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To rehome pet rats?

(114 Posts)
dragonflys Sat 07-Oct-17 18:02:13

We purchased 2 rats from pets at home and they were obviously scared when arrived home. We left them for a week to settle and tried to tame them. They were awful, constantly nipping and biting and hiding away when near cage. I did assume it was because of the way they were bred.

We got them for 11 year old DD and she is now scared of them as they bit her and she doesn't like the smell.

I always thought rats were supposed to be friendly?

Anyway, they seem unhappy and still scared when I go near the cage. I clean them out as DD wanted to play with them and can't and they are now never handled.

I don't know if they'd ever get rehomed but I feel a rescue could work with them.

It the best thing to do isn't it?

TurquoiseChevrotain Sat 07-Oct-17 18:06:29

I doubt they're happy where they are.

I hate people rehoming animals though. You should have done more research really.

DJBaggySmalls Sat 07-Oct-17 18:11:06

You cant return them to pets at home.
Your DD doesnt sound like she is cut out for keeping animals so don't buy her any more, no matter how much she begs for one and promises to look after it.

TurquoiseChevrotain Sat 07-Oct-17 18:11:50

The thing is @DJBaggySmalls an 11 year old is never going to be completely responsible for an animal. It isn't her fault.

Pengggwn Sat 07-Oct-17 18:12:44

Probably very stressed and have been subject to either overhandling or rough handling. I wouldn't rehome them, I would give them a bigger cage, places to hide, toys and lots of stimulation, then I would buy fire gloves and handle them regularly and gently.

dragonflys Sat 07-Oct-17 18:12:57

I can return them to the shop? Really? It's been a while.

DD asked for a dog. We thought a rodent would be a good compromise... That's an error on our part.

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Sat 07-Oct-17 18:13:14

Pets at home are awful, the rats aren't handled at all, and they can be sitting there in those glass boxes for weeks waiting for a home. You could take them back but you don't know what will happen to them then.

I've had rats from PaH before, only one of them was friendly and needed a lot of handling. None of them lasted much over a year either, they all got random lumps.

If you get more rats in the future, look on Facebook for groups, there are some really good breeders out there. If you're south east area I can give you the details of a really good one.

Never buy an animal from pets at home again.

SpareChangeDownTheSofa Sat 07-Oct-17 18:14:08

How long have you had them and how long/often have you been handling them?

Do you wash your hands before you pick them up? If they can smell food on your hand they're more likely to bite. What type of cage do you have? Especially since they never get to come out of it.

I agree that your daughter doesn't seem cut out for pets and you shouldn't get her anymore.

Wolfiefan Sat 07-Oct-17 18:15:19

Never buy an animal for a child.
You're the adult. You need to take responsibility. Get them being used to handling.
It's not a bloody bag. You're not supposed to pass it on or return it if it's not quite what you wanted.

dragonflys Sat 07-Oct-17 18:15:22

They were biting out of fear as they jumped and bit. It wasn't because they could smell food. They're rather evil little things!

Cage is a rat cage so fairly large.

Have had them 3 months now. We haven't handled them for about 2.

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Sat 07-Oct-17 18:19:36

If you've not handled them for two months it might be best if you rehomed them, tbh.

ProfessorCat Sat 07-Oct-17 18:22:59

They're not evil. They've been bred unethically. They're frightened and untrained.

Sorry, but that's what you get when you buy from somewhere like Pets at Home and not a decent breeder.

Please don't get any more animals.

ilovesooty Sat 07-Oct-17 18:27:21

Please never have a pet again. You aren't fit to own one.

throwinshapes Sat 07-Oct-17 18:29:49

Never ever buy from PaH. They have an appalling record for animal care.

Glumglowworm Sat 07-Oct-17 18:32:18

They're not evil ffs! They're scared.

They've been bred for profit and badly handled by PaH and you.

Really don't get any pets again! It was always stupid to get them as an "easy option" and not think you have to put any effort into caring for them and training them

CheshireChat Sat 07-Oct-17 18:33:26

But they'll never be friendly if you don't bother handling them! You've basically seriously neglected them 2 out of the three months you've had them.

As a side note, at my PaH the rats are always uber friendly and clearly recognise the staff so I expect it depends on the people working there.

snotato Sat 07-Oct-17 18:38:05

But they'll never be friendly if you don't bother handling them! You've basically seriously neglected them 2 out of the three months you've had them.

I second this what cheshirechat said.
You need to handle them regularly to get them used to people.
Rats are such lovely sweet pets.they're not evil.
Yours just haven't had the right amount of handling.

snotato Sat 07-Oct-17 18:38:51

*they're NOT evil.

PNGirl Sat 07-Oct-17 18:42:29

Most Pets at Home have a rehoming centre. Homes4Pets or something? I would rehome them because you need to know what you are doing with rats and you clearly don't. They're not like guinea pigs or hamsters.

You need to handle them confidently, trust train them to come to you with treats. I bet they're girls? Boys are cuddlier and squishier whereas girls are skittish.

I had one group of 4 who we never did manage to tame but we used a box to get them in and out of their cage for runs and they were quite happy. The rest were easy to win over.

RantyMare Sat 07-Oct-17 18:42:58

You don't sound as if you know anything about rats op, which is puzzling when you've bought them!

Don't get any more pets.
Go on a local fb group for rodents/small animals rehoming and see if you can find them a decent home with someone who has experience/knowledge and enthusiasm.

U2HasTheEdge Sat 07-Oct-17 18:44:12

Rats are amazingly friendly when well handled.

I did get a rat from PaH and he was scared. I got him a rat pouch and wore it round my neck every evening. In a few days he crept out to say hello but quickly hid again. Within 10 days he was very friendly and took to trying to groom me grin

If you want friendly rats you need to put the work in. The pouch is a good idea, they get used to your smell and voice and can come out and explore or hide at their own comfort.

You can't leave them then expect them to be tame.

I tamed 4 ferrets, now that was fun!

CarrieBradshaw85 Sat 07-Oct-17 18:44:15

Animals are not evil, they are innocent and bite etc in defence. Like humans they need proper time,care and attention.

HoneyBoo269 Sat 07-Oct-17 18:44:28

Doesn't like the smell? In the nicest way OP, this is where prior research to getting a pet comes in, it's pretty basic knowledge that rats are very smelly pets. I've had several over the years & even with daily toilet area cleaning they still smell, males more so.

Any small animal that comes from pets at home needs a huge amount of taming, as they're simply not held enough whilst in the shop. They're not "evil", they're frightened. Once tame, rats are extremely gentle & only bite when it's the last resort.

I don't normally encourage people to rehome animals, but considering they've not been held in 2 months I think it would be the best idea. Please don't give them back to pets at home - another family will only buy them to have the same problem & the cycle will begin again. Give them to a rescue, somewhere like Wood Green, where they will be socialised & held to the point they are tame & more rehomeable.

I'd hold out on getting another pet for the mean time too. They are time consuming, & if you're not interested in putting the work in its unfair on the animal.

Steeley113 Sat 07-Oct-17 18:44:43

Rats need proper handling and lots of patience if you have a nervous pair. You need to be going to the cage and gently talking to them regularly, putting your hands in, not to grab but to offer food or for them to sniff. There is plenty of information out there on how to tame rats! They're lovely pets if you give them the time. My old pair used to sit on my shoulder while I did the cleaning and often free-roamed round my house in the evening. Keeping them shut in is cruel!

isadoradancing123 Sat 07-Oct-17 18:46:47

Omg why didn't you buy her something normal like a kitten

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