Rat behaviour

Topics on behaviour, taming, companionship, introductions, and training
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Rat behaviour

Post by FluffyJ » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:09 pm

Hi, I'm after some advice/opinions on change in behaviour of my rats.
I bought 2 male rats in December and they have were 2 months old when I had them.
When I first got them, they would come out and be held for a while, but now, they are only out a few minutes before they are trying to escape whoever is holding them and trying to get back to their cage. Also they are starting to resist being picked up from in their cage?
Any help in explaining the change in behaviour will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance

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

Re: Rat behaviour

Post by Feolthanos » Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:22 am

Were they two months old when you got them exactly or were they edging more towards 3? As this would make them around 5 months old now and it's not unheard of for some lines of rats to get hormonal early. If they are only 4 months though then this is probably unlikely.

Do you let the rats go anywhere else outside the cage or is it just sitting with someone? It maybe that they are no longer freezing up with fear and there confidence has grown or that they are just seeing it as a bit scary still being held by someone and they know that whenever they get picked up they are being held for extended periods, so that's why they'll run from you in the cage. That or after a couple months of this the novelty has worn off for them and if they've never been anywhere else to mark it as safe it'll always be the cage that they go back to.

My rats aren't keen on being held still (also got in December) and I found trying to keep them near me just made them worse and a more gentle approach is in progress of small pick up and put downs and letting them choose to come to me to build up trust. It takes longer, but my rats are no longer scared of me and don't go into a mad flurry of feet when they're picked up now.

Hopefully someone more experienced can give you a definite answer and some tips as a solution.

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