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Hello all,

I am new to this forum, but I am mainly joining to find resources for my rat that I just adopted today. I was hoping to just pop in and get my questions answered, but it won't let me do that unless I post here. As you can tell from my user name, my name is Kelly, and my rats name is Motley. I was oringially planning on getting a hamster from the store today, but fell in love with her personality and silliness. The people in the pet store weren't very informational, and I want to be sure I'm doing my best to care for her. If anyone could please answer these questions, it'd be very helpful!

1.) Will she be okay alone? I was originally going to purchase 2 rats, both Motley and the one that I was being kept with her, but the women who sold me her said they would do perfectly fine on their own. Sine this is my first time owning a rat (I've owned almost every domesticated animal aside from them), I thought I would start off with one. However, after reading some resources online I'm hearing keeping them alone is a terrible thing to do.

2.) Any ideas how to socialize her? She's not aggressive, nor terrified, but she does hide every time I reach in to say hi to her. She took a treat from my hand earlier, but cowers away when I attempt to pet her.

Thanks!
 

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Hello Kellyandmotley,

I too, am new to the forums. I joined because I wanted to get some questions answered before I decided to purchase pet rats again. I used to have two male rats when I was younger and I thought I'd help you with your questions the best I could using my experience.

1.) I think that it is normally best to get a companion for your rat. They are very social animals and sometimes your socialization is not enough however, having one rat is perfectly fine as long as you make sure to give her plenty of attention. They are very loving animals.

2.) My two male rats were very shy at first but after about a week of me giving them frequent attention, they started to loosen up and ended up loving to cuddle and be around me. She will take a little time to get used to you. She needs to feel that she can trust you and that takes time. I figure it will not be long at all. Like I said, my males only took about a week with the one getting more sociable a little earlier. They loved to lay on my shoulders and curl up under my hair. They would also sleep on my chest at times while I was watching tv, doing homework, or on the computer.

That is all I can really say to your questions but I hope I helped a little. :)
 

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Hello! Welcome to the forum!

Rats do better in pairs or groups as they are very social animals. Single rats can become depressed quite easily. Sad to say the employee was ill informed, but I'm not surprised. Check out Rat Daddy's Immersion thread, it is an absolute wealth of information and will change the way you see your ratties. :)
 

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Hello! I'm also a new rat owner, so I know that it can make you a little nervous...at least for me!
I would say your choice of rat over hamster was a good one - i'm not too fond of hamsters and from what I've heard and read, rats are better, smarter, and more personable pets.

As for your first question, I have read and been told many times that it is essential to keep rats in pairs or with more than one other rat...never alone. And two is better than one, right? And for the second, I'm also pretty inexperienced, so I'm sorry to say that I wouldn't know about socializing. Maybe she needs some time to adjust, and will come out of her shell when she's more settled. And I've read through the immersion thread linked above, it seems pretty informative.

Good luck with your new girlie! :)
 
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