Does my rat enjoy this?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by genie.kim8, Dec 3, 2018.

Help Support Rat Shack Forum by donating:

  1. Dec 3, 2018 #1

    genie.kim8

    genie.kim8

    genie.kim8

    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2018
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    I got my first two boys three days ago. Lumos is more brave and curious but hates being touched while the Dobby is reserved, sleepy and slightly more tolerant to touch. I’ve taken Dobby out a few times for a hold, either letting him hide himself in a fleece blanket or putting him in my shirt. Twice I think he even fell asleep on me (his eyes were closed). Sometimes he vibrates and shivers. I know about bruxing but can’t tell if that’s what he’s doing or if he’s scared. I can’t really believe that he would be bruxing so early on and I’m not very confident. Both rats take food from me, although don’t seem super food oriented. I’ve taken them out for play time three times, once on the bed and twice in the bathroom. They didn’t seem too terrified but in the third time there were quite a few fear poos. I’ve sat by their cage, talked softly to them, and put my hand in the cage for them to sniff.
    I guess my question is if you think I’m doing okay. Things seem to be going pretty well but I just can’t believe that my rats aren’t scared. Do you think Dobby is okay with being held? He washes his face while on me, is that a good sign? Lumos has also gently nibbled and licked my finger once but that’s probably because I had just eaten food and he could smell some on me.
    I’m sorry for the long post I’m just quite nervous. Any tips or further steps would be appreciated!
     
  2. Dec 3, 2018 #2

    Emmabeeee1996

    Emmabeeee1996

    Emmabeeee1996

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Canada Quebec
    Hello! Sounds like you’re doing good to me :) I have a very anxious rat who will shiver when scared, I just put him back in his cage when that happens. Boggling is when the eyes bulge continuously, and they’ll also chatter their teeth both are good signs but can be bad too. I find that when my rat shivers out of fear it comes from his body and not his head. Grooming and falling asleep on you sounds like he’s comfortable :) and if they are young it might just take a little while before the other ratty wants snuggles which is normal, he’ll probably just want to play and explore. In my experience they feel more comfortable in higher places such as on top of the bed or on top of the cage, having access to the cage at all times, when the lights are dimmer and if you have other pets keep the smell away. You could give them peas in a bowl of water all my rats find that irresistible hahah, and you could try to pet the other baby when he’s sleeping in his cage or when he’s eating a treat. I love the names you chose! Good luck!
     
  3. Dec 3, 2018 #3

    genie.kim8

    genie.kim8

    genie.kim8

    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2018
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks a lot!
    I feel better now, knowing that I’m doing ok. Thanks for the tips.
    I have another question though, sorry.
    I’ve seen many people say things like ‘they can come out of their cage when they feel like it’ or ‘they usually just run back into their cage’ and things like that, which I’m inferring means the rats can choose to come out for play time when they want. This confuses me slightly. I really want to let them choose but what I’ve been doing is either picking them up or luring them into a transport box to take them to their play area. My cage is on a table so I’m not sure how they would get out for playtime even if they wanted to. Do most people have their cages on the floor? I put them on a table so it’s easier for me to clean their cage and interact with them and I don’t seem as looming and threatening. But if most people have their cages on the ground I could try that.
    Just one more thing. Like you said, I read that rats feel more comfortable higher up. But my rats don’t really go up to the higher levels. I’ve switched from a bird ladder to a ramp but none of them really go up there often, let alone use the hammocks I’ve put in for them. How can I encourage them to explore a bit more?
     
  4. Dec 3, 2018 #4

    Emmabeeee1996

    Emmabeeee1996

    Emmabeeee1996

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Canada Quebec
    You could keep them on the floor if you wanted! As long as it’s not dusty on the floors, keeping them higher up might be better if you’re in the country or something and it’s a bit dusty hahah. I’m not sure what other people mean but I meant that I let my ratties out for one or two hours and during that time they are free to go where ever they wish under supervision and I make sure to keep wires and dangerous stuff out of reach, and my nervous rat will only poke his head out of the cage unless if I pick him up out of the cage then he runs back in and is suddenly curious and will climb out but if I don’t initiate taking him out he wouldn’t do it (he was mistreated as a baby by previous owners and I’m still working on him feeling more comfortable) vs my other ratty who basically jumps out as soon as he can and runs around lol. Personally I wouldn’t feel comfortable just letting them come and go all day unless I was sitting down and watching them the entire time. They should just get to know and expect a certain time to be play time if you do it continuously, they are pretty versatile so just whenever you want to take them out I’m sure they’ll be pleased. They will always run up to you when you walk by though, they are very curious and want to socialize so you could just let them come out whenever they do that but it’ll probably be all the time ahah. You could always move the cage right next to the bed if that works or on the bed if it’s not those giant cages! Giving them treats will make them associate your hands with good things and supporting them really well when picking them up will make them less scared but I guess you just have to get them used to it, if they are extremely stressed by it than just give them more time and do what you’re doing with the boxes for transport. If they are little tiny babies it’s probably safer for them not to go too high up, if they are young but not too little they might just not know their way around yet and you could encourage them by putting little treats or by making more levels maybe! My rat didn’t even know how to drink out of a water bottle when I first got him but they will learn fast! Depends how young they are :) you could hang something lower and start with that, when they discover hammocks they’ll love it! I haven’t seen a rat that didn’t adore a hammock but I have seen some that do prefer being lower down. Hope that helps!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  5. Dec 3, 2018 #5

    genie.kim8

    genie.kim8

    genie.kim8

    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2018
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks for the reply.
    My cage is just a bit too high up for them to jump out as they please, maybe I’ll try ramps or ladders or something. But for now I’ll just stick to taking them out of the cage myself. And yes my rats are quite young, not sure exactly but I’m guessing around 6 to 10 weeks? I’ll try making the hammocks lower to make them more accessible. I tried holding Lumos, the curious one again but he was squirming the whole time and tried to escape so I put him back. I’ll keep trying though!
    Thank you again for all the help! I want to socialise them as quick as possible but I don’t want to make them too uncomfortable.
     
  6. Dec 3, 2018 #6

    Emmabeeee1996

    Emmabeeee1996

    Emmabeeee1996

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Canada Quebec
    Sounds like they are in good hands :) keep up the good work and I’m sure they’ll be great! Hope I helped haha
     

Share This Page