough time with us I've read they can become shy and never want to leave the cage.

We've tried taking them into the back room where there is no cage for them to get home to and they seem fine for a while, running around and seeing what's around them, although they do seem to poo a lot more, but after a while they head for somewhere dark that they can curl up in.

Am I doing something wrong with them? Can their behaviour be modified in anyway so they are more loving?
 

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If you keep your rattie out for 20 mins and hold them they won't be scared anymore. Try wearing a hoodie, so they can curl up in it if they are uncomfortable in your hands.

They poo a lot more when you take them away because they are nervous, and releasing their bowls is an flight reaction. They release their bowls, which makes them lighter, and more likely to escape. Ostrich did this a lot when i carried him away from his cage!!

maybe you can set up your cage, so they can go in and out when they want! Before I moved I had my cage next to a shelf, and I made a mailing tube connection from the shelf to my desk and from my desk to my bed. They'd come out and explore the shelf, and come and visit me on my bed. I think it made them feel better knowing they could run back to their cage when they needed to! Also rats are moody just like us. I know some days my Ostrich just won't come out of his cage, and some days' he's trying to chew his way out!
 

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if they are just babies, they are most likely nervous, and want to retreat to the first place they know: their cage.

keep playing with them, offer treats and im sure things will turn around in time.
 

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Try giving them things to hide in outside the cage, like backpacks, purses, etc... something they'll feel safe in until they work up the gumption to explore.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to everyone for the advice. I have started leaving the door open after we've had them out for a little while and they have started venturing out and having a sniff around of their own accord.

Tuppe had a bit of an adventure today while I was cleaning out the cage. He did a runner before I had a chance to grab him and I had to chase him out from behind the sofa. In the end he clambere up the radiator cover and scooted along the window sill heading back for the freshly cleaned cage and his brother who was waiting for him. The little terror. :)
 

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hahaha....my little wolfy is only like 2 1/2 maybe almost 3 weeks old (yes i know he's young....theres a loooong sad story to that) he's already a shoulder rat and a rodentist...and he thinks he's a q-tip.....he made a nest in my hair when he was sitting on my shoulder and climbed up my head..... i wuv him sooo muches...he's a little mama's boy
 
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