PET MOUSE CARE
Domestic mice having been domesticated for many decades and are now very different from their wild counterparts. Unlike dogs and cats domestic mice carry no diseases and require no shots. They also never need to be exercised.
Mice should not be allowed on the floor because they are nervous little guys. They will likely go hide and you will have trouble getting them back. Their teeth grow continuously throughout their life and they must constantly keep them worn down by chewing on things. Since mice need to chew they should not be allowed to run loose in the house where they will chew on things such as furniture, clothing and electrical cords. If you allow your mouse outside the cage try keeping them contained in some kind of storage box and at the least on a table or bed so you can catch them before the run away.
MICE DO BEST TOGETHER
In their natural state, mice are sociable members of colonies. Therefore, keeping two instead of one will meet their need to play and interact with their own kind. They should be of the same sex (except for male mice as they will fight), unless you have plenty of friends willing to take a continuous supply of new babies! The only male mice that can be kept together are litter mates that have never been separated if the cage is large enough for them to have their own space.
Mice are easy to keep, they take very little space and care, while providing the satisfaction of a friendly, warm, and intelligent pet. With all this, they are very cheap to buy even when purchasing all of the accessories you need to make them healthy and happy.
Mice bite rarely and then mostly out of fear. Sometimes if your hands smell like food the mouse may be confused so wash your hands before getting your pet out of the cage. Most pet breeders will not breed any mice that are nervous or bite but you should check the mouse out before purchasing it. You don’t want a pet mouse that bites or is very nervous. Mothers with babies sometimes become very nervous and protective so take care when handling them when babies are present.
CHOOSING YOUR PET FANCY MICE
We supply many varieties and you can contact us to see what we have in stock. They can also be found online or at some pet shops. Fancy Mice come in many colors that can be more interesting than the normal white mouse. Some of the fancier colors in Mice are Silver, Fawn, Beige, Coffee, Cream, Red, Blue, Champagne, Black, Chocolate, Orange, and Gold. Coat types are Satin (very shiny), Angora (long hair), /Rex (curly coat), and Hairless. Markings can be Siamese, Himalayan, Variegated or Pied (small splashes over the entire body), Spotted, Dutch, Hereford White Rumped, and Banded.
When choosing your pet, the most important things to look for are personality and health. Some signs that indicate an unhealthy animal are, runny eyes, wheezing, thin condition, ruffled coat (if not a Rex), hunched posture, discharge from the nose, diarrhea, bloated belly (non-pregnant females), and open wounds. A healthy mouse will be, active, have a sleek coat, and have a normal body weight. Pick out an animal that is curious, inquisitive, and seems friendly when you put your hand in the cage. They should be calm and friendly when you pick them up. Any prospective pet should never bite. Try to buy from a reputable pet shop or breeder that knows their animals, has healthy stock, and plays with the youngsters from birth to socialize them to people. The best age to obtain your future pet is at the age of 5–8 weeks so they grow up with you. Females older then 6 weeks can be pregnant if housed with males so ask about that if you have no desire to raise babies.
Female mice are preferred by many because they do not have the “musky” odor that is natural for male mice and females can be housed together. The average life span for mice 1–2 years. The average body length of adult mice is 3–4 inches; with an average tail length is 3–4 inches. The average body weight for a mouse is 30 grams for both sexes.
A simple, gnaw-proof cage, terrarium, or screen-topped aquarium of sufficient size is the basic requirement. Used aquariums may be obtained on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, garage sales and swap meets for a great price. Wire cages are harder to clean and sanitize and allow the bedding to fall out, but are lighter to handle when cleaning. Two female mice may be housed in a 10 gallon tank, one male mouse in a 5–10 gallon tank, this will provide adequate room for a house, wheel, feed dish, and water bottle. Male mice must be housed alone or they will fight and many times one is hurt or at the very least will be stressed all the time. If you have several female mice, try to get the largest tank you can. The cage should be placed away from drafts, direct sun, and extreme temperatures.
Some sources say NO cedar or pine as they contain toxins that cause respiratory disease and suggest you use hardwood shavings (aspen chips, flakes, shredded), paper products, pelleted bedding made from hardwood, paper, or other non-toxic substances. Personally we have found if the pine shavings are labeled no dust and kiln dried they work well and we have never had any diseases in our animals. The choice of bedding materials is your choice. Fill the cage with ½–1 inch of bedding at each cleaning.
ACCESSORIES FOR YOUR PET
Water bottles are the best water source. It keeps the water clean and safe. Dishes get dumped, pooped in, or full of bedding. Holders with chew guards for the water bottle are available to hang the bottle inside an aquarium. The feed dish should be sturdy to prevent tipping and easy to clean.
Sleeping boxes can be made from any non-toxic household containers (washable or disposable): butter cups, jars, oatmeal cartons, cardboard boxes, etc., or store bought houses. The advantage of store bought housing is that it lasts longer and is usually easier to clean.
Mice also like nesting material such as shredded napkins, fresh clean hay, shredded paper, etc.
Exercise wheels provide plenty of exercise and fun but try to get the ones that don’t have the wiring with the large spacing because they can harm mouse feet and legs.
Wooden gnawing blocks are great chew toys. Rawhide chew sticks or hard dog biscuits can also be used. Mice love ladders, toilet paper/paper towel tubes, and small boxes.
FEEDING AND NUTRITION
Food should to be available at all times. Rat and Mouse block chow is available very cheaply at feed stores or can be found at most pet shops, large chain stores, or online. The advantage of the blocks is they also help to wear down the teeth.
You can complement their diet with small amounts of salad greens or dandelion leaves (clean, freshly washed, non-contaminated or sprayed); fresh fruits, whole wheat bread, and vegetables. All fresh foods should be washed just like you would for yourself. Be sure to clean out any uneaten fresh foods the next day. Don’t use too many oily seeds, nuts, and grain mixes. Dry cat food should only be given to growing youngsters or nursing mothers because of the high fat and protein content. Do not give your mouse junk food treats such as cookies, potato chips, or candy. Treats such as dry, healthy, low-sugar cereals (Cheerios, puffed wheat/rice/millet, spoon-size shredded wheat), plain popcorn, wild bird seed, dry oatmeal, occasional table scraps such as salad, spaghetti, and vegetables are okay. Do not feed your pet through the screen top of the cage, or if you use wire cages, through the bars of the cages, because they will learn that things poked in are food and grab anything poked in including any ones finger.
KEEPING YOUR PET MICE CLEAN AND CONTROLLING ODOR
Cleanliness is the best guarantee to keep your pet in good health. Clean the feed dish daily and the water bottle at each refill. Change bedding every week and clean and disinfect the cage and accessories once a week. If your pet smells, it is an indication that the cage is not being cleaned often enough. Mice will wash themselves and you will see them grooming themselves and each other. Another option if you have odor problems is to use a sprinkling of deodorizer granules under the bedding.
Then add a layer of pine pellets over the granules before you add the shavings, it also helps cut down on the odors.
TRAINING YOUR PET MOUSE
Allow your new pet a few days to become adjusted to his new home. Hand feed your new pet as much as possible for the first few days. It isn’t always easy to hand feed them because it takes time for them to trust you. This means that every time you handle or approach your pet, it will have a positive reward waiting from you. Start with placing your hand inside the cage and letting your pet approach on its own, smelling and walking around. Move slowly and talk softly to it. Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t take the food right away. Sometimes you may have to leave your hand in the cage for several minutes, but eventually your pet will come to you. The next step is holding your treat just outside the cage so that your pet must reach out and get it.
You can try to teach your mouse his name, call him by name when you take him out and give a treat such as puffed rice or a Cheerio. Give him a treat when he comes to you! Eventually when you call his name, your mouse will try get to you. Then you can give other rewards such as petting.
We hope you will enjoy your new pet. If you have any questions we would love to help.