Caring of Pet - Mice

Mice make excellent pets if they are cared properly. They seldom bite when raised as pets and handled with care. They are easy to care for and responsive to handling. These timid and social pets are fun to watch performing their natural behaviors of burrowing, searching for food and playing. The average life span for mice is 1.5 to 3 years. The following information is designed to help you take the best care of your pet.
  • Nutrition:
      A poor diet can result in obesity, diarrhea, or overgrown teeth. Provide a balanced diet that is high in fiber. Oil-rich and high-fat foods such as nuts and sunflower seeds should be avoided.

      Commercially available foods and pellets should be the main diet for mice. Balanced "block" type diets are ideal since they are nutritionally complete and provide the added benefit of gnawing exercise.

      Fruit is a great treat. Mice love to eat apples, bananas, peaches, strawberries, and grapes. They also love vegetables like carrots, kale, cucumbers, beans, and broccoli.

      Mice love to eat lots of other things too. Spaghetti noodles with sauce, pizza crust, wheat bread, and even healthy breakfast cereal. Anything that’s good for you to eat is probably good for your little pet too.

      Mice can get sick from eating junk food even though they love the taste. Never let your critter eat candy, cookies, chips, soda, gum, chocolate, or cheese.

      Mice have a "sweet-tooth" and crave sweets. Sweets should be given occasionally in small quantities based around a nutritionally complete diet.

      If a rodent's appetite or water intake drastically changes he should be seen by a veterinarian
  • Water:
      Water should always be available and fresh daily. The container should be a water bottle equipped with a sipper tube.
  • Housing:
      Mice don’t like to be in a draft and they don’t like too much sunlight. Find a place for your furry friend’s home where it’s protected from cold air and the sun.

      Rodents often chew through wood and thin plastics. For this reason cages should be made of wire with a solid floor.

      Several types of cages which are suitable for housing small rodents are available. Many of these units come equipped with cage "furniture" such as exercise wheels, tunnels and nesting boxes. Such accessories, as well as sufficient litter depth within which to burrow, are desirable for the pet's psychological and physical well-being.

      Cages should be sanitized with hot water and nontoxic disinfectant; then thoroughly rinsed. Water bottles and food dishes should be cleaned and disinfected daily.

      Bedding must be clean, nontoxic, absorbent, and relatively dust free. Shredded newspaper, tissue paper, bathroom or facial tissue, cotton or processed corncobs are the preferred beddings. Provide at least 2 inches of bedding in the cage to allow normal burrowing behavior. Do not use cedar shavings, pine shavings or chlorophyll-scented shavings because they may harm your pet.

      Heavily soiled areas should be removed from the bedding material daily and the bedding should be changed once a week.

      Adult male mice often fight when caged together, especially in the presence of females. For this reason males may be kept individually. Females may be caged together if a colony is desired.
  • Exercise and Play:
      Because pet mice are very intelligent social animals, they can quickly become bored if enough activity and stimulation are not provided. This can result in undesirable activities such as excess chewing or gnawing, constant moving or rearrangement of accessories, or regular attempts to escape.

      Make sure your pet has plenty of toys and nests.

      Exercise wheels can provide them with hours of fun. Empty paper egg cartons and paper-towel or toilet-paper tubes make good chewing and climbing material, and untreated wooden blocks satisfy their need to gnaw.

      Chew toys are a good choice since they offer stimulation as well as gnawing exercise that help wear down teeth. When you are home, spend at least half an hour a day playing and interacting with your pet outside of the cage. Never leave pet mice unattended when they are out of their cages.
  • Handling:
      Mice become tame and seldom bite when accustomed to being handled.

      Also, it is best not to disturb a sleeping rodent because most are usually quite cranky when awakened. Mice housed individually may become more aggressive and apprehensive than those housed in groups.

      Regular weekly handling is recommended to properly socialize your pets. A lack of handling could result in aggressive behavior.

      Mice can be easily picked up by scooping them into cupped hands and holding them near your body. Be sure not to grab them by their tails. Picking up rodents by the scruff of the neck in not recommended.
  • Love and care:
      Mice are great pets. They quickly learn to recognize their owner and will come running out to visit when they see you.

      Always be gentle when holding your mouse. Our furry friends don’t like to be squeezed, poked, or dropped. They are very little and can get scared.

      Mice are very friendly. Once they get used to you they will happily sit on your hand to be petted. They also love to ride around in big pockets.

      Mice are very smart. Some people have taught them tricks like coming to their name and walking on a tight rope.

      Mice love to snuggle and be petted. Lots of mice like to ride on their owner’s shoulders. Others prefer pockets or purses.