Taming 2 Boys

Topics on behaviour, taming, companionship, introductions, and training
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StueyMacD
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Location: North East, UK

Taming 2 Boys

Post by StueyMacD » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:28 am

Hi everyone

I’ve been lurking for a few weeks and trying to pick up a few tips as I read all the great information here. I’m after a little advice which I’m hoping one of the lovely folks here will be able to give.
About three weeks ago I got two male rats from a local pet shop, I don’t know how old they are unfortunately, but they are still quite small, my daughter has named them Armitage and Amadeus! They are very cute indeed (pics later) but are very nervous and it would seem that they haven’t been handled since birth. I’ve had rats before but have never had this problem so it’s beginning to worry me that they will never become really tame and handleable.
So, basically, Amadeus is the more outgoing of the two, he’ll come out of the cage of his own accord onto a large footstool via the sloping door of the cage which I rest on there, he’ll have a good sniff around and peer over the edges etc, he doesn’t mind hands being near him but will scarper if you go to make any attempt to touch him. Also at random times he’ll get spooked somehow and bolt back into the cage, I don’t know what it is that’s spooking him as I ensure there’s no sudden movements or loud noises. After this he’ll sit in a corner of the cage and not move for ages. It takes him a day to get over this and won’t come out the next day at all, takes until the day after that for him to regain any confidence to come out again. Then of course something spooks him again and the cycle repeats! I’ve never been able to pick him up either from the cage or whilst he’s out, he too quick.
Armitage on the other hand is very very nervous, he’ll not come fully out of the cage, even for food placed at the bottom of the door/ramp, also he’s prone to having a good old bite if you get your hands too close to him, he’s drawn blood several times. Naturally this is making me nervous to get too near him and I’m sure he’s sensing that which won’t be helping. He seems to get on ok with Amadeus, they squabble of course but no major battles yet that I’ve seen. I’m assuming they are brothers but I don’t know that for sure.
It’s been suggested that will probably calm down a bit once they come out of the cage more, but I don’t have an igloo type house thing in there to lift them out it, I don’t know how to go about actually getting them out other than to let them come out under their own steam when they’re ready. They do seem friendly enough and inquisitive, always up at the bars wanting to see what’s going on, it’s like they WANT to get involved then get too scared and prefer to stay in the safety of the cage.
I’m determined to tame them, I’m just not sure how best to go about it, I know I need to be consistent in whatever I do and I know they’re going to have to get used to being touched/handled soon or it’s going to be very difficult.
Any advice anyone can offer would be much appreciated.

Stu

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Squirrel
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Re: Taming 2 Boys

Post by Squirrel » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:15 pm

Hi Stu,

Could you try feeding them something like yogurt or rice pudding off a spoon? Rats usually love these foods and it will get them used to the smell of you without them being able to bite your fingers.

Love their names btw and if that is them in your avatar, they are very handsome lads.
Willow, Skittle, Izzy & Rainbow

44 past ratties, 16 boys, 28 girls

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Caza66
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Location: warrington, cheshire

Re: Taming 2 Boys

Post by Caza66 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:55 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum.

My favourite way of getting newbies used to me is to wear a dressing gown and pop them in there and sit and watch tv on the sofa. I would also take out the hidey holes and houses out of their cage and just leave them with open flat hammocks and ropes, this way they have nowhere to hide and will get used to you quicker.

Good luck.
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.

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StueyMacD
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Location: North East, UK

Re: Taming 2 Boys

Post by StueyMacD » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:35 am

Thank you for the input, I will try both those things!

I did have a little progress with Amadeus (the top one in the avatar) he came out of the cage last night onto the footstool of his own accord, got a little adventurous and climbed up the outside of the cage, for some reason when he got to the top he thought it'd be good to launch himself off it (I thought they had a natural fear of heights??) fortunately I grabbed him before he propelled himself onto the fish tank!! Anyway after much squeaking and scratching he started to settle a bit in my arms, I carried him around for a while then placed him back on the footstool, he nipped into the cage for a wee then came back out again and was eager to climb all over me, hopefully this episode will have given him the confidence that he won't come to any harm.
Armitage on the other hand still remains nervous, but I think the yoghurt/rice pudding thing could work with him as he's much more food oriented.

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Squirrel
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Re: Taming 2 Boys

Post by Squirrel » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:08 am

Sounds like progress to me. Sometimes an adventurous one will bring a shyer one out of his/her shell too. Do let us know how it goes.
Willow, Skittle, Izzy & Rainbow

44 past ratties, 16 boys, 28 girls

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