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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My Renegade is a little hooligan. I bring he and Cheshire out for playtime and he does anything but! The two free range in my sisters room. It's a small room, but I have boxes set up for them and treats hidden around the room and I try to incorporate new setups every time.

Renegade has found a few weak spots in the room. I have blankets stuffed under my sisters dresser so he can't get underneath. That's his favorite spot so he tears at the blanket and I have to hold it down so he can't break through. He prances around and seems to be looking for an escape all the time! Also he tears up the carpet bad. He won't play with me, or Cheshire opting to run around searching for something instead.

I recently decided to teach him tricks to keep his mind occupied. I've taught him to spin and now we are working on shake (moreso touch my finger with your hand lol) He is very smart but he gets bored very quickly and the rest of the time I'm trying to keep him out of trouble. I feel bad because Cheshire just tries to cuddle up with me for some love but I can't give him all the attention he wants because his brother is getting into trouble!

I feel like Renegade is trying to get it across to me that he wants to do all this stuff. Usually when I hold the blanket down, he'll sniff at my hand then hop on my lap and look at me before jumping back down and going right back to it.

I love him to death but he's like that trouble child everyone knows, finding any and everything he could possibly do that I DONT want him to. (Insert picture of him and my cup) Just please give me some suggestions. Anything would be amazing. Thank you!
 

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How old is Renegade? :) My little guy Nameless is exactly like Renegade haha. I combat his need for escape by going into the bathroom. The door can be closed and with no furniture it was the best solution. As he's gotten older though he's become easier to manage and more cuddly, but heaven forbid there be a gap anywhere in the barricade! I usually also bribe mine with food. He's obsessed with peas - he will stop everything for a pea, so I hide them around the room (My other guy Nugget isn't keen on peas). When I want Nameless to come to me I spread yogurt on my finger - he loooooves yourt, even more than peas. I use the yogurt method whenever he is misbehaving because it takes him a little while to lick it up, and he also can't scurry off with the treat.

I also wear a big baggy house coat during free time and he loves running up one sleeve and down the other. Nugget my other guy is a lap rat and he's content to just sit on my lap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's hard not to smile, such a naughty little guy.
I know. It's impossible to stay upset for long. Especially with that face lol.

@dionkasper I have no clue how old he is. I got him from craigslist and the owner only had him and Cheshire for a few weeks and stated that the previous owner didn't give her an age. It was all really shady. The only issue with the bathroom here is its the only one in the house and I live with three others. My dad doesn't really agree to it anyway. He doesn't want to have to wait for me to clear out the rats if he has to go to the bathroom. =/ As for food, I bring a few different kinds and he just seems indifferent about them all after a while. I use banana on my finger because sometimes I have to handfeed Cheshire and Reny will come lick the leftovers off. But that lasts for about five seconds. I have a big hoodie I got especially for my ratties and he isn't interested in tunneling. I feel like he just has a ridiculously short attention span. Thank you so much though! Glad I'm not the only one with trouble lol
 

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He needs some rattie Ritalin, lol. He is super cute. I have a girl like this. She is so smart, gets into everything and tests all the limits. Her name is Zoey. I can completely sympathize with you about how frustrustrating it is to have a rat like this. It is like having a two year old. However, secretly she is my favorite on my whole mischief. Shhhh, don't tell the others
 

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Haha how cute but frustrating! I swear some (if not all) rats are super stubborn and so persistent when they want something. Jag does the attack-the-towel thing like crazy because I've blocked the access to under the sink cabinet in the bathroom which is their current playroom for the time being.
What if you looked into other barricades instead of fabric? I block the underneath of my bed with styrofoam and cardboard (cut wide enough for the pieces to jam between the bed and the floor) which has worked OK for my old boys for a while (they found a weak spot and started making holes in the cardboard).
What I've recently found that makes a way better barricade is the plastic real estate signs (corflutes)! They are easy to cut, lightweight, weatherproof, durable and the rats dont seem to have any interest in chewing it. You could also potentially get some for free, because the used ones like signage for events just get thrown away. You could cut these up, join them up and secure around the gaps of the dresser :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He needs some rattie Ritalin, lol.
Omg that would be amazing lmao! Haha I do love him to death though. He keeps me on my toes!

@Nieve Yeah. I did a ton of wood covering as you can see. Just didn't have enough wood! But I'll definitely look into the signs.

Are there any suggestions to just help keep him occupied. They are out now and I literally forced him under my hoodie and he enjoyed the tunneling for a bit but ran out and went about his ways. Expanded my treats again. Brought out the peanuts for the first time and they enjoyed that. Oddly enough his favorite treat is plain cheerios!
 

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Omg that would be amazing lmao! Haha I do love him to death though. He keeps me on my toes!

@Nieve Yeah. I did a ton of wood covering as you can see. Just didn't have enough wood! But I'll definitely look into the signs.

Are there any suggestions to just help keep him occupied. They are out now and I literally forced him under my hoodie and he enjoyed the tunneling for a bit but ran out and went about his ways. Expanded my treats again. Brought out the peanuts for the first time and they enjoyed that. Oddly enough his favorite treat is plain cheerios!
Nice, the wood covering is a very good idea and looks secure :D

Ive also had trouble keeping the old boys occupied.. They (especially Chamois) only seemed to want to go to places he wasnt allowed to haha

Some ideas
I put treats in my hand and made them chase my hand around for a while before they got the treat (after they learn to play this, they'll run and follow your hand at full speed :D ). This could tire you out after a while though

Try some cat toys like the ones with feathers and bells at the end of a long stick? My oldies had some fun with this when they were young but got sick of it quite quickly. But I recently tried using a thin long piece of plastic (from the opening of a frozen berry packaging) that has small knobs at one end and Chamois will chase this like crazy every time! The knobby bits vibrate/bounce from the friction from the carpet when i drag it, which really seems to bring out the prey drive in the rats.

Do your rats have/know how to use a wheel? If they happen to enjoy wheel running it could get them to spend quite a bit of their energy without getting in trouble

How about a digging box? Or a less-mess version of a digging box, where you pack some tissues/paper towels/thin packing paper into a box with treats at the bottom? Also if he likes to nest and if he is able to access the cage from the play area, he might spend a lot of time going back and forth collecting some of the packing paper for his hideout :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you. It's just the little hole at the bottom of the dresser that he fights through fleece for.

Thank you so much for those suggestions. I'm sure he would adore the makeshift dig box considering he does enjoy tearing at his fleece and carpet.

I'm already really excited for play time so I can put these to the Reny test! =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just wanted to pop in and say that these ideas worked great Nieve! He chased my hand around a lot more than I expected he would. He was popcorning all over the place he was so excited lol.

Unfortunately I was paying attention to Cheshire and Reny got underneath the dresser, BUT what was absolutely shocking was he dragged out an old string from a hoodie and brought it over to me. When I picked it up and started dragging it around he chased that! Then he played with a sock he found haha Basically we both had a blast and Chesh just kind of chilled in my lap the whole time.

I'm working on their play box right now too. Just got a massive delivery for Christmas and have a good sized box to use. =) Thank you all so much!
 

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Awesome Im so happy the ideas helped! :D Haha rats are so cute when they popcorn!
I guess as long as you guys are bonded him getting under some furniture isnt a huge problem, since he'll voluntarily return :) I like how he brought you a toy
You're welcome and sounds like the boys are gonna have so much fun with your digging box creation!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay...so cancel all the optimism because it only lasted one night. He was completely uninterested in me today. I took my eyes off of him literally, for two seconds, and he pulled the towel aside and was under the dresser again. He won't come out when I call, he won't be lured out by treats or toy, and I have been sitting here for 45 minutes extra waiting for him to come out on his own. I am just getting so frustrated with this behavior. Its overwhelming with everything else I have to deal with right now and I wasted all this time that could have been spent cleaning the older boys cage as planned or studying for my final that I have tomorrow, which by the way is also cutting into my sleep time. I'm just very flustered and Renegade seems to be getting worse not better with me and playtime.
 

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Over the years, I have often come to the conclusion that a particular pet was just never going to accept me or work out, but eventually they all did. Sometimes it seemed like one day things were going so well then the next day it was like the animal had never even met me, so I know how you are feeling right now, but things do get better over time. Sometimes it is half a step forward, three paces back, but it still gets better.
I do suggest that you get some coroplast (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Coroplas...te-Corrugated-Plastic-Sheet-CP4896S/205351385) or plastex (http://www.homedepot.com/p/PLASTEX-1-16-in-x-4-ft-x-8-ft-Plastic-Panel-63003/202090190) to use as barriers for where you don't want him to go. They can both be cut to size with scissors and taped or wedged in place and will be harder for him to get past than fabric barriers. I hope this helps.
 

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I guess as long as you guys are bonded him getting under some furniture isnt a huge problem, since he'll voluntarily return :)
I learned this eventually, and suddenly my "problem child" was really just a misunderstood honor student who was frustrated with my lack of stimulating activities.
 

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Endora, my feisty one, likes to play chase the hand. She's quite a brave little one. I tried the pea fishing and she really loved it. Esmerelda, on the other hand, let Endora retrieve all of the peas and then found them where she hid them and ate away. Endora climbed on Kurt (my husband) and tried to pry his fingers off of the top of his cigarettes (he doesn't smoke near them). I tried the treat in the paper tube and they got loud and very competitive. I think I'll retry that on free range time. Both are starting to let me have pets more and more.
 
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