Baby rat terrified - how to help?

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Skaven

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Hello!

I got a baby rat (6-8 weeks by looks, but don't know for sure - what do you think? That's him: https://imgur.com/a/9QOMLS2 ), and he's been shaking in fear in the carrier since yesterday. He pees and have soft poops everytime I come near carrier. I added a cardboard house for him to hide, and little one never comes out of it. He had a little bit of food, but that's it. He doesn't bite, but he looks like he can die from any sound we make. He litterally jumps up with huge blue eyes, at any noise. I'm at loss - all boys I had before have always liked me and each other day one.. I fear he'll always be like this.

How do I go about this? Giving treats / putting hands in cage for investigation all seem to freak him out, so I left him be for now and just work near his carrier without giving him attention, just talk to him sometimes.

He currently lives in a large carrier, I didn't put him in cage (furret XL) because I was scared he'll get lost or be even more scared. Can he die from fear?

Can I still get him a friend? Do I need to introduce them, or can I just put them in new cage together, if his friend will be a baby, too, and both have never been in that cage (neutral territory)? I'm scared of introduction, didn't work out for my first rattie (but he was adult), other rats came in pairs already.

How can I make things easier for him?

I want him to have the best life. Any advice is appreciated!
 

Dena

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YES, he absolutely needs a friend. Another baby would be perfect. With babies around the same age, you don't usually have to do introductions. As far as him being scared, that's natural. He's little, and alone in a new environment. Giving him a friend will help with his confidence. Check out www.joinrats.com for some good info on socializing and such. Also, look at our reference thread as well. There's good info on there. He's cute! Hope he loosens up soon! But you need to get him a friend ASAP. Good luck, and welcome to the forum!
 

Skaven

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Thank you for your reply! Working on friend siituation now.

Could you please advice, is it okay to put him to the big cage, or better to leave in the carrier until he calms down?
Also, is it too soon to take him to e.g. bathroom and let him run around while I'm reading, so he can get used to me? If it's too soon, when would be the best time?

I was thinking bathroom bonding first, as I can just take carreir with me in there. In the large cage, there's no way to get him out (he'd be so scared!) and cage is too big to move it.
 

lilspaz68

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get him a confident happy same sex baby friend so he learns People Are Good and are not going to eat him. I would wait until you have that friend and let him watch you interact with his confident new friend. I would keep him in the carrier for now. The bathroom bonding is a bad idea at this time. Start with the down the shirt method for him and his friend. Wear a long sleeved shirt, Then put another shirt over top and tuck them both into your pants. Pop the babies both in between the shirts so they can feel covered up, while getting used to your smell without those scary hands being involved yet. I adopted a rescue baby boy that someone dumped outside and went and got him 3 baby friends who were terrified of me. I kept them in a smaller cage so when I did work with them it was easier to catch them without chasing them around. The first boy was super friendly and they watched him carefully. I did a lot of Shirt Work with the other 3 and giving them treats (like baby puffs) and now they are starting to play with me :)
 

Skaven

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Hi all!
A little update - we kept socialising the baby and got him a friend today. They are both approximately same age - 8-9 weeks, and got along right away. They did pounce on each other and groom each other, but mosttly ate and run around together.

I have a question, too - a new rattie I brought home keeps sneezing. He is active, with bright eyes and shining coat, very playful and seems overall happy, but he is sneezing. When I held him in the store, he sneezed twice, I asked store keeper if he could be sick, but she said they just got here few days ago and he seemed totally fine. Now he does sneeze every now and then, and I'm worried what if he's sick and now they both are in danger.

I hope it's just stress sneezing, and if it won't go away in a week, I'll go see the vet.

Also, baby rat sleeps a lot, but newcomer runs around and plays - is that something to be worried? We thought baby is sleeping because he was lonely, but now after all fun and games he went to sleep again. Hope he's not sick!

Here is the picture of them:

I could also use some help with names! :)
 

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Renee

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Oct 5, 2019
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I bet the sneezing could just be new cage sneezes, because he had just arrived at the store and just arrived at your house. Give it some time and he should be sneezing less!
I would keep them together in a small carrier like you're doing, and after they're less timid being pet, open the carrier in the bathroom and let them wander around. I would definitely wipe down anything dusty and lay a towel down so they don't walk across dirty or cold tile. Spread out some treats and let them come out of the carrier if they want, forcing them could freak them out.
 

Dena

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Make sure to stuff a towel under the door, and make sure there aren't any holes in the walls, or under cabinets that they could squeeze into.
 

LatteTheRat

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Jan 3, 2020
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california
They are so cute! The sneezing is probably new home sneezes that all rats have when they get a new house. Some babies and rats in general are less actve or more active then others. For example my new baby girl Cookie is more of a cuddle bug and her older sister is definately more adventurous and playful. I got my older girl Latte at about 3-4 weeks and she was also very active at that age.
Oh and for the names hehe i love rat names lol
Blue Emerald Finn Muffin Patch
Ace Ford Hickory Nacho Pip
Basil Hurricane Thunder Ninja Remy
Barley Lightning Jasper Peanut Snicker
Bailey Lexington Mario Oreo Maveric
Eagle Mickey Milo Ozzy
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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Jul 21, 2007
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central New Brunswick Canada
Welcome to the forum.
Please check out the Reference Thread https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/reference-thread-read-only.35894/
I hope the sneezing has stopped by now. If he is still sneezing, if it has gotten worse, or if your other boy starts showing signs of illness or sneezing, please take both rats to a good vet with the knowledge and experience to treat rats asap … if he has a respiratory infection he will need to be put on antibiotics as respiratory infection can kill fast.

While new rats can have new home sneezes for a few days, rats may also be reacting to irritants in the environment such as odors, dust, chemicals etc. This can cause illness.
 

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