i think i may be enemy number 1 in my rats eyes..

Discuss rat companionship, introductions and behavioural problems such as biting or shyness or tell us about your rat's unusual habits.
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JadeHardyox
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i think i may be enemy number 1 in my rats eyes..

Post by JadeHardyox » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:20 pm

okay, so i got the rats a day or so ago, and i needed to clean the cage out as they seem to have completely chucked their bedding everywhere .. i rang the pet shop and they said this was okay.. WELL! i opened the door and 'Cream' came running up, so i handed her a cheerio and she took that and went away to nibble at it.. but 'Cookie' is so shy, i put a small box in the cage and waited for him to investigate and when he climbed in i gently lifted it out and transferred it to a bigger box so he could run around in some shredded paper.. so he was out of the cage, but i literally couldnt get Cream.. i let her sniff my hand and stuff but ill admit i was terrified incase she bit me.. this went on for a while but she wouldnt let me pick her up so i tried my best to sort the cage out while she was in there, she had a little nibble at my finger but nothing that drew blood.. i managed to do the best i could then i tried to get cookie out of the bigger box.. my goodness.. he was so scared i felt so bad.. he did try to bite me a couple of times so iliterally just put some gloves on and scooped him up and put him back in the cage.. but then oddly they both came up to the front of the cage and took some celery from me..
i feel like ive completely lost any trust etc.. wish i had never tried to sort their cage out poor things..
what should i do now??
any help/advice is much appreciated

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RetroLemons
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Re: i think i may be enemy number 1 in my rats eyes..

Post by RetroLemons » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:32 pm

Unfortuantly you got them from a petshop so they won't have been handled by people that much, so I wouldn't expect them to be that people friendly. See here as to why it's not a good idea to buy from petshops, and why animals bought from there are generally untrustworthy of people.

You'll need to slowly build their confidence, and there are many methods for doing so!

Try sitting next to their cage, talking to them, about them, singing eventually they'll calm down in your presence. And in time they will approach the cage bars as their curiosity will eventually get the better of them. Remember rats can only remain scared for 20 minutes.

Stroke them in the cage whilst talking, don't grab until you feel them relax and then gently scoop them up.

Put yogurt or something tasty on a spoon teaching them that you come with goodies, and prevents them fron nipping you in an attempt to get the food.

Have you got a pouch? Or old hoody? Carry them around in that, I found it one of the best ways to tame ratties :D

When their confidence grows in you put their cage on your bed or whereever you plan to free range them and let them come out of their own accord. Let them clamber over you, sniff your ears :lol: Just allow them to see you as a big toy :wink:

Some people agree with forced socialisation if they still remain terrfied of you, which is basically picking them up whenever you go past, stroking them, and just allow them to see that you aren't going to hurt them.

For now I wouldnt have anything in their cage which they could hide in, just have open hammocks etc This will mean they can't hide from you and get too see you aren't as nasty as they first thought!

Goodluck! :luck:

ETA: If you dont mind me asking what cage have you got? And rattie pictures are a must! 8)
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Re: i think i may be enemy number 1 in my rats eyes..

Post by siberiankiss » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:38 pm

Off topic completely, but is the boy neutered?
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RetroLemons
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Re: i think i may be enemy number 1 in my rats eyes..

Post by RetroLemons » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:48 pm

siberiankiss wrote:Off topic completely, but is the boy neutered?


I just realised the he and she :lol: I just assumed both where she and it was a mistype!

Actually yes that is a question, as you got them from a petshop only two days ago?
From Rowan and the Fuzzlets! Miss you Kenco, Salt, Pretzel, Delilah, Moony & Bailey :( x
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Re: i think i may be enemy number 1 in my rats eyes..

Post by Jird » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:51 pm

If he isn't neutered, you'll want to separate them right away. Rats are sexually mature from about 6 weeks of age, and they can produce a litter of umpteen babies roughly every 3 weeks. It's very bad for the mum's health to have babies so young and to have so many litters one after another, and mum's health aside, you really don't want to be breeding from pet shop rats at all - they're badly bred and babies are unlikely to be long lived and healthy with perfect temperaments.
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Re: i think i may be enemy number 1 in my rats eyes..

Post by rat_mummy » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:17 pm

I got a boy second hand who was a 1 year old pet shop rat who's brother died and he came to live with my boys. He had never been handled and was very scared but 2 months later and I can pick him up and cuddle him with no problems. If yours are younger it's likely to be easier. My advise is wear the gloves to begin with because they give you confidence (I was the same as you terrified of being bitten) it makes you relise how scared they must be feeling though.

I started by persuading my boy into a top -opening carry box. Then I offered him a tiny treat (twas biscuit) and gently stroked him whilst he ate it. The important thing appeared to be to try not to jump when he moved suddenly as it scared him as much as me :D . He would turn round to sniff my fingers and I just remained still and recommenced stroking when he went back to his treat. I did this twice a day. After a while I moved on to picking him up after stroking, two handed (one hand over his shoulders or he'd shoot off) and popping him straight back into the cage. I just extended the time it took me to get him to and from the cage. Quite quickly he would take a treat whilst on my hands. Also when I felt brave enough I let him sniff and nibble my fingers. He didn't bite me he just tested (I had to close my eyes the first time I did this though as I was super scared). Once he squeezed a bit tight with his teeth and I squeaked and he let go straight away. After that I knew I could trust him. I still have to stroke him a couple of times before I pick him up so he can understand I'm about to pick him up but he's a great little pet now.

Welcome to the wonderful world of rats! :wink:

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Re: i think i may be enemy number 1 in my rats eyes..

Post by daffee » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:38 pm

This is a good article on taming pet shop rats that might give you some more pointers. They should come around given plenty of time and patience. But as has been said, if you do have a boy and a girl your priority should be to separate them immediately!
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Re: i think i may be enemy number 1 in my rats eyes..

Post by JadeHardyox » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:37 pm

thanks for all your answers.. they are actually both male but im unsure whether they have been 'done' or not..does this matter? if it does i will ring pet shop tomorrow!
the cage i have is a black metal one with three tiers and plenty of toys etc...
yeah will put piccies up when i can :)

have just been up there to see them both, and Cookie hid underneath newspaper the whole time whereas Cream was straight to the door of the cage so i opened it and let him sniff my fingers and he didnt nibble or bite.. i then actually put my hand in the cage to put a toy in and he was fine .. although he does seem to jump around and act a bit psychotic (a bit like a Guinea Pig when they jump when theyre happy/excited) is this what hes doing??

thanks again :D

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Re: i think i may be enemy number 1 in my rats eyes..

Post by rat_mummy » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:13 pm

It's fine that they are both boys and not neutered. Sounds like they'll come through so long as you persist with taming. Don't know about the jumping, he's probably just full of beans. Why not try getting them out to play on the bathroom floor and sit with them (just check there are no holes under the bath or anything first). They tend to get curious and investigate you, especially if you have food. :luck:

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Re: i think i may be enemy number 1 in my rats eyes..

Post by squeakrat » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:21 pm

JadeHardyox wrote:thanks for all your answers.. they are actually both male but im unsure whether they have been 'done' or not..does this matter?
No, boys don't need to be neutered to live together happily :)

JadeHardyox wrote:he does seem to jump around and act a bit psychotic (a bit like a Guinea Pig when they jump when theyre happy/excited) is this what hes doing??

Sounds like he is excited (although probably still a bit nervous as well) - I have a rat who is slightly nervous of coming out of the cage, but she gets excited when I open the door and does a little skip/jump - sounds like that is similar to what he is doing!

You've had some good advice above on how to socialise them, so just persevere with them :luck:
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Re: i think i may be enemy number 1 in my rats eyes..

Post by Golgotha_tramp » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:37 pm

JadeHardyox wrote:although he does seem to jump around and act a bit psychotic (a bit like a Guinea Pig when they jump when theyre happy/excited) is this what hes doing??


my boys tend to bounce around like crazies in the morning after treat when I get the food bowls, they know it's dinner time! :D
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