Owning a pet mouse
Mice are easy to keep. Here’s why mice make great pets.
- You don’t ever have to worry about bathing your pet mouse. They are very clean animals and groom and clean themselves almost constantly.
- Mice like to live in stable groups, which are usually of one sex to prevent breeding – often siblings grouped up when they are young form the best groups. Male mice will sometimes fight to the death and may have to kept separately. Female mice are best in at least threes and like lots of company.
- Mice can be frightened by other rodents. If handling different rodents make sure you wash your hands between handling to avoid disease transmission and transfer of scent, which can be distressing.
- Mice are very active and love to be busy. They find an open, empty space upsetting so put plenty of toys and bedding or nesting material in their cage.
- Sectioning up the space in a cage is a really good idea, allowing mice to explore and also to stay close to upright walls which helps them feel secure.
- All mice tend to be active at night and until sunrise. Try to ensure that they are not kept in an area where artificial light disturbs their natural behaviour patterns. It might also mean they make better pets for young adults or teenagers who also tend to sleep later in the evening! You might also want to avoid keeping them in bedrooms as the noise may prevent the occupant from sleeping – making for a happy mouse but an unhappy owner.
- Mice like to spend a lot of their time underground. To keep your pet mouse happy, provide tunnels or substrate they can build tunnels through. Some people use sand, sawdust or soil for tunnelling but a very safe option is to bury cardboard tubes under their standard bedding, as this won’t risk collapse.
- Mice tend to use one or two areas of their cage as a toilet so you can place a litter tray here, although they are unlikely to completely limit themselves to these areas and may toilet or scent mark elsewhere.
- Mice also like to chew so give them twigs or wood to nibble.