Mice are sweet little creatures and make the most wonderful pets. There are different types of mice and these include domestic mice, field mice, and spiny mice. The best kind to keep as a pet is the domestic mouse, also sometimes referred to as the fancy mouse. The spiny mice which are desert rodents and the field mice are much harder to take care of though almost as adorable.
Though all types of mice make good pets, field mice are the least preferred. The domestic mice are a result of careful and selective breeding by human beings to bring out those qualities that we love so much. These types of mice are usually very calm and are friendly towards humans. To take the best care of your pet mouse, I would love to offer some helpful suggestions.
Two or More
Field mice and domestic mice are very social, no matter which types of mice you are keeping. Therefore, you should keep them in groups, or at least two at a time. If you don’t own multiple field mice or any types of mice, it is likely that a single mouse will keep itself hidden from view most of the time and will always be indolent. However, if you have more field mice, you will enjoy every moment as they will often come out to play and run around inside their cage.
More than one male in a single cage is a recipe for endless cacophony, violence and risks of injuries. In all types of mice, males do not get along together much because they tend to be very territorial. To tell the gender of the mice, you can inspect the underside of all types of mice. The males will have a longer distance between their anus and the genitals, though field mice will have a longer distance for the same gender as other types of mice. Most pet stores give you the wrong gender so you better check for yourself. Neutering a male is good if you want to keep him calm and if you do not intend to breed mice.
All types of mice are naturally terrified of the big giants called human beings, so their natural reaction when you try to pick them up will be to run and hide. The best way to get them over this fear is by teaching them from a very young age (preferably when they are less than 5 weeks old) to trust you. At first, feed all types of mice including field mice, little pieces of food right from your finger tip. Move your hand in slow deliberate moves rather than abrupt or rapid moves. With time, even field mice will be coming to your hand immediately you put it into the cage.
To pick up a mouse, gently hold it by the part of its tail closest to its body. Though field mice are more daring, most types of mice may be skittish but they generally will not take a jump that is more than one foot above the ground. Nevertheless, do not let go of the tail due to the fact that any scared types of mice may act in strange ways and possibly hurt themselves in the process.
Of all types of mice, spiny mice and field mice are the toughest to train. The best way to earn a mouse’s trust is through its stomach. Feed the mouse daily by hand and slowly by slowly he will get accustomed to you and you will gain its trust. In the process of feeding your mouse different types of treats, you will get to learn which one he loves most.
Be prepared for a long wait since it will take time before trust is built and he is comfortable running into your palm, especially if they are field mice. The wait is much longer for field mice and other types of mice. Each consecutive time you bring your mouse food, be making some distinctive sound such as clicks. In time, he will come to associate those sounds with you calling him for food or treats.
Feeding Your Mouse
Being scavenging omnivores, field mice and spiny mice learn to take care of themselves early in life. Unlike field mice, domestic mice will depend only on you and therefore you should ensure you never forget their meals. Cooking their meals is very time consuming and the most convenient thing to do would be to buy packaged rodent food from pet stores. When feeding any types of mice these packaged foods, you can offer little treats such as pieces of apple, carrots, leafy vegetables, cereals, and cooked spaghetti.
Domestic mice are much calmer than field mice and most other types of mice. They are playful with each other and with you, once they get to trust you. Field mice and all other types of mice eat almost anything, those the packaged rodent meals are usually the best as they are properly balanced for optimum health.
Read more: What do mice eat?