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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So basically i've been a little depressed. After about 3 weeks of convincing/begging/bribing, my mom finally let me get a pet rat (she's still creeped out that a girl would want a rat). I got this little baby black and white rat that's no bigger than a gerbil at the moment about... huh, now that i think about it its only been a week ago since I got him. I guess it seems longer because when i get home from school, i put him in my hoodie and hold him for about 3 hours every day (I let him back in the cage to do his business every hour). Well then I guess all I really want to know is how long usually does a rat to like its owner. Reading other posts I've heard about rats needing companions and I'm thinking about getting him a bud after he's used to me. He's currently residing in a large hampster cage while I finish building him The Grotto. Check it out:
http://www.dapper.com.au/grotto2.htm
Any tips on how to get him to like me?
 

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just play with it a lot
take it out
handle it, coo to it
talk to it
sometimes babys are really scared and take some time to warm up to you
prbably too young to be away from mom
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well i'm pretty sure he's not too young. I got him from petco, and they're pretty respectable. at least i hope he's not to young. i'd feel so bad if i took a little baby away from his mom!
 

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I can tell you for a fact that Petco isn't respectable. Maybe yours is a little better, but generally, they're regarded as one of the more heinous in their care. I know several people who have gotten babies that are far too young to be away from their mother from Petco, from overcrowded tanks filled with boys and girls.
 

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What do you mean by "hates" you? What exactly is the rat doing that makes you think this? It could just be normal behaviour that nobody warned you about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, yeah I guess petco really isn't respectable. When you mentioned those things, I remembered about 15 rats living in a 2ft by 2ft tank. I hope my little rattie wasn't too scarred by them. And what I mean by him hating me is that he runs and hides in places I can't get to him (easily) any time he sees me. He lives in my room and I've realized that the door scares him. I now leave my door open and make a "kissy" sound when I come near to tell him I'm coming. Still, when I pick him up (gently, scooping him from underneath) he squeals and scratches and tries to get away. Once, he got away from me and hid behind my desk. It took me an hour to get him out. When I do hold him, he is only ok when he's sitting in my hoodie, burried in my hair. I don't think he knows that my hair is a part of me though because he's always scared of any other body part. I don't know, this is my first rat and my first pet that i am solely responsible for. Am I just overreacting?
 

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Nah, not overreacting... you're doing the responsible thing by asking people who've had rats for a long time. To be honest: my girls STILL run from me when I first reach my hand in the cage... even though they love coming out, and will come back out in a few seconds to come out. I think it['s a natural reaction for them... rats are small animals, and so a strong flight instinct is only natural.

As for hiding in your hoodie... yup! That was Boober's (one of my two rats) spot of choice for the first couple months, honestly. To this day, she still boots up there occasionally to hang out, though these days exploring the couch is the new rat activity of choice.

So... I wouldn't worry too much a this point, just keep trying to socialize him as much as you can, move slow, and reward behaviour you want with little treats. Get him used to coming to you meaning good and fun things.

Try putting a small dab of peanut butter on your hand for a while whenever you try to take her out, and let him lick it off you. In time, move the peanut butter spot further back, so that he has to crawl fully onto your had to get it... it's something to try, and you'll both have fun.

As for a partner: rats really do do better in pairs. They'll be more confident, happier, and all around more content. I'd try to get a buddy ASAP if you can... plus, they're a blast to watch as they rumble all over the cage.
 

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Those are all good ideas. And when you have him on you, pet him often and try to leave your hand close to him or on him. As for the peanut butter, make sure your rattie knows he has to lick not bite. At that age their bite doesn't usually hurt, so I just say "lickies" (loud) when they taste me and eventually they learn to lick, not bite.
 

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I actually got my little girl from PetCo. She was in a tank with a bunch of others as well, and all of them were terrified of being taken out. Ontop of that, the employee wasn't helping me get her out at all, which was even more frustrating because I'd never had a rat before and was a bit scared of hurting her.

It took me more time to get her to want to come out and play after I got her home, but it was worth it. SNow she loves to come out and run all over and explore. She's doesn't like being picked up much, but otherwise she's fine.

Just keep giving your ratty love and attention and he'll keep improving.
 

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I agree with the idea of getting another rat to go along with her. They tend to be much more comfortable and happy when they have a friend. I read that sometimes they even get a bit nerotic if they don't have any rattie friends. Well I wish you the best of luck. Don't give up.
 

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hey,I'm still on my first rat,my mom thought I would want a rabbit or something,but I'm a girl,and I love Ollie,he is a hairless rat,I was really lucky to get him as my first,he is soo sweet
my advice would just be to play with him everyday,and don't get disscouraged if his behavior persists,eventually,he should realize that you pose no threat.
 

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My Da Vinci was like that when I first got her. She never bit or anything, but if I tried to pick her up she squealed and squirmed until she got away. In fact for the first while I couldn't get her out of the cage and had to pet her in there. Then a couple weeks later I got Picasso, who instantly trusted and loved me and Da Vinci turned into an entirely different rat. Now she's an attention begging little love bug.
 

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The way to a rattie's heart is through their stomach.

When bonding with new rats, I actually use more treats than is probably healthy ... but it works.

Also, yummy treats that go on a spoon are really helpful. I.E. - baby food, whipped cream, yogurt, etc. Be careful with peanut butter, it can cause choking.
 

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hiya yea ive just got 2 little baby rats and there pretty much like this aswel. i think from what ive read its normal.. mine will calm down after ive held him for a few mins, and will sniff my hand and step on it and eat from me.. which i suppose is good for the first few days of having them! but i suppose i just wanted it to be perfect as soon as i got them!! lol dont worry we will perciveer together and get these rats liking us! lol lea x x
 

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Some rats are natural followers so that when you have only them, they are petrified. These rats especially MUST have a companion. They relax and blossom when they have a friend to follow and who leads the way and makes the Big Decisions. :)

If you have only had your boy for 1 week you could go back to where you got him and pick out a brother so you can avoid quarantine, which you would have to do in the future.
 

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My third boy Buzz was like that for a while. I got him from an independent pet shop in my area.. which is actually very nice and clean. I know a few of the employees personally, and they take very good care of their animals.

Anyways, after a few weeks of love and care and a lot of handling, Buzz warmed up to me and got along great with his cage mates after quarantine. Now he can't wait to get out of the cage. :)

Honestly, getting a cage mate for your rattie is a great idea.. I've never had a solitary rat myself, since I got two brothers together right away.. but my friend had just one rat for some time before I convinced her to get him a friend. It's amazing how much he changed after getting a cage mate!
 
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