Nov 162011

Download care sheet (pdf)

Adult Size
2”, about 2 ounces

Life Span
2 – 3 years

Male/Female Differences
Young mice are difficult to sex. Sexing mice is done by eyeing the distance between the urethra and the anus; the distance is greater in males than in females.

Male mice will fight to defend their territory against other males. Females get along better, especially raised together.

Mice are native world wide.

Very diverse habitats including forests, savannahs, grasslands and rocky habitats

Day Cycle
Nocturnal, although will be awake occasionally during the day.

Household temperature is fine. Avoid extreme heat as mice will pile up together and can get too hot.

Being nocturnal, lighting is unimportant.

Mice do well in most indoor humidity. Keep their bedding dry at all times.

Mice are burrowing animals, preferring the safety of cover for their nests.

Provide a safe and soft bedding, the less dusty the better. Cedar bedding can be toxic and pine too dusty. Good litters are shredded or pelleted aspen or recycled paper products. Supply nesting materials and dry hays.

Hiding Place/Den
Mice need a hiding place to feel secure. Wooden huts and coconut shells make great hideouts, as they also offer opportunities to chew. Plastic mouse huts can be used but will be destroyed.

Cage Type
Hamster or gerbil cages can be used for housing mice. Aquariums can also be used with a metal screen top to prevent escape. The cage should be large enough to allow the mouse room to exercise, preferably in a safe exercise wheel.

Seed mixes are good basic diets for mice. Pelleted pet blocks are better, as they combine complete nutrition in a form designed to wear away teeth. Offer variety with other foods such as cooked lean meats, leafy vegetables, and pastas.

A proper diet, including variety, will preclude the need for supplements. Hamster or bird supplements can be added to water or cuttle bones.

Diet Precautions
Avoid foods like chocolate, excessive fats and sugars. Giving sunflower seeds in excess can cause obesity.

Feed small amounts and remove old food to prevent spoilage. Mice will scatter their food around the cage and bury it in the nest, so be sure to not over feed.

Water Source
Water bowls will quickly get dirty, so use a water bottle. The bottle should either be round or hung outside the cage to prevent the mouse form chewing and destroying it. Use a metal chew guard for water bottles in the cage.

Mice are very clean animals that spend a lot of time grooming themselves.

Oral and Foot Care
A mouse’s teeth are always growing, so offer plenty of wooden sticks, hard pet blocks, pumice stones, and foods that will wear away their teeth. Avoid running wheels with bars to prevent injury to their feet or tails. Offer chances to climb to help keep nails shortened.

Proper Handling
Avoid picking a mouse up by the tail if you want to stay friendly with it. Scoop the mouse up gently from below. Mice can be nervous at first, so cup a hand over them to make them feel more secure.

Habitat Maintenance
Spot clean soiled areas daily. Clean the cage weekly with mild soap and water and replace all bedding.

Health Concerns
Mice kept in conditions with poor ventilation are prone to respiratory infections. Diarrhea is possible due to unsanitary conditions and poor diet.

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