Some helpful tips for working with wild rats (or any poorly socialized new rat):

 

I originally put up this page for the benefit of those adopting some 1/2 and 1/4 wild rats that I was trying to find homes for, however, most of this information will be useful in working with any poorly socialized rat, such as you might find through rescue, or from a petstore.

 

Rats that are 3/4s domestic rat and 1/4 wild rat, still have some very strong wild rat characteristics and behaviours.  Most notably, they have retained the wild rat instinct to become startled and flee at the slightest provocation.  Most domestic rats have lost this instinct to some degree, whereas a wild rat depends on this heightened instinct to stay alive.  This tendency will lessen over time as they become accustomed to you and to their new surroundings. 

 

In the meantime, you will need to take extra precautions to ensure that they canít get into any danger should they ďescapeĒ during out of cage play time.  Make sure there is nowhere they can hide where you canít reach them, and take special care to ensure that they canít get outside or into cracks in the wall.  You will also want to make sure there are no poisonous plants, toxic substances or electrical wires they can chew, and that there are no potentially predatory pets; dogs, cats, ferrets, etc in the room.  (This is all good advice when dealing with any pet rat!)

 

You may also notice that it takes a bit longer for a ľ wild rat to become used to you, itís new surroundings, and new cagemates, but if you are patient and willing to take things slowly, these rats should still make interesting pets. 

 

You will find the following links helpful to gain the trust of these special babies, or any new rat. 

 

 

Trust Training for frightened rats:

 

http://members.shaw.ca/ratanist/Susans_rat_socializing_techniqu.htm

 

http://www.joinrats.com

 

Introductions to other rats:

 

http://www.ratfanclub.org/newrat.html

 

The following articles on wild rat behavior may also be of interest:

 

http://www.ratbehavior.org/WildRats.htm

 

http://members.madasafish.com/~cj_whitehound/Rats_Nest/Norway_Rats/Wild.htm

 

 

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