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How to Care for a Pet Mouse

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Published on Aug 20, 2010

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A mouse in the house? Why not? Pet mice are cute, easy to care for, and fun to watch.

Step 1: Do your homework
Before you bring home even a little tiny mouse, do your homework. Pet stores can sell you books and magazines about mice. You can also find lots of mouse sites online.

Step 2: Buy mice in pairs
Mice are social animals and shouldn’t live alone. Two female mice make great friends. Two male mice can be buddies if they’re introduced at an early age. Just don’t combine males and females, or you’ll soon be overrun!

Step 3: Prepare a nice mouse home
Keep your mice in a wire cage or a ten-gallon glass aquarium, away from direct sunlight and drafts. Line the cage with plenty of bedding—aspen shavings, shredded paper, or hay work best.

Tip
Never use cedar or pine shavings; they contain chemicals that can be dangerous.

Step 4: Offer rodent food
Feed your mice rodent food—which is specially formulated for their nutritional needs and is available at pet stores—as well as small amounts of greens and vegetables. Provide fresh, clean water and remove uneaten fresh food daily.

Tip
Like people, mice and other rodents like variety in their meals. 'Rodent pellets' get boring for mice and other small creatures.

Step 5: Use untreated wood for chewing
Mice’s teeth grow continuously throughout their lives. So make sure your mouse buddies have plenty of untreated wood to chew.

Step 6: Set up hiding places
Mice need lots of hiding places to play and sleep in. Try empty coffee cans, shoeboxes, overturned flower pots, and cardboard tubes.

Step 7: Offer paper towels for bedding
Provide your mice with plenty of clean paper towels that they can shred up and use for bedding.

Step 8: Buy exercise wheel
Mice love to run on exercise wheels. Put a wheel or two in your mice’s cage and make sure they can use them easily.

Tip
A solid plastic exercise wheel is better for rodents’ feet than a wire wheel.

Step 9: Play with your mice
Tame your mice by handling them every day and letting them run around in a safe, enclosed area.

Tip
Never pick up a mouse by its tail—you could tear the skin.

Step 10: Offer mouse toys
Like all rodents, mice love toys and tubes. Give your mice as many toys as their cage will hold.

Step 11: Treat your mouse well
There’s more to a pet mouse than you’d expect. Treat him well, and you’ll enjoy this adorable pet for a long time to come.

Did You Know?
Mice can be trained to ride on a person’s shoulder.

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