Register    Login    Forum    Search    FAQ

Board index » Fancy Rats Forum » Rat Care » Behaviour




 Page 1 of 1 [ 4 posts ] 



Author Message
 Post subject: Will my rats go back into their cage? I can't pick them up
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:56 am
Posts: 10
Hi all

I have two 1yo rats who have not been hand tamed. They weren't very tame when i adopted them and i have never been able to pick them up. They are my very first rats and my nerves have always gotten the better of me, with them being nervous of being handled, i am too wary to chase them around with my hand for fear of getting bitten. I dont know how to handle them correctly and i fear dropping them (and them escaping).


Up until now i have put their carrier inside their cage, waited for them to climb in and then carry it to a rat proof place to play. It doesnt work well, the rats are always afraid when i shut the carrier on them (they poo and wee loads!) and its tedious waiting for then to climb in the carrier in the first place.


I want to allow my rats to climb FROM their cage and roam around in an enclosed area around their cage. I can corden off an area to be rat proof BUT i worry very much that they will not go back into their cage. I want to allow them to come out and freely want to come over to me, but first time i do it they will be nervous and scared and may hide somewhere. What if they dont go back inside their cage? I dont feel confident picking them up, i could use the carrier but it would be time consuming. Im just so nervous to open their cage door and letting them loose!! Any advice on this is hugely appreciated.


Top 
 Post subject: Re: Will my rats go back into their cage? I can't pick them
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:26 am 
Offline
Fancy Rats Team
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Posts: 5577
Location: South Cambridgeshire
I'm afraid that tiptoeing around rats who have not been handled will not 'tame' them. They will simply choose to avoid human contact.

What you need to do is prove to them that human interaction is not dangerous, and is positively enjoyable. However, while you are nervous of them, they will see no reason to not be nervous of you, so it is a bit of a catch 22 situation.

One way to help your confidence is for another experienced rat owner to come and handle your rats with you. If that's something you'd like to try, then let me know your whereabouts (by PM if you'd prefer) and we'll see if there could be someone nearby who might be able to do that.

Otherwise, I would encourage you to bite the bullet, and let them know that you're in charge and not scary...

1) Remove most of the furnishings from their cage so they can't hide away. Make sure you can get both hands into the cage comfortably - if your cage has poor access, it might help to get another one with a good big door.
2) Pick one of the rats up, using thick gardening gloves if that makes you feel happier... although you don't say whether they've ever actually bitten you, so there may be no risk of them doing so. Either scoop them up with two hands, or if they just jump straight off then hold them firmly with your thumb and middle finger under their armpits, your forefinger on their neck, making a sort of backpack with your hand around their shoulders.
3) Pop the rat inside a loose outer layer of clothing such as a hoody or dressing gown, secured around your waist so they can't slip out downwards.
4) Go to a different room - ideally somewhere small and rat safe, and sit down on a chair or just stand up.
5) Stay there for at least 20 minutes (the maximum time that a rat can stay scared for), talk and sing to them using their name a lot, and you should find that curiosity eventually gets the better of them. Once you've built up a bit of confidence that they won't bite, then you could slip you hand in with them and gently stroke or massage using small circular movements, especially around the neck, ears, and shoulders.
6) Do this with each of the rats once or twice a day, wearing the same clothes each time, and by the end of a week you should find they are much improved. You could then start offering small treats such as a pea or a low sugar puffed cereal.
7) Once one or both are reasonably used to this, get them both out for a joint cuddle.
8) When they both seem comfortable with you, you could start letting them free range from you as their base (sit on the floor, or on a sofa), they may go off exploring but should come back to you regularly, especially if you call them by name, and offer a treat. (Treats work better with boys than with girls.)
9) While they are exploring, make a point of gently scooping them up every now and then, have a quick fuss and then pop them back down again before they have a chance to struggle.
10) If you adapt their cage so that their door is held by chains, making a drawbridge when it's opened, then they will have an area to come out on in order to express their willingness to interact with you, and by opening the door you will be offering an invitation too - hopefully they will soon be eager to come out and see you.

I hope this helps you to start enjoying time together - rats can form very close bonds with people, and it's never too late to establish one. :luck:

_________________
Mary x

my websites: Cyber Rats (picture site) / Zephyr Stud (rattery site)


Top 
 Post subject: Re: Will my rats go back into their cage? I can't pick them
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:45 am
Posts: 3
If you did want to free range them around their cage while you're following cyber ratty's advice...

If you take out their food a bit before you free range them you can lure them back in to their cage by putting the food back or adding a tasty morsel.

Or you could use a toy to lure them back in such as a feather on a string or just the piece of string.

Or you can also try to get them in to a tube in free range time and once they're in the tube pick it up and put an end in the cage. They soon get wise to this one though!


Top 
 Post subject: Re: Will my rats go back into their cage? I can't pick them
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:42 pm 
Offline
Fancy Rats Team
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Posts: 5577
Location: South Cambridgeshire
Feliss wrote:
If you did want to free range them around their cage while you're following cyber ratty's advice...
If you take out their food a bit before you free range them you can lure them back in to their cage by putting the food back or adding a tasty morsel.

Oh yes - timing free range to happen just before their mix is given is a great tip for getting them back into the cage. However, if you are scatter feeding (which is much the best way to feed rats), then you can't remove it... so free range before you feed their daily allowance. :luck:

_________________
Mary x

my websites: Cyber Rats (picture site) / Zephyr Stud (rattery site)


Top 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
 Page 1 of 1 [ 4 posts ] 




Board index » Fancy Rats Forum » Rat Care » Behaviour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron