Can a Mouse Be a Pet?

Discover the reasons why mice can make good pets and how you can bond with these little creatures.

Mar 13, 2024By Donna Hobson
can a mouse be a pet

Mice are small, adorable creatures that can make for great pets. They are easy to care for and come in various breeds. Not only that, but mice are surprisingly loving and affectionate pets who can form strong bonds with their owners.

If you are considering adopting a mouse, here is some information to help you decide if mice make good pets.

Do Mice Make Good Pets?

mouse standing on floor
Credit: Image by Rob Owen-Wahl on Pixabay

There are many reasons why people choose to own mice as pets. Mice require little space, do not need to be walked, and are relatively inexpensive to feed. They are quiet creatures who don't cause a lot of disturbance and thrive in same-sex pairs.

Not only will their littermate help keep them occupied, but it can also be entertaining for owners to watch the pair interact.

A pet mouse is an excellent choice for people who want to bond with a pet but don't want the responsibility of taking care of a dog or cat. They don't need a significant investment of time or money and are great first pets for school-aged children.

They also provide more benefits than most people think, such as reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease risk. Research has demonstrated that handling and stroking pets effectively reduces the cortisol level - the stress hormone - in our bodies.

Can I Keep a Wild Mouse as a Pet?

mouse sitting on floor
Credit: Image by Rob Owen-Wahl on Pixabay

Mice are found worldwide and live in many habitats, including grasslands, mountains, swamps, deserts, and even urban areas. They can be found living close to humans or deep inside the wilderness. You can keep a wild mouse as a pet, but there are some caveats.

Firstly, you will need to ensure that you have a suitable enclosure for the mouse. Mice need a spacious cage with plenty of space to play in. They also need a pen with plenty of hiding places and a food dish they can reach without any problems.

Secondly, it is not always easy to approach a wild mouse. They are often scared and may run away. But if you want to catch one, there are a few things you can do.

You could try to trap it in a container and then move it into a cage, or you could try to lure it into a cage with food inside. You can also use some cheese as bait for the mouse or some peanut butter so the mouse will come close enough for you to grab it. Mice love peanut butter, so it is a particularly effective food when trying to capture one. Still, avoid feeding your pet peanut butter; despite their love for the food, it can be harmful for them to consume.

How To Bond with a Pet Mouse

human feeding mouse
Credit: Image by Etouale on Pixabay

Humans bond with mice in a very different way than other animals. Mice are not domesticated animals and are often seen as pests or vermin, but they have been shown to be intelligent and social creatures.

A human's brain may be much larger than a mouse's, but our brain-to-body ratio is the same at 1:40. A gene called FOXP2 plays a significant role in brain function and helps to develop language in all species. Comparing the FOXP2 gene of a human to that of a mouse, it has only three amino acids that separate its makeup.

And mice are emotionally intelligent creatures too. Research by Jaak Panksepp demonstrated a mouse's response to being tickled by a human; when this happened, the mouse chirped in a similar reaction to how a human might laugh. And it's not just human-to-mouse interactions that these little creatures enjoy; they will give as much affection as they receive. Many are known to "groom" their human companions as a gesture of love.

The best way to build trust with your pet mouse is to make it feel safe and secure. You can do this by giving it a cage with plenty of space to run around in. You should also ensure that you have adequately cleaned it before introducing your mouse.

How To Take Care of a Pet Mouse

mouse sitting in mini bathtub
Credit: Image by missimoretz on Pixabay

Mice are small animals that need to be content with their surroundings. They need a safe place to sleep, food and water, and enough exercise.

Mice need ample space to live in; a pair of mice will require a cage of at least 50 cm x 50 cm x 80 cm. This is because mice need a lot of space to run around and explore. It's also essential to ensure that your mouse has enough room to climb up and down, which they will do for exercise. Mice are tiny mammals, and they need exercise to stay healthy. But make sure the bars have a gap of fewer than six millimeters to avoid your mouse escaping, as they can squeeze through minimal gaps.

You should feed a pet mouse at least twice a day. This ensures that the mouse has enough energy to keep up with its active lifestyle and maintain a healthy weight. Feeding your pet mouse, the right food is essential, so it will not develop any nutritional deficiencies. They can eat anything from seeds, nuts, grains, fruits, vegetables, and even insects. They can also chew on paper and other materials.

Finally, an enriching environment is necessary for a mouse to live in. Mice are very sensitive to the environment they are living in, and they will react to it.

Donna Hobson
By Donna Hobson

Donna believes that keeping a pet is the key to a happy life. Over the years, many creatures have passed through her home - Sooty the cat, Millie the rabbit, Stuart (Little) the guinea pig, and Trixie the tortoise, alongside her pet goldfish, Zippy, who lived to the grand old age of 24 years! She currently resides with her black kitten Jinx and an aquarium full of fish and snails to entrance them both. When she is not looking after her pets, Donna enjoys researching and writing the answers to all your pet-related wonders.