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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, I can't believe I'm on a rat forum but need some expert advice. We are the proud parents (along with our 10 year old son) of two new boy rats from Petco (who obviously weren't handled much). We recently lost our beloved "Blue" who was clean, neat, orderly, sweet and cuddly! We decided on two this time so they could keep eachother company. We've had Pancake and Shadow for a month and they are total brats. One is more reserved than the other. When I open the door to pet them or say hello...all they want is food - that is, they nibble on my finger thinking it's food. Pancake allows us to hold him once in a while, but Shadow is very skiddish. When he does come to us...he tries to get out of his cage and this results in an unpleasant "chase". I literally have had to grab him hard enough to where he makes this terrible squeak! I'm a huge animal lover and HATE the idea of accidentally hurting him. Second problem? They poop EVERYWHERE...in their food, in there beds...all over. Blue always had a designated area and kept his cage clean. These two have no routine at all. Any advice? THANK YOU! (The have a large cage with two levels...lots of room for two.)
 

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They're very young and haven't settled in yet. Try giving them a box and moving all their poos into it. This could litter box train them over time and make them more neat. Also try holding them in an area where it's safer if they get out (a bathroom, a closed room, etc) and have them keep you company for about twenty minutes at a time. Try saying their names and giving them treats when they come. All in all... you have babies... they'll need lots of patience right now. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much...I've tried the bathroom thing but they don't want to come out in there, but I'll keep trying.

I'll try all of this - so THANKS A TON!
 

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The other thing you could try is to lay towels or an old blanket down on your bed and sit on there with them and let them explore while you pet them regularly and just generally get them used to being touched/handled.

Just out of curiosity, what are you feeding them (diet and treat wise)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So, I can put them on the bed and they won't jump!? :)

I just give them regular rat food from the pet store. It has a mix of corn, sunflower seeds and those little vitamin capsules. Speaking of that, they scarf food big time. I don't want them to get fat - because I think that's what killed our first one, Blue, at 2 years old. He was a porker...but very happy!
 

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Most rats won't jump. Some are, however, braver than others, so watch them.

The seed mix you're describing is generally thought to be very poor for rats, dried corn can easily grow poisonous molds, seeds are high in fat and protein, and the 'vitamin capsules' often contain alfalfa, which is very hard/impossible for them to digest.

The treats sound all right, I'd think... Not too many wheat thins, though, jmo.
 

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They shouldn't jump off the bed, but it is possible so you need to supervise them. Our rats have their own couch, which sits much lower than a bed, obviously, but I don't think either one of have jumped off it, yet.

As for food, those seed mixes really aren't the best thing for rats, like Forensic says. If you are buying from pet stores I would recommend that you put them on Mazuri lab blocks, supplemented with fresh fruits and veggies. A lot of people like to use Harlan Teklad blocks, which are available to order online. There are many posts here about which variety to use for the age of your rats, etc., if you take a look around.

Being overweight could possibly have been a factor in Blue's death, but a rat's lifespan is generally only 2 to 3 years, so it could just have been Blue's time. Obviously, it's better to have a healthy weight rat, but I just thought I'd mention that, in case you don't know.

One thing I meant to ask before.... do they have hidey boxes or anything in their cage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They have one 'hidey' nest made of straw that they both go in. They used to have a big cardboard tube but they peed and pooped in it so I took it out. I started the potty training yesterday, so maybe I should get another one. I'll definitely change the food. All great info - and I will definitely take the advice! Thanks.
 

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We're here to help. :)

Do your ratties have any hammocks? I'm asking so many questions :lol: I'm just trying to think of ideas for you to help keep them occupied so they calm down a bit and are not such a handful...
 

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Look in the health Section for lots of food advice. Litter box train them. Keep one in there, and give it time. esp if they are young, it may take a while.

Give it time and they will love you!

This place is great to learn.

Keep an eye on them. i have some fylin rats but most dont jump. Depends on the rat
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Funny you should mention it. I just got back from Petco and got the right food, a hammock and a couple more hidey places for their cage. I ran them home and set them all up - we'll see how they are when I get home from work. I'm psyched about making them happier, healthier and more comfortable - so this is great. I've been scooping their poop into their litter box, which is the bottom half of a pencil case - about 4" x 8" with a little toilet paper and bedding. Is that right? Thanks again!
 

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Pancake said:
Funny you should mention it. I just got back from Petco and got the right food, a hammock and a couple more hidey places for their cage. I ran them home and set them all up - we'll see how they are when I get home from work. I'm psyched about making them happier, healthier and more comfortable - so this is great. I've been scooping their poop into their litter box, which is the bottom half of a pencil case - about 4" x 8" with a little toilet paper and bedding. Is that right? Thanks again!
Yes, scooping up the poo is the way to go, as I understand it. We just switched to towels and a litter box today, so I'm just starting with the same thing - race ya! :lol:

Hurray for new cage goodies! :D
 

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How's it going? I suspect one of ours is using it, but for the most part I'm still picking up poo! :lol: How about you?
 

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Pancake said:
Absolutely no progress whatsoever. I'm not giving up. Stay strong!
hehe! I got up to just 3 poos this morning (from two rats over 6-7 hours), so I think we might be having a bit of progress. I still haven't seen either of them use it, yet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't think either is using it unless it just happens to land in there by mistake. Although they do manage to pick up their food and put it in their poo box. Yummm!! It's been a month and a half and I still have only held one of them - Shadow - once. I hope they're happy at least!
 

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try setting them in there poo box with some of there fresh poo every day thats how u train cats. Rats shouldnt be a whole lot different my gurl wasnt.
 
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