Do some rats not like to be held?

dbrausen

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Oct 27, 2020
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Hi all! I've had my 3 ratties for about a month now. 2 of them are very social and love to be held and sit on my shoulder. The other one though is still very shy. She's comfortable enough to even walk on my hand but any move I make to pet her or pick her up she runs away terrified. Is this normal and should I just respect that she doesn't like this or is there a way to make her more comfortable being held? Thank you!
 

Big Schpog

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I've got a shy rat too so we go slow with shoulder rides. Sometimes you gotta just break the ice with them, and when she finally realized how fun it was, she started requesting it. She will always be shy and part of it is her ruby eyes. She doesn't see as well as the other two. However, we have fun within her limits. Also, I allow her to be with the more confident rats on shoulder rides so she can mirror them and learn that it's fun and relaxing to explore.
 

Dena

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Nov 13, 2018
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Give them a little more time. Some rats just need more time to warm up to people. I have a couple of rats who would rather be on me than play during play time. It's just their personality. They are all different like us. 😁
 

Camelidae4

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Nov 16, 2020
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I'd give her some time. Some animals just don't ever enjoy certain things. There are things you can do to get her to warm up to handling, but I'd wait and see if she opens up anymore.
 

rowanberry

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I read some research that between 15-30% of laboratory rats kept in normal conditions suffer from anxiety. So it's kind of a thing. At least 1/6 rats is going to be more shy and will get a little anxious out of the comfort of their cage.

I have a rat who does not enjoy being handled. She will occasionally climb onto us, but really doesn't like being picked up. She either runs away, hides or if there's nowhere to run, it will be like a cartoon scene, she will try to breathe in or contort her body so as to avoid contact, as if my finger is radiating a force field ahead of it that makes a contactless dent in my rat. She is friendly around other rats, grooms them and enjoys being groomed by them. She also enjoys an occasional massage from one person and one person only and only when she's inside her cage.
 

lilspaz68

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How old is your girl? What's her history? Have you had her since she was very young or ?

A lot of young girls are happiest with Run-by Loving :)
 

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