Skittish Ratties

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by hannahallie101, Nov 3, 2018.

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  1. Nov 3, 2018 #1

    hannahallie101

    hannahallie101

    hannahallie101

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    Hey, so almost 2 months ago I adopted a pair of baby rats. I found them on Kijiji and contacted the owner. We discussed the details and we both agreed that I would come adopt some of her ratties. Over the phone she seemed like an experience rat owner and I had no doubts. The rats lived several hours away from me, however I already had a trip planned with my family to where they were located. She was a little concerned about the trip the babies would be taking but earlier that summer I actually took my rat Annie on a trip with us. I had just lost one of my girls a few weeks earlier and I was worried about leaving her at home. We also had a hard time finding a rat sitter.

    Long story short, we arrived there and the apartment wreaked of smoke from cigarettes. The babies were in a small cage on the coffee table with no hideaways, toys, nothing. From first glance they were obviously very skittish and at that time only 4 rats were left. I had doubts however we were already there and at that point I just wanted to get the rats out of that situation. I wanted to take all 4 however my mom didn’t agree. We took two, made the drive home and they were fine. I’ve had the girls for almost two months. In the beginning they were very skittish. They would run every time I entered the room. Now they enjoy coming out for play time and will gladlying climb on me. One of the girls is very social however the other is still quite nervous and gets startled by sudden movements. She isn’t very comfortable with me picking her up either. I’m well aware that rats take time to bond with their moms and dads. I make everything I do on their own terms. I never force them to do anything, I’m just wondering if anyone had any tips for me that have worked for their babies? If so, thanks!
     
  2. Nov 3, 2018 #2

    BoBa

    BoBa

    BoBa

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    Yes, I had the same problem with my rats who were not handled enough. Bodger took only a few days to get used to being held but Badger took a long journey of 6 months to be comfortable with me picking him up. So it varies between different rats.
    Try putting your hand slowly near them as many times you can a day. I don't know what your rats are like but some get territorial over their cage space so maybe do it outside? You could desensitize them if being touched by brushing them with a toothbrush then with your fingers. Once they're fine around your hands try scooping them up. No need to rush though just do it gradually. Then soon they'll be happy with being handled. Carrying them around in your jumper or a bonding pouch while you do things around the house will get them used to you as well as playing with them in the bath tub, on the sofa or in a playpen. Training them is also a fantastic way to bond with your babies.
    Hope that helped :)
     
  3. Nov 4, 2018 #3

    Virus'n'Plague

    Virus'n'Plague

    Virus'n'Plague

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    2 of my 4 boys progressed super fast. Joker is the alpha and is very excited for playtime and knows the humans bring him out for free roam so he goes nuts and loves it. Jeckyll is slightly more composed and gives kisses on command.
    The other two (all gathered the same time) are different stories.
    Hyde is the smallest of the bunch and very timid. Hes bonded to Jeckyll but just recently has become quite playful with the others and decided he LIKES smooth pets down his back and usually sits next to someone on the couch contentedly.
    Riddler .... we THOUGHT he was super shy .... but upon trying to go at his pace, we discovered he gets upset if you ignore his peak a boo game and comes out to poke your face with his nose haha. Hes more timid than the others but actually stays aware of people in a loving way.
    This is each individuals progress after 2 months. They all vary and take their time when they feel like it.
    If you havent, try talking soothingly while your in and out of the cage but dont look at or reach for the timid one. She may get curious enough on her own and wonder why you're not advancing. It worked with Riddler! Good luck though!!
     
  4. Nov 10, 2018 #4

    jorats

    jorats

    jorats

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    Like you, I let my rats go on their own terms and yes, I've had several skittish rats and some took longer to overcome their nervousness but they all came around. Good for you for rescuing those rats.
     

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