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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok , ive had my pet female dumbo rat for over 7 months now and she doesnt trust me ATALL.I can pick her up and shell sit on my shoulder but only because she knows its too high for her to jump , not out of choice.Ive tried everything , putting an old tee shirt in her cage , reinforcing good behaviour , hand feeding her ,carrying her around the house under my hoody, i handle her every single day for at least an hour or two.I let her roam my room and do what she wants but when ever i try to pick her up she looks absolutley terrified and shoots under the bed where i cant find her.She has never came near me of her own accord once.Its really starting to annoy me , i just want a sociable rat that repays my hard work and affection with some kind of interest , like so many ive read about on this site.If this goes on much longer im seriously considering getting rid of her.Its just no fun atall.If i wanted a pet that i can literally only watch i would have bought a goldfish.Any miracle advice advice is obviously welcome , but ive seriously tried everything.
 

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does she have a friend? if she is a lone rat, that might be part of the problem. she would be so lonely when you arent with her, and needs a friend to help her to socialise as they are very social animals.
 

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She needs another rat, another female or a neutered male. Lone rats, especially ones alone for so long, become neurotic and depressed. People sometimes think that a single rat will bond better to people and that more rats will just bond with each other, but that's not true. Even if she just has a shy personality, she will most likely open up to you more and become friendlier and more comfortable with a friend. I feel pretty confident in saying that if she continues to live alone, she will never change and become the pet you want her to be no matter what you do.

Rats NEED other rats. It's not just recommended to keep them at least in pairs, it's necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
At the moment she doesnt have a friend , but seeing as im working from home she spends minimal time alone anyway.I am reluctant now to get another rat as re-homing 2 rats is going to be more difficult if i end up with another problem rat like her , i think the best thing i can do is re-home her , i guess rats just arent for me.But thanks for the advice
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My friend kept a lone female before with no problems atall , she would come to me , play on me and showed no signs of nueroces or depression.Just a happy playful loving rat.For one reason or another , and not through lack of attention or affection shes just not playing ball , i wonder if rats can be born with conditions such as downs syndrome or other mental problems as this is what she seems like.Totally dispondant to any kind of love or affection , just not interested.
 

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It doesn't matter how much time she spends with you. You are not a rat.

I don't care if your friend had a lone rat who was friendly. My sister had one like that. That rat now lives with other rats, and she is so much happier, and still just as friendly and sweet.

Again, rats NEED other rats. Your rat does not have a mental condition. She is lonely. Simple as that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok , im going to give it one last try and see if a couple friends make a difference.Ive been waiting ages for my petshop to get some females dumbos in but it looks like ill have to get regulars if its going to mean shes happier and more responsive with friends of her own kind around.I take it there are no problems keeping regulars and dumbos together ? she wont get bullied about her ears or anything? 8O
 

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There is no sense in debating two sides of the fence, especially when both sides are right. Yes there are lonely solo rats that act out & yes there are solo rats that are thriving & totally ok with being on there own.

I have a solo rat, he is completely content & very happy about being on his own. (believe me when I say I have gone all out with attempts to get him a buddy)

I have seen solo rats that really needed a friend... my current oldest male was this & he is the reason the solo rat was brought in. It was my intent to have these two boys together... thus the reason the 3rd male came into the picture. (& now the PEW I recently took in is with them, but DD is still on his own)

As for the rat Gary has mentioned, she could very well be lonely. If he is not comfortable with getting her a friend or two in order to rule this out as being her reason for her being so shy then he should be commended for stepping up & saying maybe it would be best if he found her a new home.

Either way.... good luck
 

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Gary, a dumbo is a rat with just different ear placement, the rats don't care at all, since they are all the same.

are you planning on getting 2 baby girls for your gal? That is usually the easiest intro to do, since most adults will accept babies :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi thanks alot for your comments , ive decieded im gonna stick it out a bit longer and get her a couple of buddys , almost certainly 2 baby girls.I actually dont have the heart to re-home her as i adore her even with her faults , its just very stressful and saddening at times when i feel she doesnt trust me after all my efforts.Shes a very spoiled rat , she has a 3 floor mansion complete with tunnels, hammocks , tubes , tightropes , comfort blankets etc she has the best food i can find , plus every 2 days she gets a mixture of tomato , lettuce , cheese ,cereal, broken biscuit , walnut and any other yummys i can find that i think shed like (in small quantitys of course) i wonder if maybe im spoiling her too much ? Anyway , ill be getting her some friends in the morning so after a couple weeks in quarrantine ill let you know how the intro goes and if theres any improvement , thanks again for your advice , its chilled me out no end !
 

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Rats all have very different personalities. She sounds similar to 2 of my girls. One lived outside for almost a month and got pregnant with wild rat. She was always a bit wild. I ended up putting her with some lovely calm older girls and once she realized they wouldn't attack her she settled down and was much happier overall and even became friendly and trusting with me.

I have another girl who is a complete follower. She is completely out of her element unless another rat can show her the way. She wigs out completely, eyes bugged, runs away, etc. She is now in with a group of 6 other girls (not necessarily gentle) and she is the most relaxed she has ever been. She even seeks me out for pats during out time. 8O

Some rats NEED a companion, they just can't function in the #1 spot if they are solely #2's. These are the rats that blossom a lot with companions and I really hope your girl does, or at least learns from her new younger companions :D

Sorry about the ear comment, I hear it all the time. :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah your post makes alot of sense , i guess i didnt realise how personally and socially different each rat can be.Not to mention how poor socialisation by the pet shop can affect them.When i first bought her she was the only female dumbo they had , they brought her out in a tiny cage with a few toys in which makes me think maybe her owners brought her back for some reason as it was a pretty big store and i dont see why she wasnt out front with the others.I know i should have asked but i knew as soon as i saw those big flappy ears and badger stripe that i was taking her home.
 

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you may not see this before you go out to select the new rats but here it goes anyway....

let the two new one pic you... don't let your eye pic the rat for you.

It is so human of us to pick out the pretty pets & completely ignore the ordinary ones... just give them a chance to sniff you & look for their interest.

If it is a pretty floppy eared dumbo that is the perfect color & has the perfect markings... COOL... but if it that basic little PEW that looks like the 20 other rats that are housed with her... don't just look past her & reach out for the wow rat hiding in the corner wedged underneath the other 20 rats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey thanks for the advice , i wouldnt have thought of doing that but it sounds like a really good idea.So i literally just put my hand in the cage and see if any start sniffing or climbing on it ? Also can you tell me what a PEW is please , ive heard it mentioned but im not sure what it means 8O thanks
 

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PEW
Pink (red) Eyed White... the standard white rat that is common to find... I think they are gorgeous in their own right

what I suggest if selecting the rat from a group of rats is watch first to see who is interested in you... you look at them & they look at you with curiousity. Often the rats are kept in a cage or tank in large numbers... tap on the tank & see how they respond, do this a couple times because the first time might be a little scarey but then curiousity will take over & they will move toward the sound.

Take your time

Once you see who is curious about your presence then start the touch test... let them come to you. Some might run straight up you arm & start cleaning themselves.

Again, just take your time.

Put the rat back in the group & watch, see if it wants to return to you. It may jump up toward the top & try to escape back to you. Just watch them & they will tell you who wants to be your friend.

Give it time, you don't have to decide today.
 

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a Pink-Eyed White. Eyes that glow like pink jewels. I love them so much!!!

Very good idea Julia. Put your hand in and find one that is curious about you, and seems friendly. If they are petshop babies don't expect a lot of socialization but some are just naturally nice friendly rats...try to find one of those, forget the looks if you can, you are looking for temperament right now :D

Julia, we really need to stop posting at the same time! :lol:
 

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my current colony of 11... every last one of them came to the world of humans via "pet shops"

Most were considered "feeders"

Both of the nakeds originally came to their former rat mommy from a tank that the shop owner would have sold to people as feeders... it was a reptile store & many reptile owners are moving toward nakeds thinking the absence of hair makes for better food.

Tipsy, my sweet loving kissy HUGE chocolate agouti berk girl came from a feeder bin

Salty, my agouti hooded came to her original care taker from a feeder bin

Blaze, my gorgeous black dilute (not sure what to call his color to be honest) wedge blazed varigated bareback dumbo came from a feeder bin

DD (Diamond Dave he has a diamond head spot) is a blue Baldie (bareback with distinct diamond head spot) & a lightning bolt blaze dumbo, came from a breeder who is a zoo keeper of over 20 yrs who also runs a very upscale exotic store... she does not sell feeders... only rats that she has are breed for health & temperament. DD is a lover, he just doesn't like other male rats. (he is headed for a snip soon, maybe that will change his 'tude)

Nubbers, my beautiful blue rex boy that has nothing but love for his mama was originally in a feeder bin but one of the girls in the pet store saw him & rescued him from that fate & placed him in a fancy bin. I found him & totally feel for his sweetnes & just had to have him.

Jitters & her sister are blue dumbo rexes, one is a self & one is a berk (one I recently adopted back from a friend) they both came from a pet store fancy bin

The siamese girl (1 of the 4 that just came to me) came from fancy bin. I had actually picked her out for her previous care taker.. I knew that her sweet little caramel self would blossom to a beautiful 'mese

& finally my PEW rescue boy (we are still working on his name, leaning toward Ricky-Bobby *Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights* because he runs really fast in circles when he is having fun)... I have no idea where he came from but I can guess he was in a bin at a pet store with an unknown fate as to feeder or pet... just happens to be that he was selected as a pet to a young college girl who eventually found herself overwhelmed with school

So you can find some lovie-dovie rats from pet stores... you just need to do your home work on rat behavior & health & then resist the impulse of grabbing the wow rat ... beauty isn't always the indication of a well suited pet...

oh & most important... be very VERY VERY careful about who you will do business with as far as shops are concerned. Some shops are horrible death camps. It is rare thing, but not impossible, to find a good shop that truly cares for their rodents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks again for the posts , they are very welcome and informative.To be honest I didnt just pick Snoogles for her cute ears and markings , the fact she was in a tiny cage out back on her own made me want to look after her more ,plus she looked very calm , peaceful and loving.I honestly hadnt thought about the "come to me test" you described earlier but will certainly use it when i choose her cage mates.I just wish i knew why she was kept on her own in a tiny cage out back when shes such a sweet timid thing,Maybe she was being bullied and thats what makes her shy ? she was also fairly big when i got her , id say maybe 3-4 months old but im not sure how fast rats grow.Maybe she was used to breed?but im pretty sure the petstore i got her from dont breed their own.Anyway , im leaving it until tomorrow until i get her little buddys and when i do ill post pics.Thanks again !
 

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be sure to quarantine

it will be a couple more weeks before you can do intros & that in itself is a lot to learn about, so time for you to start looking around the boards with tips on introducing rats

There are a huge number of us on here that can tell you about our own intros... I just went through a very labor intensive one & one that I didn't have to moderate at all just this last weekend. I think our little fuzzy buddies love putting us through our paces with extremes

Just for those reading this & going um-hmmm, it was the girls that gave me the fit on intros & the boys were as easy as sliced cheese.

GO FIGURE!
 
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