Nervous Rats

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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Toribob
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Nervous Rats

Post by Toribob » Mon May 30, 2011 9:34 am

Hi,

On Sunday I picked up my two new boys who have not been handled very much in the last two months, and they seem very nervous.

Their first day we did not try to get them out of the cage just stroked them when we could and talked to the through the bars. Yesterday we put the cage on the bed and took the top part of, after they had a good explore they settled into the corner of the cage and I stroked Seth for a while, Ozzy came over and then fell asleep while I was stroking him and Seth started to brux and boggle.

I am worried though beacuase I read that rats can brux if they are stressed or content, and so how do I know if he is happy or actually not enjoying the contact.

Also they seem wary of being picked up... the first time I picked Seth up yesterday he squealed and scurried around to get off my hand, but then yesterday afternoon I was able to pick them both up for a short time.

Is it just a matter of keep trying to pick them up till they get used to it, They are both red eyed boys and am not sure if this is why they are nervous of being picked up or the lack of handling?

StormySkye
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Re: Nervous Rats

Post by StormySkye » Mon May 30, 2011 10:12 am

I love this article, I don't know what to say about it, so I'll let you read it yourself :)
http://ratfanclub.org/trust.html
Emily. Happily owned by Layla, Lily, Whiskers and Giselle.

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Toribob
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Re: Nervous Rats

Post by Toribob » Mon May 30, 2011 10:25 am

Thanks for that. I will give it a try.

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Flox
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Re: Nervous Rats

Post by Flox » Tue May 31, 2011 12:22 am

My red eyed girl has flippin' awful eyesight (constantly swaying) so I somewhat forgive her for being a bitey little mare :) She never really knows what's coming to get her, so gives it a chomp just in case! She will get over it eventually, she just has to learn. Her 'sister' is just as nervous but less defensive (doesn't bite at all). So I'd say with yours it's probably both! Very scared, and can't see a thing :D

When you reach to get them, you may as well be a hawk or any other predator swooping down to get them, so it's no real surprise you'll get more panics and nips when you're picking them up then when you're actually holding them. It really is just a case of doing it so often that they figure out you're not trying to eat them. If your cage has big enough doors that you can put both hands in and scoop them up rather than 'grabbing', that's a help - but not always possible. Stick with it. Whether their bruxing is because they're happy or they're nervous, don't worry about it - if they're nervous they're doing it to reassure themselves, and that's all part of the process of them learning you're not a monster :)

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