Rats don't play at all

Topics on behaviour, taming, companionship, introductions, and training
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Rats don't play at all

Post by NubsNLubs » Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:37 pm

My rats are bored pretty much all the time. Whenever I take them out, they run around a minute or so before lying down with their eyes open, seemingly bored out of their minds. Here's the thing though: They don't play with toys and they don't play with me. They don't like when I pick them up, pet them, or 'wrestle' them. They never touched any chew sticks I gave them. They only somewhat explored the cat tube I bought them. I tried training them once, but they didn't seem to enjoy it all that much. They only ever seem to care about food. It's even more worrying that my parents won't let me buy them any more toys because "It's just a rat" (Don't even get me started on why I hate that phrase...), so I'm running out of options. Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks!

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Re: Rats don't play at all

Post by Samana » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:50 am

Mine dont really play with "rat toys" but they love cardboard boxes and tissue boxes with the tissues in, they pull them all out to make bedding. Also if they love food you could try teaching them some tricks and make them work for their treats and it will help them bond with you. Toilet roll with the tissue on also go down well here.

Two of mine hate being picked up as well but we've been practising a bit every day and I find if I pick them up quickly and just let them sit on my arm while I move them they are much more relaxed and are getting better every day. You could also teach them to get in and out of a box to move them and use it as a little rat taxi?

Are your rats both boys and how old are they?

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Re: Rats don't play at all

Post by hjanders » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:00 am

Our rats have never been interested in 'toys' and we have found that there are cheap/free things around the house that can be used for entertainment.

You could try 'hiding' some food inside a toilet roll either folded up at the ends (like one of those present boxes you can get) or wrapped like a cracker in paper or kitchen roll and tied with string. Ours love trying to get into them and it can be hilarious to watch!

Or, create a digging box with food hidden in it. We have a cheap plastic box about ?25x25x35cm from Ikea that we put either shredded paper or hemp (which we use as substrate) into. They will then happy dig and scrabble around for their food.

The other thing to try is putting peas or sweetcorn into a shallow Pyrex or similar dish with water in. The rats can then try fishing about for the veg. Some of ours love this, others are not so keen but it is always fun :lol:

Our rats too love cardboard boxes. We often put an empty cereal box or similar into the cage. I like to stick up the open end just using sellotape or masking tape having cut out one or two rat sized holes in the sides. Give the rats some kitchen roll, tissues or toilet roll and see if they will make a nest in the box. Again, in my experience this appeals to some and not others.

Good luck x
Popcorn, Me-Me, Nelle, Luna, Maggie and Tutsie
Never to be forgotten: Trixie, Paws, Tica, Doris and Bella ❤️

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cyber ratty
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Re: Rats don't play at all

Post by cyber ratty » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:44 pm

Another thing to try is to make a cat type toy with feathers tied to the end of a stick (a balloon holder is ideal), and see if the rats will chase it while you make it twitch. Most rats are keen to 'kill' feathers!

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