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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
About five months ago I had gotten a Dumbo rat. His name is Sydney, and he is so sweet. When I had originally gotten him, I didn't have a cage big enough to feel happy about putting two rats in it, so I only got the one rat. Knowing that rats need companionship, I planned on getting another one as soon as I could get a bigger cage. In the meantime, I made sure to spend lots of time with Sydney.

I just got a new multi-level cage and another rat last Saturday. He's a Fancy rat, and I named him Simon. Simon seemed very mellow, which is why I chose him. During the quarantine phase, I am trying to take the time for Simon to get use to me.

The problem is, Simon is very, very timid. Sydney was a little at first, but he warmed up to me quickly. Simon seems to only want to hide in his little cave. If he does come out and sees me, he hides again. I have held him for short periods at a time, as much as he seems comfortable with, but I feel like he is terrified of me. I know it will take some time for him to get use to me, but I am worried.

Does anyone know of any good activities for me to do with Simon to help him get more adjusted and less scared?​
 

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Hi Libra,
Your boys are just beautiful, by the way, and it is great that you got Sydney a friend. Good call. :)



Some rats just need more time than others and can be a bit more shy and fearful, especially in a new situation, which can be scary, as you can imagine.



Just taking it day by day, with lots of patience and talking to Simon in a soothing low voice, letting him get used to your voice, your smell..perhaps trying to put on a sweatshirt or some kind of pullover that you can wear each time you interact with him, so the clothing will have his smell on it and it will be more comforting for him.



Just avoid reaching down for him from overhead or trying to rush picking him up if he is fearful. A spoonful of baby food, with the spoon part in the palm of your hand so he can come to you and stay put while he licks the food off the spoon can be a good bonding activity?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Vladina! That all sounds like great advice. I definitely like the baby food one.

Simon seems like he is starting to trust me just a little more. He doesn't run back into his hiding place right away when I come into the room. I've been giving him a few cheerios after I interact with him, trying to help him associate petting with good things(both my boys love cheerios).

I was so worried, because Sydney didn't take too long to warm up to me, and Simon seems way more scared of me than Sydney did, but every rat has their own personality. Simon will just need more time than Sydney :)
 

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You are welcome! Glad I could help a bit!



Oh, Cheerios are such a great treat and ratties just LOVE them. :D



Yes, I am sure Simon just needs more time than Sydney did. All ratties are so different and they each have their own unique personality.



We have had new people come onto the forum before with the exact same concern about a new nervous/scared rat and the person will say, "What am I doing wrong?" so no worries. It can concern people but it can just take more time with some ratties than others.



I am sure Simon is getting more comfy with you every day, and associating your interaction time with food is always a great thing, since rats just LOVE treats and food. :)



Keep us posted on how it goes!
 

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Also, both dumbo and regular rats are considered "fancies". Fancy is the general term for any domestic rat kept as a pet, and only means the rat is neither wild nor a specific laboratory strain. Simon specifically would be called a standard rat.
 
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