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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just recently moved house and taken my rats with me. They are about a year old now and they are very nervous and skittish. Usually if leave the cage open the hop out and explore but now they won't even leave at all. They hide away in their house and they are shying away from my hand. Is this normal after a move? Do they just need time to settle? if so how long does this usually take? I don't want to stress them out at all so i am leaving them alone for now.
 

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Sounds like that could be it...new surroundings, new sounds and smells and probably 100 other things they notice that we don't! Interesting question and I can see why you are just leaving them alone for now to see if they calm down. Do soothing words and talking to them help them calm down at all?
 

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My experience has been that on top of reading 100 things about the surroundings that we don't, they also read us and pick up on changes anxieties etc, so I'm sure the change plus observing their human pals through the change has them a little iffy. I would spend lots of time around the cage with the door open to just encourage them to come out when they are ready. I recently rescued a female that's quite skiddish and a bit jumpy with hands. She's really warming up and getting comfortable now! I basically made a habit of keeping the cage by the couch while we're watching tv with the cage door open. If she doesn't come out on her own after a while, I try to tempt her out with yogies. Now she's run right out of the cage to me whether or not I have treats. It actually worked pretty quickly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They still seem skittish today but they came to the front of the cage and took things from my hands, so that's progress. I guess they really just need some time to get used to the new surroundings. I put out loads of things from my old home like pillows and sheets and stuff, they seem to like that and get a little more calm. I guess they don't like the new smell =O
 

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That is a super idea and it makes sense too...they can smell items from your old place and it calms them down since it smells familiar. Reminds me of when my sister had to leave the family dog with her girlfriend for two days, and she brought along clothing items that smell like her and her husband and kids..it really made her dog relaxed, having those clothing items and he snuggled with them while she was gone. :)
 

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Yeah, I do that in my dog's crate if I have to be gone longer than usual or leave her in a weird place. Never thought of it for ratties though, makes sense. Glad things are improving!:)
 

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Rats are also neophobic (fear of new things, situations) So it may just take them a while longer to adjust to the newness of it all
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I got them out of the cage completely today! I had been laying sheets down and they seemed to like it and i was slowly taken away all the things. This room has been completely rat proofed too, the skirting boards are covered in a little perspex so they can't nibble at it. I made a little run in the back garden too, out of bricks and laid some chicken wire over the top so they couldn't escape. I put some toys, a wheel and some branches to play on. She seem to really love it! But they somehow managed to catch and (partly) eat a frog... will that make them sick?
 
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