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Karenin

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
22
Location
Northeast
Hello I’m a new rat owner and have two
3 month old male rats. They’re very friendly and they take treats from me, but they don’t really like to be pet or cuddled. I’ve had them for about a 6 weeks. Is there any way to encourage this behavior?
 

Twilight

Active Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Southern USA
I think this is normal. You can try using bonding pouches, which you can buy on amazon or Etsy, or make by yourself. If you don't already, you can also free-roam them and let them crawl on you. Some rats just never like to be cuddled, it's just normal and you can't really change that. One of my rats, Whiskers, loves to be cuddled but his brother doesn't. I think you should just do whatever you're doing. Most rats like being cuddled more and more as they get older :')
 

Big Schpog

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Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
245
Location
British Columbia
Hello I’m a new rat owner and have two
3 month old male rats. They’re very friendly and they take treats from me, but they don’t really like to be pet or cuddled. I’ve had them for about a 6 weeks. Is there any way to encourage this behavior?
Twilight is right. Little ones are squirmy and won't sit still. They're like little electric worms, always moving. The first thing you need to do is bed free roam, as Twilight says. Put a blanket over you and them. Let them squirm around under the covers with you. Rats sense of smell is utmost and the more they smell you and associate you with comfort and safety, the better. Here is a video of my new babies, Simone and Queenie's first playtime on the bed. You can see that they won't sit still. LOL
 

Karenin

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
22
Location
Northeast
I’ve done free roam time and they’ve had time in shirt. I know that they are babies and probably won’t want to cuddle until they are older but I want them to start wanting to be pet. Is there a certain time to pet them? One when they wouldn’t be as active
 

Twilight

Active Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Southern USA
I’ve done free roam time and they’ve had time in shirt. I know that they are babies and probably won’t want to cuddle until they are older but I want them to start wanting to be pet. Is there a certain time to pet them? One when they wouldn’t be as active
Then I'd just guess they don't really like being pet now. Like I said, rats tend to enjoy being petted more and more as they age, but as of now if you really want to pet them you can try petting them when they are sleepy. I'd just start doing activities they enjoy now because when they get older and less active you'll find yourself wishing they were young and you could hand wrestle, etc. with them. (Or at least that's what I am like... lol)
 

Karenin

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
22
Location
Northeast
Then I'd just guess they don't really like being pet now. Like I said, rats tend to enjoy being petted more and more as they age, but as of now if you really want to pet them you can try petting them when they are sleepy. I'd just start doing activities they enjoy now because when they get older and less active you'll find yourself wishing they were young and you could hand wrestle, etc. with them. (Or at least that's what I am like... lol)
They like to be pet when they are tired. I was also wondering how do you hand wrestle your rats?
 

Twilight

Active Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Southern USA
That's a start then :') My boys don't really like to be hand wrestled anymore, but I used to make my hand crawl slowly towards the rat, then make it "jump" on top of his head and ruffle his fur a bit. I would then make my hand back away, and repeat. After a few "ruffles" I would gently flip him over on his back a tickle his tummy. (Some rats don't like this as it feels like a vulnerable position so if your rats don't like it you can just stick to the ruffles) Most young rats will love it, and will race away after each ruffle or flip, and then turn back and chase your hand for more. It's so cute and a great way to play with your ratties! I just wish my boys still liked to hand wrestle 😅
 

Big Schpog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
245
Location
British Columbia
That sounds so fun! I’ll try it next time I play with them.
Just ruffle the top of their heads and tickle their back. Some rats like to chase your hand. Little ones won't sit still. It's just part of being a baby rat. When they sleep you can pet them gently but don't wake them if they're sleeping for playtime. Let them sleep and give gentle pets and words.

As they age they will calm down but that's usually only after about a year old. Some rats are more cuddly than others. Each has their own personality.

My Queenie won't sit still for anything. Simone will come up on the bed and let me stroke her a bit and my oldest, Big Schpog, is settling down in her mid age and will sometimes lie flat and allow me to stroke her for like 20 minutes.
 

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