How to Care for Mice
No, this is certainly not the species of mouse that you find running around the attic (or the house mouse as we call it, which is scientifically known as Mus musculus) or just about anywhere. Domesticated mice have been kept as pets for a long time now and if you are thinking of adopting one or more of these small furballs, read on to know how to take care properly of these tiny pets.
All About Mice
Domesticated mice usually measure about 3 1/2 inches. This does not include the tail, however, and weighs just about 1/2 to an ounce. There white (albino) mice are the most common type found in pet stores, fancy mice (also called pocket mice) can grow up twice the size of a regular mouse. They are also available in a variety of coat colors and types. They don’t have a long life span as other pets, however. They generally live for about 18 to 30 months.
Mice are quite entertaining to watch and are always active. Another interesting fact about these small pets is that they are highly driven to build nests as this helps them regulate their body temperature. These tiny creatures are also sensitive to light and noise. Although they can be highly spirited most of the times, they can be tamed. But as they are fragile, they should be treated with care. Considering this, young pet owners need to be supervised by adults whenever they are handling these pets.
Mice are highly sociable animals when it comes to dealing with their own kind, especially the females, so they can easily be housed together with no problem at all. Males can also be kept together if only they were placed together while they were still young. However, if both adult male mice are housed together, it won’t be impossible that there will be frequent fights. You can still house several males together only if there is enough room for all of them, nonetheless. Males and females should not be housed together as mice breed rather quickly. They also leave a lot of litters.
Three to four mice may be placed in a 10-gallon aquarium with a wire cover that is safe enough to keep the mice from passing through the strand spacing of the wire. Place the mice cages where your pets will feel comfortable and safe. There should be enough bedding as well. Mice do well in any of these bedding materials: aspen, hardwood shavings, and reprocessed paper products. Cedar and pine shaving should never be used as bedding materials, on the other hand, as using these materials for bedding may just cause health issues to your pets.
Add in a few accessories to make your pet’s new home a lot more interesting. Create hideaways using small boxes, flower pots, tubes made of cardboard, and everything else you can use to give your pet more options to be active while it is awake. A tree branch will not only provide a place for your pet to climb on, an exercise wheel, and so on. All these will also add to the natural appeal of your pet’s new home.
Domesticated mice generally feed on any good commercial rodent died. You can offer food in either block or pellet form. These mice food are readily available in your local pet supply stores and feed stores. Choose a formula that contains at least 16 percent protein and 18 percent fiber. The fat content should not be more than 4 percent, however.
You may also offer a small amount of fresh fruit and vegetables to your pet each day as treats. Experiment on the foods to find your pet’s most favored meals. They Peas, broccoli, carrots, apples, and bananas are good foods to start with, but you may need to experiment to find your pets’ favorites. Take note, however, that your pet has a small tummy, so you have to make sure to give your pet just enough to fill it up. Also remember that not all food will benefit your pet, such as chocolate, cabbage, junk food, uncooked beans, onions, candy, and corn.
Your pet will also need clean water at all times. Regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowl and have them placed where your pet can easily access them whenever necessary.
Your pet’s cage needs to be regularly cleaned. Droppings, leftover food, and soiled areas of bedding for mice should be removed from its cage every day. A thorough cleaning should be done once a week. That includes replacing the bedding and washing off the rest of your pet’s house. Male mice are a lot messier than their female counterparts, which means you will need to have their cage cleaned more often.
To keep your pet’s choppers in top shape, allow them to chew on pieces of wood and safe chew toys. Keeping your pet’s teeth in perfect condition will help ensure that you won’t have to deal with any possible dental problem that your pet may develop.
Be gentle when handling your mice as they can easily be startled and are quite good jumpers. Scoop the mouse with a good-sized container like a paper cup or a small box to get it out and to its cage.
Your mice can easily be trained but you have to do it gradually. Offer treats as you train your pet as this will encourage your mice to learn quicker and easier.
Finally, in cases, when you think or observed that your pet is behaving abnormally or is showing signs of discomfort, contact a vet right away.