Mummy I want a pet mouse! Is probably the words most parents don’t want to hear when they ask their child what pet would they like to have. But over the past few years pet mice have become a very popular choice when it somes to small pets.
Possible made popular by one or two blockbuster movies and cartoons shows. But whatever the reason they are selling by the thousands each year.
In this article, we talk about 10 Things you should know before buying a pet mouse.
Table of Contents
1. They have a low life expectancy
There are about 60 species of mice (scientists have not agreed to establish an exact number). Those who have grown the most in population over time are urban rats, including the black rat and the brown rat.
So setting a specific lifespan can vary depending on the species but on average.
Common mice have a life expectancy of 18-24 months.
Mouse in captivity tends to live longer than rats in the wild but not as long as wild field mice.
2. They need correct housing
The size of the cage depends on the number of mice that will live in it.
For a pair of mice, a 30cm by 60 cm is enough. We love the Prevue cage as it’s one of the biggest and best cages sold online. See the latest prices on Amazon here ↗️
For them to have fun is important, so their house or cage must have different levels, tunnels, stairs, exercise wheels, or anything that allows them to investigate, entertain, and exercise.
A distance of 0.5 cm between the bars cage is essential so that the mice don’t escape.
It is advisable to locate the cage in a place where they can see people in the house; this will help to tame them.
Cover the cage’s bottom with shavings or other suitable material and give them material for their nest; pieces of cloth, paper, or hay.
Mice need a house bought or homemade with cardboard, with PVC pipes, wood, ceramic pots or bowls, etc.
Use your imagination to create tunnels, passageways, caves, bridges, and anything with holes to enter and exit with various materials.
For the water, you will need a bottle with a drip system and a ceramic or glass bowl that does not tip over and is washable.
3. You need to learn how to handle them
Mice are delicate animals; therefore, they have to be treated with great care.
The correct way to catch a mouse should be to gently scoop it up with the palm of your hand so that its feet are in contact with something firm.
Usually, they will be the ones who climb onto the hand of the person who takes care of them.
If you need to grasp a mouse by the tail, you must be very careful to do so by the tail’s base, never from the end or the middle since it can break and cause irreparable damage to the animal.
They love to get out of the cage and run freely, either on top of themselves or elsewhere.
If you want to take them out of the cage, it must be done in a safe place, with no places where they can hide and without cables they can bite.
Keep in mind that mice are expert climbers.
4. They love to eat
The nutritional needs of house mice are generally met with commercial hamster or rodent feed.
You can also use seed mixes, but be careful they eat everything.
A good option is to mix pellets with seeds, but make sure they eat all the pellets before giving them more seeds.
Pieces of fresh fruits and vegetables can also be offered. In this case, watch out if any causes diarrhea and do not give it to them again.
They can also eat cooked pasta, rice, bread, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and treats.
All of these are high in calories and are good for them but don’t overdo it.
Dog biscuits are also a good choice for house mice because they provide protein (which is often lacking in seed mixes) and are hard enough to wear down the teeth.
5. They play a lot and do tricks
Mice are very intelligent animals that love to play.
With time, persistence, and patience, they can be taught some tricks. Of course, always in a positive way, playing and rewarding them.
Here are some commands you can teach them:
Call them to eat: Every time you provide the food, the mouse likes, a noise is made, always the same noise. With time he will associate the noise or sound with food and will run to find you.
Go through hoops: You need a small-sized hoop that mice can pass through without any problems. The prize (food) is shown, and the hoop is shown. The food is placed in the center of the ring, and, as it gets closer, it moves a little further so that it crosses it.
Once they pass the hoop, you will reward. By being consistent with this exercise, your mouse will learn, and with time the mouse will go through the hoop without needing the prize. Try to use a specific word when you want him to go through the hoop.
These are two examples of what mice can be taught, but with imagination and a lot of patience, they can be taught numerous tricks. Always through prizes.
6. They don’t like to be alone
It’s important that your pet is accompanied; this will allow him to have a healthier life by having someone to interact with.
If you want several pet mice, it’s better to have females.
The males do not tolerate each other and mark their territory (which leaves a rather strong smell).
7. They sleep during the day
It may be true that mice during captivity may lose their custom to sleep during the day, but their nature is nocturnal.
During the day, they sleep and wake up occasionally because they are social animals that like to be in human company.
But overall, Rodents sleep at intervals. They don’t go to sleep 8 hours straight as we do.
We could say that a rodent takes a “nap” 24 hours a day.
8. They need good care
Our mice’s home should be located in a dry and warm place, away from drafts and radiators or windows.
Nor should we place the home in a place where the sun’s rays can directly affect.
Remember to accommodate a bed or a hammock created especially for mice. There must also be a cave or shelter for him to hide when he is scared.
Toys cannot be missing.
Like I mentioned before, rodents need to play, not because of the desire to play but because they need entertainment in captivity since they will not spend time looking for food.
Put a wheel, climbing elements, branches to gnaw on, and always of the best quality.
Finally, don’t forget fresh and clean water.
9. They will fall in love with you
If you invest time with your mouse, he will reward you with his affection.
You will start noticing that he will start following you around the house, and will want to be close to you in any possible way.
They will call for your attention.
But remember, for this to happen, you have to put in the time.
10. Mouse Are Not “Temporary” Pets
Mice are often considered “beginner pets” because they are easy to care for and require little time and emotional commitment.
However, this is not the case, as these animals require daily interactions, feeding (even preparing fresh food), and exercise.
They need the same attention as other pets, so when deciding whether to get one or not, remember these animals need your attention.
Conclusion: Things you should know before buying a pet Mouse
Mice are delicate animals; you need to learn how to handle them and provide the proper care they need. But if you put the effort, you have a good companion.
Remember that it is an animal capable of developing a great attachment to its owner. So you have to spend time with them daily. If you can’t, I suggest you don’t purchase one.