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AnnaOwl

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
15
Location
UK
For a few months after the death of my rat Regina, I was left with one lone rat called Cady. Cady has a mammary tumour and a bladder tumour that is untreatable. I couldn't stand seeing her on her own anymore and I know she's probably not got a lot of time left. There's no breeders or rescue places within an hour of where I live (because of national lockdown you're not allowed to travel more than an hour away from your local area) I ended up resorting to buying some rats from a pet shop. Luckily one of the rats (Nancy) is incredibly friendly and sociable. She takes treats from me, runs about the play area and grooms my hand. The other rat (Eleven) is the most petrified rat I've ever come across. If I walk in the room where their cage is, she stops dead and freezes. She rarely comes out of her hiding place which is the box she came in. I was planning on introducing them to Cady in 2 weeks but if I can't get Eleven to even come out of her box, I can't see her being happy with meeting a new rat. Any advice?
 

AnnaOwl

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
15
Location
UK
Just another thing, I've noticed that Nancy and Eleven always sleep apart. They don't interact much with each other at all. It's almost like Eleven isn't just afraid of humans but is possibly afraid of other rats too so they avoid her. The member of staff at the pet shop did mention that she has always kept to herself even when there were lots of rats around her.
 

Pepper_rat

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2020
Messages
56
Location
New York
I have a rat like this. Macaroni was petrified of everything when we got her and would never play with the other rat we got at the time with her. I truly think she was so traumatized by wherever she had come from before the pet store that she just didn’t know how to function as a rat anymore. It’s was so sad to see. She was also a bad biter and would bite out of fear any time a hand came near her. It has taken over 7 months but she now comes up to me during free roam and lets me pick her up for short periods of time. I think you just have to give her time to realize that she’s safe. You may never get to pet her much or interact with her but that’s sadly how a lot of the pet store rats are. Just give her time and make sure she gets used to you as much as possible. Start intros with your outgoing girl, that’s what we did, then see if you can coax your shy girl into a box and lift that box out to bring her to intros. Don’t force her into anything but it really did help when I was able to intro them both to the rest of my girls. I think having friends helped her a lot but it’s not going to be quick, at least in my experience. I hope this helps!
 

AnnaOwl

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
15
Location
UK
Thank you for your reply. It's sad to think that she may never be as confident as other rats but I'm happy to spend the time trying to make her feel comfortable. So far I have picked her box up and put her in the play area when I play with Nancy but she won't come out and I don't want to push her too much because I can tell from her body language that she may bite like you said your rat Macaroni did. I'm glad I can atleast try introducing Nancy to Cady but I was wondering, what do I do when it gets to the stage where Cady and Nancy are getting along but Eleven is still hiding in her box? Do I move both Eleven and Nancy into the big cage with Cady? Or should I wait until Eleven has been properly introduced to Cady? (bearing in mind it sounds like it'll take a very long time for Eleven to bond with Cady in any way)
 

Pepper_rat

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2020
Messages
56
Location
New York
I would recommend trying to place Eleven in a neutral area with Cady and Nancy, after Cady and Nancy are friends, and leave, but make sure you're watching in case there's an issue. This is what we did with Mac. We placed her in a neutral territory (bathtub) with the others and Cheese, who was already friends with everyone, and stepped back so she didn't think we were there. She was able to come out and hang out with everyone for a bit. We then moved all her stuff into the big cage so that her scent was there and her hammock (safe space) was there then cleaned everything that smelled like the others so she sort of had a safe space and everyone else could get used to her. You could also switch everyone's bedding so after a couple of days with each bedding, put Cady's bedding in with Nancy and Eleven and vice versa. This can get them used to each other's scents. It's taken a couple of months but Mac now has her best friend, Peanut, and loves to cuddle with the other six girls. I hope it works out well!
 

AnnaOwl

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
15
Location
UK
Ah okay, I'll try that when it's time, I'll prepare a neutral space in the bath and also switch bedding. Thank you so much for your advice. I'm glad to hear that Mac got on with the other rats and came out of her shell and I hope Eleven will too, she has come out of her box more today :)
 

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