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Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 10:24 pm
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Hi ! I'm a new rat owner of a little girl named Delores, I'm not sure of her age. I adopted her from PetSmart. But I have so many questions about owning a rat, so sorry if I'm long-winded!
I've been trying to bond with her by letting her run around my bed while I'm on it everyday for about 20 minutes. I also let her sniff my hand and I give her treats every time I come to the cage so that she notices that me opening the cage door is a positive thing and not scary. And I either scoop her up or wrap my hand around her to pick her up. Lately, though, when I have her on my bed she always tries to jump down and I don't feel comfortable having her jump on the floor so I pick her up gently and she squeals. She usually doesn't do that. Also, when I pick her up from inside the cage, she struggles extra. I don't know how else to get her out of the cage. I've tried sitting with the door open and treats in my hand but she just tries to run under my bed (which is next to her cage). What can I do to make her more comfortable with me and her environment in general?
Also, this is not as important, but I bought a ball for her and she seems to absolutely hate it, but this is a good way for her exercise, right? Does it just take time for her to get used to it, or should I throw the idea away all together? I should also mention it's a big ball with lots of slits so she's not straining her back, and I only keep her in there for fifteen minutes at a time.
If anyone could give me some advice and useful tips on owning a rat, that would be awesome! I just want to make sure she gets the best care possible. Thank you!
 

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Those giant exercise balls arent a good idea for rats and they will just sit in it and poop. Their toes can get caught in the slits. It can be scary and confusing for them to be trapped in a ball and not be able to see and touch everything as clearly. Those exercise balls are really only good as cubby holes for in the cage.
 

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Welcome! I would check out the thread on immersion training to bond with Delores. It's under behavior. Also, you will need a rat proof area where she can run around for at least an hour every day to socialize with you. Rats are very social creatures and they need a friend. And like said above, rats don't do well in balls but you can hang it up in her cage to sleep in. I think it's better to just let her run around in a rat proof area without a ball. Just keep reading on the forum and you will learn a lot about how to take good care of Delores. :)
 

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Hello! Welcome to the forum! Have you thought about getting her a buddy? Rats are very social and need other rats.
 

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While agreeing with above posters, I can also say that just big wheels (and I mean big, as big as you can get) are pretty good for letting your rat exercise. She might not like it at first, but if you let her get used to it on her own time, she'll (probably) grow to like it.

And from first hand experience, rat proofing might include making sure they can't tear at any carpet/rugs, especially near closed doors. (They all learn how to get on the floor and run around, you can't stop them.)

Oh! and don't worry if every once in a while she acts weird if you pick her up. Female rats might vibrate, arch their backs, or make some sort of noise when you pick them up, when they are in heat, which happens often. That sort of thing starts pretty early on in age.
 
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