I adopted two pet rats about a month ago from the feeder bin at my local pet store. Rats are prey animals so you really have to work hard at developing trust, however, they are pretty smart and VERY food motivated so it's not an impossible goal with a little bit of patience and time.
It was around week 3 of bringing them home when this story starts. They had just started learning to trust me. They were running around the room when I let them out, coming back to me for treats, letting me give them head scratches -- all the good stuff.
And then my university had a week-ish long vacation so I left my apartment to go visit my parents for a few days. I gave the ratties plenty of food and water and left the heat on.
"Three or four days won't make them forget that I'm a friend," I thought.
"I'll bring lots of yummy treats and then they'll love me again," I thought.
"I'm basically their adoptive rat mom how could they forsake me," I thought.
Fast forward. I've been back with them for a week now and they're still acting like I'm trying to eat them. They'll take marshmallows from my hand but ONLY because it's marshmallows. Sugar is as addictive as cocaine to humans, and rats are just small furry victimized humans with trust issues. So basically the only way I can get them to come out of their nests and approach me is through some kind of pure uncut sugar-stuffs.
If my rats had a facebook page their latest update would probably be something like "Friendship with cauliquackers ended. Marshmallows and darkness are my best friends now."
Pls rats, why won't u love me.
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