My rats are new and nervous?

Topics on behaviour, taming, companionship, introductions, and training
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Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:57 pm

My rats are new and nervous?

Post by X_Phoebe_X » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:08 pm

Hi! Yesterday I adopted two male rats and I’ve never had any rats before. They won’t go anywhere apart from there house and to get food and water, they are on the bottom of a three storey cage and everything seems very accessible to them. Should I be worried and trying to move them around? Also as they are new should I be spending a lot of time petting them and handling them? Shall I also spend time training them for bits of food and things? Thanks please get back to me ASAP -Phoebe

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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:49 pm
Location: South Yorkshire

Re: My rats are new and nervous?

Post by Feolthanos » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:30 pm

Take out the house and anywhere even remotely enclosed. You gotta be a little mean ;)

Your rats should be handled often throughout the day (baring in mind there natural cycle meaning there likely to be asleep most of the day time). Forced bonding is often a great techquine, with the often quoted advice of leaving the rats alone for a couple days now not advisable for most.
My new rats were really nervous and scatty and trying to force them to stay with me for 20 minutes at a time didn't work for them though, with shorter sessions to build them up proving to be better, so that they went back into the cage stress-free or less stressed at least.
Wear a hoody, pop them inside and let them get used to your scent, being around you and that nothing bad happens when they are there. Then, slowly start introducing your hand to give them some strokes and scritches. Careful here if your rats are really scared, as they may feel cornered and nip.
It's really not unusual for them to feel overwhelmed with there new surroundings at this point however, so do not worry :)

Also make sure you are going in and just speaking to them, or having your arm in the cage and letting them come to you. If they don't like being picked up, which they probably won't be begin with, then having it so not every encounter with your rats is your big scary hands holding them is a good idea.

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