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Kleo, Manta, Bean
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Heyy again

So as the title says.. I'm having some trouble with my new babies and the bonding just isn't going quite as well right now. I have no one else to blame than myself for that but still.. this is very upsetting. Please remember this is my first time having rats and these things are things that don't just have one answer to them on the internet that I could look up.. these are the things people just don't know until they try.. and yes I've been asking a ton of help here from you guys too but it's just not always easy being a new rat mom and just believe me when I say that I'm trying my best.

Finally today I got a pen I had ordered for the free roam of the babies. I was so excited to try it out but the babies kinda ended up sleeping the whole day until it was already 8pm and they were.. very slowly.. starting to get up and it took until 9pm before anyone even acknowledged that the door was open and the pen was there (and I was there too with treats) and then my boyfriend had to go to bed and it's really scary for me to do that alone for the first time so I just waited a little longer until they all had come and been sniffing around at the open door of the cage towards the pen. So I decided to just continue again tomorrow with some more time, if they would want to be awake at some point that is.

So yeah, last week I thought that the rats were coming around to being more awake during the day because they did that well for like three days straight but now they've been sleeping later and later again every day so that's a bummer and makes it even harder to do things with them. And yeah the free roam hasn't yet been a success at all.. and then the worst one of all that really makes me feel like a bad rat mom is that.. I haven't been able to pick them up for quite a while now.. since in the beginning I decided to go with the more chill approach of like first getting them to be comfortable with my hand and taking treats from my hand. Then kinda trying to pet them while giving treats and.. they seem to tolerate that for a few seconds while getting the treat but yeah anyway. They are also very confident climbing all over my neck, hood, arms and inside of my hoodie.. but now that some days ago I decided that it's probably the turn of trying to start picking them up now.. I haven't been able to. They are simply too fast and when they realize what I'm trying to do.. they BOLT.. so yeah..

I just.. have I lost my chance? I know now that maybe the other approach of just picking them up no matter what from the very very first day would have worked better but.. have I now ruined this whole thing..? Will I ever be able to pick them up..? Is there anything I can do differently right now?
 

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Rats typically sleep during the day, although you can work with it a bit. Mine get woken up between 4:30 -5:00 in the late afternoon, when I get home from work. I give them a treat. Same time, every day but not the same treat everyday. Once they've eaten the treat - I start interacting with them and playing with them.

They are a bit more wound up between 8 & 9 pm, but that's normal for them.

You know, rats can be a bit flighty - so don't take it personally. Just keep working with them .... you'll get there.
 

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Don't worry, you're doing great and you haven't ruined anything!

Wake your rats up. If you have treats, they definitely won't be mad! Don't be afraid to bring them out of their cage to play with them.

If you want to learn how to pick your rats up, you can start any time! You haven't missed your opportunity or anything like that.
 

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Kleo, Manta, Bean
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Rats typically sleep during the day, although you can work with it a bit. Mine get woken up between 4:30 -5:00 in the late afternoon, when I get home from work. I give them a treat. Same time, every day but not the same treat everyday. Once they've eaten the treat - I start interacting with them and playing with them.

They are a bit more wound up between 8 & 9 pm, but that's normal for them.

You know, rats can be a bit flighty - so don't take it personally. Just keep working with them .... you'll get there.
Thank you! 😊 I know rats usually sleep a lot more during the day but also I know even here most people's rats have a nice schedule that allows them to interact with their rats even during the day or the morning and stuff, so I'm really hoping to get them a bit more accustomed to being awake at a certain time of day so that it's easier to spend more time with them! But yes, thank you so much for the encouragement, I really need it right now 🧡
 

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Kleo, Manta, Bean
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Don't worry, you're doing great and you haven't ruined anything!

Wake your rats up. If you have treats, they definitely won't be mad! Don't be afraid to bring them out of their cage to play with them.

If you want to learn how to pick your rats up, you can start any time! You haven't missed your opportunity or anything like that.
Thank you so much! This really means a lot to me and you don't even know how relieving it is to hear this right now, it is very needed! I've had a couple of not so good days regarding progress with the rats so that has kinda put me in a sad mood and just.. made me a bit nervous of how I'm doing with the rats overall. So this really is helpful, I'm glad you feel like I have not missed my opportunity, I will just keep on working even harder for my bond with our rats then 🧡
I will make sure the babies come out tomorrow, I have all kinds of fun stuff in their pen for them and when they get comfortable enough with the pen, I'll let them out in the living room, luckily it's not the biggest room so we can easily keep an eye on them while they are out! Hopefully even that will help our bond more and maybe even help somehow with the picking up situation!
 

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Thank you! 😊 I know rats usually sleep a lot more during the day but also I know even here most people's rats have a nice schedule that allows them to interact with their rats even during the day or the morning and stuff, so I'm really hoping to get them a bit more accustomed to being awake at a certain time of day so that it's easier to spend more time with them! But yes, thank you so much for the encouragement, I really need it right now 🧡
Because I work all day, their schedule doesn't really get in my way much. But I can imagine how frustrating it would be if they ere just waking up as I was going to bed.
 

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Kleo, Manta, Bean
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Because I work all day, their schedule doesn't really get in my way much. But I can imagine how frustrating it would be if they ere just waking up as I was going to bed.
Yeah that's true, it's kinda fine for me since I'm just doing online school but I live with my boyfriend and he loves our rats too but he works everyday and they are asleep almost everyday for the time that he is home and then they wake up when he has to go to bed so it really is a bit sad :(
 

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Routine, routine, routine!! Once they learn they'll get treats, waking up is easier. At 5pm, mine are asleep in their hammocks, and I call to them when it's time to wake up, and tickle the bottom of the hammocks. "Pootchie-pootchie-pootchies!!!" I call, and tickle until one comes out. When he gets his treat, the others start to wake up. Then I leave, go get some more treats, and come back to tickle more of them awake. They stretch, and yawn, and go back to bed, and I tickle them some more through the hammock. Sometimes it takes me 10 minutes to really wake them up lol.

As for picking them up, they may never like it. If they come to you and walk up your arm and get on your shoulder, that's great! No need to pick them up. Mine (5 months) tolerate a shoulder scratch, or pet between the eyes. Vinnie lets me pick him up. Vito will allow it if I don't hold on for more than a few seconds. Paulie squirms and struggles to get back down, but doesn't run away. Sal, on the other hand, has reverted to a fearful state of being picked up. Last night he puffed and shrieked and ran like I was trying to kill him! Once back in the cage though, he was calm but still cautious and let me pet his little forehead.

So many personalities, so many events that affect them. Sometimes they change from day to day seemingly without reason lol.
 

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Baby rats sleep a LOT. It's not your fault. You can wake them up as long as you bring treats, lol

Two of my boys, the older ones, didn't bond to me as quickly as my youngest one, and they are just now at 4 months old becoming used to me picking them up. Almost every day for that entire time I'd pick them up gently and put them down after a few moments, then give treats. Now they come to the cage door whenever I come up to it :)

It really depends on your rats' personalities what they will and won't do. Some rats are skittish for life, others are very outgoing. And it's okay for them to be skittish or not wanting to be held a lot. That's just who they are! They can still love you even though they're not super cuddly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Routine, routine, routine!! Once they learn they'll get treats, waking up is easier. At 5pm, mine are asleep in their hammocks, and I call to them when it's time to wake up, and tickle the bottom of the hammocks. "Pootchie-pootchie-pootchies!!!" I call, and tickle until one comes out. When he gets his treat, the others start to wake up. Then I leave, go get some more treats, and come back to tickle more of them awake. They stretch, and yawn, and go back to bed, and I tickle them some more through the hammock. Sometimes it takes me 10 minutes to really wake them up lol.

As for picking them up, they may never like it. If they come to you and walk up your arm and get on your shoulder, that's great! No need to pick them up. Mine (5 months) tolerate a shoulder scratch, or pet between the eyes. Vinnie lets me pick him up. Vito will allow it if I don't hold on for more than a few seconds. Paulie squirms and struggles to get back down, but doesn't run away. Sal, on the other hand, has reverted to a fearful state of being picked up. Last night he puffed and shrieked and ran like I was trying to kill him! Once back in the cage though, he was calm but still cautious and let me pet his little forehead.

So many personalities, so many events that affect them. Sometimes they change from day to day seemingly without reason lol.
Thank you soo much!! This is really helpful! I'm really trying to establish a routine with the rats, they just don't seem to know it yet.. 😅 It really is quite hard to wake them up.. mine wake up but won't come out of their sputnik for quite a while. But yeah thank you soo much for this and it's really good to hear other people's experiences on these things with their rats, it gives me more perspective! I will just have to keep on trying with the picking up and see if they would be able to adjust to it somehow, but we will see!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Baby rats sleep a LOT. It's not your fault. You can wake them up as long as you bring treats, lol

Two of my boys, the older ones, didn't bond to me as quickly as my youngest one, and they are just now at 4 months old becoming used to me picking them up. Almost every day for that entire time I'd pick them up gently and put them down after a few moments, then give treats. Now they come to the cage door whenever I come up to it :)

It really depends on your rats' personalities what they will and won't do. Some rats are skittish for life, others are very outgoing. And it's okay for them to be skittish or not wanting to be held a lot. That's just who they are! They can still love you even though they're not super cuddly.
Thank you so much for this and your support and encouraging words! This is very helpful! Yes, my babies do like to sleep.. A LOOOT! But you're right, they are still just babies so I have to keep that in mind, maybe later on they'll be more likely to be a bit more awake during some time of the day and have some kind of a routine too! It's really great to hear about your experience too and it helps me not to blame myself too much since it seems like it sometimes takes a bit longer with some rats 🥰 Thank you again, this is great!
 
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