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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys!
I recently added some new rats to my colony and although they are non aggressive, 2 of the 4 females are quite skittish and not very social (while the other two are clinging to the bars wanting attention the moment they see me). I have moved them from a smaller quarantine bin cage into the bottom half of my DCN and since the move, I've been having a harder time socializing the two skittish ones. The setup I have them in is simple... A wheel, bowl, 2 water bottles, a tissue box and large log "fiddlesticks" on the bottom of the CN, a hanging flat hammock, climbing ropes (3), and a hanging basket with blankets in the top left corner.

My problem is, the two skittish girls stay in teh basket at all times unless I purposefully remove them and place on the floor... Thus, it is very hard to get to them to socialize them and interact. When they were in the bin cage, I was better able to pick them up or at least touch them and pet them... One of them was even making improvements and not shying away from me. Now that they are in the larger CN, she stays with the shyest girl and will cower in a back corner of the bottom when I remove her from the basket.

Do you think it would be wise to remove the basket so that the two antisocial ones are forced to stay on the bottom of the cage or in the hammock (which is accessible)? I know that they need somewhere to hide, but I'll never be able to socialize them if I can't reach them. They will still have the climbing ropes also.

If you have any input, I'd appreciate it.
Thanks!
 

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Rats do need places to hide and relax, but you do need to be able to get at them to take them out of their cage to work and play with them... Your best solution is to figure out a way to accomplish both... just be creative.
 

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Maybe If you took away the basket... but then put it somewhere else that's easier to reach, so that they can still hide but you can get them out. Or just ad another hideaway but take the basket away. The rats might become more skittish if they feel they are exposed and have nowhere to run to.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hmm... Good points. I will try securing the basket to one of the cage sides (so it is easier to reach). Unfortunately with a CN, the front fully opens, so I can't attach it to either of the front corners.

Thanks for your input!
 

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I attached my rats basket to the front doors of my cage, a CN dupe. It might work quite well for you, all you need to do is open the door and your rats are right there, practically out of the cage. It would solve the stress that comes along with reaching in to grab at socialized rats. :)
 
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