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Hi everyone-

My two females don't really like to free range. When I have them out they get very nervous and want to latch on to me. This is fine, but I get the sense they are stressed and want to be back in their cage. They may explore a bit, but after about 15 minutes they want back in. Neither is very cuddly - expected of females, but I always feel bad that they don't get out as much.

Two cents is welcome!
 

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More than likely they just arent used to it yet or the amount of room makes them scared that youre taking the cage away, that also really would depend on where you got them from especially if they have a rescue background. Maybe try and limit free roam space and gradually make it bigger and hand feed them so they start to feel more comfortable? On a positive note the fact that they want their cage means you made them feel safe and comfortable in it!
 

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Rats may take a long time to warm up to new things and places. Being prey animals, this definitely makes sense! Keep bringing them out. If they just want to hide, that's fine. I'd still give them at least an hour out of their cage per day. They'll get comfortable with their surroundings but it takes some time.
 

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They might feel a bit exposed in the open, rats are prey animals after all! Try putting something for them to run under/in (blankets, pipes, etc.), or have some hides around! Keep giving them the free ranging though, they'll warm up to it eventually!
 

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Oliver Bean, Phyllis, Waffle, Taco, Atlas, Cirrus, Orion
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I agree with everyone, rats have to get used to the idea of being exposed. I think girls are more nervous. My wild rat Oliver Bean dashes from box to blanket during free roam, and really doesn't enjoy it at all. Hiding is what he likes. And he's been doing it since he was a baby, so it's just his nature. I also use an old bathrobe and sit with them and invite them inside to play. They learn very quickly that I am the safe place, and I get to pet them and love on them. The Bean gets upset if I'm not wearing the robe and he can't run up my sleeve :giggle:
 
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