My name is Nicole and 2 weeks ago I got 2 baby male rats, approx. 8 weeks old. I named them Toby and Finnigan (Finny).
My question is about socializing them. . .they live in a modified flight cage with the same dimensions as a Martin's R695 (they were upgraded to that from a smaller cage: a Super Pet My First Critter Home Deluxe). They have toys in their cage and I feed them a modified Suebee's mix with Nutro Senior Lite dog food.
For their socialization: well it's been a bit staggered. I've just been reaching in the cage picking them up and holding them. . .putting them on my shoulder. I make the same noise each time I approach the cage and talk to them in the cage when I'm not handling them.
I've recently rehomed my cat so there was a cat around them for the first week and a half while they were here and they were very fearful of her: they stayed on the top level of the cage and wouldn't come down.
I tried free range time in the bathroom with some toys on the floor but they seemed to be terrified and pooping everywhere! I didn't feel it was very successful, they were running aorund crazily everywhere and seemed scared out of their minds: they would jump everytime I shifted my position on the floor.
When I pick them up, Finny refuses to be held in my hands and struggles out and runs to my shoulder. Toby is a bit calmer but likes to hide in sweatshirts. . .they also tend to rund and hide in the cage if I go to pick them up.
What am I doing wrong? Should I modify my technique? How long should I given them to adjust? Will Finny ever want to be held? Do they calm down as they grow up?
Any advice appreciated!!!