Adopted

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Pandora, Jan 2, 2020.

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  1. Jan 2, 2020 #1

    Pandora

    Pandora

    Pandora

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    Hey so, I have never adopted a rat before. I usually get mine from a local breeder. I adopted my first rat not too long ago. He is very skiddish and if picked up will run. He sometimes lets me pet his head and ears but also bites if given the chance.
    I did a stupid thing and tried to pick him up, and he got out. I got him back in his cage but he ripped out two back nails. I know for sure that this sent him back, though I hadn't made a whole lot of progress, whatever I did now is null. I thought I had patience but I guess I am lacking.
    What do I do? Hes sweet but I don't see him getting to the point of me being able to pick him up. I need to introduce him into my mischief still.

    Please tell me what I can do to make this situation better. Im going to let him settle for the next day and a half, minimal interaction. However I need to know how to bond. I don't want to bring him back or give him up bc of my incompetence. I know it will take a long time to get him used to things but I don't know if he ever will.
     
  2. Jan 2, 2020 #2

    Dena

    Dena

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    First off, how old is he? When he bites, is his fur puffed up, is he side stepping to you, is he stopping his front feet, back arched? If so, try to stay away from his rear end, and if you NEED to pick him up, you can use a towel. He may need a neuter to help with the aggressive behavior if that's what it is.

    If not, then when you pet him, make sure your hands, and clothes dint smell like another rat for now. These are strangers who he hasn't met yet, and may feel threatened. Also make sure your hands don't smell like food.

    You can start by getting him used to you, calling his name, and feeding him a treat, then retreat from his area. I run my nails down the bars to get their attention, then hand them a yummy treat. Mine have all learned this noise means treats. It doesn't take long for them to learn it. The first couple of times I do it, I'll drop the treat in the cage. Then gradually move closer to them until they figure out my hand means treats too.

    You can also try to put a box up to his cage, or in it (most will jump into a box no problem), then transfer him to a safe play area like a bathroom or somewhere easy to catch him if need be. When you're in there, try again to give treats, and pet him. Now that he's out of his "safe zone" and "territory", he may be not so bitey.

    It will take time for you and him to gain each other's trust, so don't give up.

    Also, when he bites, does it tend to draw blood? Is it a chomp and run, or is it slashy? Different types of bites can mean different things.
     
  3. Jan 2, 2020 #3

    Pandora

    Pandora

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    To start, he is neutered, and about 8 months old. His bites aren't vicious. I can pet his head and ears and he will be fine for a while but if I get too close to his mouth he turns slowly and nips me. He never goes out of its way to bite me.

    He doesn't really get puffed up, he just turns away from me, and hides his face. Occasionally walk away and go to a different level of his cage. Sometimes he grabs toward the top of the cage like he wants to climb out but there's a roof.

    He won't take a treat from my hand yet, also I put a teeny bit of egg White, and a little bit of gravy from my cat food. I hadn't seen him eat it. The person I adopted him from was giving him rat blocks and a seed mix as his food. She used to give him carrots but apparently he got obsessed with them.
     
  4. Jan 4, 2020 #4

    Pandora

    Pandora

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    I have been, everytime i go by his cage, talking to him a d sometimes reaching in to pet him. He turns away usually but lets le pet him. I also have been putting my hand under his stomach to get him used to that feeling.
     
  5. Jan 4, 2020 #5

    Sabz

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    Maybe if you want to pick him up use a pair of leather gloves. I have these females it took me three months before they warmed up to me. They would bite I had to use leather gloves and chain mail (anti cutting gloves) you lose a lot of the sensation when picking up a rat, though with this method. I also use cardboard trifolds with duct tape and binder clips around the edges so even if I lose control of them they can't go far. I even have one that got on top of the cage and would charge me and yell with her mouth open what a savage. they are better after months but still the most skettish rats I have ever had. I am pretty sure they were for snake food but they probably couldn't be caught. When I get the chance I will post my wall of cardboard trifold if you need
     
  6. Jan 5, 2020 #6

    SQ

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    Congrats on your new boy :)

    He is just giving you warning nips, not biting so that is good.
    In addition to what Dena wrote, please see joinrats.com for good ideas and information on socializing him
    and for intros see https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/introducing-new-rats.34842/#post-491257 and joinrats.com

    Great that you adopted him and that he is already neutered!
    Give him time and he will come around.

    BTW rats are fed a good quality block (oxbow or Harlan 2014)
    and a variety of daily veg
    and occasional healthy treats such as cooked whole grains, berries, a piece of fruit, organic seeds such as pumpkin seeds, organic kumut puffs (a breakfast cereal with no additives)
    See info re diet, forbidden foods (etc) in the Reference thread https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/reference-thread-read-only.35894/
     
  7. Jan 6, 2020 #7

    Pandora

    Pandora

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    Thanks! So update for you:

    He is in with my other boys currently and they have been getting along really well. He has opened up quite a bit in the span of two days. Yesterday I was able to socialize them in my tub (the only place i dont fear him escaping from). That went extremely well.

    Today i held and kissed my boys and waited for last to see if he was ok with being picked up, i slid my hand under his tummy and lifted him a smidge, he wasn't tense until i brought him out of the cage. I kissed him and put him back. He scurried to the back of the cage. I then gave him a peanut with shell partially open. He didn't take it from my hand, but he did pick it up and turn around, when i closed the cage door.

    And as for the diet, I sorta knew most of that bc I always google before i give my boys something new. But the former caretaker only gave him seed mix and some brand blocks i think starts with an M.

    My dudes are spoiled, they get carrots and broccoli as the most common veggies. Occasionally (if i have it) i give them bell pepper, apple, pear, watermelon, grapes, leafy greens, corn, peanuts and other nuts, baby puff thingys, and stale bread, god they love stale bread not moldy, just hard flat tasting bread/crackers.

    The main staple I have in their mix is my local pet store brand bulk blocks, dry pastas (a mix of spiral veg kind and penne), as well as steelcut/rolled oats, and i just started with these fruity bird food pellets as like a yummy add.
     
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  8. Jan 6, 2020 #8

    Pandora

    Pandora

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    Cheesesteak my newb:
    Screenshot_20200104-131615.png

    All the bois:
    20200104_120415.jpg

    Cheesesteak and Garbanzo = Ying Yang:
    20200104_121042.jpg
     

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  9. Jan 6, 2020 #9

    ViciousCurse

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    Absolutely adorable rats you have there! Cheesesteak is a fantastic name, I just named two new boys Cheesecake and Pretzel.

    Sounds like you've got a good diet. Seeds and nuts are very high in fat, but they taste super good, so my rats get some as treats. Puffs are apparently similar to drugs with my rats since they will do ANYTHING for a puff. Whenever I have to clean their cage or do something super scary (like give them a bath) they get a puff as a reward. I found a lot of my rats begin trusting me because I am the Harbinger of Puffs. Even if the rat is shy or doesn't trust me, they at least make the association that my hands at least deposit yummy treats right in front of them.

    Even my rats who trust me a lot, I tend to scoop from underneath. Some of my rats trust me so much they'll just pancake in my hand, with feet and tail hanging from my hand. Very funny sight.
     
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  10. Jan 6, 2020 #10

    Pandora

    Pandora

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    Thank you @ViciousCurse !

    That sounds adorable! I dont get puffs often because they go crazy. Though likewise with peanuts and pasta. They usually snatch it out of my hand before i even put it near the cage.
     
  11. Jan 6, 2020 #11

    Dena

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    That’s awesome that you have progress! Yay your baby doesn't have to live on his own.

    It sounds like you are pretty knowledgeable on what to feed them. Was the food mazuri or something like that? I personally haven't used it. Once I found oxbow, I switched from the other junk food. So I've been feeding all of mine that for almost 3 years.
     
  12. Jan 6, 2020 #12

    Pandora

    Pandora

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    Yes! Mazuri was it!
     
  13. Jan 6, 2020 #13

    Dena

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    You got new boys?!?! Eeeeeeee! I wanna see!!
     
  14. Jan 8, 2020 #14

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    Oh yeah, my boy do that with treats they haven't gotten in LONG time. About once in a lifetime (for them, not me lol) they get rib bones that were specially made to have no barbecue sauce or spices added. Just meat and bone. Those bones are snatch worthy. I also noticed that if you have very high value treats such as puffs and the rats don't trust you 100%, they'll tend to snatch and run. I wish they had been called velociraptors instead because they are little swift thieves themselves!:D

    Yeah, I got them before Ni Ni passed away. I've just been hiding them from everyone... I also have Gabe and Moira (Moira is a boy, apparently it's a unisex name)
     
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  15. Jan 8, 2020 #15

    Dena

    Dena

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    Pics. We need pics. LMAO

    Yes, my rattos love rib bones too! It's not an often thing, but they will shank you for them! LOL
     

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