Mice can make wonderful pets, and are especially popular as a first pet as their small, affordable and affectionate. A picture of mouse is most likely to be a domestic pet mouse – somewhat different creature to the grey feral mouse that is very common across the wheat belt in Australia. Also available are pure bred fancy mice – there are even shows are exhibiting such mice.
In this article will focus on the domestic pet mouse, what to look for before making your purchase and some basic care instructions. Be aware that mice are very aware that they are prey animals. Was the domestic pet mouse has been intentionally bred to be affectionate they can be easily spooked and can be quite skittish.
They are also social, territorial, with individuals in a group seeking to exert their dominance. I consider mice a combination pet. In many ways they are like fish – a hobby animal with a fun is observing their behavior. But unlike fish mice can be handled and can be affectionate especially if they are handled from a young age.
Life Span the lifespan of a domestic mouse on average is about two years though individuals have been known to live as long as three years. This is both a positive and negative depending on how you look at it. The death of a pet is almost always sad from young child – but having a short lived pet means if your child quickly tires of looking after their mouse you are not to be left caring for it until they will your into a nursing home.
Habits mice are nocturnal and very social this means that they can be very active during the night but will likely remain hidden during the day. This may not be to the liking of the small owners. Being social animals to mice in one cage is always better than one unless you want to quickly become 20 or 200 we suggest you get to females. Mice will breed and breed whenever conditions are right – and in captivity with unlimited food and water the conditions are very much always right. Don’t keep to males and one cage they will fight. To litter mates may be okay together but at some point if they start competing for the attention of the females it’s likely to get ugly
Choosing Healthy Mice when choosing your mouse, try to visit the pet shop as late as possible in the afternoon when the mice are most likely to be active. Its fairly easy to tell the difference between a healthy mouse and unwell mouse. A healthy mouse will invariably be active, attentive and interested, have a smooth clean coat of and be generally clean of body. Ensure that the mouse cage in the pet shop is clean as evidence that the mouse has been well cared for.
Enquire at what age the males and females were separated. In most cases this will have been done very early especially if you are buying from a breeder. The problem is if mice are not separated early enough you could take aim to females whose bellies grow and you end up with two letters of mice in a few short weeks. Mice reach sexual maturity as early as six weeks after being born.
Always check yourself with your chosen mouse is a male or a female. A quick lift of the tail and everything will be clear. Even in very young mice difference between males and females is obvious with the distance between the anal and genital opening being shorter on females. With older males of say two-months-old the testicles are clearly visible.