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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2009, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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Tips for a new rat owner

I read up on rats and did all my research and everything before getting some, naturally, but theres one thing books don't have much information on: Love!
I have two little girlies, under a year old, but I don't know how to get them to like me! The older one, Bella, she takes treats from me most enthusiastically, but when I get her out of the cage to play she seems like shes trying very desperately to escape from me.
The younger, Lon, one won't even take treats from my hand, I have to leave them near her (and prevent Bella from stealing them). She eats them when she thinks I'm not looking. When I reach towards her she runs away, and if I catch her she pees on me.
I'm sure it takes time and patience, but does anyone recommend anything I can do to put them more at ease?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2009, 06:38 PM
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sit in the bath with them in and read a book or something so that your not focussed on them and let them get used to you


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2009, 09:57 PM
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Yeah, set up a play pin or a rat safe room with a few hiding spots, tons of toys and yourself doing something else and still.
I lay in my rooms floor half asleep while they run from hiding spot to hiding spot and eventually they come over to me and find out, "hey your not so scary!".



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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2009, 10:11 PM
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Rats are naturally "interested" in us so it won't take them long to come around!
Are they from a petstore or breeder?
If from a petstore thats maybe why, they don't get much human contact there! but in no time your babies will be crawling all over you.
Try sitting by the cage and letting them come out on their own! their little noses will get the better of them!
Goodluck x

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2009, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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The rat cage is big enough for them but not for me as well but I can take them into the bathroom and hang out. ANd I did get them from a pet store- I don't knopw any breeders yet, I'm still pretty new to this!
I'd love to take them into my room but right now its so messy I fear I'd never see them again! But thank you all for the tips- I think I'll chill in the bathroom with book this weekend and cover myself in snacks and tissues (they love tissues) and see if they come around.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 03:21 AM
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When I first got my pet rats I wore an old, big, baggy jumper that they could run around me in and snuggle up in. Also, if you have an old top or a top you don't mind giving up, than wear it for a day with all your normal perfumes/body spays and put it in their cage at the end of the day to get used to your smell. And when they are out of their cage running around you, than speak gently to them so they get used to your voice.
All the other suggestions are good to
xx



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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 06:50 AM
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I use the couch or chair method with a blanket myself. I lay down on the couch with a blanket over me and the rats underneath. they are covered up from "predators" (rats are very instinctual when scared and unsocialized), and they can run around and get to know me without me staring or touching them all the time (hands are like predators, birds of prey usually)

They relax and then once they start heading out in the open I often gently stroke a passing back...by then they are often too busy exploring to worry about it...

Go slow, use a soft loving voice, and be patient. Rats think people are the greatest jungle gyms, bringer of food, etc...you just have to teach them that slowly

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 06:50 AM
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I found that ignoring them was the best way, let them explore you in their own time whilst you let your attention focus on something else, hold a treat in your open hand, and let them find it for themselves, leave a top nearby for them to hide in when they need to, and wear a baggy top for them to climb into, if, like me, you have the cage open onto the sofa, leave the door open and let them come out, leave a treat or two at different distances from the cage door, they will come out to look for them...Talk to them as they wander about, let them get used to your voice, mine will come out now when they hear me...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 06:52 AM
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Males might mark a lot too. Like she said, old clothes!



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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the tips!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 06:40 AM
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Also make sure you wear shoes. I've never yet met a rat that wouldn't bite a sock covered toe!

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-23-2009, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennicat View Post
Also make sure you wear shoes. I've never yet met a rat that wouldn't bite a sock covered toe!

Seriously! What is with the sock obsession?

~Ren~
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Rags- Blue Healer/Border Collie Mix
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