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Suddenly skittish and nervous rats

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Nyn

Active Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Netherlands
Hi all,

I was wondering if you could help me. We are first time rat owners and are really in love with our girls. They are now 4.5 months old and have just both recovered from middle ear infection. They were absolutely fine this week and suddenly yesterday started becoming extremely skittish and scared. We haven't changed anything in their diet and we take them out of the cage for free roaming twice a day (2 hours or more in total) which they normally cannot wait to do. But now they were both just staying in their Sputnik bed and not wanting to come out. We normally just sit on a chair with the cage door open until they come so we can take them to the free roam area for which they normally are very keen. But now all of a sudden they just stayed in.

Their weight has stayed the same (I quickly checked to see if they hadn't lost any) and they are eating and drinking as normal. They do want to take treats such as malt paste or sweet peas but only from their hiding spots. I read it might be their "fear period" but I also read different ages for this (most saying 2 months old and not 4.5).

Thank you for the help!

Kind regards,

Nynke
 

Big Schpog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
388
Location
British Columbia
I think they just are becoming teenagers who want to relax and settle in. I don't see anything wrong with this at all. They might be a little bored too. Try some extra cardboard boxes when they come out for free roam. Put a hole in the front and rear of each box and put some foreign items in them so they can explore. THings to chew are a fave. I let my girls chew chopsticks. Keep them interested. Ruffle saran wrap or paper. Rats love that sound.
 

Nyn

Active Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Netherlands
Thank you for the nice reply and reassuring answer. I think I also figured it out in the mean time. I had received a lot of flowers which were in the living room with them and I think the scent of the lilies made them scared. They both were really scared from one moment to another and that's what also freaked me out. It is a bit better at the moment but still when I take them out they are now just hiding instead of running around..

I am pretty sure they are not bored as we change the entire inside of the cage weekly and build them box castles every month. Also, I try training with them every day on different tricks etc in a nice way with lots of sweet peas because they love these.
 

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