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How to: Care for Your Pet Mouse

Pet mice impose little demands on their owners, are amusing to watch, and are simple to care for. They can be more difficult to handle than certain larger rodents, like rats, and are a little more shy, but with early training, they can become accustomed to being handled. Pet mice have pretty short fur and come in a variety of colors. They have little fur on their long tail and rounded ears. Mice are nocturnal creatures, which means they spend the day sleeping and being most active at night. They need high-quality rodent food and routine habitat cleanings in terms of care.

Mouse Temperament and Behavior

Mice are gregarious creatures and prefer to coexist with other mice of the same species. The simplest configuration is a pair of females, though if you have the cage space, a small group of females is also acceptable. Male pairs should not cohabitate unless they were born in the same litter, were never separated, and have a large enough cage to have their own space. Males you don’t know are more prone to fight. Additionally, unless you want a lot of newborn mice in a short period of time, keep males and females apart.

To prevent stress and harm, keep mice away from other family pets. But many of them can become hand-tame and learn to feel at ease around people. However, mice who have never been handled before or mice that are handled roughly may bite. A mouse can suffer damage from improper handling as well. For instance, holding a mouse by its tail or falling merely a few feet can both result in severe injury. In case the mouse escapes your hands, it is preferable to hold it just over your lap or another soft surface.

Mice make peaceful pets, but if their enclosure is close to your bed, their nocturnal antics could keep you awake at night. Set up a few hours per week for feedings and habitat upkeep.


The number of mice you keep together will determine the size of the cage you need. One to four mice should fit comfortably in a wire cage or a 10-gallon aquarium with a safe mesh top. Better ventilation is provided by wire cages, but you must make sure the space between the bars is small enough for your mouse to pass through. Ideal for providing climbing chances are cages with numerous levels and horizontal bars. Solid flooring is much easier on the mouse’s feet, so stay away from cages with wire floors.

Mice can be housed in hamster-specific modular plastic cages. However, they are frequently difficult to clean and can have insufficient ventilation. Even a stubborn mouse could manage to eat through the plastic.

Additionally, all mice enjoy running on exercise wheels (with a solid surface, as wires might be dangerous), tunnels, and toys, such as:

  • Chewy wooden blocks
  • a few little cardboard boxes
  • Ladders
  • linen ropes
  • tubes for toilet paper or paper towels
  • miniature willow balls

The environment should include a nest box or some other kind of shelter where the mice can go to feel safe, in addition to a variety of toys. Keep the cage free from direct sunshine and drafts.

Unique Substrate Requirements

Add several inches of aspen shavings or paper bedding to the habitat’s floor. Because of their oils, which can be dangerous to mice, stay away from cedar and pine bedding. 1 Additionally, provide nesting materials like hay, paper towels, or face tissue strips. Unless it becomes filthy, remove nesting material every month or two (frequent changes can be disturbing). Every week, switch up the bedding and wash the enclosure with mild soap and water.

Concerns Regarding Your Pet Mouse’s Health

Even if we make every effort to keep our pets as healthy as possible, illnesses and accidents can still happen. The following are a few of the most typical health issues that could impact your mouse:

Tumors: Malignant tumors are relatively frequent in mice and are often characterized by a visible lump or swelling, a notable change in your mouse’s activity level, and a considerable loss of weight. Your exotic pet veterinarian may be able to remove the lump, but there is a significant chance that it may come back.

Wet Tail: An overabundance of germs in the digestive tract is the root cause of this gastrointestinal disease. If neglected, this illness, which is marked by diarrhea, tiredness, a lack of appetite, and trouble walking, can be fatal. Antibiotics are the recommended course of therapy for your mouse by your exotic pet veterinarian.

Overall, because of how lovable they are and how little space their cages occupy, pet mice can make a lovely addition to your household. Once trained and at ease with handling, they will also like interacting with people and being pet. Before buying a pet mouse, your New Ulm exotic pet veterinarians may provide you with any more information that you may need.


Local exotic animal vets are frequently able to suggest a reliable breeder or rescue. The biggest advantage of visiting a breeder is that you’ll probably have access to a larger selection of young animals. But rescue organizations frequently have a good selection as well. Before choosing a mouse, meet it in person and make sure their habitat is kept clean.

Look for an alert animal with a soft, clean coat and pink, clean skin when choosing your mouse. The mouth and anal region should be clean and dry, and the eyes and nose should not be discharge-free. Its excretions ought to be dry and well-formed. The mouse will also breathe relatively quickly, though it shouldn’t be labored or loud.

Since mice can begin to procreate at around 6 to 8 weeks of age, make sure the vendor maintains its male and female mice separate. Only keep mice with other mice of the same sex to prevent unintentionally breeding oneself.

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