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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it normal behaviour for rats to suddenly become unresponsive and inactive during playtime? I know boys are lazier than girls but there behaviour is worrying me... after they have been out to play for a while, particularly when they are in the rat play room, all three of them pretty much all at the same time just stop running around and playing and just sit and stare....

...when they go like this i can stroke them for ages without them moving or they just move a step or 2, its like they go into a trance that they dont really come out of the only thing that makes them move is if i try pick them up and even then they will let me hold them for a little while before they run off and go unresponsive again...

...i cant think of anything that would trigger it there are no other animals exept my gerbils, i live alone so there is no loud noises or anything like that and i always wear my "rat hoody" when im handling them so theres always something that smells ratty and familar. I gave them some water encase they were hot but they just stuck a paw in and werent interested and they had only been out 45 minutes...

... as soon as i put them back in the cage they were fine, they are their veggies and seem content...

whats happening when they become unresponsive??
 

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How long are they out before this happens? Boys tend to tire or get bored quicker than girls and I sometimes found it hard to motivate my older boys to even come out of the cage to play (they'd play for a while if I forced them to come out but then they'd fall asleep in the fleece bin). I've noticed the same with my 1.5 year old girl (who also tends to be rather sickly); she'll run for about an hour then I find her back in the cage snoozing. I don't think it's anything to worry about unless you start noticing signs of illness in them, but since all three do the same thing that's probably unlikely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tonight they had only been out for 45 minutes mabey less... they has about 15 minutes climbing over me then i took them into the rat playroom just while i ate my dinner (otherwise they insist on climbing all over my plate and try to steal my food! lol) and as soon as i went back up to them they were uninterested in me or playing with anything.... if i offer them a treat when they are unresponsive they tend to have it off me but then drop it and leave it.

... They are only 10 weeks old so i thought they would be pretty lively and adventurous while they are young... i try to get them out for a few hours ever night but when they go like this i take them back to there cage but it doesnt seem like alot of free range time when everything ive read seems to suggest 2-5 hours out every day :S
 

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Didn't realize they're so young. Do they wander far from you? Sounds like they may just not be very confident with their surroundings which is perfectly understandable of a 10 week old, tiny creature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They seem to be more confident when they are on the sofa but they have spent more time there, they will run over me and if ive been out of the room for a few minute they run over to me but they still seem pretty twitchy and would rathe hid under a cushion or hid on the back of the sofa instead of come to me... unless i have food they they wont leave me alone...

...when i first took them upstairs just over a week ago they were pretty cautious and Remmy refused to leave my shoulder for a while...the whole room is rat proofed but at the moment they only have the bed to play on... i get the feeling having the whole room would make them feel shell shocked for now!...They explore the bed pretty happily they have a "ball pit" that they hunt for treats in and a climbing frame with a hammock on that they have mastered. They also have a few tubes and some williow bridge things but they dont seem brave enough to actually climb up them yet....I try to not leave them alone up there for long but because of the hours i work rat playtime and dinner times have to over lap...

...Im off work on wednesday so i might try a few hours of immersion training with them see if i can build there confidence... they look so sad when they are unresponsive :(
 

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When I started reading your last post the suggestion of immersion popped into my mind, but it seems you've already thought of that lol The smaller the area, the easier it is to get them comfortable. It's hard for me to remember what it's like introducing new babies to a new environment without the help of a resident rat to build their confidence, but I seem to remember short bursts of scampering and playing followed by a rat pile in the corner with all of them looking like they'd never been there before lol (rescue litter free ranging).
 
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