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Looking After Pet Mice

Updated on May 19, 2014

Why Do People Own Mice?

Well, this is my first Hub and I have chosen to write about pet mice. I have owned mice for a while now and get a lot of enjoyment from having them as pets.If you currently own mice, or have done in the past I hope you enjoy this article and certainly encourage any feedback or comments. If you have never owned mice maybe I can twist your arm, or at least give you something interesting to read.

I am an all round pet lover and decided to own mice after seeing some in a shop. I was interested how they co-exist with each other and build homes out of their surroundings. I know rats are the more common small rodent pet people own but I think most of you will agree with me when I say mice are cuter that rats.

Exercising out of Cage

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Your Mice Need Exercise

Exercise is important to your mice as it is to any small animal in captivity. The obvious accessory is the exercise wheel that can be fitted into their cage, this gives them the opportunity to jump on the wheel whenever they want to.

What I like to do is let all my mice out of their cage every couple of days or whenever I am cleaning out their cage. I have a large table that I allow them to all run around on(see picture) this gives the mice some new surroundings to explore while getting some quality exercise.

Pet Mouse in Home

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Have You Owned Mice?

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Feeding your Mice

Mice are not terribly fussy eaters, after all if they were fending for themselves they would have to take whatever they can find. That being said, I would recommend you buy a bad of mice food from your local pet store, this will take care of their overall dietary needs. In addition to the prepacked food you can add lots of other foods as treats or variations to their diet.

Almost all vegetables and fruits are gladly received by mice. Try putting a slice of peach, apple or banana in and see if your mice take to it, they will ignore anything they don't like so it won't take long to narrow down what they prefer.

Be careful not to overfeed your mice or indulge them with too many treats. It's always tempting to do so but mice do have a tenancy to overeat when food is readily available. A pet mouse lifespan is about 1 1/2 - 2 years and this will be reduced if it becomes overweight.

Some Mice Facts

  • On average mice sleep more than 12 hours s day
  • Mice are born with no fur or sight
  • Pet mice live for approx 1.5-2 years
  • Mice cannot see colour
  • Mice get very lonely if living on their own

Mice Like Clean Homes

It's a fairly common misconception that mice are not clean animals. They are in fact quite house proud, it may look like a mess to you but they are strategically moving all those paper shavings around to make comfy bedding. They also groom themselves a lot, if my mice are awake I can look over and usually see at least one oft them washing behind their ears or satisfying an itch.

As their owners and housing providers it is our duty to do our part. Typically you will need to give their cage a clean out once a week. This means taking out the mice and placing them somewhere safe ( see earlier comment about using this as exercise time), and tipping out all the used wood shavings and bedding. Wash out he cage with warm water, dry it and replace the bedding. I also use this time as a good opportunity to add some new cardboard items in there for them to play with and gnaw on.

Mice in a Glass House

Males or Females?

First of all, unless you intend to breed your mice which i don't recommend, you need to be careful not to mix male and female mice in a home together.You will end up with litter of 10-12 pups before you know it. There are subtle differences between each sex, these can be summed up as follows:

Males

  • They can tend to smell a little as they have stronger smelling urine
  • Prone to occasional fighting when kept in numbers
  • Are larger than females so require more space

Females

  • More fidgety and mobile
  • Unlikely to fight among each other
  • Little to no odor

I would recommend females for the beginner as they are less work overall. You do need to be very careful when buying privately however, its not always easy to accurately identify the sex of mice when they are very young.

My Mice

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Wannabe Mice Owner Checklist

OK, so you have read this article and possibly some others and are considering owning mice, I have compiled a brief checklist below, if you can say 'yes' to all the points then I think you are ready;

  1. Do you have a space in your house for a mice cage, safe from any danger, breezes and obstacles?
  2. Do you have the patience to look after new pets? Its a daily commitment.
  3. Have you researched thoroughly and understand what is install for you?
  4. Have you bought everything you need to prepare for the mice; house, food etc
  5. Do you promise to love your mice for ever and ever(even if they poo on you, which is normal)?

If you said yes to all of the above, congratulations and good luck. You are ready to start calling your local pet shops and looking through the sales ads for available mice looking for a caring owner and home.

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    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Marello 3 years ago from United States

      I have owned fancy rats (I still have one) but no mice. Originally the choice was between mice or rats, but I chose the rats in the end. Are female mice prone to mammary tumors as well? It has happened with both of my girl rats, and it is devastating.

    • PhilAvent profile image
      Author

      PhilAvent 3 years ago

      Hi Dreamhowl, yes they can have mammary tunors. I don't know how common it is, I'd have to do some research.

      I know I have seen a few people on the forums I use mention it.

      That sounds very unlucky both your rats suffered from it though.

      I have never kept rats, but may do one day.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Being a fox, I'm probably not the best candidate to look after someone's pet mouse. But I'll pass on this advice to humans I know.

    • PhilAvent profile image
      Author

      PhilAvent 3 years ago

      Absolutely! Thanks for dropping by anyhow.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I have to agree with you that mice are cute. But I never knew people own them as pets. It's interesting how you let them run free while cleaning out their cage. Must be a chore collecting them again.

      Your checklist at the end is useful for consideration of taking care of any type of pets. Nicely done.

      Fun hub to read. Welcome to HubPages.

    • PhilAvent profile image
      Author

      PhilAvent 3 years ago

      Hi Glenn, thanks for stopping by and taking a read, glad you enjoyed reading my first hub.

      When I let them loose it's on a table and they never jump off so it's easy to round them back up. I've only had once incident with a mice escaping and going loose in my house. That was a chore indeed and I'm not letting that happen again!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Yeah, I noticed where you said you keep them on a table while cleaning their cage. But I was wondering how you kept them from jumping off and away. They must be well-trained. :-)

    • PhilAvent profile image
      Author

      PhilAvent 3 years ago

      Pet mice have no interest in falling any distance, I can hold one in my hand just far enough away from the floor that they cannot reach it with their hands and they never jump.

      Mice are awesome at climbing and gaining traction almost anywhere but I have never seen one jump at all.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Interesting. Something new I never knew before.

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