Rats not wanting to leave cage

julian

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Recently, my rat died, so it left me with one of the pair. Bubbers, the rat who was left, has always been skittish but had left the cage previously and would let me pet her and give her treats. She always tries to escape though when I let her out and if i let her out she wouldn't always leave willingly - I don't have a particularly rat safe room and there are no other rooms in the house where I can keep them as it's a small house so i always left her out on my bed while watching her. I've gotten 2 new babies though, about 3/4 months old, Rita and Berry. They are understandably skittish but they have bonded with Bubbers well. Anyways, the issue is now Bubbers seems more hesitant to leave the cage now as the babies wont leave the cage. I'm concerned as they're not getting as much time out of the cage as they should be? I'm also struggling to also keep all 3 of them out of the cage at once and be able to keep an eye on them. If i let Rita and Berry out onto my bed they either don't leave the cage or run straight back in once I bring them out, or just escape out into my room and are too scared to let me get them back to the cage or the bed. I know it doesn't happen straight away where they'll become comfortable with where they are and wont run away and with me, but does anyone have any tips? Does it have a big effect if I'm away a lot of the day with school? I feel like I'm busy but I try my hardest to bond with them and make them comfortable but after having Bubbers for a year and a half I feel like I'm making no progress. I don't know if it's me being too worried as Mina, my rat who passed would come out of the cage and was comfortable with me. Is it an issue of space, or me not bonding with them in an efficient way? Please help!! I don't want my rats to feel uncomfortable.
 

Rattdad

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CongRATS on the new ones! My opinion is, you should make the young ones come out to socialize. Otherwise, they'll always be afraid of you. Try to handle them a lot (unless they seem particularly skittish or traumatized on a particular day). My first rats were adopted as babies and coming out of the cage was the last thing they wanted to do. One thing they liked to do (after a couple weeks) was climb in the sleeve of a big sweatshirt; they would come into the sleeve, run through it and out my other sleeve back into the cage (I would sit right by it). The other thing I would do to engage them was pass tiny bits of paper through the bars, which one rat (the shyest), would take and build a nest out of. They really got into this activity. Bit by bit I earned their trust. Also, no chance of taking them into a bathroom? Here in the US that is often the safest and easiest to clean. Good luck!
 

julian

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Thank you for replying!
I am slowly making progress, I think I was stressing that the babies would always be afraid of me since I've really only been used to my rats being older and more comfortable with me. It's all me worrying I guess because Berry one of my babies is coming out and being more adventurous and climbing over me. They're still scared and run away when I try and pick them up so I don't want to move them too far away yet as they seem anxious when away from the cage (they still do come out of the cage and run and hide in blankets and pillows on my bed, I have lots of toys and boxes on there too when they come out but they wont go anywhere else, its directly attached to the cage). My older girl Bubbers is fine with it though, I can take her around so hopefully the babies will follow her and begin to see it's fine. I've got lots of treats to try and gain their trust ready :p Bubbers loves to climb in my hoodie sleeves and sleep there too!! I'll try to do what you suggested, I'm feeding the most skittish rat Rita treats while the cage door is open and leaving it outside so she has to come out the cage to pick it up but I have to move far away or look away for her to come out but if i go near her, she will climb up the cage and round the back of the cage which is a tight squeeze and she wont come back unless I leave her there for a while. Once she grows and also becomes more comfortable I hope she wont feel the need to go back there or wont fit there. I think I should just remember they both just need time.
 

julian

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Jan 4, 2022
Messages
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Thank you for replying!
I am slowly making progress, I think I was stressing that the babies would always be afraid of me since I've really only been used to my rats being older and more comfortable with me. It's all me worrying I guess because Berry one of my babies is coming out and being more adventurous and climbing over me. They're still scared and run away when I try and pick them up so I don't want to move them too far away yet as they seem anxious when away from the cage (they still do come out of the cage and run and hide in blankets and pillows on my bed, I have lots of toys and boxes on there too when they come out but they wont go anywhere else, its directly attached to the cage). My older girl Bubbers is fine with it though, I can take her around so hopefully the babies will follow her and begin to see it's fine. I've got lots of treats to try and gain their trust ready :p Bubbers loves to climb in my hoodie sleeves and sleep there too!! I'll try to do what you suggested, I'm feeding the most skittish rat Rita treats while the cage door is open and leaving it outside so she has to come out the cage to pick it up but I have to move far away or look away for her to come out but if i go near her, she will climb up the cage and round the back of the cage which is a tight squeeze and she wont come back unless I leave her there for a while. Once she grows and also becomes more comfortable I hope she wont feel the need to go back there or wont fit there. I think I should just remember they both just need time.

CongRATS on the new ones! My opinion is, you should make the young ones come out to socialize. Otherwise, they'll always be afraid of you. Try to handle them a lot (unless they seem particularly skittish or traumatized on a particular day). My first rats were adopted as babies and coming out of the cage was the last thing they wanted to do. One thing they liked to do (after a couple weeks) was climb in the sleeve of a big sweatshirt; they would come into the sleeve, run through it and out my other sleeve back into the cage (I would sit right by it). The other thing I would do to engage them was pass tiny bits of paper through the bars, which one rat (the shyest), would take and build a nest out of. They really got into this activity. Bit by bit I earned their trust. Also, no chance of taking them into a bathroom? Here in the US that is often the safest and easiest to clean. Good luck!
I don't know if i replied to you or just posted a reply onto the thread haha I'm not very clever with forums but I have posted a reply to you.....somewhere. I hope you can see it.
 

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