A few questions (new mouse owner here)

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Post by M O U S E on Sat 21 Mar 2020, 2:36 pm

I have a few questions about a few different things, and all help would be appreciated. I just got two new young female mice on the 18th of this month.
1) Right now, I have them in a 10in x 20in glass aquarium that my mom gave me. I had my previous hamster in a barred cage that was more of 12in x 28in, but the bars are about 1cm apart. I would like to use the bigger cage, because it would allow me to put more things in it and they would just have more room, but I don't want them to escape. I have a cat who likes little things that run, plus my mom said I better make sure that they don't breed with the other mice in the house. Which would be better to use for housing them? Can I use the barred cage, and will they slip through the bars?
2) I would like bonding and taming tips please. They have been in my house for three nights and two days. I am researching it, and so far I have seen generally the same thing.
3) Is it normal for a mouse to be not as active as the other? Roisin doesn't seem as adventurous and active as Fiadh is. I see her the most when she's eating, although I have seen her playing a little bit. She also seems more afraid than Fiadh is. For example, I have a ladder in their aquarium. Roisin has only been up there twice (once when they arrived, once when I took them out) and she seems hesitant to jump from it, whereas Fiadh had no problem. Is this normal? Like, is she just more timid?
4) What is the correct way to clean out a mouse's habitat? My mice seemed to have made a nest in one of the tunnels, and I'm unsure whether I should clean it out or leave everything in it for them.
I'm pretty sure that is all I needed to ask at the moment. I am doing research of my own, but it is nice to have another opinion. Thank you for reading.

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Post by Robin~ on Sat 21 Mar 2020, 3:01 pm

Hello!

1. More space is always a great idea! I doubt a mouse would be able to get through a 1cm gap, but just make sure they don’t bend.

2. Three nights is very early on to begin taming in my opinion. They still need plenty of time—preferably a week—to settle in and get used to their new surroundings. But, for when the time comes, this article is pretty good:
http://www.petmousefanciers.com/t8-handling-and-taming
But, generally, once you start, but take things slowly and don’t go after your mice—always let them come to you.

3. As previously stated, you’re still in the early days yet. Most mice won’t really act like themselves until they’re settled, but even then some of my girls aren’t as outgoing as the others and that’s just how they are. Smile

4. I wouldn’t be removing the nest; they made it for a reason and keeping it will help them settle in. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to wipe it down with an unscented baby wipe during your weekly cleaning, though.
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Post by M O U S E on Sat 21 Mar 2020, 3:13 pm

@Robin~ wrote:Hello!

1. More space is always a great idea! I doubt a mouse would be able to get through a 1cm gap, but just make sure they don’t bend.

2. Three nights is very early on to begin taming in my opinion. They still need plenty of time—preferably a week—to settle in and get used to their new surroundings. But, for when the time comes, this article is pretty good:
http://www.petmousefanciers.com/t8-handling-and-taming
But, generally, once you start, but take things slowly and don’t go after your mice—always let them come to you.

3. As previously stated, you’re still in the early days yet. Most mice won’t really act like themselves until they’re settled, but even then some of my girls aren’t as outgoing as the others and that’s just how they are. Smile

4. I wouldn’t be removing the nest; they made it for a reason and keeping it will help them settle in. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to wipe it down with an unscented baby wipe during your weekly cleaning, though.
I would like to use the wire cage then. I'd like to give them more room. Thank you for the article. I'll keep this on hand for when I start taming them. So, just to be clear, I should not remove anything from the inside of the nest?
Also, I moved and regularly changed the toys and hideys for my hamster. Would changing around things be bad or beneficial for a mouse?
Thank you for the help. I really appreciate it. This is my first pair of mice and I want to make sure I take care of them as best as possible.

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Post by Robin~ on Sat 21 Mar 2020, 3:57 pm

No, I wouldn’t remove anything from the nest. Smile

Moving around toys is great for stimulation! Unlike hamsters, mice don’t get stressed from too many scenery changes so you can do them as often as twice a week if you wanted to. But, I think giving them this first week to themselves would be a good idea first.
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Post by M O U S E on Sat 21 Mar 2020, 4:05 pm

@Robin~ wrote:No, I wouldn’t remove anything from the nest. Smile

Moving around toys is great for stimulation! Unlike hamsters, mice don’t get stressed from too many scenery changes so you can do them as often as twice a week if you wanted to. But, I think giving them this first week to themselves would be a good idea first.
Alright. Thank you for the advice Smile

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Post by chiroptera on Tue 24 Mar 2020, 1:23 am

Robin's given you some great advice already, adding to it a little bit for an extra opinion.

1) 1cm is small enough for mousies, you shouldn't have a problem! If you're super worried, you could attach 1/4" hardware cloth (wire mesh) to the outside of the cage. But I think you'd be good.
2) The link Robin offered has a lot of great info! Take it slow and try to interact with them every day to get them used to you. Some mice may just be timid, and ultimately not really enjoy playtime, but most will come around! I also find that many mice are more timid in their enclosure - they may be nervous when you try to get them out, but once they're out they're happy to explore or sit on your shoulder!
3) Mice have different personalities, so it's definitely possible that one is just more timid or less active than the other, it's not something to worry about, and certainly not when she's just moved in. You'll see that some mice act sooo differently than others, it's so fun to see how they all behave!
4) Unlike hamsters, you'll want to clean all of the bedding each week when you clean the cage, mice aren't as easily stressed when you clean and they tend to be a bit stinkier and messier than hams. As for the nest, while they're new I would definitely let it be and not disturb it. Is it a plastic tube, or a paper towel/cardboard tube? If it's cardboard, it will eventually get gross from urine, so you should be able to see when you'll need to replace it.

And mice LOVE to explore new things. When you clean and rearrange, the mice will run all around and explore everything, it's one of my favorite things to see. Since they're new right now and adjusting, I'd be more cautious about it, but once they're settled in I would recommend giving them new things to explore as much as you can! Smile

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Post by M O U S E on Tue 24 Mar 2020, 10:30 am

@chiroptera wrote:Robin's given you some great advice already, adding to it a little bit for an extra opinion.

4) Unlike hamsters, you'll want to clean all of the bedding each week when you clean the cage, mice aren't as easily stressed when you clean and they tend to be a bit stinkier and messier than hams. As for the nest, while they're new I would definitely let it be and not disturb it. Is it a plastic tube, or a paper towel/cardboard tube? If it's cardboard, it will eventually get gross from urine, so you should be able to see when you'll need to replace it.

And mice LOVE to explore new things. When you clean and rearrange, the mice will run all around and explore everything, it's one of my favorite things to see. Since they're new right now and adjusting, I'd be more cautious about it, but once they're settled in I would recommend giving them new things to explore as much as you can! Smile
I have definitely noticed that they are messier. I don't think the aquarium I have them in has enough ventilation for them either. So I'm going to move them. I was thinking about moving them today when they wake up. Thank you for the extra advice!

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