General advice?

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Wasn’t sure where exactly to put this since I wanted to combine a bunch of questions in to one big post.
I want to give my ratties a good life, and maybe spoil them a bit. I know I could always google things, but I love the individual advice I get ^^ y’all are wonderful!

first off, I’ve only had my girls for abt 3 weeks. Ophelia is still very shy, and is startled by nearly everything. I’ve been taking things slow, as well as offering incentives like bits of food. My hope is that they grow into calm rats, since I’d like them to hang out with me while I draw, work, or play games. I got them a play pen, but they’re both impressive jumpers, and are able to clear it like it’s no problem!

so, my main question, am I going about acclimating them alright? Or should I be doing something different to help both rats break out of their shells? and is there a way to train them to be calmer? They’re very squirmy babies, and I am but a humble rat jungle gym, hehe.
As for the play area, I’ve seen people using really tall play area walls, could anyone point me in the direction of where I could buy some? Something cheaper, yet still reliable.

Thank you!


Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2018
Boxes. Lots of boxes and duct tape! Then you could fold them up and put them out of the way. Also, lots of ropes, ladders, hammocks, shelves to climb in the cage. I have a baby who literally jumps from one to the other, chasing my hand and playing with it in her cage. Babies just have a LOT of energy, and girls seem to retain it longer. Yogurt or baby food on your fingers, and trick train them. Look at shadow the rat on YouTube. Lots of tricks there. Also look at for some good info too!


Loving rats since 2002.
Staff member
Jul 20, 2007
Northeastern Ontario
It can take time for rats to become used to an area and not be skittish. Just keep doing what you do daily and eventually they will come around. Some are naturally fearful so those might take longer. Females are usually quite energetic, you may find yourself as a jungle gym instead of a sitting partner. :)


New Member
Apr 22, 2020
United States
I’m a bit late but you could buy 36”x48” trifold display boards and tape them together. You may also want to use large binder clips to clip the two end sides together that way it can be folded together more easily. If you do do this then I would suggest leaving a little but of space in between the boards when you tape them so they can fold over each other after you’re done using them.

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