Handling my rats

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Shannibeth
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Handling my rats

Post by Shannibeth » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:21 am

I have 2 boys that are 4 months old. I have had them for 2 months. They were very skittish when I got them. Now they will climb on me and take food from my hand even lick yoghurt off my fingers, one of them is a bit of an escape artist. But when I try to stroke them or pick them up they run away or give a warning bite. How do I pick them up and stroke them?

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cyber ratty
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Re: Handling my rats

Post by cyber ratty » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:00 am

Have you tried the intensive bonding sessions as described in my reply to another thread yesterday, where you keep them on you for at least 20 minutes at a time? It should help to do that once or twice a day. Since you've only got 2, then probably best to have both of them at once.

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[cub]
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Re: Handling my rats

Post by [cub] » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:05 am

In addition to intensive bonding like Mary suggested, you can try very briefly picking them up and then immediately putting them down again. Do it when they know you're there and are already interacting with you, so that it's not completely out of the blue, but don't hesitate or be too polite about it. Just go in quickly, pick them up, then put them down again right away. Don't overwhelm them with it, just maybe a few times a day each. This should get them used to the idea that sometimes they get picked up, but it's over quickly, and nothing terrible happens to them in the meanwhile.

If and when they get used to the quick pick up and put down, you can start holding them just for a fraction of a second, and as they get used to that, you can slowly increase the time you're holding them for. I wouldn't worry about stroking; not all rats like being stroked and I don't think it's fair to try and make a rat tolerate something that it doesn't like if it's not benefitting it in any way. But being able to pick them up and hold them is important for safety and health checks.
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Fondly remembering: Zephyr Donovan (Phoenix) the big dope, Xeltan, Lita (NLA32), Lia (NLA28), Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28), Falere (NLA36), Mirala (NLA36), Zephyr Opold, and Rila.

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