Rat Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i dont own any rats currently but i have a few questions i couldnt really find answers anywhere or i cant find a solid answer on.
  1. do rats need tamed or is it just the timid and aggressive ones that need tamed?
  2. how long should i leave rats to adjust to their new home before i interact with them? i heard somewhere that its only a few hours but that... doesnt seem like enough to me.
  3. can you give rats too many fruits and vegetables?
  4. ive heard that cat, bird and baby toys make great toys for rats but is there anything i should avoid when buying?
  5. are sturdy dog tug ropes ok to use as a climbing toy?
  6. are there any cloths that i should avoid when making pouches?
  7. do they need to wear their teeth or nails down on anything?
thank you all in advance!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
1: It will probably take a while for your rats to warm up to you but depending on where they are coming from they may or may not need "official" trust training.
2: I personally gave my rats like 24 hrs before I got them out of their cage for the first time, but I was in the room and moving around and I put food and treats in the cage for her after like 3 or 4 hours.
3: Generally each rat eats about teaspoon of veggies per day. But when you bring them home you will need to build them up to it so that they don't get an upset stomach.
4: I don't personally use baby or cat toys in my cage but I LOVE bird toys. I wouldn't reccomend the flimsy plastic bird toys go for the wooden ones (they double as chew toys) also don't get calcium treated toys from the bird section.
5: Yes!
6: I personally avoid terry cloth and mostly use fleece and cotton.
7: Rats grind their teeth together to wear them down and you don't need to do anything about it unless their teeth are out of alignment (in which case you should go to the vet to get them clipped). Personally I can't stand getting scratched every time I get my girls out to play so I clip their nails myself, some people do this some people don't. You can also buy Lava ledges or use clean bricks and rocks to wear down sharp nails.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
870 Posts
1.It isn't so much taming as establishing communication and trust. Some rats will be handled from birth, those come from good breeders and warm up to you more quickly, but you are still a stranger at first so there is still a period getting to know each other. I really depend on Immersion and there is a great thread stickied at the top of the Rat Behavior forum. You should read a few pages of that forum.
2.I treat my new rats a bit like new puppies. I introduce myself to them first, usually in the bathroom for about an hour, then introduce them to their cage.
3.I give my rats small amounts of fruit and vegetables each day with special treats of peanuts, cheese or other favorite foods once or twice a week. The basic diet (mine is lab blocks) should make up about 50-60% of their daily intake.
4.I like to give my rats toys from Goodwill or other thrift stores, like the Fisher Price barn with sound effects (I really get a kick out of hearing a "moo" or something coming from their cage so I know they're playing with it)or things they can climb on like small doll houses, cat balls (not catnip toys), They will chase cat feather type toys with you, and many bird toys.
5.Yep.
6.Terry cloth or other nappy cloths can catch on a rat's nails or toes and injure or frighten your rat. Material that frays can also catch a rat. Fleece doesn't unravel the same way as other fabrics so hanging threads are less a problem. I use fleece and flannel and make sure to check for hanging threads often.
7.They don't strictly need things to wear their teeth down since they can grind them together, but chew toys are a favorite with some. Mine love Whimsies for dogs, wooden toys, and loofah toys. I have lava ledges in the cage for their nails, but don't notice much improvement in the amount I get scratched.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,871 Posts
1. Well rats are domesticated pets so they are already tamed. It is more building trust as others said. It depends on so many factors. Like all animals (even ppl) when we are young alot of important things need to happen to make them well adjusted adults. If a baby rat was never handled and/or only had limited or worse bad experiences with people they are not going to be very trusting and probably even quite scared. This can happen with some pet store rats or from bad breeders who never handle their rats. IMO get from a good legit breeder for the best handled and trusting babies. Or rescue rats that were already beloved pets. If u have to shop from a petstore, watch the rats, see which ones are confident and ok being handled. If your rat isn't trusting do not fear, u can build trust but it does take effort and patience.

2. There are many opinions on this. I prefer to give them a day to get used to the smells and explore their new house.

3. Yes there can be too many of anything. Fruits are high in sugar. While they are still healthy and make a yummy treat, moderation is key. With veggies too many can cause diarrhea as well. And u want to be careful with starchy veggies (like corn). I feed veggies daily about the size of their head per rat. Fruit once-twice-maybe 3 times a week.

4. Whatever toys u use, just try to inspect it and make sure it looks safe. Toes won't be caught in anything. Rats chew and destroy stuff, if they chew it will it become dangerous? Mine love bird toys and I use cat balls.

5. Yes but... becareful for loose strings that can get caught around toes or legs. It could cause serious injury or death. Trim lose strings asap.

6. Fleece is the best to use. But with any cloth again just watch for lose strings. Rats will often chew and it can leave holes and strings that could be dangerous in other fabrics.

7. using a brick or lava ledges helps keep their nails trimmed.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
I'll let others give you better information on nutrition, but like puppies, rats will actually bond with their humans, so in my opinion it's important to start building a relationship with them as soon as possible. This way you can comfort them and reassure them that their new home is a safe and secure one.

And, yes it's very important for a new rat owner to start out with the right rats. A pre-socialized rat from a breeder or a friendly and curious pup makes for an easy little guy or gal to get to know. Sure, I've worked with a few people that really like the challenge of fixing screwed up rats, one wrote me that he didn't even mind getting bitten by rats (most people do and I certainly do!). I tend to believe that screwed up, biting or terribly fearful rats are best left to experts with lots of experience.

When you meet your potential rats, handle them before you adopt them. They should be active, friendly and curious. Perhaps they might be a little frightened of you at first, but you should be able to handle them safely and without a lot of chasing. You should feel them warming up to you within a few minutes. Then when you get them home get yourself into a safe space, I like to call this the immersion area, and get down on the floor with them and interact. Snuggle, play and just get to know each other. Show your new rats that you are their great big friend and protector. This will make them feel more comfortable when you are around. And even when they are in their cage, stay nearby as much as you can or keep them out with you.

I understand the acclimation approach... It's been suggested that rats need to acclimate to their new cage before meeting you... But would you do that with a puppy or an adopted child? Would you lock them in a room for a day before you introduce yourself? Seriously, rats aren't goldfish. They would rather bond with a new friend than be dumped in a strange cage and left alone in fear.

Best luck
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top