What do pet mice eat? Check out this complete guide to pet mice food and diet for the answers to all of your questions. Mice are omnivorous. What that means is that they eat both meat and vegetation much the same way that people do.
Your pet mice should have a diet that includes store-bought mouse food, mouse treats, fresh water, and the occasional treat of meat (or protein), vegetables, and fruits.
Table of Contents
What do pet mice eat?
Mice can eat quite a variety of different types of foods. But, before we answer the question of what do pet mice eat, it’s important to know what they should never be fed.
Here are a few of the foods that are toxic or unhealthy for your pet mice. Do not ever feed them this or allow them access to these foods.
- Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons or grapefruit
- Grapes or raisins
Remember that just because your pet mouse will eat something doesn’ mean that they should.
How should I introduce a new food to my mouse?
As with any pet, when you introduce a new food to their diet, you should do it slowly. If you want to offer them a treat that they’ve never tried before, offer them a small piece.
Then, see how they like it and note any changes in their digestion. Wait a few days, and if there were no negative results with the new food, you can offer it again. If the food upset their stomach at all, do not offer it to them again.
Can you overfeed a mouse?
A pet mouse food mix from your local pet store has all of the nutrition that your mouse needs to be healthy. Be sure to look for quality food that is not too high in fat. You can also find many different types of rodent treats specially made for your pet mouse.
But, if you want to be able to give them people food as an occasional treat, here are some foods that are safe to feed your mouse occasionally. Your pet mouse can eat apples, pears, bananas, melons, peaches, plums, berries, and citrus.
They may also enjoy sweet potatoes, chicory, broccoli, peas, carrots, parsley, kale, spinach and other greens, and turnip greens and peanut butter.
Pet mice do not usually overeat their pellets. But, while a pet mouse may not overeat, they will often choose treats over healthier foods.
What is the best mouse food?
Your pet mouse will be happiest with a pellet-based mouse food from the pet store. It will contain a variety of small pellets along with crunchy pieces of fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
It’s best to avoid commercial foods with added dyes since these aren’t healthy for your pet mouse. You will often see pet mouse food labeled as being for both mice and rats.
Mice enjoy a variety in their diet. So, it’s best to give them a mouse food that has several different types of foods rather than only one. You can look for a mix that contains small blocks of food s as well.
Grains and seeds are not as healthy for your pet mouse as pellets. But, they do enjoy eating them. So, if you want to, you can sprinkle a few grains or seeds on top of their pelleted mouse mix as a treat. But, it should not form a large part of their diet.
A good commercial mouse food will contain about 2 grams of potassium, 3 grams of phosphorus, 5 grams of calcium, 0.5 grams of sodium, 180 grams of protein, 35 milligrams of iron, and 10 milligrams of manganese. The fat content of their food should be about 5%. This will be similar to the same requirements for a pet rat.
Which food do we recommend?
We really like Mazuri Mice and Rat food as it offers all the vitamins and minerals your pet mouse needs.
Mazuri Rat & Mouse Food provides your furry friend with the necessary nutrients he needs for tons of playtime fun. The vegetable-based formula is made with vitamin E, flaxseed and even dried yucca schidigera, an extract known to reduce stool and urine odor.
Packed with natural vitamins and minerals, this highly nutritious food is designed to be a complete diet for either your breeding or non-breeding pet.
Whether you’re feeding your rat companion or petite-size mouse pal, this pellet-form food is easy to administer and even helps minimize waste. Key Benefits
- No need to provide your pet with extra vitamin and mineral supplements because this food offers complete nutrition.
- The veggie-based pellets include natural vitamin E and dried yucca schidigera extract.
- Omega-3 fatty acids from the added flaxseed promote healthy skin and coat.
- Easily feed your pet with the pellets that help minimize waste and prevent overgrowth in teeth
- Free of artificial colors and flavors.
Feed your pet mice Mazuri Pellets along with plenty of fresh clean water. Supplemental food items (grasses, vegetables, fruits, and seeds) may be provided, but should not make up more than 20% of the diet.
Diets containing higher amounts of fruits, seeds, and other high-calorie treats may predispose animals to obesity and other nutritional health disorders. The amount of food consumed will vary due to the size of the animal and life stage.
Rats: Adult rats generally consume 16 – 25 grams of feed per day (approx. 4 to 6 pellets)
Mice: Adult mice generally consume 4 – 5 grams of feed per day (approx. 1 to 2 pellets)
Thoroughly wash feeding and watering bowls on a regular basis. It is always a good practice to wash hands thoroughly after feeding and/or handling pets. This diet is not for human consumption.
Can mice eat bananas?
One of the most common questions about what do pet mice eat involves bananas. Yes, your mouse will enjoy tiny pieces of banana from time to time. Just be sure not to leave a large piece in their cage.
Bananas will go soft and spoil rather quickly so don’t leave uneaten treats in their cage. Remove any uneaten food from their cage promptly.
Can mice eat cheese?
We have all heard of people baiting mouse traps with cheese. So, you might think that mice should be allowed to eat cheese as a treat. However, dairy products are not a healthy treat for your pet mouse. So, they should not be fed cheese as part of their diet.
Can pet mice eat bread?
Yes, your pet mouse can eat bread. But, bread should not make up the bulk of their diet. If you want to give them a little cube of bread every now and then, that is fine.
It will be better for them if you choose a whole grain bread or a seed bread rather than white bread. Do not feed them snack foods or salty snacks like cookies, cakes, donuts or other processed sweets or baked goods.
Can mice eat peanut butter
This is another example of a food that is commonly associated with pet mice. But, like the cheese, peanut butter is not a good food choice for your pet mouse.
Because it can be eaten so quickly, there is a danger that your pet mouse will choke because their airways are blocked. It would be better to give them a small piece of an unsalted nut to snack on instead.
They will enjoy small pieces of nuts like hazelnuts, peanuts, and almonds. But, be sure that they are unsalted. And, if possible, they should be raw rather than roasted.
Can mice eat meat?
Yes, mice are omnivores so they can eat meat as well as vegetation. They will enjoy things like freeze-dried mealworms that you can find in pet stores.
Mice can also have tiny pieces of cooked chicken or other types of lean meats as an occasional snack. Never give them a chicken bone as the bone can splinter and be dangerous or even fatal to your mouse.
And, too much meat is not good for their digestion. So, make sure you offer this sparingly.
You should not offer them meat like jerky, bacon, sausage, cold cuts or other processed meats. They can contain seasonings and flavorings that are toxic to your pet mouse. And, they are much higher in both fat and salt content.
Homemade Pet Mice Diet
You could consider making your own pet mice food. This comes with lots of benefits like, cost, freshness and Knowing exactly what’s inside the food.
Things to chew on
In addition to things pet mice can eat, they will love having things to chew on. While they don’t actually eat these things, chewing on things can help keep their teeth healthy and stops them from being bored.
They will enjoy being able to chew on:
- Compressed hay cubes
- Pumice stone
- Coconut shells
- Unbleached loofah
Why shouldn’t I feed seeds and grains?
Many inexpensive mouse foods will contain a mixture of grains and seeds. The grain and seed mixtures may provide a balanced diet. But, this is only if your mouse eats every type of grain and seed in the mix.
This is often not the case. Your mouse will pick and choose their favorite types of grains and seeds and leave the rest behind. That means that they leave the healthier foods behind and end up not having a balanced diet.
Seeds are often higher in oil content than pellets are. And, eating too many seeds can result in a pet mouse that is overweight. While you can offer your pet mouse the occasional sunflower seed or pumpkin seed, they should not be offered every day.
How often should you feed pet mice?
Now that we’ve answered the question what can pet mice eat, you might be wondering how often to feed them. At least 75% of your pet mouses’s diet should be a commercial pet mouse food.
This will ensure that they get adequate nutrition in their diet. Just keep their food bowl 3/4 of the way full and top it off as needed each day.
They should also have access to fresh water at all times. It’s easiest to provide water with a feeder bottle that is gravity fed. If you leave a bowl of water in their cage, it’s entirely possible that it will be spilled.
A damp cage can lead to mold and mildew which can be toxic to your pet mouse.
In addition to their commercial pet mouse food and fresh water, your pet can have the occasional treat. Sweet treats like apples and berries should be given to them once a week.
Non-sweet vegetables like kale, fresh spinach greens, and parsley can be given to them every other day.
When should I feed my pet mouse?
You can simply leave a small bowl of food in your mouse’s cage. But, a better idea would be to place the food and treats on a small plate and offer it to them every day.
What they don’t eat in that one day should be disposed of. This prevents your mouse from eating spoiled food.
Your mouse will have their favorite foods. So, don’t be surprised if they consistently choose one type of food over another. Make sure to give them a variety of foods to choose from. And, treats should not be more than 10% of their daily diet.
When should I feed my pet mouse treats?
If you’re wondering what should pet mice eat, it’s just as important to know when you should feed them treats. Rewarding your pet mouse with a treat is fine.
However, it’s important that you make sure your mouse has eaten their pellets first. Limit treats to small amounts so that they don’t fill up on treats at the expense of their regular diet.
In total, a mouse will eat about a tablespoon of food per day. So make sure that a majority of this tablespoon contains their mouse food pellets and not treats.
How can I make feeding fun?
You may not think of making feeding fun when it comes to what do pet mice eat. But, look at it this way. In the wild, a mouse will hunt for their food.
They will climb and burrow and dig and chew to find tasty treats to eat. Your pet mouse doesn’t get that opportunity in their cage.
So, to make feeding fun, consider putting a bit of hay and a piece of apple or carrot inside a small cardboard toilet paper tube. Fold the edges over and place it in your mouse’s cage.
Your pet mouse will chew through the cardboard and shred it to get to the food treat inside.
If you have more than one mouse in a cage, you can also hide a small treat underneath their bedding. They will search for the treat much in the same way a wild mouse would.
And, it will also allow other mice access to the food bowl while they are busy. This can help if you have one mouse that does not like to share the food with others in the same cage.
What do pet mice eat in summary
A majority of your pet mouse’s diet should be made up of a high-quality commercial pellet mouse food that you can get from the pet store. This should make up at least 75% of your mouse’s diet. It contains the complete nutrition that your pet mouse needs to be healthy.
If you want to offer your pet mouse the occasional treat, there are a variety of different fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts and grains that they can have.
You can offer them a non-sweet treat like kale or fresh spinach leaves every other day. Sweeter treats like apples, carrots, and fresh berries should only be offered once a week since they are higher in sugar.
And, foods that are higher in fat like meat and nuts should only be offered sparingly.
Feeding your pet mouse too many treats can result in obesity. Pet mice that are overweight are more likely to have health issues and heart problems. For this same reason, avoid pet mouse food that contains only seeds and grains. A commercial pellet mix is a much healthier food choice for your pet mouse.