Am I doing a good job?

Topics on behaviour, taming, companionship, introductions, and training
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Candlejak
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:33 pm

Am I doing a good job?

Post by Candlejak » Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:50 pm

Hello everyone, I'm a new rat owner and have read up alot about what I should be doing. I've had them about a week ( 2 girls ) and so far they have taken treats from me been out of there cage on my bed at there own will and explored me, very cautiously. I can pet them kind of but they don't seem interested in this, they have nibbled my hands but I'm told that's normal, I haven't really attempted to pick the up as they still seem very scared of me and movement or noise I make they freak out and will run away.
The only thing I do not understand is one moment they seem very adventurous and interested in me, and then a few moments later they seem scared to death and will not leave there home and cower in the back. This makes me feel terrible.
Does everything sound OK and normal?

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ElizabethW
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Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 8:15 pm

Re: Am I doing a good job?

Post by ElizabethW » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:39 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum :)
It sounds to me as though things are going just fine considering you've only had your girls a week - if they are willing to take treats from your hand and explore you a bit then that's a great start. It's a massive change in a baby rat's life to go to a new home, without their litter mates and the sights and smells they were used to, so some nervousness is definitely to be expected for the first couple of weeks. Sometimes pet shop rats can take longer to come round than breeder babies as they aren't handled as often when they are tiny, but with patience and time they should soon be pinging around the place.

The finger nibbling is completely normal, as you've said- much like human babies, rat babies explore things with their mouths and they will be checking that you haven't morphed into something super tasty overnight! The not being interested in stroking is normal to a certain extent too; the world is a very exciting place to a kitten and there are usually much more interesting things to be doing than sitting still and being stroked :roll:

To help things along, you could try taking out all the enclosed spaces in the cage (beds, igloos etc) so they have to face their fears head on without hiding away. Try sitting by the cage with something on a spoon (yogurt is good) so they have to stay close by you to eat it, and something else you could try is popping them inside a dressing gown or loose hoody that you're wearing while you read or watch tv. Try and do this for at least 20 minutes a day, and your girls should start to get used to your smell and associating you with safety.

Good luck with your girls and let us know how you're getting on :luck:
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

Candlejak
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:33 pm

Re: Am I doing a good job?

Post by Candlejak » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:11 pm

Thank you for the information. Good to know I'm doing fine and it's great to have a forum to see everyone else's experiences too.
Just quick question. I like the idea of putting them in my hoody while I watch TV ect but how do I get them in my hoody if I can't pick the up ect?
Thanks.

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ElizabethW
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Re: Am I doing a good job?

Post by ElizabethW » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:39 pm

Do you have a carrier for them? If so, you could try holding that up to the cage to see if they're willing to get in and you could transport them that way. Or you could let them get inside a tunnel or igloo and transfer them to the carrier that way :luck:
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

Candlejak
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:33 pm

Re: Am I doing a good job?

Post by Candlejak » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:46 pm

Hey yeah quick update. I fed then some yoghurt from a spoon and after that they was climbing on to my bed and crawling all over me sat with me and just watched TV.
Huge progress today I'm really happy and they seem to be really warming up to me.
Thank you so much for the advice.

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ElizabethW
Posts: 1589
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Re: Am I doing a good job?

Post by ElizabethW » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:01 pm

Super news :D
Once they have settled in properly, you will have to post us a picture :)
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

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Squirrel
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Location: London

Re: Am I doing a good job?

Post by Squirrel » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:32 pm

You sound like you are doing great! We have had a couple of baby girls about the same length of time as you and progress sounds about the same as ours. I'm picking up a third girl tomorrow so that should cause even more trouble lol! But hopefully the new girl will pick up the semi confidence from the other two.
Willow, Skittle, Izzy & Rainbow

44 past ratties, 16 boys, 28 girls

Candlejak
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:33 pm

Re: Am I doing a good job?

Post by Candlejak » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:58 pm

That's excellent news.
I have trouble keeping an eye on both my girls when they are running around lol but three sounds like a challenge lol.

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