How to make your mice feel at home

Although mice are very small, they are very busy and energetic. They absolutely love to climb and explore their surroundings, foraging for food and digging in bedding materials. They need a much more interesting home than a small cage with a house and wheel.

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Creating the right environment for your mice

The cage you choose will need space for you to add lots of activities them to climb and explore. Your mice will also need a floor space they can do lots of running around on and bedding that they can dig and forage in.

The ideal cage design for a single or small group of mice

When choosing a cage, remember these minimum sizes:

  • Depth: 50cm
  • Width: 80cm
  • Height: 35cm
  • Bar spacing: 6mm is the safest size

Keep your mice happy and occupied

Mice are extremely energetic and agile. They enjoy running across ropes and can manage heights and angles quite well with the aid of their tail. Make sure you provide them with toys and activities to keep them fit, healthy and happy.

It doesn’t need to be expensive. Homemade items, children’s toys and even a kitchen roll tube will be much appreciated by your little pet.

Your mice will enjoy:

  • Plastic or card tunnels and tubes. Some tunnels allow you to build big mazes with them and even a loop-the-loop!
  • Card boxes such as shoe and cereal boxes
  • Children’s toys, such as mini dollhouses and early learning toys, can offer great hiding places and nesting opportunities
  • Wheels. Your mouse’s cage doesn’t need one constantly so don’t feel guilty mixing it up. Have it in some weeks, and remove it for a while during others
  • Ropes and ladders. These can be purchased or homemade. Even some dog tugger ropes are ideal!
  • Plastic houses and hides
  • Hammocks – these can be homemade or purchased
  • Apple or willow tree branches and twigs for climbing on

Choosing the right mouse bedding

The wrong bedding for your mice can have a very negative effect on their health. Wood shavings or sawdust can be extremely harmful to your mouse’s skin and airway, and can give you an allergic reaction too!

Below are bedding materials that are safe for your mouse to snuggle in:

  • Small-cut, shredded paper. Easy to use, and best of all, it’s free! Use shredded paper to line the floor
  • Finacard. A shredded card material, good for the base of the cage
  • Cardboard squares around 1 cm square, ideal for the base of the cage
  • White, soft tissue paper bedding is suitable for mouse bedding. Please avoid the cotton wool type, as this can be dangerous to your mice

How to clean out your mice

Keeping your mouse cage clean is key to preventing serious health conditions such as respiratory problems.

Mice, in particular males, can be very messy and will generally not choose a main toilet area. To help keep the odour at bay, use a small dustpan and brush or damp cloth to remove excessive build-ups of wee and poo daily.

Carry out a full clean of the entire enclosure once a week, ensuring you also clean all toys and activities with pet-friendly disinfectant. Take the opportunity to add a few new toys in the cage for interest, like a new apple branch or box for your mice to explore.