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Mice as Pets

By Edited Apr 1, 2016 1 0

I have owned mice as pets for a while now and and really enjoy it. I thought I would write an article here about my experience here to highlight some of the pros and cons. Maybe if some of you reading this have considered owning some mice I can convince you to join the club, or maybe you are just curious why others own mice, either way I hope you enjoy this article.

It is important to remember that mice bred to be pets are very different to the mice you may think of running around in your garden, or being a pest in your house. Pet mice are often referred to as 'fancy mice', any mouse you see in your garden or house will very likely be a field mouse.

Fancy mice are primarily bred by breeders and then sold to pet stores and through other private networks. They come in a range of colors like brown, white, black, sandy and grey in most cases. You cannot release these animals into the wild if you no longer want them, they are not prepared to fend for themselves and will not last long. If for any reason you find yourself with unwanted mice please call you r local pets stores or offer them to other owners in private ads.

Do Mice Make Good Pets?

This is a question I get asked fairly often, especially when people find out I own some pet mice. Obviously this is a hard question to answer in a nutshell, it depends on what you are looking for from your pets. If you are looking for pets that show you obedience and loyalty, you should think about getting a dog. If you are like me and are fascinated by small pets, watching them living in their own little world, building nests and bedding areas, eating, grooming and looking content, then mice might be for you.

This is not to say that mice are not social animals, you can take them out of their home and play with them. My mice enjoy running up and down my arm or eating some food in the palm of my hand. It can take a while to tame mice to the point where they feel comfortable approaching you and being handled. If you handle them regularly from an early age this process does not take long at all as they grow up being comfortable with you.

Mice are good pets for children and adults. Children can benefit from the joy of having small pets they can call their own. There are some responsibilities involved, so if you think your child is old enough you can leave them as primary carer, and us adults can enjoy them just as much!

One of my Brown Mice

Brown Pet Mouse
Credit: Taken by myself

Feeding your Mice

There is a wide range of foods available from pet stores and online retailers. I would recommend buying a bag of mixed food, then supplementing that with some fruit and vegetable scraps.

Some vegetables that mice love;

  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Soya Beans

Some fruit pieces to treat them with;

  • Banana
  • Peach
  • Apple
  • Kiwi

Try and find a balance between packed food mix, vegetables and fruit pieces and some seeds. There is a risk of overeating if you consistently put too much food out, so do yourself and the mice a favor by not being too generous. Otherwise you will have overweight mice and some of the associated health problems might follow.

Taking Care of Your Mice

You do not need to put in a lot of time and work with mice. The minimum requirements are topping up food daily, fresh water when needed dependent on the size of bottle/bowl you have and cleaning out once a week.

They do require exercise as mice are active animals. I recommend having an accessory wheel in their cage for them to run on. Also, when cleaning out their cage remove them and put them somewhere where they can have a good run around. I let mine loose on a table I have in my living room, there is almost no risk of mice jumping off anything high off the ground, it has certainly not happened to me before. 

If you take good care of your pets they will live around 1 and a half years, sometimes up to 2 years if you're lucky. You will not notice much in the way of aging as your mice get older, they do get a little slower and lose some fur, but don't we all?!

If you have any questions you can leave a comment below and I will reply, additionally there is a large online community of mice owners writing many articles and answering questions. 

Mouse Getting Some Exercise

Mice Cage

Ware Manufacturing Chew Proof Critter Cage, 25-Inch
Amazon Price: $47.99 $34.55 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 1, 2016)

Exercise Wheel

Kaytee CritterTrail Snap-On Comfort Wheel, Colors Vary
Amazon Price: $13.99 $2.09 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 1, 2016)
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