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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-07-2010, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Question help socializing please

hi i bought 2 female rats from petco about a month ago, i am not sure how old they are their bodies with out tails is about 4.5 inches. since i have had them i still have not held them they freeze when i come in the room and one even bit me ( totally my fault) , so now i have been sitting in the room with the lights dimmed and feeding them banana baby food from a spoon to try and get them used to me, but i was wondering if anybody else has a suggestion on how to get them used to being handled.
thanks so much
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-16-2010, 11:04 AM
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Yeah 2 of mine are similar, however they are just agresive, but came from a breeder. What I may do is turn the light on and if you want sit in there for a while and talk to them but when you leave turn on the tv or the radio so they continue to hear a human voice. Then maybe go in there again. Try giving them something you can give with your fingers (just watch your fingers). Maybe cereal or something? uhm when you get into the cage, maybe slowly try and pet them and if they run then try next time, but like it is with my girl Jelly Bean she does not like to be touched or handled so she will run. I stick my hand in the cage ans she runs into a corner and freezes so I go and pet her, she will usually run but I just follow her slowly and she eventually stops. Hope this helps
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-16-2010, 01:11 PM
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Hey Amory, welcome aboard.

Yeah, pet store rats will have more likelihood of displaying some of the fearfulness and shyness you're experiencing, sometimes because of poor breeding or health, sometimes because of lack of socialization. But, you should be able to work with them.

Here's some links to sites that give lots of tips on working with fearful, shy, or biting rats. Hope they are helpful:

http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/informat...t=ratsthatbite
http://www.sandyscrittercity.com/tra...bitingrats.htm
http://www.joinrats.com/


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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thanks a bunch guys i really appreciate it!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 09:07 AM
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Time and patience is the key, talk to them, give them treats, slow movements around them and in time they'll gain your trust! good luck!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 11:17 AM
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I used to rescue rats that had been treated just terribly and were very badly behaved and I never had one not come around eventually. Rats are very curious and social and usually that wins out over fear eventually if you have patience and build trust. Here are some steps that I would recommend, that have worked for me.

1. Look them over carefully and listen/watch for any signs of injury or illness. Petstore rats are more likely to have untreated health issues and a rat that doesn't feel good can be much more prone to defensive behavior.
2. Bribery. treats, food, toys, whatever works. Make sure you are associated with all the most wonderful things in life, esp. fruit or peanut butter flavored yogies, food of the gods.
3. Get them out of the cage by whatever means possible without actually forcefully pulling them out and terrifying them. You can try just leaving the cage door open and see if they will wander out or lure them out with more bribery. A lot of rats that have not been handled much by people and kept crammed together in too small petstore setups can become somewhat cage territorial and get fearful when you reach in the cage to interact with them. Sometimes these same rats behave much better once they are out of the cage. If that works then you can work from there to being able to reach in the cage after they trust you and have let you handle them a bit.
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