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I have 2 female rats, they are 10 months old and i’ve had them for about 4 months and i still can’t pet them or pick them up, anytime i try to they bite me and freak out, what should i do? (I got them from a pet store, and i’m pretty sure they were rarely picked up)
 

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I have 2 female rats, they are 10 months old and i’ve had them for about 4 months and i still can’t pet them or pick them up, anytime i try to they bite me and freak out, what should i do? (I got them from a pet store, and i’m pretty sure they were rarely picked up)

Keep the cage in an area you spend most of your awake time.
Talk to them .... often and by name. Let them get used to the sound of your voice.
Feed them treats often. If you can't hand feed them - use the spoon method. To a rat - food is love.

It take a lot of time and patience to get rats to bond with you. And some trial & error.
Try to not interact with them when you're frustrated .... or walk away if you start to become frustrated.

When they do let you pet them - reward them with a "special" treat .... different from the normal treats and the only time they get it is as a reward for a desired action/response. They will quickly learn that if they do X, they get Y. It encourages the behavior you want.

And be patient.
Yes, I know I said that up ^^ there .... but it's the most critical part - so it's worth repeating. :)
 

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I've been going through this with one of my girls. I got her just over two months ago and she was extremely timid, ran away from me and would bite if petted or picked up. She is about a year and a half old and from a background of not being handled.

I found that getting her out of the cage really helped - I set up a placemat under the home so I could remove her from the cage without injury for me and with minimal stress for her. Getting her out of that environment and allowing her to free roam with me there giving her baby food on a spoon and treats helped a lot to bond us.

She still doesn't like being picked up from the cage directly but is happy to be picked up and petted outside of the cage and will accept pets. I'm also just starting to see results for her being petted in the cage.

I also bought a pair of gardening gloves to help with picking up or any times I was nervous handling her. It isn't ideal as rats are more likely to bite fabric, but if you are too scared to pick up and they are biting you, it is a good idea to consider for a short time use.

Food is definitely key - giving small pets as she is eating tasty food from a spoon. And patience!
 
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