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Hey y'all! So I recently got a pet rat (Roquefort) and I'm a bit worried about her. She's always hiding in her little tent and only comes out to eat/drink water when the lights are out or when she thinks I'm not there. I decided to start taming her, and it was kind of a disaster.

Every time I try to interact with her, she freezes up and stays like that for a while. Yesterday, I tried to give her some strawberries, but she stayed in her tent and didn't come out. Maybe she was sleeping, so I decided today that I would try again when she was awake and active. I offered her some sunflower seeds today, which she really seemed to like. The moment I opened the cage door though, she scampered to the corner of her cage and stopped moving. I held out the sunflower seeds, but she was completely frozen and refused to take them. My arm got tired so I just left the seeds in front of her before closing up the cage. I went back to see if she had eaten it about thirty minutes later, and she was still in that position. As I'm writing this, she hasn't moved much. She took the seeds but she's still curled up in the corner.

She wasn't like this in the pet store when I got her; she was skittish, but I didn't see her freeze up like this. Is this because she's alone now? I know that you're supposed to have two or more rats, but she was the only female in the litter, and it was the only litter. I got her because my mom wanted a smaller rat, and because I knew she would eventually be separated from her brothers as she got older. I thought that it would be better to be temporarily alone in a good environment than alone in a pet store. I am looking for another female rat, but where I live, rats and pet shops in general are very rare, so it's been hard.

Anyways, I don't know why she's frozen like this, and I was wondering if you had any tips on how to unfreeze her? Or maybe a way to tame her when she's like this? Does she just need more time, or should I just pick her up? Any ideas would be great.
 

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Ok firstly she needs a cage mate. If you cant get her a cage mate you need to give her up for adoption really, it is cruel to keep rats on their own.

When you say disaster, what happened? :(

rat proof the room, leave the cage open, sit in the room, wait to see if she comes out to you, if she does, give her a treat but do not overwhelm her, any sudden movements will likely make her jolt, keep doing this until shes built up trust for you

Watch

Don't buy small animals from pet stores they are often factory farmed, try to find a local reputable pet breeder, make sure you go in and check out the conditions.
 

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Hey y'all! So I recently got a pet rat (Roquefort) and I'm a bit worried about her. She's always hiding in her little tent and only comes out to eat/drink water when the lights are out or when she thinks I'm not there. I decided to start taming her, and it was kind of a disaster.

Every time I try to interact with her, she freezes up and stays like that for a while. Yesterday, I tried to give her some strawberries, but she stayed in her tent and didn't come out. Maybe she was sleeping, so I decided today that I would try again when she was awake and active. I offered her some sunflower seeds today, which she really seemed to like. The moment I opened the cage door though, she scampered to the corner of her cage and stopped moving. I held out the sunflower seeds, but she was completely frozen and refused to take them. My arm got tired so I just left the seeds in front of her before closing up the cage. I went back to see if she had eaten it about thirty minutes later, and she was still in that position. As I'm writing this, she hasn't moved much. She took the seeds but she's still curled up in the corner.

She wasn't like this in the pet store when I got her; she was skittish, but I didn't see her freeze up like this. Is this because she's alone now? I know that you're supposed to have two or more rats, but she was the only female in the litter, and it was the only litter. I got her because my mom wanted a smaller rat, and because I knew she would eventually be separated from her brothers as she got older. I thought that it would be better to be temporarily alone in a good environment than alone in a pet store. I am looking for another female rat, but where I live, rats and pet shops in general are very rare, so it's been hard.

Anyways, I don't know why she's frozen like this, and I was wondering if you had any tips on how to unfreeze her? Or maybe a way to tame her when she's like this? Does she just need more time, or should I just pick her up? Any ideas would be great.
You definitely need a cage mate for your rat. I'm one of the top breeders in my area and I ALWAYS tell people who adopt from me that they are required to adopt 2 or more rats. I always refuse anyone who only wants 1. I hate that pet stores don't require people adopt at least 2 rats. Also, if you can't give her up to someone who can take her in and incorporate her into their rat group, then I would make an effort to drive a distance to adopt a second rat. It's much easier to group rats together when they are young than when they are older. Alot of the people who adopt from me drive 2 to 3 hours just to sit with the rats and then pick out the 2 that show bonding behaviors with them (I don't adopt out rats that hide or show no interest in the current person adopting as this results in an almost zero return rate and an almost zero nervous rate in rats). Once you are able to incorporate at new rat friend, she should begin to show signs of interest on you. She will still be nervous and scared, but with a friend (from a good breeder who has actually taken the time to socialize their rats) who trusts humans, she will begin to trust you. From there, you use current techniques to slowly gain her trust. It can be done. I've rescued rats from horrid abusive homes where the rats are so afraid of humans that they scream, wag their tails in fear, and hide. After alot of patience, alot of love, and alot of treats, they finally began to open up. From taking food from my hand and running, to taking food and eating beside my hand, to taking food and eating from my hand, to coming up to me for treats, to sitting on my lap for short periods of time, to letting me touch their scruff, to climbing on me, to finally allowing me to hold them. It is ALOT of work, but it is fully worth it to finally see a rat gain trust and begin to show bonding signs like licking and grooming. Mishka took 9 months before letting me pick her up (she was abused the worst), but I love her the most because she over came that bullshit, loves her new cagemates, and loves to spend time with me. Always always always buy from us breeders who take the time to give you everything you need, from advice, to help, to social rats, healthy rats, and happy rats. I hate pet stores. They ruin my passion for breeding because people think all rats are these shy animals who are skittish, but a good breeder will ALWAYS produce rats who trust everyone.
 

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You definitely need a cage mate for your rat. I'm one of the top breeders in my area and I ALWAYS tell people who adopt from me that they are required to adopt 2 or more rats. I always refuse anyone who only wants 1. I hate that pet stores don't require people adopt at least 2 rats. Also, if you can't give her up to someone who can take her in and incorporate her into their rat group, then I would make an effort to drive a distance to adopt a second rat. It's much easier to group rats together when they are young than when they are older. Alot of the people who adopt from me drive 2 to 3 hours just to sit with the rats and then pick out the 2 that show bonding behaviors with them (I don't adopt out rats that hide or show no interest in the current person adopting as this results in an almost zero return rate and an almost zero nervous rate in rats). Once you are able to incorporate at new rat friend, she should begin to show signs of interest on you. She will still be nervous and scared, but with a friend (from a good breeder who has actually taken the time to socialize their rats) who trusts humans, she will begin to trust you. From there, you use current techniques to slowly gain her trust. It can be done. I've rescued rats from horrid abusive homes where the rats are so afraid of humans that they scream, wag their tails in fear, and hide. After alot of patience, alot of love, and alot of treats, they finally began to open up. From taking food from my hand and running, to taking food and eating beside my hand, to taking food and eating from my hand, to coming up to me for treats, to sitting on my lap for short periods of time, to letting me touch their scruff, to climbing on me, to finally allowing me to hold them. It is ALOT of work, but it is fully worth it to finally see a rat gain trust and begin to show bonding signs like licking and grooming. Mishka took 9 months before letting me pick her up (she was abused the worst), but I love her the most because she over came that bullshit, loves her new cagemates, and loves to spend time with me. Always always always buy from us breeders who take the time to give you everything you need, from advice, to help, to social rats, healthy rats, and happy rats. I hate pet stores. They ruin my passion for breeding because people think all rats are these shy animals who are skittish, but a good breeder will ALWAYS produce rats who trust everyone.
You could also adopt one of her brothers, get him neutered, and bada bing bada boom. Cage mate. But, I would seriously recommend using a breeder who knows what they're doing, even if that means road trip. If you cant find a mate, give her up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
m
Ok firstly she needs a cage mate. If you cant get her a cage mate you need to give her up for adoption really, it is cruel to keep rats on their own.

When you say disaster, what happened? :(

rat proof the room, leave the cage open, sit in the room, wait to see if she comes out to you, if she does, give her a treat but do not overwhelm her, any sudden movements will likely make her jolt, keep doing this until shes built up trust for you

Watch

Don't buy small animals from pet stores they are often factory farmed, try to find a local reputable pet breeder, make sure you go in and check out the conditions.
thank you! she seems to have gotten used to me, and is very social.

and i know she needs a cage mate; i’ve been actively watching out for one. as i mentioned though, rats are not common where i live. small animal breeders often only sell to pet stores and most don’t breed rats. even finding pet stores that sell rats is difficult. the place i went to though isn’t a chain and from what i could see, they breed their rats there.

giving her up isn’t something i can do easily; people do not like rats here and no one that i can find in my area has female rats.

while i’m searching, i am looking out for signs of depression and loneliness. if i do see any, i may consider giving her back to the pet store, but they don’t have any female rats there and i bought her from the last litter they had this year so i don’t know how good that would do.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You could also adopt one of her brothers, get him neutered, and bada bing bada boom. Cage mate. But, I would seriously recommend using a breeder who knows what they're doing, even if that means road trip. If you cant find a mate, give her up.
You definitely need a cage mate for your rat. I'm one of the top breeders in my area and I ALWAYS tell people who adopt from me that they are required to adopt 2 or more rats. I always refuse anyone who only wants 1. I hate that pet stores don't require people adopt at least 2 rats. Also, if you can't give her up to someone who can take her in and incorporate her into their rat group, then I would make an effort to drive a distance to adopt a second rat. It's much easier to group rats together when they are young than when they are older. Alot of the people who adopt from me drive 2 to 3 hours just to sit with the rats and then pick out the 2 that show bonding behaviors with them (I don't adopt out rats that hide or show no interest in the current person adopting as this results in an almost zero return rate and an almost zero nervous rate in rats). Once you are able to incorporate at new rat friend, she should begin to show signs of interest on you. She will still be nervous and scared, but with a friend (from a good breeder who has actually taken the time to socialize their rats) who trusts humans, she will begin to trust you. From there, you use current techniques to slowly gain her trust. It can be done. I've rescued rats from horrid abusive homes where the rats are so afraid of humans that they scream, wag their tails in fear, and hide. After alot of patience, alot of love, and alot of treats, they finally began to open up. From taking food from my hand and running, to taking food and eating beside my hand, to taking food and eating from my hand, to coming up to me for treats, to sitting on my lap for short periods of time, to letting me touch their scruff, to climbing on me, to finally allowing me to hold them. It is ALOT of work, but it is fully worth it to finally see a rat gain trust and begin to show bonding signs like licking and grooming. Mishka took 9 months before letting me pick her up (she was abused the worst), but I love her the most because she over came that bullshit, loves her new cagemates, and loves to spend time with me. Always always always buy from us breeders who take the time to give you everything you need, from advice, to help, to social rats, healthy rats, and happy rats. I hate pet stores. They ruin my passion for breeding because people think all rats are these shy animals who are skittish, but a good breeder will ALWAYS produce rats who trust everyone.
thanks for the tips. my rat is has gotten used to me, and it’s a relief.

and i know she needs a cage mate; i’ve been actively watching out for one. as i mentioned though, rats are not common where i live. small animal breeders often only sell to pet stores and most don’t breed rats. even finding pet stores that sell rats is difficult. the place i went to though isn’t a chain and from what i could see, they breed their rats there.

giving her up isn’t something i can do easily; people do not like rats here and no one that i can find in my area has female rats.

while i’m searching, i am looking out for signs of depression and loneliness. if i do see any, i may consider giving her back to the pet store, but they don’t have any female rats there and i bought her from the last litter they had this year so i don’t know how good that would do.
 

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BTW, there’s nothing wrong with pet store rats. I have had both pet store and breeder rats, and when I say breeder, I am not speaking of feeders either. Some of my most sweetest rats have come from pet stores, and I have had a few unsocialized, and very aggressive rats from breeders. A rat is a rat, feeder, pet store or breeder - whatever! My next rat will definitely be a feeder, as it would be so satisfying knowing that I saved them.
 

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I agree with you, as long as you follow the red flags, breeders and pet store are the same. I too have gotten super social ras from pet store, although the only thing I wouldn't do is get rats from a pet store that don't breed their own rats (since I wouldn't know what kind of conditions the rats are coming from and therefore don't know what I'm encouraging), but otherwise as long as they don't show any red flags I would continue to get from stores.
 
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