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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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Question New Ratty Mom

Hello

I bought two baby female rats last weekend. I bought them from a pet store and they are both 8 weeks old.
However, I am not really sure on how to start handling them!
The woman at the pet store told me to leave them in their cage for a while to get used to their surroundings and I've done that and I'm now itching to get them out for a cuddle!
I seem to have built up a trust with them, they come when I call their names and when I call them for 'sweeties' which they will take from my hand. They seem happy too when I talk to them, they will both sit there chattering their teeth and boggling their eyes
So any advice on how to handle them for the first time? I am nervous about them biting (thanks to an aggressive hamster, I still have the scar!) And I am also terrified that they'll run off and I won't be able to catch them!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 08:26 AM
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Rats RARELY bite...really, they will only do so when they are very scared or feel threatened. I'd recommend sitting next to their cage and putting your hand in their cage and just leave it in there for them to smell and touch. Wear an old hooded sweatshirt with a pouch in front, and you can them gently cup them in your hands and let them crawl on you and in the pouch. This will get them used to your smell, and also provide them with a safe place if they get scared. Do this several times a day for about 10 minutes or so at a time. If they already seem to trust you, I bet it won't take long at all for them to feel comfortable with you! (But if it does seem to take a while, just be patient and don't give up. Keep working with them and over time they should be great with you.)

ETA: I should also say that hamsters are known to be biters, much more so than rats. So, don't be afraid and just take it easy for yourself, as well as for them, and you'll be fine.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 12:23 PM
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Welcome Jinx, and you know, Breyer's post was perfect...I basically just have to ditto everything she said. And yes, rats are not known as biters or nippers, like hamsters can be. Rats are very sweet and gentle and if you just take your time and don't rush into holding them before they are ready, you will be fine. Sounds like you are already off to a super start with your two girls. They just need to keep getting used to your smell, your voice and so forth. As Breyer already said, just be patient and gentle with them and take it slow and you will eventually have two very loyal and loving little girls. Enjoy the journey, you will never forget it. Rats are just marvelous and wonderful. Good luck to you and keep us posted! What are your girls' names by the way?

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 06:02 PM
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I just have one thing to add! Have some treats handy, they are always useful in getting them to come out of their shell
And my rat Louna still to this day hates being taken out of her cage, even when she wants to come out, she doesn't like the process but enjoys being out of it. So if they are not coming out on their own or climbing on your hand, don't worry, you'll just have to help them
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 08:41 PM
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Yep, I forgot about the all important treats, ha ha. The way to a ratty's heart is via their stomach! (Well, that, in addition to being a loving parent of course

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice

I've been putting my hand in the cage and they've been curious, coming over to sniff and letting me stroke them until they find something better to do! But now when they hear the cage opening, they're there waiting to be petted so I think I'm getting somewhere!

Their names are Mimi and Misty
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 12:13 PM
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Excellent! Sounds like you are doing great with them! It is obvious your girls are getting very attached to you and that they enjoy your attention when you come over to their house, yay!

Mimi and Misty are beautiful girl names, I love it! Can't wait to see photos of your new girls. Congrats and keep up the good work!

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-28-2010, 08:10 PM
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Like Vladina said, would be great to see pictures of your new baby girls!

Another way I always bond with my rattie babies is tickling them. Most are very ticklish on their rump - Right above their tail.

Good luck, and do keep us posted with how it goes, and hopefully you will get around to pictures soon...?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2010, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Update!: We've bonded!

Thanks for all your suggestions and advice, and yes, mine love to be tickled too! They have also got themselves into a routine when they hear me in the morning, of running to the edge of the cage to wait for their morning Cheerio.
I will post pics as soon as I'm able too(20 post count), I can't wait to show them off!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2010, 01:00 PM
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Hey! Fantastic news!! It makes me remember how wonderful it was to bond with our boys...makes me miss them so much. But no sad stuff here, I am thrilled that you bonded! We all knew it would happen sooner or later as you sound like a kind and patient rat parent.

The morning Cheerio routine sounds great! (And cheerios are a great treat for ratties) I can't wait to see pictures!!

Congrats again!

Vlad

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You will always be with me, my sweet boys. I will see you at the Bridge.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 03:06 PM
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I cant tell from your other posts that you've really bonded with your kids which is awesome, i'm going to follow your lead and see if i can get there with mine~!
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