Angelrattie

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I think by now it's safe to say that my rats are tame. They come to the front of the cage to see me, they take food from me, and climb on my legs during free range/taming. But one aspect of this taming thing that I'm struggling with is getting my rats used to handling. I don't really know what to do right now.

I recently have been taking my three girls out into a small play pen and have been trying to tame them using the methods of Shadow the Rat. They seem to be comfortable climbing on me and taking snacks, last session they jumped onto my arm without a lure and stood on their hind legs as if to climb onto my shoulder.
I feel like they are pretty comfortable with me right now, but will not tolerate me touching them at all. They come up to the front of the cage when I call them and will let me pet them a little when they are licking off a treat of eating. Whenever I try to lure them onto my hand they will try to stay as far in the cage as possible. And if I try to gently put my hand underneath them they pull away. I feel like they are just using me for treats now.

I don't know what to do now. How do I get them used to handling? I don't want to have to wait thirty minutes just to capture them in a box to transport them.

Also, does anyone know a motivating liquid treat that is safe for rats? My girls didn't seem very motivated the second time around with simply apple baby food. The first time we did our taming session I used meat baby food and I got one of my shy girls to be picked up a little bit while licking my finger. I don't know if I'll be using meat baby food again. It was kind of a waste of money. They didn't even come close to finishing the jar and I had to toss it.
 

Kye

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How old are they?

Did they come from another home?

Are they eating, drinking, peeing, and pooping normal.? Do they seem to be in any kind of pain?

I have six rats and two of them don't like being handled that much. My little girl is as rambunctious as ever and always wants to move. Then there's one of my lil boys, his personality is very skittish but he is a love. If you have a rat that doesn't mind being handled put the others on your shoulders and hold the one comfortable with you. If they try to go on your shoulders let them. I think this may show you are a friend and aren't going to hold them forever.
 

jorats

Loving rats since 2002.
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When I had my rats out during their play time, I would scoop them up a lot and each time, they would get a small healthy treat. That got them used to being held and related my hands to good stuff.
 

Angelrattie

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How old are they?

Did they come from another home?

Are they eating, drinking, peeing, and pooping normal.? Do they seem to be in any kind of pain?

I have six rats and two of them don't like being handled that much. My little girl is as rambunctious as ever and always wants to move. Then there's one of my lil boys, his personality is very skittish but he is a love. If you have a rat that doesn't mind being handled put the others on your shoulders and hold the one comfortable with you. If they try to go on your shoulders let them. I think this may show you are a friend and aren't going to hold them forever.


I don't know the exact age of my girls. I know that they are under 6 months, probably 3-4 months old right now (they are still pretty small). They have been eating well and don't seem to be in any pain. They don't flinch when I touch them, they just see my hand and become startled.
They did come from a breeder though who I don't think took the time to socialize every single one of the babies to insure good temperaments. My other girl from the same breeder is completely different. She lets me pick her up, toss her a bit, and play around with my hands. I think my other two (since they aren't too special looking) didn't get the same attention my BEW girl did as a baby.

I just don't want them associating me picking them up with bad feelings. I want to make picking them up not a huge deal as it always is.
 

Angelrattie

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When I had my rats out during their play time, I would scoop them up a lot and each time, they would get a small healthy treat. That got them used to being held and related my hands to good stuff.

What if they squirm a lot while you pick them up? Won't they then associate you with a scared feeling and not want to go near you?
 

Kye

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Feb 1, 2019
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Maine
What if they squirm a lot while you pick them up? Won't they then associate you with a scared feeling and not want to go near you?
If you have the treat ready once they smell it they should be better . You can also place a treat on your hand and let them take it from you and possibly climb on you
 
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