How to Bond With Your Pet Rat

Two Methods:BasicsTechniques

Rats are great pets, and are extremely intelligent. Gaining the trust, and the bond of your rat is extremely important. There are different ways to bond with your rat. This how-to will tell you a couple of different ways.

Method 1

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    Start young! Rats are social creatures and will learn to interact with you like they do with others of their kind. The younger they are the stronger your personal bond will be.
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    Make sure the rat feels comfortable in its environment. If it is scared of its surroundings it will be wary of you. Loud noises, other animals,and quick movements can be disturbing. Remember, they are smaller than you and will interpret more things as threatening.
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    Make sure to speak softly, using your rat's name often. Let them get used to your scent and voice by calmly holding out your hand and speaking gently. Let them sniff your hand and get used to its presence. Once it seems comfortable try moving your hand slowly across the floor towards it. Stroke him gently on the head behind the ears. This is similar to the way they groom one another.
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    Make sure you pick him up properly. NEVER pick up a rat from the scruff of its neck, it will hurt them. Instead, scoop them up with two hands. One hand's fingers should go over their back at the base of their head while the thumb goes beneath the armpits and across the chest. Meanwhile the other hand should support it's bottom. Remember, ALWAYS support it's bottom! Only pick rats up by their tail if you must. When you do, make sure to pick them up by the base of the tail, and then immediately support their body.
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    After you have them either put them on your shoulder (only do this with mature rats, the young ones can't hold on) or hold them in both arms like a doll. They will squirm at first but they will get used to it if you are gentle.

Method 2

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    Sit in your bathtub with your rat. Make sure that there is no water, and that the tub is dry. If you want, put some towels on the floor of the tub. Put the internal curtain over the edge and inside the tub. You want to do this because rats can jump up to 3 feet (0.9 m) high, and you don't not want your rat to escape. Let your rat run around the tub, and climb on you. Talk to your rat in a soft voice.
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    If you have a large closet or a spare room in your house, this is a great place to bond. Make sure that all doors are closed, all cords are off the ground, all electric outlets are covered, and that all air ducts are covered. Basically, if it seems dangerous, rat-proof it. Let your rat run around the room. Find some boxes and fill them with old rags, so your rat can hide and explore. Make sure to interact with your rat.
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    Find an over sized sweatshirt or t-shirt. Rats love to hide. Let your rat run around in the shirt. Your rat will get used to your scent.


  • Put a washcloth or a plug over the drain. You don't want any little ratty toes getting stuck, or broken.
  • Wear another shirt underneath your over sized t-shirt or sweatshirt; rat claws can hurt.
  • All of these bonding techniques work with more that one rat at a time.
  • Be sure to supply them with treats such as many fruits and vegetables and others.


  • When you have your rat out, make sure that your room is rat proof.
  • Trust your instinct. If your rat is too wild to be let loose in a room, don't let him/her run around.

Article Info

Categories: Mice and Rats