Adopted 3 x 7 month old rats - ETA socialisation advice need

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Adopted 3 x 7 month old rats - ETA socialisation advice need

Post by fifiona1990 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:04 pm

Hi everyone,
I have owned rats in the past, my last rat died in October last year. For some months now I have been considering getting new rats. I went to a pet shop on Friday for an unrelated matter with a friend. In the shop there were three rat sisters. One of the employees alerted me to the fact that they were now around 7 months old and have yet to find a home. Although the staff had tried their best to handle them, they were still very timid. The fact that they had been there for such a long time and had yet to experience even having a decent living environment led me to get them.
Once I got them home I did as suggested leave them to explore their cage for 24 hours. Since then, each night I have been putting their cage on my bed and letting them explore and get used to me. As well as that I have been trying to handle them individually separately for around 20 mins each a night (after reading about 'forced socialisation'). As expected they are still quite timid, but I can see them becoming a bit more curious.

I was wondering if anyone had advice or experiences about rats that may have not had a lot of socialisation. Although I have had rats before, I got them when they were much younger so they became socialised relatively quickly.

Any information would be greatly appreciated :)
(New mum to Penny, Levi and Libby)

Note: title expanded for clarity

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Re: Adopted 3 x 7 month old rats - ETA socialisation advice

Post by Wilcox_87 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:32 pm

Hello and welcome!

I got my first rats from P@H and they had never been handled so I know the frustration that you are feeling towards pet shops :roll: Firstly are you sure they are actually 7 months old and they were not trying to guilt you into buying them? Pet shops often move rats into "adoption centres" once they reach about 4 months so that they can replace them with smaller "cuter" rats that are more likely to sell :(

It sounds like your girls are very lucky to have found you though :D Have you tried taking them out and popping them in your dressing gown for a while? They soon learn that you are a warm, snuggly , safe place and will start to come out onto the sofa for investigations and then dart back to you for cover! Do they take food from you? Feeding them some yoghurt from a spoon can be a good trick as they cannot take the food and run away to eat it so are forced to stay near you. Try putting them in the busiest room of the house so they can get used to all of the comings and goings (compared to the pet shop your house is going to seem scarily quiet). Other than that just try to handle them as often as you can! Pick them up, give them a tickle and then put them down again so they learn nothing bad happens when they are handled. Hopefully others will be along with other good tips and experiences soon

I am sure with a lot of love and attention they will come round very soon, they may just take a little longer than young kittens if they are truly 7 months.

Keep us posted with how they get on :luck:
Rose with Damon, River and Robin
To all my little heartbreakers, too many to name here, most recently: Remy :rattyrainbow:
And my beautiful boy Beans. You were the best cat in the World and were ripped away from us far too soon. If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever :hearts:

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