i've had my two little girls for about two and half weeks and they just arent warming up to me. i"ve tried treats, forced socialization, putting them in an active area. is it possile they might never warm up to me?
One of the easiest things I did to get my girls to like me is feed them only by hand.
It's all about the food with rats, and the occasional treat isn't enough reinforcement of you being the Bringer Of Good Things (which is what you're aiming for. They'll know real love later). If they know that they're only going to be fed if they come to you, by golly, they'll figure out really quick to come! And try foods where they have to stick around to eat- really small pieces of things, or wet foods like applesauce on your finger.
Eventually they'll make the connection that you= good things, and that you're not going to hurt them.
Haha, I saw that phrase and I knew it was exactly right! It's how I know they see me, I can tell. I walk into the room with a cereal bowl and they'll be practically falling off the bed they're so excited to share with me! But recently I've been feeling like they actually like me for me, and they're not just begging for food all the time, just most of the time. It's a heartmelting sensation.
But you're right, that is the important part, helping them to realize you're okay.
We had to 'force' socialize one of our rats Mindy... which pretty much consisted of dragging her out of the cage, hold her tight (helps them feel more secure) and gently pet them. I also took her out and kept her in my hoodie, that way she felt secured and sheltered, but could also pick up my smell, and the other smells and sounds around her. Just recently she has started cuddling with me and coming right to me when I open the cage. She will even crawl out on my hand to get out now. She's a big sweetheart now..
2 weeks is still a very short time, try the tips already posted re: feeding by hand, place your hand in the cage often without touching them, just shuffle some of their toys around so they get used to ur hand and safe in the knowledge that the big pink thing with 5 sausages hanging from it isnt going to do them any harm.
If theyre young theyre going to be jumpy and pretty nuts anyhow, my youngest is about 4 months and shes still super fast and mad.
Her elder cage mate who is about 6 months old is just in the easy to handle stage now where she likes to sit on my shoulder and be ferried around everywhere.
Give it time.....
also, before getting them out for play, give them a big stodgy nosh up first,[ie.mash potato,chicken,broccoli and a teeny spoon of gravy to mix ,not much gravy as its very salty].. nothing like a comfy full tummy to make them less skitish and they are easier to catch then too!.
Back when I first got Willy, my partner and I just let him free in our bedroom, and eventually he stopped hiding and started sleeping in our bed while we werent home and the eventually wanting to come and hang out and watch us read or play on the computer on our bed, then he started trying to type and showing how good he was at shredding your favourite books while you tried to read, then started sleeping with us and eating off our plates and thats it!
Basically we let him do it all at his own pace, his curiosity got the better or him and he learned that we were actually pretty good and we had nice food.