How can I get my Roof Rat to bond with me?

Roof rats are prey animals.  In the wild, almost everything else bigger than them wants to eat them.  For a Roof Rat, the world is a dangerous place.

That means that they are instinctually wary of new people and situations.  In the wild, this defensive behaviour helps keep them safe.  But, as a new pet, that is something you will need to overcome to get them to trust you, bond with you and love you.  That’s why we invented the Snuggle Hammock, which helps your rats feel safe while you socialize and bond with them.

Rats have another powerful instinct: they love to eat!  And you control the food.  Feeding them helps them to realize that you mean them no harm; in fact, you are the source of their happiness.

Before we were sure that our rats were genetically tame, we socialized our baby Roof Rats when they were just starting to eat solid food, but still eager to drink milk and willing to be hand fed by us.  We were effectively mothering them, so they bonded with us very easily.


Now our roof rats are genetically tame, so we no longer need to hand feed them.  Which is great, because that was really a lot of work!

When you get yours home, you should also use food to bond with them.  Get some unsalted nuts: almonds are a very good choice, as are cashew nuts.  Then, once or twice a day, offer each rat a nut and let them take it from you.  Every so often, try coaxing them out of the cage with the nut.  At some point, hopefully they will start to accept the nut from you while they are on your arm or shoulder.  Once they trust you enough to eat while sitting on your shoulder, then you know that this rat is your buddy!

If you don’t have any nuts, don’t worry: rats will eat almost anything tasty!