Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

11 Common Pet Rat Behaviors

Those who live with a pet mouse understand how intelligent and curious these little pipsqueaks can be. They work hard and party hard as well! Here is a list of typical mouse behaviors and what they can indicate if you are new to keeping mice as pets or are confused by some of the behaviors your pet mouse exhibits.

1. Boosted grooming

Mice enjoy maintaining their cleanliness, therefore they groom themselves repeatedly throughout the day. A mouse who frantically grooms himself for an extended period of time, however, may be anxious or stressed out.

A mouse may experience stress in an unfamiliar or new environment, or he may experience anxiety if he is suddenly housed with mice he does not know. Even in the absence of a lair to hide in from the bright lights, he might turn to this self-soothing activity (continuous, intense grooming) to cope. Even worse, a stressed-out mouse may begin to nibble at his own fur, leaving a bald area in its wake. Investigate possible causes of your little dynamo’s tension and come up with a solution.

2. Pursuing

Mice will chase one another just for enjoyment, much like kids on a playground. Young mice typically act in this manner. Mice engaged in conflict may also chase one another. A chase like this could be a strategy to assert dominance. Playful pursuing differs from aggressive chase in that the mice don’t actually touch one another.

On the other hand, a mouse who wants to “throw his weight” around would grab onto the back end of the other mouse, which you might notice as a damp patch of fur on the bit mouse. Mice engaged in a fight tend to be quieter than those engaged in a merry chase.

3. Being Upright

To obtain a better look at something that takes his attention or to get a closer whiff of something he smells, a mouse kept as a pet alone may raise up on his hind legs. The mice may stand up if there are two or more of them and get ready to battle. Males and males are more likely to interact in this way.

However, a mouse could take a standing position for other reasons besides a conflict. Similar to getting up from a chair to welcome someone into the room, a subservient mouse might rise to show respect for a more forceful mouse.

4. Wagging the Tail

Typically, joyful dogs wag their tails. However, mice’s tails might also signify the exact opposite. In mice, tail wagging is more akin to finger wagging in humans—a sign of displeasure or, if directed at another mouse, outright violence.

5. Intergroup grooming

Grooming one another softly is the best way for mice to express their feelings for one another. In spite of this, grooming can be challenging. A mouse may groom another mouse to assert his dominance, and a very aggressive mouse may even go so far as to remove all the target’s fur. The outcome, known as barbering, may be a bald spot that is left behind.

6. Tunneling

Mice are excellent explorers. Your pet mouse can construct intricate tunnel systems; all he needs are the proper materials. If you provide a thick layer of bedding, your mouse will probably carefully dig a little hole through it to establish a hiding area.

7. Going Strange in the Night

Since mice spend the majority of their time sleeping, unless you are a night owl, you and your mouse will probably have different sleeping cycles. The evening hours will be the most productive times for using your mouse. Respectfully let your mouse rest after his evening explorations. Some mice are known to sleep deeply, and they can be seen in a number of adorable sleeping postures, including curled up in a ball, snuggled up next to a mouse companion or snuggle toy, or dozing off on his back or side. You won’t mind if your tiny companion prefers napping over playing outside in the sunlight because a sleeping mouse is an adorable sight.

8. Whiskers that jiggle

Mice don’t have very good eyesight, but they make up for it with their keen touch sense. Their lengthy whiskers, especially when it’s dark, aid them in navigating their surroundings. Rats and mice both utilize their whiskers to physically sense their surroundings. Undoubtedly, a curious mouse will twitch his whiskers.

9. Rearranging the bedding

You shouldn’t be astonished if your mouse starts to gather some of his or her bedding and other belongings and moves them to a certain cage corner. Your mouse is building a nest that will probably become his preferred location to sleep.

10. Grinding of teeth

Because a mouse’s teeth are constantly growing, nature uses teeth grinding to control this growth. A balanced diet and an abundance of chewable that are safe to use also contribute to maintaining proper tooth length. Typically, relaxed mice will grind their teeth. A mouse’s eyeballs may occasionally slide in and out of their sockets as a result of his vigorous jaw motion when grinding his teeth.

Information on Digging in Mice

Due to their high levels of energy, young adult mice (2-4 months old) dig the best.

In their own cages, mice occasionally engage in the digging habit, especially after cleaning the cages and adding brand-new, fresh bedding. The normal bedding depth is only 1 cm, thus the digging activity that results in these conditions isn’t particularly aggressive.

Mice will naturally engage in active digging behaviors when additional bedding is applied to a depth of 5 cm.

When looking for food, wild-type mice usually engage in the digging habit. Digging is frequently seen when mice are storing food or digging burrows. Digging may also be seen when mice are building a nest or a home. Diggers may be stereotyped as acting abnormally or fast in other circumstances, like when a mouse is digging feverishly or swiftly.

The Purpose of Mice’s Digging Behavior

To look for or keep food: When mice are looking for or storing food pellets or other materials, they may dig. Digging to find or store food enables the mouse to feed itself (or preserve food for later) and maintain sufficient energy levels to carry out its daily activities.

Digging serves the purpose of establishing a nest, which shields the mouse from the cold and any predators and increases its life span, while also providing a location for breeding.
For whatever reason, if the mouse stops digging, it won’t be able to build a nest or obtain food. As a result, it will swiftly deteriorate, increasing the likelihood that it will be eaten by predators or fall ill and die.


A mouse is very likely to exhibit the digging activity under the following circumstances:

When there are lots of materials available: A mouse will dig more frequently when there is a lot of cage material available.
While nesting: Diggers are sure to find evidence of excavating when a mouse is building a nest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *