How Do I Make My New Pet Rat Friendly & Teach Her To Use The Water Bottle?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 20, 2009 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

I have not seen my new pet rat eat anything yet and she is shy, how can I make her more friendly and show her how to drink from the water bottle?

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  • Robert says:

    First off always get two its war better for thier socail life. I do the same paintdr does but if you have a older companion that has been lonely a while like me n the first day after a few hours put your old one in a ball and put your new one on the ground let them see each other to know that there not enemy’s then put the new one back in for a few days and the water bottle things she/he know how to use it but there just shy ounce thet get used to ther cage theyll drink from it. ps if your old compainion is been alone a while put the new rat in a seprate cage so they dont fight otherwise if they do the new smaller one could get hurt or killed.

  • paintedr says:

    The first day or two after bringing home a new rat, you should leave her alone in the cage for her to get adjusted to her new home. Then, talk to her, and feed her food from your hands. Pet her. Never try to pick her up too soon.
    Once you’re able to handle her, consider taking her to the vet clinic for an overall health check-up. I do this with all my rats, and I take them back annually to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is found.
    If you handle her, a huge sign to watch out for, is when the rat looks at you, and lifts her front paw. That usually means there’s going to be a bite, if you don’t back off.
    They’ll figure out the water bottle whenever they get thirsty. My male rat can go all day without drinking or eat, so don’t worry about it. Most likely, she’ll move around and eat/drink while you’re asleep.
    If you have a female rat, consider purchasing another to keep her company. They’re very active, and prefer to be in pairs.
    Males are different. They might accept a cage mate, but they’re fine being alone, as well.
    P.S. Someone above me said that if she bites, there’s nothing to be done. Not true. Many just haven’t been handled, and they WILL learn to trust you. I had one rat who was aggressive for 2 yrs, but I was able to handle him without being harmed.

  • Ellymae says:

    how long have you had her? she might be getting used to a new envoirment. as for the water bottle, put a little jam or honey on the tip until she’s learned how. hold her and pet her and play with her!

  • Mommycal says:

    does she have a cage mate? if not get her one. a happy rat is one that has you and also a same sex friend. shove her up a sweater and let her run around and sleep in it.

  • Eudora says:

    None of mine had a problem finding the water when they wanted it.
    To make them friendly, talk softly, and reassure it. Make sure you hold and pet your little sweetie a lot. That is very important. It’s just scared and in unfamiliar territory.
    It shouldn’t take too long before it responds to you. It may take a little extra time for one that’s more reserved and shy. But it Will respond to love and attention.
    Good luck, Love. And congrats on your newest little friend!

  • Kaska says:

    You just have to handle her until she settles down.
    Place a small water dish under the drip spout. She will eventually get the idea to use the water bottle.

  • black_no says:

    I love rats and have kept them for years. You made a wise choice getting one as they’re so intelligent, loyal and clean.
    Anyway, enough of that.
    I’m assuming that you bought her from a pet shop and therefore the shock of moving to new surroundings will be quite something for her to deal with.
    It is not unusual for rats to be a bit withdrawn in the first few days, but they gradually come out of their shell.
    With regard to overcoming her shyness, i would advise leaving her for the first few days to adjust and then try to tempt her out with a treat (ham, chicken). Talk to her in a soft voice whilst she eats and keep doing this for a few days. She will soon learn that coming out to see you is a good thing. This will also get her used to your smell which she will use to recognise you.
    Once she appears calm around you pick her up by sliding your hand under her belly and lifting her whole body. You can also pick them up around their shoulders, which allows you to place your thumb under her jaw to stop getting nipped.
    The water bottle is not a problem. Rats don’t drink a great deal especially if they are being fed with succulent fruits as a treat. If the water level still isn’t going down in a day or so try placing a small ceramic pet dish with water into her cage. Some rats just don’t grasp the water bottle idea…my rat Ronnie refused to drink from it, whilst his brother Reggie had no trouble at all.
    One last thought…although treats will be favoured by your rat she should always be fed on a complete rat food from the pet shop. Hay can be given for extra fibre. And the other thing that i would advise is not to use sawdust as a floor covering. It has now been linked to respiratory disease as they cannot cope with the volume of dust. Have a look around for alternatives (your pet store will be able to recommend one.)
    Hope this helps.

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