Mouse Basics: A Primer on Mouse-Ownership
Magnificent Mice - Is a Mouse Right for Me?
Are you ready to bring a Mouse into your life? Mice live on average for 1.5 - 2 years, and are very low maintenance, easy to care for pets. Female mice often live together socially and will readily accept other female mice when introduced later. Male mice tend to do best with litter mates they are raised with, or with other male mice they are introduced to at a young age.
Home Sweet Home - Male Mice & Scent Marking
Male mice are very dedicated about having everything in their house just-so, and will scent mark clean bedding and clean accessories to identify everything as their own. This is a normal behavior for boys, but can result in a musky smell. Instead of passing up that sweet boy mouse when you are looking for your new buddy, you can try different types of bedding, litter box training, and adding supplements such as Marshall's Bi-Odor to their water to cut down on the smell of mousey pee.
To cut down on scent marking behavior, leave a handful of your mouse's old bedding in their cage at every cleaning time. If it still smells like home, your mouse won't be as upset when you clean house for them.
Choosing Your Mouse
Male or Female? If you want a single mouse, a male mouse will more happily live on their own then the more social female mice. Male mice do scent mark more then females, and this should be taken into concideration if you are particularly sensative to odors.
Essential Mouse Accessories
You will need the following items for your Mouse: A Suitable Habitat, Safe Bedding, A Food Dish, A Water Bottle, A Nest Box, Healthy Food, Chew Toys and a Safe Running Wheel.
Mice are avid climbers, and can live in a wire cage with multiple levels or an aquarium or tank type of cage. A ten gallon aquarium provides a minimum of space, but more room is always better.
Your Mouse's Bedding should be made of a safe material. We recommend using recycled cardboard bedding like Carefresh. Never use Cedar or Pine bedding, as these can cause respiratory damage.
Your Mouse's food dish should be large enough to hold plenty of food, but not large enough for them to get their whole body in. Use a heavy material to prevent your Mouse from tipping it over.
You can use a water bottle to keep fresh water available for your mouse. If you are using an aquarium or tank type cage, we recommend also buying a metal water bottle guard to prevent your mouse from chewing on their water bottle and potentially causing a leak.
Your Mouse will appreciate a nest box or other dark, quiet place to nap in. You can buy plastic igloos or other hiding huts, or simply give your mouse an old tissue box, cardboard box, or wooden box to hide out under. Offer plain white tissue paper as a nesting material.
Your mouse will prefer a forage diet made up of different types of pellets, seeds, dried fruits and vegetables. There are many good packaged foods on the market. Look for one that is low in dried corn and has a good variety of different items.
Offer your mouse a variety of chew toys to keep them busy during the day. You can buy wooden or pumice mouse chew toys at the store, or offer your mouse untreated pieces of apple branches, willow, or plain cardboard tubes.
Mice will get most of their exercise on a safe wheel. You should use a wheel that has a solid surface, as gaps between bars are a good place for a hamster's leg to slip through and get hurt. Ideally, look for a wheel that mounts on one side and does not have spokes for your mouse to get trapped in. Avoid wheels with spokes on the side, as your mouse can get your tail caught between the spoke and the stand and suffer a tail break or other injury. Two of the best mouse wheels on the market are "Silent Spinners" and "Wodent Wheels".
Mouse Care: The Basic Routine
Your mouse will appreciate some time adventuring out of the cage. We don't recommend free ranging your mouse, as it's extremely difficult to effectively mouse proof. Instead, offer your mouse time with you while you handle them, or let them explore in a secure run-about ball.
Your Mouse should always have access to fresh food and clean water. Refresh food bowls and water bottles daily to keep your Mouse healthy.
On a weekly basis, you will need to empty out your mouse's cage, clean the cage and all of their accessories, and add fresh bedding.
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