So on Sunday my girlfriend and I, having done a bit of research, decided to go pickup a pair of rats. We ended up with two boys, one 6-8 weeks, one 12 weeks. We've followed the advice that literally every rat owner website has given us, but tehre are a few things that are concerning me. First off, the younger rat - Pip. He literally will not come closer to us than our finger tips. If we offer him a treat from our hand, unless we hold it and put it next to his mouth he will not take it. Even if it's only 2 inches onto our hand, he'll simply look at it for a few seconds before backing off. He's very nippy as well, generally it's very cute but I'm aware of the implications it has. We haven't and will continue to not feed him through the cage, but still he is continually nipping our fingers. I've yet to pick him up as I believe it probably only scare him more at this stage. Secondly, the 12 week - Jeb. As a slightly older rat I expected problems, but it was literally a love at first scenario so we disregarded our concerns and took him anyway. He is less timid than Pip. He'll happily extend his front paws onto our hand either to take food or to just have a sniff around, and has once been bold enough to fully climb onto the back of my hand. Picking him up is possible, but he occasionally squeaks (which I've read is not a good sign) and very regularly defecates whilst being held, or while simply out of the cage. If given the chance to roam even slightly he will make for the nearest hiding place where he's had to be coerced out of or, if in range, straight back into his cage. Again I've read that this is all because he hasn't been handled enough, but in the store the shop assistant handled him without any of these problems so perhaps we are doing something wrong? What is most concerning above all else is Jeb's sneezing. Every 30 seconds or so he utters a little sound that very closely resembles sneezing in a human, but to be honest I've read nothing about this and am thus clueless. I didn't notice this in the shop, but it seems to mainly occur when the little guy is breathing heavily due to excitement/stress. I'm using only recommended materials for bedding and flooring so would like to think allergies could be crossed off the list. Any and all help is remarkably appreciated at this stage. If I hadn't read any articles I'd assume this was all just "early days" jitters, but alas. D: Edit: On the plus side of things, despite not being litter mates the two seem to be getting along relatively well. They sleep together, haven't had any violent encounters. They tend to steal food from one another though, is that normal? Also, a slightly less worrying issue. My 18 month old cat, mario, is absolutley terrified of Pip and Jeb. Is there anything I can do to make him less afraid of them without endangering any animal in the process?