My girls don't trust me :(

Saxtechie

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Weehawken, NJ
Hey all new rat mom of 12 and very much in need of some pointers getting my girls to trust me. I talk to all of them in the room often so they get use to my voice and hopefully associate it with safe good vibes. I have two cages setup one with 5 boys one with 6 girls and one on her own at the moment on meds.

I rescued Mama back in sept and she had 12 babies. Managed to adopt two out and then rescued another one. So 12 in total. I've been taking care of them for a couple of months now and while the boys have seemed to come to know me my girls still back away from me. I can pretty much pick up all of the babies but they do try to constantly get back to their cage (safe spot) but not so much Mama (Scabbers). To be honest since I got her in sept I have not been able to hold her :(. She always tries to get away or she'd nip at me if I tried to pet her while she's eating a treat (I read that that was a way to let them get use to your touch). They all come to the door to the cage when I come in and talk and I can sometimes get in some quick pets in before they all back away with their cheerio. With my boys I can pet them, hold them and bc they are a little bit more use to me I let them run around on the floor in the room. I don't feel comfortable doing that with the girls just yet bc they run away from me now if I let them down I'd feel like it would stress them out to be "caught".

Included photos of their cages. I use pillow cases as liners bc the pans are too shallow for bedding it just winds up on the floor. They both have dig boxes that I scatter feed them in (found this rat mix in scuttling gourmet that was recommended to follow). I also leave them a few rodent blocks before I go to bed. Plenty of water troughs. All the hideaways and hammocks. I have multiple litter trays in each with pee rocks. I have the girls cage and my recent rescue's smaller cage near each other so they can small each other and get use to each other. I did start switching toys when I read that that was a good idea. I'm nervous about attempting another intro bc of the trust issues I have with them alone I now have to expect them to trust each other.


To add on to this I don't feel like I play with them enough. I don't know what kind of play to do. I haven't had a small pet in decades just cats (have two now) and I've never owned a rat so I'm learning all of this on the fly and so grateful I found this forum :) They sleep a lot during the day which I'm thankful to hear that that is normal. When I do hear them running around I come into this room and chat with them I put my arms in each cage and just wait for them to approach and smell me before I do any sudden movements. I did get a bonding scarf and have tried to use that but again the girls will smell it but no matter what treats inside they run away.

Appreciate any advice that can be given. Thank you.
 

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Big Schpog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
438
Location
British Columbia
Lickable treats, so they don't run off and have to be with your hand. Put it on top of your hand first so they get the idea. Mine love custard.

The next step is to transfeer them to a bed under the covers in a safe box. Usually you put a small box in their cage so they go in it and then you just lift it out and put it under a blanket on the bed, with you under the blanket too. This accomplishes trust through scent of you and safety. Let them explore. You do need to spend time with them out of the cage, as much as possible.

Scoop them up under their belly and allow them to put their back feet stable on your hand.
 

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