Skiddish mouse

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Skiddish mouse

Post by tadpole69 on Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:20 am

I recently got a female long haired mouse from a pet store. My problem is that she is ridiculously skiddish and if I even go near the cage she will run at top speed to cover. On cleaning day she gets so worked up and nervous and it worried me her breathhing gets very heavy and looks like her heart is racing. I've tried to just put my hand in the cage and keep it still to get her used to me but no matter how long I keep my hand in there she will not come out. Not even a peek. Does anyone have any advice because I don't want this mouse to live in such a fearful state mind..

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Re: Skiddish mouse

Post by CallaLily on Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:52 am

Time and patience.

Some mice just take longer than others. I would gently get her out every day, at least once a day, and move her to a safe play area. It does help to try for a certain time everyday, as they'll come to expect it. You can let her run into a tube or box to move her until she's more comfortable with your hand. Once in the safe play space, continue to offer her your hand. She's more likely to give into her curiosity there, though it may take time. Once she does come around and begins climbing onto your hand, you can slowly start introducing movement. I start out giving my mice rides from one end of the play bin to the other. They usually enjoy this a lot and will run back to the starting point to do it all again.

Another method I've used for those that are extra skittish and don't seem to ever want to come check out my hand, is to use a tube to encourage them. When they move into a tube, usually one specific tube so that they do still have "safe" spots, I'll pick it up and place my hands at either end. Keeping it low enough that they can climb out and back into the play space - but the catch is they'll have to step onto my hand to do so. Eventually they learn that my hands aren't as scary as they thought and we build trust from there.

When you move them back to their tank, have some favorite treats waiting for them to find.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

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Re: Skiddish mouse

Post by River on Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:47 pm

Does she have a cage-mate? Female mice need friends and they often make them feel more secure. Sorry if this is a silly question; thought it worth mentioning! Good luck.

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Re: Skiddish mouse

Post by CallaLily on Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:47 am

Good question! I had assumed since the mouse was a recent purchase that she was still in quarantine.

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Re: Skiddish mouse

Post by tadpole69 on Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:00 am

No she's not a new purchase. I've had her for over 2 months now. I tried the play area thing a few times since the other day, but have gotten nowhere. She just stays at the complete opposite side and cowers and shivers. I got her from a pet store and I suspect there might have been some abuse. I've never seen a mouse like this. And yes she has 3 female cage mates and her skiddish behavior seems to be a little contagious. When they see her freaking out they assume there is something to freak out about and get weird too. I tried the tube thing twice but after 20 minutes and she made no move to come out at all . Just sits dead center, and I can feel her shiver. I'm out of ideas (not patience) But I don't want my other mice picking up this behavior

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Re: Skiddish mouse

Post by CallaLily on Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:14 am

I would just keep up with the play time in a safe space. Make sure there's a lot of toys. Wide open spaces freak most mice out.  I would take them all out at once, focus on the other mice and hopefully, with time she'll come around. She may just be one of those mice who never really enjoys interacting with people. And that's ok!  I had a girl, Bacon, who hated being handled but she did enjoy running around in the play bin with her tank mates. Hopefully your girl will at least get there where she'll enjoy some extra exercise.   In any case, it's going to take more than just a couple sessions. It will work best if you do play time at least once a day, every day, and try to aim for around the same time so she'll come to expect it. You can start out limiting the play time to just a few minutes and work up to what you and your mice are comfortable with. Remember not to have them out without water for more than 30 minutes at a time. Or you can do what a lot of us do and provide a water bottle/bowl in the play area. Keep it up. Smile

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