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Hope I'm posting in the right place, came here looking for advice as I know absolutely no one with rats. I have had them just under two months, they are extremely nervous around us and hide whenever we enter the room. I sit next to their cage everyday and talk, I'll put my hand in so them can smell me and get used to me. I haven't been able to handle them, they cling to the side of the cage and I don't want to scare them or hurt them while they are clinging to the cage, I have tried tempting them with treats to get them to come near me but they won't.
I feel like I'm doing something wrong, this is my first time owning rats, but not my first pet or small animal.
I know they need daily socialisation and handling but I am so worried about startling them as they are already skittish.
Have I just not given them enough time to settle?
Any tips would be great, as I've watched many YouTube videos and tried the recommendations of treats, talking to them daily and leaving hand in the cage for a period of time. None have mentioned how to handle rats they way my two girls act.
 

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Hi. I haven't got any advice that you wouldn't have already heard, but it sounds like you are on the right track taking the time to put your hand in the cage, sitting nearby and talking to them. I do hope that they come around and start to be a bit more friendly, and that your patience pays off. :)
 

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If you can catch them you could try some enforced handling.Put them into a carrier pouch or wear a hoodie ( with a t shirt under so you don’t get scratched) and stuff them down your top.Leave them there for 10 mins talk very quietly around them due to their hypersensitive ears and then put them back in the cage and reward them with a treat such as yoghurt drop.
 

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It just sometimes takes a lot of time. A more personable rat could take only weeks but skittish rats could take months to get calm and feel safe. If you have a safe section of somewhere they cannot escape like a bed, couch, or playpen you can sit calm and still in it with them. It helps them to realize the giant being does not mean them harm if they can explore and sniff you while you don't really react, but really it's up to the rats. I will say the longer it takes the more rewarding it feels when they do that little hyper dance as you approach the cage.
 

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It just sometimes takes a lot of time. A more personable rat could take only weeks but skittish rats could take months to get calm and feel safe. If you have a safe section of somewhere they cannot escape like a bed, couch, or playpen you can sit calm and still in it with them. It helps them to realize the giant being does not mean them harm if they can explore and sniff you while you don't really react, but really it's up to the rats. I will say the longer it takes the more rewarding it feels when they do that little hyper dance as you approach the cage.
This is what I did. I couldn't really get mine to come out. But my cage was small enough at the time where I carried the cage to the small bathroom I have and then opened the door and just sat in the room and worked on my laptop after putting a bunch of boxes and toys and treats scattered on the floor. Eventually within 20 minutes or less, they got curious and came out to explore. Very soon they were coming up to me to see what I was up.
It took much longer before they liked being held but once they came out of the cage on their own terms they changed a lot and could come greet me and stand by the door watiing to get out.
 
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