Mice

Mice love to observe and explore things in their habitat

Mice are small, furry rodents that have been kept as pets for centuries. They are members of the Muridae family, which includes other popular pet rodents such as hamsters and gerbils. Mice make great family pets because they are relatively low maintenance and can provide hours of entertainment.

Mice are tiny rodents that are native to Europe, Africa and Asia, and are very small, with most only weighing about 1 ounce. They are usually kept as pets, but are not suitable for families with small children because of their small size.

If you’re considering getting a mouse as a pet, there are some things to consider. They’re social animals and should ‘t be kept alone. Because they do better in groups you’ll want to get at least two of them. They also need a cage that is large enough for them to move around in and play.

Mice are very curious creatures, and like to investigate everything in their environment. They’re very fast learners, and will pick up many different behaviors in just a few days. Their ability to learn quickly makes them ideal pets for training and learning tricks.

These animals are very inquisitive, and are happy to interact with their caregivers, and will become attached to their family very quickly. They’re very clean animals, and will groom themselves all the time. Their habitat is another story and should be cleaned regularly.

Mice make great family pets for first-time pet owners. They’re relatively low maintenance and can provide hours of entertainment. With the right care and attention, mice can be a wonderful addition to any family.

When it comes to health, they’re generally very hardy animals. However, they can be prone to certain health problems, so it’s important to keep an eye on them and take them to the vet if you notice any signs of illness.

Mice are very easy to care for and maintain, and need little maintenance. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase, and will usually cost between $5 and $10 per mouse. You can find Mice in pet stores, online retailers, and through breeders. Unless you plan to breed them we recommend making sure all the mice you bring home are the same sex. They are known for their prolific breeding rates.

Overall, Mice make great pets for first-time pet owners. They are relatively low maintenance and can provide hours of entertainment. With the right care and attention, Mice can be a wonderful addition to any family. From providing them with a stimulating environment to giving them plenty of love and affection, Mice can be a great companion for years to come.

Information about Mice

  • Average size: 2.5 to 3.5 inches
  • Average Weight: 1 ounce
  • Coat Type: Long length, smooth, curled, or a combination
  • Coat Colors: Brown, black, gray, tan, and albino
  • Grooming Needs: Low Need
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: No, mice are affected by very high temperatures or extremely cold conditions.
  • Good Pet: With early socialization and training, yes!
  • Safe with Children: With training
  • Good with Other Mice: Yes
  • Good with Other Pets: No
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Training: They learn fast but you have to remain patient during training
  • Exercise Needs: High need
  • Weight Gain: Normal
  • Health Concerns: Skin infections, wet tail, diarrhea, and respiratory infections
  • Allergies: Dust, cold, and heat give Mice allergic reactions
  • Average Life Span: 1.5 to 2.5 years

Physical Appearance of Mice

Mice seem to always have a guilty expression when they see that you're watching them

Mice are small rodents with a pointed snout, small round ears, a long tail, and four short legs. A mouse is often confused with a rat and an easy way to distinguish between the two is their size. They are noticeably smaller than rats.

Female Mice are usually smaller than males. Mice exist in different varieties with the most common being the domesticated house mouse. Breeders have also bred mice resulting in different fancy varieties.

Temperament and Behavior of Mice

Mice are social pets that require social interaction from other Mice. The best living arrangement for mice is a pair of females or even more if there’s enough space. Males placed together in a cage can engage in territorial wars which can lead to fighting or even death.

Mice enjoy human companionship if you give them enough time to get used to you and their new environment. A mouse can bite if it isn’t used to human touch. Let them get to know you by regularly approaching the cage to allow your pet time to get comfortable with you.

To help your pet enjoy being handled, you can start by placing your hand in their cage without necessarily touching them. With time, you’ll notice your mouse crawling onto your palm. You can also try giving them treats by hand to make the process smooth and fun.

The best way to handle a mouse is scooping them using one hand so that you hold its entire body in your palm. If you’re dealing with a rather timid mouse, support the base of their tail using your other hand. A timid mouse can quickly jump from your hand, possibly leading to injuries because of their small fragile bodies.

Training a Mouse

2 mice exploring some new bedding

A mouse can learn amazing tricks after it gets used to your voice and touch. The best way to train a mouse is exercising a lot of patience and remaining consistent throughout your training. Offering a treat every time your pet obeys a command is also a good way to reward your mouse. The best treats for your mouse are sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

You can teach your mouse to stand on two feet and reach for a treat. Hold the treat right above the pet and ask it to ‘stand’. Gradually, your pet will rise trying to reach for the treat. Make sure to hold the treat for a little longer so that you teach your mouse to hold the position.

Amazingly, your mouse can also learn its name. Come up with a unique name for your pet and try calling out the name every time you approach the cage. Offer a treat as you call out the name and eventually your mouse will start approaching you every time you call the name. To test whether your Mouse has really mastered their name, try calling out from across the room and see whether your pet will look in your direction.

Their Compatibility with Children

Mice make great pets for kids with proper supervision and training. A mouse is a delicate pet that requires gentle handling. Your Mouse could squirm and fall from your child’s hands, and falling to the ground can hurt or kill them. If your children are patient enough to learn how to handle a mouse, they can make a great companion.

It’s also important to teach kids the importance of washing their hands after handling your mouse or anything inside their cage. Washing their hands should keep their hands clean after handling the Mice and keep them from spreading germs around the house. 

Kids should never be allowed to feed your mouse unless they are instructed by an adult. This is because a mouse has to feed on the right food and in the correct amounts.

If your child wants a pet they can watch running in wheels, climbing, or even performing tricks, then a mouse is a great pet for them.

Best Habitat for Mice

Mice love playing on, and eating apples

When considering a habitat for your mice, think about both their safety, and comfort. A wire cage or an aquarium makes the best choice for their habitat. If you decide to go with a wire cage, choose one with very small spaces between bars because mice don’t have collar bones and can squeeze through the smallest of spaces. The bars shouldn’t be more than a ¼ inch apart. Wire cages should also have solid floors to prevent injuring your mouse’s feet. 

Aquariums are a really popular choice for Mice owners because they can be customized in so many ways. There are a lot of creative Mice owners that love to post what they’ve done to make a multi level home for their pets. 

Aquarium habitats should have a mesh lid to prevent escapes and to also allow proper ventilation.

A cage or tank meant to house a pair of mice should be at least 20”L x 10”W x 12”T. This is the minimum size, and if you try to put a running wheel inside you’ll see how little space they have at this size. Their cage should be tall and preferably have several levels because it gives them more room and mice enjoy climbing.

Bedding Materials

The bedding material you choose should have about 1 inch depth so your pet can burrow, hide, and rest. The best bedding material is recycled paper and shredded toilet paper. Paper is inexpensive and a favorite for mice because they can also chew on it. 

If you buy paper bedding material, make sure that baking soda isn’t part of the manufacturing process. Baking soda is used on paper to remove odors and is toxic to Mice.

Aspen shavings or hay also make great bedding materials. Avoid using wood like cedar and pine because other than causing respiratory infections, the texture of the wood can also hurt their feet.

Habitat Maintenance

Mice will quickly chew through a cardboard box

Everyday their cage should be spot cleaned. Look for and remove any wet spots on the bedding material to prevent accumulation of mold. Clean the cage thoroughly once a week but if you have many mice in the cage, consider cleaning twice a week. The more the mice in a cage, the faster waste accumulates. 

As you replace the bedding material, try to leave some of the previous cleaner bedding material so that it will keep their odor in the cleaned cage. If you cannot do this, the mice may feel uncomfortable with new materials without their scent on it.

The Attention Needs of Mice

As mentioned earlier, their cage only really needs a weekly cleaning. Also make sure to remove any wet spots on the bedding every day to prevent mold from growing. 

Mice are smaller than other rodents and generally have very few attention needs. Mice are active at night making them great pets for people who remain awake most of the night. Since mice are great for watching rather than a lot of handling, you can have a busy life without worrying that your pet needs attention.

Health Issues

Mice have a short lifespan and as they age, their health also deteriorates. A mouse also has a very high metabolism compared to other rodents and can even catch human diseases that can be fatal for them. For example, a mouse can get flu, food poisoning, or even stomach bugs from a sick human.

The best way to protect your pet from health problems is maintaining a good diet, and hygiene in their cage and food handling. Here are some of the most common health problems for mice.

Fleas, Mites, and Ticks

Mice get infestation from parasites such as ticks, fleas, and mites especially if there are other pets such as cats or dogs in the same home. An infested mouse becomes uncomfortable and may even lack an appetite. 

The pet may also lose hair at the affected areas leaving them with bald skin patches. You may also see some redness on the skin, excessive scratching especially against objects, and some of the parasites attached on the mouse’s skin.

A sick mouse should be taken to the vet for proper treatment. As a preventative measure, avoid buying wood shavings and other bedding materials directly from farms. Only buy well packaged bedding materials and wood shavings from reputable pet stores. Wood shavings directly from farms could have fleas, mites, or ticks from other farm animals.

Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections are common in mice and are often caused by dust, or moldy living conditions. A sick mouse shows signs of watery eyes, wheezing, coughing, sticky eyes, difficulties in breathing, and may also have a ruffled fur.

The mouse should be taken to a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. To avoid future outbreaks, keep the mouse cage clean at all times. Also avoid having sawdust because it has a lot of dust that can irritate the respiratory system of your pet.

Wet Tail

Wet tail is a common problem among rodents including mice and often poses a life threatening situation. The disease is caused by stressful conditions and accumulation of bacteria in the gut leading to severe diarrhea. Here is how you can know if your mouse has a wet tail.

  • Foul smelling diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Wet bottom with brown looking diarrhea
  • Dull eyes
  • General body weakness

The illness doesn’t have any home remedy and a sick mouse should be taken to a vet to be given antibiotics. Also eliminate any stressful conditions for your mouse. For example, reduce overcrowding and noise. Also make sure to change the bedding materials once a week to keep your pet comfortable.

Bathing and Grooming of Mice

Mice are generally clean pets that self-clean all the time. It’s also normal for the male mice to have an scent that they produce to mark their territory. Female mice don’t mark their territory so they don’t have a scent. Mice don’t require bathing, mostly because they don’t like being submerged in water, it will stress them.

Feeding Mice

Mice are omnivores and their diet should contain both meat and vegetables. Mice pellets and cubes should make up the bulk of your pet’s food because they usually have a balance of all the required nutrients. 

Since a pellet and cube only meals for your mouse can become monotonous, you can supplement their diet with fruits, vegetables, seed mixes, and healthy treats.

The best fruits and vegetables are strawberries, melons, broccoli, spinach, cabbage. They can also eat fresh mealworms or dried ones once or twice a week. Millet seeds meant for birds are also great for a mouse. Other foods you can give your mouse include pasta, cereals, boiled eggs, and dog biscuits.

A water bottle preferably with a sipper tip is the best way to get fresh clean water to your Mice. The best way to feed mice especially on pellets and cubes is spreading them all over the cage instead of placing all of it in a bowl. This is because mice are foragers in the wild. They spend the whole day looking for food all over the ground.