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Please help, my boys don't seem happy

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Big Schpog

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Well, rats are social animals so he's probably wondering where his bro is at. What kind of trap are you using? I'd only put food in the trap and clean up ALL the food sources outside of it. There should be only ONE place where he can get sustenance, and that's in that trap.
 

odinson

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I was thinking that, I just didn't want him to feel like there was nowhere safe to get food...he was probably really spooked by the loud clang when he tripped it so I figured that's it for the trap (it's a Havahart 1025/1030) but maybe if he has no other choice...I'm trying smelly fishy cat food now and I've put some in the trap, plus in their carrier and their familiar PVC tube. But it's been so long and nothing yet. I'm not getting any other ideas so I'll try removing the others and just leave the trap for the night. Thanks
 

Big Schpog

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Yep. The only place he should be able to get food is that trap. It's the only way you're gonna get him. Plus, put something reaaaaally tasty in there like whipped cream or something he just won't be able to resist. Also, chocolate is used to bait traps with great success.
 

odinson

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Idk guys, Loki the Trickster obviously has some old Norse mythological powers -- tripped the trap again, though this time he couldn't take off with the cat food/applesauce...unless he got a little lick through the bars?! The Havahart has such a delicate setup, I don't see how any small animal wouldn't trip it by either jumping on top, sniffing around the trigger/lock or even their tail swooshing by it...the lock is just two pieces of metal holding each other in place so the doors stay open like??? Should I expect a few false starts with this one or is there another live trap I can try? Mostly just annoyed at the failure of this trap so far lol.
 

lilspaz68

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Post a pic of the trap? At 4 months old Loki should be not be able to get out of a squirrel Havahart unless he's super lean/small. Water is something you can also use to bait the trap. That and food.
 

odinson

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I'm thinking he might be quick enough to get a mouthful however he can and then run off...these boys have always grabbed food with their teeth first and I assumed that was the normal way. But maybe it is too small for him? Not to actually fit, but he could step in not too far, grab with his mouth without putting any weight on the plate then back out quickly. I was checking the amazon reviews and saw a lot of pictures with squirrels trapped inside and they're huddled off to one side, not on the plate so how did they trip the weight sensor? I moved the food more to the middle so he maybe can't eat any through those quite large bar spaces (though that weighed it down, triggering the trap while I set it up :rolleyes: Should I buy the medium? Maybe a new-looking contraption will intrigue him as well.

lilspaz I'm starting to think that myself -- though, they did make it a point to warn me it would be a challenge, and I insisted that I was up for it, even when they suggested I consider adopting two 1 year old domestic boys who had been socialized instead. Still, as someone completely new to pets let alone rats, I did assume as a knowledgable rescue that they were giving me all the info they could -- even when I specifically asked about neutering they said they dont like to do it, and mentioned nothing about these boys' aggression/biting. the foster claimed she never had that as a major issue though so maybe it's just me 🆒
 

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lilspaz68

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The foster had them as babies though. And that's a whole different story than teenagers and adult halfies. Once they were transported to a new location they would revert to wildie instincts. :/

That trap isnt helping unfortunately. He's getting a bite and running because of how its set up.

This is the best one. There's room after the plate to bait with a lid of water and a lab block smeared with peanut butter.
 

odinson

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Great, good to have that confirmed. I'll get that one and set it up for tonight. Now, I have fishy catfood and applesauce as bait, but is there anything else that's safe enough to try? Still have thin coatings of peanut butter as well...but before when I was looking up safe treats for them I read peanut butter, chocolate and dairy are all to be avoided or at least given in extreme moderation -- but now those are the only suggestions I'm getting for bait. lilspaz he might be quick enough to grab that lab block and run, no?

In other news Loki's now set up camp IN my sofa -- my grandparents' sofa. Stuffing is all pulled out at one corner for a nest close to Thor and the cage. Does this mean things are getting worse or...
 

Dena

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Well, at least you can narrow it down to where he may be! 😂 Sorry. Had to see a little bit of humor. Also, if the trap lilspaz suggested doesn't seem to work, you may try to make it more "hidey" for him. Put cardboard over the top and sides, or a towel over it, so it seems safer to him.
 

Big Schpog

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Jeez, what an ordeal. I feel for you. You've got your hands full of this little magical monster. LOL. I'm trying to inject humour in a tough situation and we all know how funny and intelligent rats can be, especially little wild monsters!
 

lilspaz68

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I've had Wilder halfies get loose and had to use Havahart traps. The lab block you can smear with peanut butter and then it's easy to place just beyond the plate but can't be pulled through the bars if he tries.
 

odinson

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Not yet! I set up a bucket trap a few days ago, but still nothing except last night making a lot of noise tearing up the cardboard lid. So I now have three traps going and it's two weeks today so I'm wondering if he'll now start to miss getting regular food and being with his brother in the cage...but it's really up to him!

I am concerned about what he's eating actually, and I read a thread on here a while back about a rat developing pica. Since he's under my counter he's found a way to get on top, so every night he's been searching for food up there and every morning I see the results...chewed through plastic bags of flour, a silicone tea bag holder, some soil from a succulent plant, and I even discovered that he somehow got into my kitchen drawers and nibbled the plastic lids of my spice jars...I'm hoping he didn't eat any chili flakes but I literally have no control over this behaviour except to remove everything from the drawers. The poops he's been leaving behind have also been increasingly strange, one was completely black like tar and today three clumpy pellets with what looks to be undigested non-food (stuff like that makes me squeamish though so I didn't look very closely). It wouldn't be a shock if he was getting sick.
 

Big Schpog

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Not yet! I set up a bucket trap a few days ago, but still nothing except last night making a lot of noise tearing up the cardboard lid. So I now have three traps going and it's two weeks today so I'm wondering if he'll now start to miss getting regular food and being with his brother in the cage...but it's really up to him!

I am concerned about what he's eating actually, and I read a thread on here a while back about a rat developing pica. Since he's under my counter he's found a way to get on top, so every night he's been searching for food up there and every morning I see the results...chewed through plastic bags of flour, a silicone tea bag holder, some soil from a succulent plant, and I even discovered that he somehow got into my kitchen drawers and nibbled the plastic lids of my spice jars...I'm hoping he didn't eat any chili flakes but I literally have no control over this behaviour except to remove everything from the drawers. The poops he's been leaving behind have also been increasingly strange, one was completely black like tar and today three clumpy pellets with what looks to be undigested non-food (stuff like that makes me squeamish though so I didn't look very closely). It wouldn't be a shock if he was getting sick.
OMG you're going through utter hell with this little man. Rats are incredibly smart and can get into all sorts of things. The good side of this is that you're learning how they see the world, just what they're capable of etc. It's a unique time to view the world as they see it.

However, this must be so draining to deal with. You never know what he's up to. You've got to remove every single food source he can access. If he can access ANYTHING, he'll take that over being caught. You bet your bottom dollar he's visiting his brother when you're not around.
 

odinson

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Lol I'm sure they are having secret meeting every night -- early on I even wondered if maybe Loki was fine for food because Thor was sneaking him Oxbow blocks through the bars ☺
 

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