How Can I Make My Shy Pet Rat More Social?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 19, 2009 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

I have two female pet rats. One of them doesn’t mind at all when I pick her up, and never struggles. The other, however, runs from my hand and squeals and struggles when I pick her up. I let them both run around the room, but she will crawl up into her cage again and stay there.
I’ve been handling her everyday, talking to her, picking her up and giving her treats while I’m holding her…
Any suggestions from other rat owners or gurus?

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  • Sarcasm's BFF says:

    i agree with the previous answer. it may just be her personality. but, do you know her background? maybe she was abused or mistreated by humans before you got her?
    It’s good for her to get out of her cage, so if you’re really worried about it, you could just shut the cage door or something, i guess.

  • ClaireBe says:

    I don’t have that much experience with rats, I’ve only ever owned two. But I would say you’re doing everything right, so maybe it’s just her personality. Rats have really distinct personalities, she might just be independent. She might like riding on your shoulder though, my rat Nigel never really likes being held, but he totally loves riding on my shoulder and snuggling up in my hair. It’s a good way to bond with them, too.
    But it’s probably good to get her out of her cage, so maybe when she hides in there during playtime you can put some tasty treats on the ground outside of her cage to coax her out. Or you could put out a different kind of shelter, like a cardboard box, for her to go in so she can at least have some time out of her cage without feeling vulnerable out in the open.

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