How To Know If Your Rat Has Bonded With You

Bonding with your pet rats can be a rewarding experience. It shouldn’t be too hard to tell when they have bonded with you, but it can be confusing if you’re not familiar with normal pet rat behavior.

So how do I know if your pet rat has bonded with you?

It’s easy to recognize when your pet rat has bonded with you. They no longer feel threatened by you being around them and will even come up to you when you come near them.

Rats like most rodents can get scared easily. You’ll notice that after you’ve created a bond with them, they’ll be less likely to run every time they hear you coming.

Signs Your Pet Rat Is Bonding With You

Once your pet rat has bonded with you, they will actively try to get your attention to do a number of activities, such as cuddling or playing.

Some of them will even let you hold them in your hands with no trouble at all, even to the point of falling asleep as you pet them.

Your little friend will also accept any treats you want to give them by hand, something that simply doesn’t happen if you haven’t bonded yet.

Ultimately, you will realize when your pet rat has bonded with you because of the obvious behavior change.

Your pet rat will be no longer scared of you and they’ll feel less stress when you’re around. At this point, it’ll be easier to share plenty of quality time with them.

How Long Does It Take For A Pet Rat To Get Used To You?

While there is no specific timeline, pet rats will usually get used to you anywhere from around a few days to a few weeks. It mostly depends on the personality of the pet rat.

All rats are social, but some are more social and caring while others can act slightly distant.

So as long as you are not invading their personal space and stressing them out all the time, it’ll be easier for your pet rat to get used to you.

After the time to get used to you has passed, your pet rats will have no problem with showing you affection. Once that short window is over, you can begin to try to actually bond more intimately with your pets.

How Long Does It Take For A Pet Rat To Bond With You?

After your pet rat gets used to you they’ll start bonding with you. When it comes to how long it takes for a pet rat to bond with you, it again can take up to a few weeks.

But there are different levels of bonding, and the more time you spend with them the more you’ll bond.

Remember that every pet rat has a personality of its own and you should respect it.

Each pet rat is different. So it might take a little longer to bond with one pet rat, while with another, you might bond right away.

Keep in mind your pet rat might have bonded with you already. But if they just had an environment change it might not seem like it because they aren’t used to their surroundings yet.

So even though they love you, they might be too stressed to play, cuddle, or eat food if you change environments or introduce new people or other rats to them.

Pet rats are sensitive animals and should be treated like so, even after you have bonded.

What Is The Best Way To Bond With Your Pet Rat?

There are several ways you can use to bond with your pet rat. The most important thing is to be patient though.

Pet rats take their time to bond with their owners. Trying to force this will only make it harder, and will be stressful for both you and your rodent friend.

When you first bring your pet rat home, give them a little space. Changing homes is extremely stressful for a pet rat. Ease their stress with some treats.

Leave them in their cage and walk away, letting your friend eat alone. After a couple of days, start introducing treats by placing them in your hand instead of leaving them in the cage.

That way they will associate you with the good feeling of eating a tasty treat.

Once that’s going well, try to hold your pet rat in your hand. Place a treat in your palm and invite them to stand there. If they do, use your other hand to pet them.

If they show no sign of stress, bring them out and place them on your lap. Give them another treat in order to reinforce that behavior.

Eventually, start to faze out the constant treats but still give them one every once in a while.

Don’t just focus on them staying in your hand or lap, you should also spend some time near their cage.

Talk to them and play games with them there as well. The more time you spend with your pet rats, the more you’ll bond.

Just remember to pay attention to how they react and walk away if they seem to be feeling stressed.

Normal Pet Rat Behavior Before Bonding

Rodents are easily scared. They will try to escape and hide when faced with anything they think is a threat.

Because of this, their first response towards a human they don’t know and haven’t bonded with yet would be to flee. This is normal.

Simply put, a pet rat that hasn’t bonded with their owner will try to escape, even if it means running around the cage trying to find somewhere to hide with no avail.

If hiding doesn’t work, rodents will try to appear as small as possible in order to disappear from their perceived threat’s line of sight.

That’s not the only thing they will try. Even though escaping is their go-to strategy, rodents will sometimes try to go on the offensive and attack whoever they are facing.

They’ll do this by scratching, biting, and hissing at what they think is a threat.

Both trying to attack you and trying to escape from you are a result of stress. Pet rats will also react to stress by grinding their teeth.

They will also pee and poop more than usual in a stressful situation. So it’s best to be patient when trying to bond with a pet rat to avoid any unnecessary stress.

Will A Pet Rat Always Bond With Their Owner?

Even though pet rats will usually bond with their owner, this is not always the case.

Rodents are wonderful, interesting animals, and they’re also unique. That means each pet rat is different, with distinct qualities and personalities.

You might do everything right to bond with your pet rat and your pet rat won’t behave as you have bonded at all. This isn’t your fault. Some pet rats aren’t that friendly to humans.

This doesn’t mean the distant kind of pet rat shouldn’t receive any love, they just want to be loved differently.

In most cases though, it’ll be easy to create that bond with your pet rat, so there’s not much to worry about.

Even if it seems like you and your pet rat aren’t getting along, still give it some time.

Your pet rat might just take a little longer to bond with you, and that’s natural.


Hi, I'm Mason, I've kept small animals as pets since I was 8 years old. I love to learn and talk about them basically every day. Over the years I've adopted small pets like hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs.

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