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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
I have just bought my first pair of rats(yesterday in fact). I went to the pet store for a hamster and fell in love with 2 female hooded rats who ive called Stoli and anna. They are approx 12 weeks old and from the same litter. Stoli is great and although she scurries around like mad- is quite happy to be picked up and has even sat on my shoulder. Its her sister anna who appears to be the problem. The lady at the pet store said that she escaped whilst being boxed- (something i didnt take much notice of stupidly) and when i got her home and tried to put her in her cage she jumped out of my hand after squealing then ran around the lounge and hid under the sofa for 45 mins before i tempted her into a dark box. She now seems terrified of being held- she runs before i get the chance to pick her up. I want to get her handling right so that she becomes confident but i dont want to push her for fear of making her worse. I would really love my new pets to be happy and confident.

please help
 

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Well, your rats are not so young (considered you bought them at that age) and has a fully develpoed personalities so it takes longer to make them get used to you and new atmosphere. Don't enforce them to do anything, take them out every day, try to play with them, talk to them nicely, don't make sudden moves. They're very clever and should get used to you quickly. Don't give them food through the bar of the cage - it encourages aggression. It's normal that your new rat is scared and it takes time to make her feel comfortable in her new home. Be patient :)

By the way, girls are always sprightlier than boys, they usually choose running around and playing than sitting on your shoulder. You're lucky with Stoli, my girl is tireless :D
 

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That is so cute!!!! My two boys love to run around all over me sniffing and licking me ha ha its so adorable!!! Just yesterday Booger was bruxing in my hair and Buddy was cleaning himself on my arm, he he :D !!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
well- i went back to the pet shop today- as i wasnt onvinced of their age- they are actually 8 weeks old- i spoke to the guy that seemed to know what he was talking about- he had bred one of the litters (not the one i got mine from unfortunately- as his litter seemed alot tamer- but they were male!!!)
He said I could return anna if i wanted to if she wasnt coming round to handling- especially as the pet store had admitted dropping her. I dont know what to do. Ive had them for nearly a week now and it would be cruel to return one of them back to the sad cage and lack of stimulation just to be sold to someone else or to a snake keeper- which is most likely. They still have 2 other females from the same litter(or so im told) that they would be willing to swap one for.

I did say id keep trying- but they said they cant garauntee the other females will be there to swap in a week or so- and i could end up with an untamable rat.

would would you do?

swap or persevere??????????
 

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Persevere. Think of the self control and sweetness she shows by not biting when she is that terrified.

Try feeding her things off of a spoon like a little yogurt, get her used to feeling safe in the cage and with your hands in it before you even worry about holding her.

My rats progressed from where yours is to being very social and climbing right up to see me everytime I enter the room and having no problem being held. They were my first pair, and I sometimes wondered if that would ever happen, but by trying to achieve really tiny goals, like them just taking food from me and acting less afraid of my hands in their cage, I was able to see progress right away. If you ask too much right away and then they don't respond it will get discouraging, so don't set yourself and her up for failure by expecting a huge and sudden change.

If you aren't going to keep her, get her to a rescue, not a snake owner. You could also get one of her sisters and think of her as icing on the cake of the social pair you'd have.
 
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