Domesticated mice can be some of the most fun pets that you can keep at home. These are variations that have bred from the house mouse to become more human-friendly, less timid, and much more fun to keep around. These little animals are perfect for the person who wants an easy going pet that can provide hours worth of fun. Read on below for everything you’ve wondered about keeping a pet mouse.
Are mice the right pet for you?
Mice are great pets for adults and teenagers, but they just might not be right for children. Although children might enjoy having them around, mice just aren’t resilient enough to deal with children. Children tend to be better suited to animals that are temperamentally friendly but physically strong. Mice are very gentle and can easily get their bones break and hurt.
However, they are low maintenance pets that just need your love, some essential equipment, and their own inquisitive and adventurous nature to guide them around. You’ll be happy with a mouse if you have space, can afford the care, and finally, if you don’t have a cat or dog. Mice usually don’t do well with other pets like this and there are chances of them getting hurt. Even if you have any other pets, restrict access and supervise all their interactions.
Where can you get domestic mice?
Domestic mice can be found in many different places, depending on where you are and what exactly you are looking for.
Pet shops vs. breeders
Most pet shops will have mice but stay cautioned when you are buying from pet stores. Because of lax regulations, you have no way of knowing that the mice are healthy, or that they have been raised ethically. Mostly, pet stores get their mice from companies like puppy mills, known as mice mills. These mice are raised in deplorable conditions and no efforts are done to ensure that mice are not inbred.
On the other hand, breeders can give you a better idea of the mice, can probably offer you more diversity in terms of the mice coat colors, and will probably give you animals that are safe, healthy, and were raised in good living conditions with efforts to prevent inbreeding.
Everything about mice
So now that you know what you’re getting and where to get it, here’s a crash course on everything about the ordinary domesticated mouse.
Because of different breeding practices, a variety of domesticated mice are available. Some are smaller, from 15-17 cm in size, whereas others are relatively larger, reaching up to 30 cm. These mice can be seen in a variety of coat colors and patterns, such as siamese mice, black, chocolate, cinnamon, gold, white, blue, lilac, silver, and many, many more.
Generally, mice are social and inquisitive animals. Although chances of violence are high among males, mice otherwise enjoy having at least one other mouse around. Additionally, these creatures are very friendly and affectionate, and less prone to aggression and biting. Unless startled, mice rarely bite their owners and are extremely playful and energetic.
Little known facts
- Mice are very clean creatures and prefer their cages and bedding to be clean.
- The average lifespan of a mouse is 1.5-2 years, but given good care, the mouse can live for up to 3 years.
- Mice are very social and prefer to have other mice around.
- Mice can actually swim very well.
- Using their whiskers, Mice can detect changes in weather and the environment.
- Mice make ultrasonic sounds, which humans cannot hear.
Welcoming a mouse home
To welcome your new mouse home, follow these steps.
- Set up everything before the mouse gets home.
- Use the same feed the mouse was given earlier and make changes slowly.
- Give him or her the privacy to explore during the first few days.
- Slowly acclimatize the pet to petting and handling.
- Introduce new mice to older mice slowly and after a quarantine period.
Taking care of a mouse is easy, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to do your research. Read on below for the important aspects of caring for your mouse.
You can give your mouse a commercial diet. If you feel like that’s becoming too monotonous, add in a little bit of ‘loose mix’ which contains some seeds and pellets. This shouldn’t be the only source of food though because the mouse might just pick and choose what they want to each and ignore the rest.
Avoid heavy fat foods like some nuts, but you can give your mouse some fresh fruit and maybe even some peanut butter, but only in limited amounts. Remember to never, under any circumstances, give your mouse chocolate as it can be quite toxic even in small amounts.
Exercise and grooming
To get your mouse to exercise and make use of all that energy, you can get it a wheel. This should be a plastic one, and the bigger, the better. You can also get your mice toys, either by buying them or making inexpensive ones at home. Finally, you can give your mouse a little bit of rope, and watch their excitement as they try to climb it!
When it comes to grooming, mice are actually very clean animals. You probably won’t have to worry about regular bathing, though you may occasionally need to clean off a spot or some dirt from the mouse’s fur.
Clean out the cage and the area around it very regularly. The bedding should be replaced often, though you can retain some so that the mice feel like they are in the same place and don’t get distressed at the lack of familiarity. Clean the tank with vinegar at the end of the week, then completely remove all signs of the vinegar.
You can either use an aquarium or a wire cage. Using an aquarium will prevent escape and reduce messes, but it can lead to a build-up of harmful ammonia inside the cage. Wire cages, on the other hand avoid this problem but can be a source of escape if space is larger than the mouse’s head. Keep it in a place where you can access it, but the other pets and sunlight cannot come close to it.
The training of a mouse is vital. You can start out by leaving the animals alone for the first few days. Once they are acclimated to their environment, put your hand in the tank, and hold it there till one of them comes to you. If the climb on your hand, stay still. After some time, try to move it. However, don’t push it if they get scared. This training isn’t difficult and it’ll take some time, but eventually, the mice will be okay with you.
Males vs female mice
Male mice do not do well with other mice. They are often not recommended as first pets and should be kept separately from any other mice. They are highly inquisitive and can be a great pet all on their own.
Female mice, on the other hand, are very social. In fact, if female mice are raised alone, they tend to get depressed, and so a group (at least 2) of them is preferred. If you are raising mice for the first time, female mice are definitely recommended.