Scared rats

Topics on behaviour, taming, companionship, introductions, and training
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Lina13
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:14 am

Scared rats

Post by Lina13 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:41 am

Hello everyone! I'm Lina, I am new to this forum.

I just bought my two first rats last Friday. I already read a lot about taming them ec but I think I could use some extra advice.

Our cage consists out of a base floor and two smaller platforms connected with a tube. When we got them on Friday and put them in their cage for the first time they immediatly went hiding into this tube. Since then they have not came out a lot. They come out every now and then to the two platforms (for food) but have not yet went to the base floor. So they have not yet explored their cage completely.

I tried giving them carrots by hand and they come out their tube to get it out of my hand but then run as fast as possible back to their tube. So to prevent that I tried to give them a small spoon with sugar free apple mousse. This works good and they seem to open up more however once they hear something weird or my hand moves a little too much they run back into their tube and won't come out again. I'm doing this multiple times a day since I'm at uni and have loads of time for them now but I don't seem to see any improvement.

It is hard to explain but it feels like as long they stay in their tube it's hard to interact with them as you can't come anywhere close to them.

I've not picked them up yet because I want to give them time but I'm a little stuck on what to do next. I also have two little dogs and I'm afraid they're scared of them as well. When I interact with the rats I make sure the dogs are not around though.

Can anyone help me out? Should I keep doing what I'm doing or should I try something else?

Thank you and kind regards, Lina

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[cub]
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:04 pm

Re: Scared rats

Post by [cub] » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:17 pm

Is it possible to construct the cage without the tubes somehow? If that would leave the cage with holes in it, you may need to find a way to block them off using suitably secure mesh to prevent escapes. As you've noticed, nervous rats will tend to hide away if they have the option, which just leads to them taking much longer to acclimatise to their new surroundings. It's generally recommended that cages be set up without any such enclosed spaces for skittish new rats to semi-force them to get used to things, filling the space with more open toys like flat hammocks and ropes instead. You don't want them to feel totally exposed, but you don't want them to be able to just wall themselves in somewhere either.
Poo-shoveller to: Calyn, Din, and Zephyr Mick Jagger (Edgeworth).
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Donovan (Phoenix) the big dope, Xeltan, Lita (NLA32), Lia (NLA28), Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28), Falere (NLA36), Mirala (NLA36), Zephyr Opold, and Rila.

Lina13
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:14 am

Re: Scared rats

Post by Lina13 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:01 pm

Thank you for your reply! I will try taking the tube out. I am jjst scared I will scare them even more when they don't have their hiding place anymore.

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