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Hello! I am a first time rat owner and recently just adopted two six month old male rats. I adopted them two days ago. I do not have names yet but I’m already so attached and I love them so much. I’ve been trying to bond with them and get them to be comfortable with me. We’ve gotten some good progress so far! They’ve been able to take treats from my hand and sometimes come up to me on their own when I put my hands in the cage. Today I sat with their cage door open with my hands in the cage all day. They come up to me on their own. One of them is definitely more shy than the other one. However I’m confused on one thing.. I put them in my hoodie pocket or let them crawl around on my lap and cuddle up to them. They don’t mind this once I get them out of their cage and they’re also super chill and comfortable with me during this time. However it’s like they forget who I am when I put them back in the cage. They shy away from me again after being in the cage for a bit. Also I haven’t been able to pick them up in the cage with my hands. That’s to be expected after having them for such a short period of time but I want them to get comfortable with my hands and know that I’m not scary. Does anyone have any advice?
 

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Yeah rats are funny fellas! One of my last boys just wouldnt get comfortable with me grabbing him out the cage, I put it down to the petstore manhandling him.

They will get there with patience i'm sure, one of my boys now (the more dominant one) will happily come up to me asking me to pick him up but the other fella will only allow it once he's cleaned himself all prim and proper and gone downstairs to wait by the cage door, such a cutie XD

The important thing I think is not to force it, dont ever back them into a corner and pick them up with a hawk like grip, you want to slide your hands under their body and support the legs, this will make them feel much more comfortable and stable. I try to use two hands and scoop from both sides.

I cant resist giving them kisses and WHY DO RATS SMELL SO GOOD?
 
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