Advice on new rats...

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Advice on new rats...

Post by Chri » Wed, 20 Mar 2002 08:27:55



Hello!  I recently bought 2 small rats from a pet store(I couldn't find a
breeder listed that was close.)  I am not all that knowledgable on them but I
believe they are called Russian blue rats.  They are both males.  We have had
them for about a week and they are terribly skiddish when trying to be picked
up out of their cage or held in one's hands.  They settle down after we hold
them in our laps as long as they can hide in a fold of clothing or something.  
  I guess my question, is what steps can and should be taken to tame them and
for them to feel comfortable, and how long does this take?  Any other
suggestions  on their care or do's and don'ts would be appreciated.  

Chris

 
 
 

Advice on new rats...

Post by Marion Scheffel » Wed, 20 Mar 2002 16:41:45



Quote:
>  I guess my question, is what steps can and should be taken to tame them and
>for them to feel comfortable, and how long does this take?

Have patience with them. Just leaving them hidden in a fold of your
clothing is a good start. As soon they will feel safe there they're
going to get curious about the world outside.
You also can help them getting used to you with giving them a worn tee
for their cage to sleep in.

MarionS
--

"To be is to do." - Camus
"To do is to be. " - Sartre
"Do be do be do." - Sinatra

 
 
 

Advice on new rats...

Post by Chri » Thu, 21 Mar 2002 08:18:00


Quote:


> >  I guess my question, is what steps can and should be taken to tame them and
> >for them to feel comfortable, and how long does this take?

> Have patience with them. Just leaving them hidden in a fold of your
> clothing is a good start. As soon they will feel safe there they're
> going to get curious about the world outside.
> You also can help them getting used to you with giving them a worn tee
> for their cage to sleep in.

> MarionS

  Thanks for the response.  I hadn't thought of the 'worn tee' idea,
but it sounds like a good one.

Chris

 
 
 

Advice on new rats...

Post by Deb » Sat, 23 Mar 2002 11:32:01


Hi, Chris. About 6 weeks ago I bought 2 female baby rats from a pet
store. They were about 4 wks. old when I got them. They, too, were
kinda skittish at first & hid in their nest box a lot.

What helped -- give them lots of 'treats' out of your hand/fingers.
Small bits of cheese, bread, crackers, cooked pasta (spaghetti,
macaroni) w/out sauce on it, a little meat, carrots, Cheerios, etc.
Small bits are about thie size of a pencil eraser or smaller. Talk to
them as you feed them. Let them run back into the nest box with their
treats if they wish. The more you do this the quicker they will become
tame. Every time you enter the room say some key phrase (I use "Hi,
ratties") as you gently tap/shake on their cage & get ready to hand
out the treats. You can gradually increase the distance that they must
come out or towards you to get their treat. If you let them smell it
first, that won't be a problem.

Now mine are*** on the bars of their cage the minute I enter the
bedroom!! They are *shameless* beggers! You would never know they
hadn't been with people since birth!

deb c.

Quote:

> Hello!  I recently bought 2 small rats from a pet store

 
 
 

Advice on new rats...

Post by Chri » Sun, 24 Mar 2002 04:33:01


Thanks Deb, for the advice.  I was also wondering, about picking them
up.  Should I just wait until they get used to me picking them up and
walk into my hand, or should I scoop them out of the cage as they try
to run away(which I've been doing.)  Thanks again

Chris

 
 
 

Advice on new rats...

Post by Deb » Mon, 25 Mar 2002 06:50:49


Well, Chris I think it depends. If they're really RUNNING away from
your hand & actively trying to avoid getting 'caught' I would say just
give them a couple more weeks to get used to taking treats from your
hand & then start trying to coax them onto your hand with treats. Mine
when I got them would just run into the nest box & kinda wait for me
to reach in & grab them. They weren't trying to run around the cage to
avoid being caught. Now if they're still in the box when I want them I
try to coax them out with treats. If they're out in the cage already I
can just pick them up.
Quote:

> Thanks Deb, for the advice.  I was also wondering, about picking them
> up.  Should I just wait until they get used to me picking them up and
> walk into my hand, or should I scoop them out of the cage as they try
> to run away(which I've been doing.)  Thanks again

> Chris

 
 
 

Advice on new rats...

Post by Chri » Mon, 25 Mar 2002 10:38:15


Quote:

> Well, Chris I think it depends. If they're really RUNNING away from
> your hand & actively trying to avoid getting 'caught' I would say just
> give them a couple more weeks to get used to taking treats from your
> hand & then start trying to coax them onto your hand with treats. Mine
> when I got them would just run into the nest box & kinda wait for me
> to reach in & grab them. They weren't trying to run around the cage to
> avoid being caught. Now if they're still in the box when I want them I
> try to coax them out with treats. If they're out in the cage already I
> can just pick them up.

  I can put my hand in and pet them just fine.  They are also now
taking sunflower seeds from my hand.  But when I reach down to pick
them up, and they know I am, they scurry away.  I get them out every
day and let them run around and stuff and they do fine.  But when it's
time to pick them up again, they don't like it.  I guess I wouldn't
either.  I was just wondering if there would come a time when they
would walk into my hand or if I would always have to kinda grab them
and lift them out.

Chris

 
 
 

Advice on new rats...

Post by Tiger Sp » Mon, 25 Mar 2002 11:53:40




Quote:
>  I can put my hand in and pet them just fine.  They are also now
>taking sunflower seeds from my hand.  But when I reach down to pick
>them up, and they know I am, they scurry away.  I get them out every
>day and let them run around and stuff and they do fine.  But when it's
>time to pick them up again, they don't like it.  I guess I wouldn't
>either.  I was just wondering if there would come a time when they
>would walk into my hand or if I would always have to kinda grab them
>and lift them out.

When one of my rats, Eris, wants to get onto me or the desk, she'll
come over and stand up on my foot, then wait for me to put down a hand
to climb on.  Metis refuses to trust her weight to anything that she's
not absolutely completely sure is solid, and therefore will not climb
onto a hand.  She'll put her front paws on it, but then I have to grab
and lift.  So, Your Rats May Vary.

-- Theresa
tiger_spot(at)mail.utexas.edu

 
 
 

Advice on new rats...

Post by Chri » Tue, 26 Mar 2002 00:38:49


Quote:
> When one of my rats, Eris, wants to get onto me or the desk, she'll
> come over and stand up on my foot, then wait for me to put down a hand
> to climb on.  Metis refuses to trust her weight to anything that she's
> not absolutely completely sure is solid, and therefore will not climb
> onto a hand.  She'll put her front paws on it, but then I have to grab
> and lift.  So, Your Rats May Vary.

> -- Theresa
> tiger_spot(at)mail.utexas.edu

  That makes sense.  I'll just continue to work with them, but grab
and lift them out when I want to get them out of their aquarium.
That's another thing.  They are living in an aquarium, so they can't
just walk out of a cage door.  They have to be lifted out.

Chris

 
 
 

Advice on new rats...

Post by Marion Scheffel » Tue, 26 Mar 2002 06:33:52



Quote:
> But when I reach down to pick
>them up, and they know I am, they scurry away.

The first time I never grab my rats from top, I lift them with the
open hand like with a fork. This way they won't panic. They keep
jumping away at first, but they learn that I will get on their nerves
till I have got them. And after I got them in the end, they will get
stroked and hugged.
The older rats know that I sometimes grab them with both my hands, one
left and one right, so that they're held warm and convenient. They get
huggend and then set back exactly to the spot I grabbed them from.

MarionS
--

"To be is to do." - Camus
"To do is to be. " - Sartre
"Do be do be do." - Sinatra

 
 
 

Advice on new rats...

Post by Chri » Wed, 27 Mar 2002 05:49:38


Quote:
> The first time I never grab my rats from top, I lift them with the
> open hand like with a fork. This way they won't panic. They keep
> jumping away at first, but they learn that I will get on their nerves
> till I have got them. And after I got them in the end, they will get
> stroked and hugged.
> The older rats know that I sometimes grab them with both my hands, one
> left and one right, so that they're held warm and convenient. They get
> huggend and then set back exactly to the spot I grabbed them from.

> MarionS

  Thanks that makes a lot of sense to me.  I just need to take more
time with them and get them used to being scooped up like that.

Chris