monkey m asked in PetsRodents · 1 decade ago

What should i do in order for my rat to feel comfortable with me?

I have now had Klink for probably over two months and still he hasn't trusted me enough to let me hold him. he just sprints away when i try to. I open up the cage and he comes and looks out the door to it. he smells my fingers for a bit and sometimes tastes something that i had earlier and licks them, but just doesn't like to get picked up. and, he has these moods about me moving. like sometimes when im getting up in the morning he'll sprint around in fear, but then other times he doesn't. i try to give him treats and make him feel comfortable, but he just takes them away and eats them.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    As stated in two separate responses, do get him a friend. Rats do far better with one another than alone. There's simply no good reason to have a lone rat. See this: I'd encourage this even more so with him being so untrusting. Rats are followers. They'll do what the "alpha" rat does and will try anything another rat will if they find the other rat doesn't get hurt from it. This is why a friend is a good idea. If your current rat sees his buddy is not fearful of you, he'll be more apt to come out to play as well. Two rats are braver than one and will try new things if they have their friend around.

    If you do get another rat (again, I strongly encourage you to get him a friend), please read up on proper quarantine procedures. If you forgo quarantine you could end up with two very sick rats. There are horror stories from individuals that decided quarantine wasn't necessary. Also read up on proper introduction methods. Males are generally harder to introduce to one another (easier if one or both are neutered), but it can be successful 99% of the time.

    Other ways to help: Try sitting on a couch with a blanket over you. This way they get to explore you while at the same time they have somewhere dark to go (that's still touching you) if they need it. Sweatshirts with pockets or hoods also make a great bonding place for them. They can explore you and learn your scent while still feeling safe. A bonding pouch is also a decent option. These can be made yourself or purchased in a pet store. They keep your rat on your person while giving them a "safe" place to be.

    See some trust training exercises here:

    Frequent handling is a sure way to help the skittish rat calm down.

    Feel free to email me with any further questions and please do get your rat a friend!

    EDIT: Be careful of peanut butter! Although having a rat lick something such as yogurt or baby food off of your finger does help the bonding, peanut butter is not something you want to try. This is a choking hazard for rats and should be avoided!

    Good luck!



  • 1 decade ago

    Some rats will never really be social... it depends a lot on how old he is, where you got him from, etc. A rat who is used to humans handling him from the time he was a baby will be more social than a rat who is a bit older who never had human contact or maybe was mistreated.

    A good way to get them to trust you is to give them treats which they have to lick from your fingers, like peanut butter or cream cheese or yogurt, so they can't take the treat & run away with it (just be careful cos he may nip you by accident).

    Also if you have a room you can let him run around in, just sit on the floor and eventually he should run up to investigate you (esp if you have treats lol). Let him run all over you if he wants and be careful of sudden movement at first. That works cos you're not "invading his space" by reaching into the cage, you're letting him come to you.

    Also I would strongly suggest (if you don't already) to get another rat for him to play with, rats are very social with each other and need that company - esp. when their humans can't be with them.

  • 1 decade ago

    You need to get him a friend. His relationship with his friend will not affect his bonding with you. On intros:

    You have to handle him daily. No matter what, take your ratty out a play! A good trick is to wear a sweater and put Klink in your sweater, he will learn to get comfortable around you and bond to your scent, rats take time. Food is not the best way to gain trust, you need to handle your pet.

    Give him time, and handle him lots. Above all, get him a friend. (Male, obviously, you don't want a litter on your hands)

    Source(s): Rat Owner Jorats
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