New Mouse Advice Wanted

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Post by lucyt7 on Sat 17 Aug 2019, 11:03 am

(Sorry in advanced I’m not sure how to use this site!)
I am a brand new mouse owner having never owned rodents before at all, and so I am just looking for a spot of advice. I’ve given my little boy Frankie 3 days to settle into his new cage and environment, and he has started climbing onto my hands sometimes, but he has ruby eyes and his sight isn’t the best so sometimes he doesn’t see my hand or thinks I’m just some food.
He has a little hidey house and obviously sleeps all day, but sometimes I can hear him clattering around inside but he never comes outside? Most of the time that he is up and awake I am asleep, and I am just wondering how to bond with him. I have tried to put some treats onto my hand and wait for him to come to be but he can’t see too well and sometimes thinks that I am the treat! I would appreciate any advice given Smile

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Post by CallaLily on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 4:31 pm

Hello and welcome!

Mice actually don’t rely on their vision a whole lot, pink eyes or not. They navigate mostly by smell and feel (whiskers) as all have somewhat poor eyesight. Wink  So I wouldn’t worry about that. Smile

To bond with him I always recommend getting your mouse out of their home and into a safe play space daily. This can be a big storage bin or dry bathtub, full of toys (or the bathtub you can climb right in). Taming usually goes better outside of the cage like this. You can start with short play sessions and work up to longer ones if your mouse is very shy or seems to get stressed. But eventually you’ll want to interact with him for at least 30 minutes a day (all one go or split up), though more would be great too if he enjoys it (make sure water is available).

Skip out on the hand feeding, at least until he is tame. I personally find this encourages biting/nipping. Instead, scatter treats around his cage for him to find after play time. I promise he’ll still make the connection!

Mice are crepuscular so are usually most active around dawn and dusk but our pet mice often adjust easily to our schedules. Try getting him out for play time around the same time every day, waking him gently if necessary. You’ll likely find he catches on and is waiting for you during these times, assuming he’s like most male mice and really enjoys your company. Smile

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Post by lucyt7 on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 6:12 pm

Thank you! He’s already become a lot less timid since i first posted this, and as i don’t have a bath i’ve bought a small play pen so he doesn’t try to run off too much.  

He does however tend to nibble on my fingers and fingernails; I’ve read that this is an affection type thing and so i don’t want to tell him off for it, but occasionally he will bite too hard and i will do a sharp ‘eep’ rather than telling him off and he doesn’t react to it. Do you know any ways to gently discipline or is it just a case of not allowing him to chew my nails?

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Post by Robin~ on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 6:22 pm

Some people find lightly blowing on their nose can work. However, he likely just thinks you're food (back to that whole eyesight thing), so maybe washing your hands before handling him could help.
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Post by lucyt7 on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 7:14 pm

Sounds like some things to try. Thank you!

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Post by CallaLily on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 12:02 pm

For my nibbley guy, I would just gently curl my fingers away and say “no bites” every time he tried to nibble my finger tips. He caught on very quickly.  He was super interested in play time so that may be why, a more shy or aggressive mouse may take a bit longer. I don’t know whether this nibbling is truly affectionate or not but allowing it to continue would probably just lead to more of the behavior or even full on biting.  

I know it seems silly to repeat a phrase like “no bites” every time but many mice pick up on these repeated phrases and even learn their names. I always repeated the same phrases at the start of play time (simply “play time”) and at the end of playtime (“home”), adding their names after.  Some got it, others not so much. Pardon


Edit: and yes, definitely make sure your hands are clean and don’t smell of food or any yummy smelling soap or lotion. It may also help to rub your hands in his bedding too.

_________________
currently without meece but always remembering:
Cheeseburger, Bacon, Twix, Hashbrown, Daryl,
Celyn, Rina, Seren, Hazel, Arsinoe, Tilda, & Eulyn

Gerbils: Merin & Hamlet / Jeffrey, Geoffrey, & Jeffri /
Emrys, Cream, & Hershey / Bill & Frances  
Hearts  
Hamster: Daydream
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