Carrier Method - Stalemate

Topics on behaviour, taming, companionship, introductions, and training
Post Reply
brennalynne
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:21 am

Carrier Method - Stalemate

Post by brennalynne » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:37 pm

So I have all four of my boys in a cat carrier, and they've been in there with little development for over 15 hours now. The adults are at the back, the babies at the door.

My impression is that I scared the babies with my original attempts (and failed) introductions a week ago (there was a lot of bullying from one of my adults in a non-neutral play area after successful neutral area play). The babies are up against the door and don't make any moves. They're tense, and almost always braced for a fight. The adults are relatively unconcerned. They've come up and had a few boxing matches but other times they've just wanted to sniff and then get agitated when the babies start screaming from the attention.

While the adults seem ready to relax and potentially accept the babies (this is just my general impression), it's the babies that are unable to relax.

The carrier method doesn't really have any time frames for reference on it so I'm not sure where to proceed from here/when I need to be trying other methods to speed up this process.

At the moment everyone is sleeping at opposite ends of the carrier.

I don't have a smaller carrier or cage to work with other than the one I'm using and I'm not sure taking the cage on a walk/car ride will work but obviously I'll try it later if need be.

User avatar
ScissorCrow
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:42 pm
Location: North-East Yorkshire

Re: Carrier Method - Stalemate

Post by ScissorCrow » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:02 pm

I am by no means an expert, but I just wanted to post with the information I have learned from this forum before you split them up or anything.

15 hours isn't a long time, leave them at least another 24 hours, if not 48.
You can move the carrier to a different place in the house, maybe take them for a drive if you have a car, to get them to move around and interact.

I know you feel awful for keeping them cooped up in a small space and for any fear they are feeling, but the slower you take this the stronger the group will be at the end.

When I intro'd my boys were still in different sleeping piles after 48hours so I used a box to make their space even smaller so they had to physically touch, they didn't fight at all, just didn't want to be together it seemed. After 24 hours of very small space I increased it again and they were then mingled.

Read though other people's introduction posts and see what the suggestions have been there and apply them to your situation.

User avatar
bazu
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:39 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK

Re: Carrier Method - Stalemate

Post by bazu » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:04 pm

If you can find a smaller carrier, even on the cheap (I've seen them for ~£8 or even ~£5 sometimes?) then that would be ideal. Otherwise, is there anything you can use to block a section of the carrier off to make the space in there smaller?

If none of the above is possible, then perseverance is the key - having just spent 2 months all told intro'ing two pairs, I can vouch for this personally! My lot were particularly difficult, went up a stage and back down again a few times etc, and all told they spent probably 3-4 weeks in an equivalent-sized hamster cage - the final time was 2 weeks solid, but it did the trick! Same as you; the big boys bullied the babies for a bit, babies were scaredy, started off glued to opposite ends etc. Just stick at it, and they'll gradually come round :)
Currently servant to Pidge and Hunk.

Gone but never forgotten: Twenty-seven beautiful whiskery angels

User avatar
bazu
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:39 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK

Re: Carrier Method - Stalemate

Post by bazu » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:19 pm

bazu wrote:If you can find a smaller carrier, even on the cheap (I've seen them for ~£8 or even ~£5 sometimes?) then that would be ideal. Otherwise, is there anything you can use to block a section of the carrier off to make the space in there smaller?

If none of the above is possible, then perseverance is the key - having just spent 2 months all told intro'ing two pairs, I can vouch for this personally! My lot were particularly difficult, went up a stage and back down again a few times etc, and all told they spent probably 3-4 weeks in an equivalent-sized hamster cage - the final time was 2 weeks solid, but it did the trick! Same as you; the big boys bullied the babies for a bit, babies were scaredy, started off glued to opposite ends etc. Just stick at it, and they'll gradually come round :)
Too late to edit this now, but depending on where you are, someone may be able to lend a smaller cage or carrier?
Currently servant to Pidge and Hunk.

Gone but never forgotten: Twenty-seven beautiful whiskery angels

User avatar
RatBubble
Posts: 286
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:13 pm
Location: South West

Re: Carrier Method - Stalemate

Post by RatBubble » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:24 am

We've only done 1 introduction between two separate pairs by carrier method and we took it incredibly slow. So I'm no expert at all. They were in the carrier for over 48 hours and for the beginning it was babies at the back, older girls eye balling me as if they were locked in jail. I soon realised to ignore the carrier despite it being our first attempt and allow them to get on with it. A mixed pile followed and a rat pile later and only then did we go to a completely bare small cage with no hammock, no litter box, no toy just their scatter feed. There are very experienced rat owners on here, I'm a newbie but I did realise the key was patience and to not interrupt them. You've yet to have a full day. Boxing and pinning is normal and my girls were vocal in objection at times but now have a wonderful 4way bond in their full cage. :luck:

Also we didn't free range until I felt they had completely ironed out everything, certainly not in any stage of the upgrading process either. I know that sounds cruel but it meant they got left to deal with it.
Four beautiful girls, Lady B, Meow (MaoMao), Miss Winnie & Jinx

User avatar
CheeseBairn
Posts: 1502
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:46 am
Location: London

Re: Carrier Method - Stalemate

Post by CheeseBairn » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:56 am

What you're seing is normal. As long as no one is getting hurt, you want to be waiting until they're all sleeping together at least some of the time. So they need to be staying in the carrier until that happens. Usually I keep mine in the small cage (will be about the same size as your carrier) for at least a week, even if things are going really well. Just to make sure they're really comfortable with each other. Tense, anxious babies can be hard to watch, but they need to learn for themselves that it's safe as you can't tell them. I find that even if they spend the whole day like that they're usually at least chilled enough to be going about their business, and more often than not in a rat pile with the others, by the next morning. Good luck! They'll get there.
Ratties: Betty, Wilma, Matilda, Cherry, Olive, Arabella, Milly, Pumpkin, and Zephyrs Pebbles, Keme, Iris and Rose.
Bunnies Bea, Bugsy and Chestnut Guin pigs Cookie, Mickey and Storm.
Reiki for people and pets, pet sitting, pet photography: http://www.willowbirch.co.uk

brennalynne
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:21 am

Re: Carrier Method - Stalemate

Post by brennalynne » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:39 am

Good news everyone who cares! (thank you for your comments). You were all right, of course. While things still aren't advancing very fast, there has been a bit of progress today. The babies seem significantly more relaxed (though they still kick a fuss if the adults get a bit too close) and the adults are funnily enough inching their way closer during nap time. Hamish (one of the babies) even let Ian (adult) come and sniff his genitals (typical) without screaming about it. Big improvement!

User avatar
Caza66
Posts: 2788
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:02 pm
Location: warrington, cheshire

Re: Carrier Method - Stalemate

Post by Caza66 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:40 am

:D sounds like it's working.
Officially ratless. Groot, Star-lord, Yondu adopted by another rat lover.
:rattyrainbow: To all those who have filled my heart, have fun at the bridge.

User avatar
shiprat
Posts: 2054
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:00 pm
Location: Stroud,Glos

Re: Carrier Method - Stalemate

Post by shiprat » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:23 pm

Don't rush it. Longer is better, however mean you feel.
If you move them up too quickly you risk being right back at the beginning again.
Rat Out of Hell Rescue.

brennalynne
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:21 am

Re: Carrier Method - Stalemate

Post by brennalynne » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:51 am

I absolutely won't be rushing this. Made a bit more progress today via carrier cleaning, scared all four of them into cuddling under fleece together. Now that they're back in the carrier the babies are moving around more freely and aren't staying glued to the door the entire time. I won't be moving them onto the next stage until I see some more solid mingling/sleeping next to each other for a few days at the very least. They've been in the carrier for a solid 3 days but I probably won't move them around for at least a week depending on how well their new bonding session went.

Thanks for all of your replies :)

Post Reply

Return to “Behaviour”