How to calm a terrified rat

Topics on behaviour, taming, companionship, introductions, and training
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How to calm a terrified rat

Post by Gregg » Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:29 am

I've searched the forums but haven't found any substantive answers...

I have two about one-year-old ratties rescues. They were living in the wild for about a month (according to the reports) and now they have been with me for a month. I can touch them, I can (somehow) take them out of the cage, sometimes I can hold the braver one on my lap.

But both are afraid of everything, and me most of all. When they are running around freely I can't even move because they disappear into the depths of the cage. During the day they listen to what I do, if they eat and I look at them they can immediately run away.
They are trembling, breathing very fast and if one of them is on my hand their heart is beating like crazy. They are healthy, but I wonder if I can calm them down somehow. Mainly because of their little hearts...

They are not aggressive to each other, nor to me - whatever I did to them, they never bit me.

Adopting a tame rat (to show the girls that humans aren't scary) is also on the table but probably after they get used to the new place.

I thought about brewing lemon balm and adding it to the drinker, ferret was given melatonin but to no avail. If you can advise me something (apart from taming, because I spend it about 2-3h a day altogether) I'll be glad to listen and follow.
Above all, I'm concerned with dosage and how to give melissa so as not to overdose them.

Thank you!

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cyber ratty
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Re: How to calm a terrified rat

Post by cyber ratty » Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:55 am

Hi, welcome to the forum Gregg :D

I can't advise on drugging them, it's not something I know anything about, but what sort of taming have you tried? Have you done any intense bonding with them? (i.e. having them in your clothing for at least 20 mins at a time in a separate room from their cage)

Incidentally, if you are going to add a confident rat, I'd recommend adding two. If they are kittens you'd need to add two anyway.

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Re: How to calm a terrified rat

Post by ES1979 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:08 pm

To keep the rats calm it's good to take advantage of the natural curiosity of rodents. They like new things and like to explore and look at them. What's more, these don't have to be complicated objects that you have to buy in a pet store. For each animal something different might work - it can be a piece of paper, a white sheet, a piece of cloth outside the cage, but within reach of paws, a small cardboard box, a roll of toilet paper, a stick or sticks, a piece of board. When choosing items, however, it is important to keep safety rules in mind. Everything that goes into the cage should be safe for the animal. At the same time, everything that goes there will be bitten.

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