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so my new ratties just got dropped off about 15 minutes ago, how long should i wait until they are comfortable enough for me to clean their cage? they have pine bedding which i heard is bad and the shelves are looking pretty dirty. I heard pine bedding can cause respiratory infections, do rats sneeze normally? I have heard 3 little sneezes already and I was just wondering if that was normal :) no excited to be able to play my little girls! when will they be calm enough for me to hold them without them freaking out?
 

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If you have a home for them to hide in I'd change the bedding right away. If you don't I'd wait at least 2 hours, if its the same cage they are used to like it sounds like it is.

If you can reach the trays without bothering them much, clean the trays off first. If it will take a lot of movement and racket wait till tomorrow to do so.

Maybe taking a small portion out and using it for a litter tray. (It will help keep their smell around and possibly get them litter trained)

Sneezing is somewhat normal in a stressful situation, since they are in pine bedding, and I dont mean that in a good way. The bedding needs changed and you will need to watch them closely. Keep them calm and fed them fresh foods, carrots and a single orange slice go a long way to helping them recover. As does warmth and a stress-less environment. If they get any worse tell a vet.

Where are you rats in terms of calmness with you? If they are terrified its best to slowly start feeding them from hand in a few days. (Take away all other food for half of 1 day, and only 1 day ever.) That way they will be hungry and interested in the food. . . actully here. These are the stages I go through.

1.) Almost wild: They have never known humans/ They hate humans and hide in the den/corner/hiding spot.
Do as I said, make sure they are hungry. Start to feed them from the tips of your fingers wherever they are hiding, being careful that they can easily grab the food without grabbing your fingers. Do this for a few days and they will start to learn that your a good thing to have around and not a threat. Try making a sound everytime you are going to feed them. I make a clicking sound myself.

2.) Grabby paws: They know humans have food. They quickly run up and grab food and run back in, never staying out any longer.
Start to make them come to the cage door. Make the sound, and wait for them to come. (If they are not coming out of the corner, try meeting them half way at first)
3.) Smilers: They know you have food, and your not going to attack as soon as they are not 'protected'. They may or may not still dart away to eat.

Start to use your other hand to lightly scratch the sides of their head as they come up. (If they wont let you, try just having your other hand around, and slowly get closer)

4.)Patters: They know your not going to kill them, and are starting to accept you.

At This point try bringing your hand flat out with an open palm. Use your other hand to have the food at your wrist, and pull it back slowly until they are on your hand. Let them take a few pieces like this, until they seemed relaxed doing it. When they seem relaxed, gently lift your open palm away from the cage door and place it near your shoulder. They should want to climb on because its more stable.

This process can depend highly on the rat. Its faster if you use small bits of food, so they have to come back to you. I've had 'wilds' turn as quickly as 4 days, and the most has been 3 weeks. (He was beaten because the kid thought he was 'being bad')
 

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I have had them for 2 days and they are already my bestfriends, the one loves to ride around on my shoulder while the other enjoys sleeping in my sweater or shirt :) I cleaned the bedding and have been giving them the best diet possible and giving them a lot of loving. The sneezing has slowed down a bit but every once in a while when I am holding them they will vibrate as if they were cold, idk if this is due to them bruxing or if they are sick
 

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LadyVelvet;bt341 said:
If you have a home for them to hide in I'd change the bedding right away. If you don't I'd wait at least 2 hours, if its the same cage they are used to like it sounds like it is.

If you can reach the trays without bothering them much, clean the trays off first. If it will take a lot of movement and racket wait till tomorrow to do so.

Maybe taking a small portion out and using it for a litter tray. (It will help keep their smell around and possibly get them litter trained)

Sneezing is somewhat normal in a stressful situation, since they are in pine bedding, and I dont mean that in a good way. The bedding needs changed and you will need to watch them closely. Keep them calm and fed them fresh foods, carrots and a single orange slice go a long way to helping them recover. As does warmth and a stress-less environment. If they get any worse tell a vet.

Where are you rats in terms of calmness with you? If they are terrified its best to slowly start feeding them from hand in a few days. (Take away all other food for half of 1 day, and only 1 day ever.) That way they will be hungry and interested in the food. . . actully here. These are the stages I go through.

1.) Almost wild: They have never known humans/ They hate humans and hide in the den/corner/hiding spot.
Do as I said, make sure they are hungry. Start to feed them from the tips of your fingers wherever they are hiding, being careful that they can easily grab the food without grabbing your fingers. Do this for a few days and they will start to learn that your a good thing to have around and not a threat. Try making a sound everytime you are going to feed them. I make a clicking sound myself.

2.) Grabby paws: They know humans have food. They quickly run up and grab food and run back in, never staying out any longer.
Start to make them come to the cage door. Make the sound, and wait for them to come. (If they are not coming out of the corner, try meeting them half way at first)
3.) Smilers: They know you have food, and your not going to attack as soon as they are not 'protected'. They may or may not still dart away to eat.

Start to use your other hand to lightly scratch the sides of their head as they come up. (If they wont let you, try just having your other hand around, and slowly get closer)

4.)Patters: They know your not going to kill them, and are starting to accept you.

At This point try bringing your hand flat out with an open palm. Use your other hand to have the food at your wrist, and pull it back slowly until they are on your hand. Let them take a few pieces like this, until they seemed relaxed doing it. When they seem relaxed, gently lift your open palm away from the cage door and place it near your shoulder. They should want to climb on because its more stable.

This process can depend highly on the rat. Its faster if you use small bits of food, so they have to come back to you. I've had 'wilds' turn as quickly as 4 days, and the most has been 3 weeks. (He was beaten because the kid thought he was 'being bad')
I have had them for 2 days and they are already my bestfriends, the one loves to ride around on my shoulder while the other enjoys sleeping in my sweater or shirt :) I cleaned the bedding and have been giving them the best diet possible and giving them a lot of loving. The sneezing has slowed down a bit but every once in a while when I am holding them they will vibrate as if they were cold, idk if this is due to them bruxing or if they are sick
 

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I'm glad to hear they are doing well ^-^ - Its hard to say for sure what the vibrating is without being able to see it, but its very likly bruxxing if they are sleeping on you and seeming to enjoy your company.
 

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LadyVelvet;bt346 said:
I'm glad to hear they are doing well ^-^ - Its hard to say for sure what the vibrating is without being able to see it, but its very likly bruxxing if they are sleeping on you and seeming to enjoy your company.
yah, im not too worried about the vibrating anymore. I am learning about rats as I go and they are already like family to me. The sneezing is picking up again and Mazy seems to be getting very sick so hopefully my dad will realize how much they mean to me and bring them to the vet.
 
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