Socializing Rats!

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New Member
Jul 29, 2020
United States
Hello! I am a first time rat owner and recently just adopted two six month old male rats. I adopted them two days ago. I do not have names yet but I’m already so attached and I love them so much. I’ve been trying to bond with them and get them to be comfortable with me. We’ve gotten some good progress so far! They’ve been able to take treats from my hand and sometimes come up to me on their own when I put my hands in the cage. Today I sat with their cage door open with my hands in the cage all day. They come up to me on their own. One of them is definitely more shy than the other one. However I’m confused on one thing.. I put them in my hoodie pocket or let them crawl around on my lap and cuddle up to them. They don’t mind this once I get them out of their cage and they’re also super chill and comfortable with me during this time. However it’s like they forget who I am when I put them back in the cage. They shy away from me again after being in the cage for a bit. Also I haven’t been able to pick them up in the cage with my hands. That’s to be expected after having them for such a short period of time but I want them to get comfortable with my hands and know that I’m not scary. Does anyone have any advice?


Active Member
Jan 2, 2020
New york
You're still very new to them, try putting an old t-shirt of yours in their cage with them so they get used to your smell. The cage is their home, their sanctuary. You want to do everything you can to make them feel as though you're not threatening the existence of their sanctuary.

Big Schpog

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2020
British Columbia
The fact that they've climbed on you and done snuggling means it's just going to be fine, just takes time. I highly recommend allowing them to run on your bed and put little hiding spots like little boxes with fleece in them so they can hide when they want. They'll love being out and exploring with you talking gently to them and encouraging them. First time rats and bed socialization is something I think ALL rat owners do. LOL

Like Pandora says, their cage is their safe place and so they'll always run to it when they're unsure. You can lure them out with treats and pet them while giving treats. You can lure them into your hands for picking up. When you pick them up make sure you have their hind legs stable and they don't do helicopter tail. I use the scoop method. I pick my girls up by putting my entire hand under them and scooping them up so they're completely stable in my hand. I then bring them in to me and let them climb up my shoulder or sit on my arm.

They're still young so picking them up shouldn't be a problem. They also will love sitting on your shoulder too.

Things rats need are security, good food and comfort. The more time you spend with them, the more bonded to you they'll be.

Also, I NEVER forcibly wake up my rats when they're sleeping. I respect their sleeping times, and each rat has their own sleeping times.

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