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Male vs female mice for beginner mouse owner?

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Male vs female mice for beginner mouse owner? Empty Male vs female mice for beginner mouse owner?

Post by Plapatin Tue 14 Feb 2017, 12:48 am

I'm not sure if this is a FAQ or not, so I'm posting it in general Razz
I'm a beginner mouse owner, having never owned any sort of rodent before in my life.
What gender mouse/mice would be best for me?
I do have school, but I spend a lot of time at home if not at school, and the cage will likely be in my room.
Could someone help me decide? Anything would be highly appreciated!

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Post by AnonymousMouseOwner Tue 14 Feb 2017, 1:06 am

It all depends on what your preferences are. There is no "better" gender for a beginner. If you don't want to deal with introductions, quarantines, getting another mouse after one passes away, etc., then a male may be better for you. Males, however, need more attention from you and should be handled daily. Females generally smell a LOT less than males. So if smell is a problem for you, females might be better.
I will list some pros and cons of each gender:
Males:
Cons:
Usually smellier than females
Require more attention than females (Can be a pro or a con depending on your situation)
Pros:
Often form a stronger bond with their owners than females do
Can't live with other mice, meaning you don't need to do introductions and deal with quarantines

Females:
Cons:
Must live with at least one other mouse, preferably two (Meaning you have to deal with introductions and quarantines)
Don't always form as strong of a bond to their owners as males do
Pros:
Snuggles! (It's so sweet to see colonies of mice snuggled together in a nest)
They are just plain fun, it is so fun to watch them do things together and use teamwork

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Post by stephlisa Tue 14 Feb 2017, 6:04 am

What AnonMouseOwner said, but wanted to add a few bits of my personal experience.

Around a year ago, my husband and I were contemplating the same thing. We ended up getting a male mouse for a variety of reasons:
- having just one mouse seemed a good introduction to mice care (I get overwhelmed easily)
- we wanted a mouse that wanted to be our friend and spend lots of time with us (no means guaranteed with a male, but a little more likely, although I've heard of people who've had friendlier females than males)
- less vet bills should one/some fall ill

Regarding smell, Colin (and his cage) barely smell at all. Normally if there's a smell between cleaning it is normally his wheel so I just clean that. No-one has ever commented on a mouse smell either. However, this isn't guaranteed...some boys do just smell.

Ultimately, it depends on your situation and what you want. In the distant future I can see us getting a group of girls, but for now, dealing with one mouse is plenty.

The cutest thing with Colin is how much he wants our love and attention. He'll come to the cage doors and almost beg to be let out to play with us. If he doesn't get a response at one door, he'll visit all the others in hope that I just haven't seen him. We try to handle him for at least an hour a day, but inevitably some days he gets more, some less, and some days he just wants to stay at home.

(Don't let my post put you off getting a group of girls though if you're already leaning that way!)

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Post by mouseman Tue 14 Feb 2017, 8:38 pm

I have a male who is my first rodent, I personally think he smells like fritos. when they say boys smell more it freaks people out a lot but it's not a BAD smell. it isn't like cat pee or an unwashed bathroom or something, that was personally my biggest worry getting a male. They're both great choices though, keep in mind that males are constantly at shelters needing a good home because people try to keep more than one of them in the same cage a lot, you probably wont want to take in a rescue mouse as your first pet though.
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Post by CallaLily Wed 15 Feb 2017, 7:59 am

@mouseman wrote:I have a male who is my first rodent, I personally think he smells like fritos. when they say boys smell more it freaks people out a lot but it's not a BAD smell.

I've only had one male but I agree that I wouldn't necessarily call it a bad smell but I know others may not share that opinion.  He had a kind of skunky smell to my nose, which I didn't mind so much but my husband thought it was awful.  So I guess bad smell or not totally depends on your nose (and maybe the mouse) but one thing I think we can all agree on is it's a much stronger smell with males - at least most of the time.  I agree with @stephlisa, between cleanings a strong smell is usually the wheel. They (both male and female) tend to go on the wheel a lot, especially when they're young.

As far as which is the better first mouse, I think that also depends on the person.  Both have their pros and cons. Check out this thread for more info on boys and see if it fits with what you're looking for. https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t23-let-s-hear-it-for-the-boys

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Post by mouseman Wed 15 Feb 2017, 8:18 am

 I agree with @stephlisa, between cleanings a strong smell is usually the wheel. They (both male and female) tend to go on the wheel a lot, especially when they're young.
I personally wipe the wheel down every other day when I clean out my water bottles which might make the difference with how much his tank smells.
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Post by CallaLily Wed 15 Feb 2017, 8:21 am

@mouseman wrote:  
@CallaLily wrote:I agree with @stephlisa, between cleanings a strong smell is usually the wheel. They (both male and female) tend to go on the wheel a lot, especially when they're young.
I personally wipe the wheel down every other day when I clean out my water bottles which might make the difference with how much his tank smells.

Yes, that's what I meant by that comment. Cleaning the wheels as needed between full weekly cleans can really help, if smell is a concern. Smile

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