Mice are very gentle and fragile animals. They love to climb on people’s arms and shoulders. They are very curious and productive animals and they love to make underground tunnels and houses with nests in them.
If you are looking for a small mammal to hold, a mouse would be a good choice as long as you realize how fragile they can be.
Keep mice in glass aquariums since they are very adept at escaping from their houses. If a mouse can get his head through an opening, he can get out. Glass aquariums, with secure tops, generally are the best houses for mice.
NEVER house a mouse in a habitrail. They are not designed for mice and do not provide enough ventilation or sanitation for any small mammal.
Make sure you add plenty of bedding for mice to make nests with. The best bedding is shredded paper, timothy hay, tissues, cotton balls, paper towels, napkins, and pieces of cloth. Also, you will need to add things they can climb in and about. Some great ideas are: toilet paper or paper towel rolls, small wicker baskets (no dyes, chemicals or glues), wooden boxes, empty oatmeal containers, and shoe boxes.
Two of their favorite items are hollowed out coconuts and large, stale loaves of bread. To make a coconut house, make a small opening at one end of the coconut and dry out the insides. Scoop out the dried coconut and you have a coconut house! If you have a large, round loaf of bread and allow it to become stale, you can place it in your mouse’s cage and he will tunnel through it. This activity is great fun for your mouse.
NEVER offer an exercise wheel to a mouse. They are not designed for small mammals with long tails. A mouse can get his tail caught in the wheel and become injured.
The ideal manner in which to set up your mouse’s cage is to line the bottom of the cage with newspaper, then add hay, shredded paper, tubes, and fun houses.
NEVER use cedar shavings because they can cause liver disease and respiratory problems in small mammals. Pine shavings can cause skin problems because they contain high levels of oils. It is best to avoid any type of shavings.
It is very important to clean your mouse’s cage every day. Mice do not require any inoculations from the vet, so the best way to keep them healthy is to keep their cage clean. Mice produce a great deal of urine and feces. A build up of either waste product can cause infections in your mouse. To prevent this, clean her cage daily. Once you establish a routine, cleaning the cage should only take a few minutes of your time.
The best type of food to feed a mouse is a mixture of commercial grain and rat and mice blocks. Rat and mice blocks provide all the nutrition your mouse needs in each bite. Commercial food provides a wide range of fruits and vegetables. The best type of commercial food is Fiesta, which has the correct blend of dried fruits, vegetables, and grains. If you do not use Fiesta, make sure the brand you buy does not contain a lot of corn or sunflower seeds.
You also need to provide your mouse with fresh fruits and vegetables. The best treats to give are bananas, pineapple, mango, kiwi fruit, papaya, carrots, strawberries, apples (no seeds because they contain arsenic), romaine lettuce, and coarse cut oatmeal.
Too Many Mice
Make sure you do not put too many mice in too small of an area. If you have too many mice competing for space and food, they might end up cannibalizing each other. A good way to prevent this is to keep only one or two mice per cage. Keep only females together since they do not normally fight. Two males in the same cage will fight with each other until one is dead. A male and a female will keep having babies every few weeks, and eventually the female will kill the male in order to protect her babies.
Handling a Mouse
You should handle your mouse every day for about one half hour. This will keep your mouse friendly and easy to handle. Handle him gently. If you squeeze too tight, you can suffocate him or hurt his back. The best way to pick up a mouse is to cup your hands around the mouse and then lift him.
NEVER pick your mouse up by the tail. This can cause injury.