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Are they affectionate?

Eek is very affectionate. Every afternoon, upon arriving home from work, Eek is eagerly awaiting to be let out of her cage. She leaps from the cage into my lap, snuggles into my sweatshirt or sweater, flips over on her back, and awaits to be petted. As long as she's being scratched on the belly, chest, under the chin, behind the ears and along her back, she'll stay in that position joyously soaking it all in. Eek even likes to have her feet fondled. Often she grabs onto a finger with her forelegs and licks away at it. If the petting stops, Eek will even sometimes butt her head at a hand like a cat, indicating that she would like more please. This sweet loving-the-Eek ritual happens several times every day.

Scribble is also affectionate, but in more of an aloof manner. Scribble is timid about leaving her cage, and it can take several minutes before she's willing to step out on her own. Once in a lap, her energies are focused on exploring, climbing all over, including on top of the head, and looking into everywhere. She does frequently lick fingers, hand or other exposed skin, which is a sign of rat affection, but usually in a "drive by" manner while she is on the move to someplace else. Scribble allows herself to be petted and touched - she prefers a softer, gentler stroke than Eek - as she explores, but she won't stop for such attentions, nor does she seek it out. She is more fond of having her belly stroked than her back. She also likes to hide inside a shirt front, often up towards a shoulder, and sometimes can be enticed to brux in happiness while being petted through the fabric.

Some of this behavior may be because Scribble is female. Apparently female Norwegian rats are restless explorers. And some of Scribble's behavior may be due to her being raised in a pet store, with a pile of other baby rats (there were something like 18 babies attached to this one poor nursing female!), and limited human handling. Scribble, through lots of focused effort towards her, has become more comfortable around people, and may yet still begin to enjoy handling more.

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Faq | by Dr. Radut