Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

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Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by Quirkyvictorian on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 7:45 am

Hello, I've lurked on your forum for the last couple of weeks, and I really enjoy all the information that you have! I still have a few questions, so I thought I would make an account and see if I can get an answer!

Quite a few years ago now, I really, really wanted to get a pair of rats. I did TONS of research and was really excited, but finally had to accept that I simply do not have room for a proper rat cage. A few weeks ago, I had watched a documentary about rats and it got me wishing again that I could have some. I had to run to Petco that afternoon to grab a cricket, and while I was there, I wandered into the small animal section and wound up asking to hold a mouse. It was instant love. He calmed down so quickly in my hand and was just looking at me curiously, and he was so perfect and cute. I was very reluctant to hand him back, but knew I couldn't get a new pet without doing tons of research.

As soon as I got home, I started researching, and I'm thinking this really could be a great thing. However, I want to make sure I'm doing this because it really will work out both for me and the mouse, and not just because mice are cute and I want one! So, with that long-winded introduction, let me get to my actual questions! (Sorry, we all have our excesses, and words are mine.)

First question: Are mice as intelligent and trainable as rats? I tried to look up information on that, and while I found plenty of comparisons out there, none of them really seemed to answer that question. What I'm hoping for is more or less a miniature rat that I can keep in a ten gallon aquarium. How disappointed will I be if I go in with that expectation?

Second question: How much bonding can I expect? The absolute only option I have is the pet store, unfortunately. I did a lot of research, and it was the same story when I wanted to get rats (now, even the pet stores don't carry rats because wherever they were getting them from has closed down). I don't think it's fair to drive several hours with a terrified new animal, so none of the rescues or breeders are an option for me.

It seems like it is possible for mice to bond with people, but how common is that, really? Is it kind of rare, or do you feel like most of your mice have bonded with you? Will my mouse ever love me as much as my Golden Retriever does? When I was researching bonding, a lot of people talked about mice needing to be handled from an early age. I know if I get a mouse from a pet store, they probably will have been rarely handled. I don't know how old the mice at the pet store are---is there any way to get an idea? Has anyone had success in bonding with a pet store mouse, and how likely would you say it is?

I really don't want another "look-don't-touch" pet. I have Beatrix and Octavia for that (my tarantula and jumping spider). I have had many pets, but never a small animal of any kind (I was on the verge of adopting a guinea pig when I was in 2nd grade, but it ended up not working out) so I really have no idea what to expect, even with the research I've done. Plus, I'm sure it's like it is with tarantulas, where a good portion of the stuff you read is blatantly false.

I'm planning on getting a single male (because that's all my Petsmart carries, and my Petco only carries PEWs which I won't be able to tell apart) and a 10 gallon tank, and lots of toys. I've been collecting toilet paper rolls and other things I think might be fun. I still haven't determined what type of bedding will be best. Any other tips will be so much appreciated.

One last thing: I live in a very small space. How bad is the smell really? I read everything from "they don't smell at all!" to "the stench is terrible!" I have my own space and they don't care what I do with it now that I'm in my twenties (thus the tarantula), but I'm technically still living in my parents' house, and I would like to be considerate. Plus, I have a pretty keen sense of smell, and don't want to be living in a stinky place. So please tell me, not just how strong it is, but how bad a smell is it. Is it as bad as human urine? Cat urine? Or just kind of a funky smell most people won't even be able to place? I do have an air purifier, which I use. Will that help?

And the really last thing: I think I remember reading that I won't be able to burn any candles at all. True or false, or does it depend on the strength of the scent? I have asthma and am sensitive to chemical scents, so the candles that I burn are usually very mild and naturally scented. Would that be okay?

So sorry for all the questions, I just want to make a responsible decision and know everything I possibly can!
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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by stephlisa on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 12:42 pm

Hiya,
So I'll admit to skim reading some of your post, but I can answer one or two of your questions from my perspective but I'll go through them all as a general summary...

1. Mouse vs. rat - honestly no personal experience, but I think rats are easier to train than mice, I tried to train my previous mouse to do fun things but mice are naturally very curious and I just found I had no way of training him to do things other than what he naturally wanted to do (e.g. he was not interested in treats at all while out of his cage)

2. I don't know how common it is, but again, with my previous mouse we had an incredibly strong bond. Its different to say a dog-human relationship, but it was there nevertheless. You are more likely to have a stronger bond with a male mouse than a female one (because its generally recommended to keep males separate), but on here there are many people with strong bonds with their female mice too. They definitely aren't look-don't-touch pets, but some mice just won't want full on snuggles but they will love lots of interaction with you. You will have to tame them to work up to them being happy (as with any pet). (For the record, my previous boy was a pet store mouse).

3. Smell. It almost entirely depends on the mouse. Male mice are smellier than females in general (but again, there are exceptions). My previous boy we hardly noticed the smell, ditto my current boys.

4. Candles: mice have extremely sensitive respiratory systems so its recommended not to burn any candles at all, or do so in a different room to them so it doesn't get to them.

5. Bedding - paper based bedding is definitely best.

I think I covered everything in your post...

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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by Artistwolf on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 1:01 pm

I dont have mice but since no one else has replied yet, I'll see what I can answer (I've researched them for at least two years now lol).
1. Yes, mice are as intelligent as rats! That's why they're often used as the subjects to run through a maze or something. There are a lot of videos online about mice doing tricks. Most mice will react to their name after just a little teaching. I can't tell you how hard they are to teach because I've never tried.

2. It's very common for mice to bond with you, especially males. Females might not care less about you, but almost every single male bonds well with his owner. They'll wait for you and go as near to the top of the tank as they can when you walk into the room, and they'll be very happy to be around you.

3. Can't tell you a lot about how the smell is. I can say that when we had a whole lot of mice in the classroom at school (that's where the mouse in my profile pic is from), you could definitely smell it, but it wasn't as strong-smelling as, say, a pet store, and it didn't overpower the room. I didn't think it was necessarily a bad smell, but it was there. That, of course, was also from like half a dozen male mice all together.

It's great to have you here! Good for you for doing your research first Very Happy It's important to remember that mice are not miniature rats, so they won't be exactly the same, but they're still awesome pets. From what I hear, rats smell better and are a little more cuddly, but mice also love to get held so I'm not sure. I know that when I first held a mouse, I was surprised at how calm and happy he was. I think you'll enjoy having a mouse... keep us posted!

Edit: Whoops, replied at the same time as Stephlisa.

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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by Quirkyvictorian on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 1:21 pm

@stephlisa wrote:Hiya,
So I'll admit to skim reading some of your post, but I can answer one or two of your questions from my perspective but I'll go through them all as a general summary...

1. Mouse vs. rat - honestly no personal experience, but I think rats are easier to train than mice, I tried to train my previous mouse to do fun things but mice are naturally very curious and I just found I had no way of training him to do things other than what he naturally wanted to do (e.g. he was not interested in treats at all while out of his cage)

2. I don't know how common it is, but again, with my previous mouse we had an incredibly strong bond.  Its different to say a dog-human relationship, but it was there nevertheless.  You are more likely to have a stronger bond with a male mouse than a female one (because its generally recommended to keep males separate), but on here there are many people with strong bonds with their female mice too.  They definitely aren't look-don't-touch pets, but some mice just won't want full on snuggles but they will love lots of interaction with you.  You will have to tame them to work up to them being happy (as with any pet).  (For the record, my previous boy was a pet store mouse).

3.  Smell.  It almost entirely depends on the mouse.  Male mice are smellier than females in general (but again, there are exceptions).  My previous boy we hardly noticed the smell, ditto my current boys.

4. Candles: mice have extremely sensitive respiratory systems so its recommended not to burn any candles at all, or do so in a different room to them so it doesn't get to them.

5. Bedding - paper based bedding is definitely best.

I think I covered everything in your post...

Thank you so much for your response! It would be super cool to have a mouse that does tricks, so I might give it a try and see how it goes, but it's certainly not going to be the end of the world if it doesn't work out.

I'm so glad you had a strong bond with your pet store mouse. I read a lot of things that seemed to indicate that pet store mice might not be as easy to tame, but I know a lot of people will say anything to discourage people from supporting pet stores (and I get where they're coming from, but that's why I wanted to get some opinions based on actual personal experience). May I ask, do you know how old your boy was when you got him from the pet store? Does that make a difference?

Not so much looking for long cuddle sessions with an animal so teeny, I just would be super bummed out if my mouse lived all its days in mortal terror of me. Being able to handle my mouse and not have it try to escape/bite/cower in fear would be awesome. Having a little guy that's actually pleased to see me would be even better!

Thanks for your input on the smell, I'm sure it won't be any worse than the nasty superworms I keep for Bea in my pet cupboard. Sick

Thanks for confirming that about the candles. I don't really care one way or the other about having candles lit, so now that I've heard from two different sources not to do it, I'll go ahead and get rid of my candles.

Thanks so much again for your help!!!
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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by Quirkyvictorian on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 1:41 pm

@Artistwolf wrote:I dont have mice but since no one else has replied yet, I'll see what I can answer (I've researched them for at least two years now lol).
1. Yes, mice are as intelligent as rats! That's why they're often used as the subjects to run through a maze or something. There are a lot of videos online about mice doing tricks. Most mice will react to their name after just a little teaching. I can't tell you how hard they are to teach because I've never tried.

2. It's very common for mice to bond with you, especially males. Females might not care less about you, but almost every single male bonds well with his owner. They'll wait for you and go as near to the top of the tank as they can when you walk into the room, and they'll be very happy to be around you.

3. Can't tell you a lot about how the smell is. I can say that when we had a whole lot of mice in the classroom at school (that's where the mouse in my profile pic is from), you could definitely smell it, but it wasn't as strong-smelling as, say, a pet store, and it didn't overpower the room. I didn't think it was necessarily a bad smell, but it was there. That, of course, was also from like half a dozen male mice all together.

It's great to have you here! Good for you for doing your research first Very Happy It's important to remember that mice are not miniature rats, so they won't be exactly the same, but they're still awesome pets. From what I hear, rats smell better and are a little more cuddly, but mice also love to get held so I'm not sure. I know that when I first held a mouse, I was surprised at how calm and happy he was. I think you'll enjoy having a mouse... keep us posted!

Edit: Whoops, replied at the same time as Stephlisa.

Okay, I'm getting really excited, and am feeling pretty confident that a mouse is going to be right for me!

I'm so glad they're intelligent and can learn their name, and that it's not just possible, but common, for a male mouse to bond with his owner. There's nothing quite as heartwarming as walking into a room and seeing an animal that's as excited to see you as you are to see it.

I'm fine with animals that have a bit of a smell as long as it's not an overpoweringly bad smell, and it's hard to get a definitive answer on that, I suppose because whether something is a "bad" smell or not is extremely subjective. Anyway, it's really good to know that, even with that many male mice all together, it wasn't overpowering or disgusting!

I know it won't quite be a miniature rat (although I think I did say I hoped it would be in my post, whoopsies) but it seems like a lot of the items on the list of things that made rats so appealing to me can be checked off by mice, even if it's not a perfect comparison. Plus, from what I see, they have a lot of qualities unique to them that make them excellent pets! So I'm pretty excited!

Can so relate about being surprised the first time you held a mouse. Even though the mouse I held at Petco was frightened and untamed, he calmed down pretty quickly in my hands, which isn't what I expected at all. I kind of expected he would be looking for any chance to bite and escape, but he didn't do that!

Thank you so much again for your response! It was very helpful!
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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 4:32 pm



First question: Are mice as intelligent and trainable as rats? Not quite. Though they are smart, a lot smarter than the average hamster, rats are still easier to tame and smarter, from what I've seen. People say rats are like a really small dog, they can learn tricks, free range, and come when their name is called. Mice are really hard to train tricks, and I've never had any respond to their name, though I know some people have been able to teach them that. If you tried to free range a mouse, they'd likely end up getting lost somewhere, where as a rat might be a lot easier to keep track of during free ranging and would be less likely to get into trouble.

Second question: How much bonding can I expect? It all depends on if you get lucky and end up getting a really sweet mouse, or if you are unlucky and end up getting a not-so-nice mouse. It's pretty much like this with most animals including rats, hamsters, rabbits, anything in that category. They are all different, some will be incredibly bonded with you and super sweet, while others can be extremely aggressive. I've had both. I have a really, really territorial and aggressive boy, but I also have a sweet boy who can't wait to see me everyday. You never know what you're going to get, honestly. I've even had a really sweet girl who never wanted to get off my hand, she wanted to be with me constantly!

It seems like it is possible for mice to bond with people, but how common is that, really? Is it kind of rare, or do you feel like most of your mice have bonded with you? Out of the 14 mice I've had, I'd say I have had maybe two or three that were extremely bonded with me. Though most of my mice have been girls, and girls usually don't bond with you quite as much as a boy would.


I'm planning on getting a single male (because that's all my Petsmart carries, and my Petco only carries PEWs which I won't be able to tell apart) and a 10 gallon tank, and lots of toys. I've been collecting toilet paper rolls and other things I think might be fun. I still haven't determined what type of bedding will be best. Any other tips will be so much appreciated. Any unscented paper bedding is nice. Popular paper beddings for mice include Carefresh, Kaytee Clean and Cozy, and I've heard Oxbow Pure Comfort is an okay bedding too.

One last thing: I live in a very small space. How bad is the smell really? Honestly, it all depends on the mouse. Female mice I don't smell at all, unless I am purposely sticking my head in the tank, trying to smell it lol. My sweet boy,
Rocky, smells a little, though it isn't very bad. I only smell it when standing near the tank. My territorial boy, Scout, however, stinks up the whole room sometimes. This is because he is marking his territory, making himself smell strong, so no one invades his space. Personally I don't think it's a terrible smell, but others in my household really don't like it and say they smell it just walking near the room, so unfortunately I can't get anymore male mice in the future because of this.


And the really last thing: I think I remember reading that I won't be able to burn any candles at all. True or false, or does it depend on the strength of the scent? I have asthma and am sensitive to chemical scents, so the candles that I burn are usually very mild and naturally scented. Would that be okay? It isn't the best thing for them. Their little noses are very sensitive and the candles would smell very strong to them, even if they don't smell too strong to you.

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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by Quirkyvictorian on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 5:10 pm

@AnonymousMouseOwner wrote:

First question: Are mice as intelligent and trainable as rats? Not quite. Though they are smart, a lot smarter than the average hamster, rats are still easier to tame and smarter, from what I've seen. People say rats are like a really small dog, they can learn tricks, free range, and come when their name is called. Mice are really hard to train tricks, and I've never had any respond to their name, though I know some people have been able to teach them that. If you tried to free range a mouse, they'd likely end up getting lost somewhere, where as a rat might be a lot easier to keep track of during free ranging and would be less likely to get into trouble.

Second question: How much bonding can I expect? It all depends on if you get lucky and end up getting a really sweet mouse, or if you are unlucky and end up getting a not-so-nice mouse. It's pretty much like this with most animals including rats, hamsters, rabbits, anything in that category. They are all different, some will be incredibly bonded with you and super sweet, while others can be extremely aggressive. I've had both. I have a really, really territorial and aggressive boy, but I also have a sweet boy who can't wait to see me everyday. You never know what you're going to get, honestly. I've even had a really sweet girl who never wanted to get off my hand, she wanted to be with me constantly!

It seems like it is possible for mice to bond with people, but how common is that, really? Is it kind of rare, or do you feel like most of your mice have bonded with you? Out of the 14 mice I've had, I'd say I have had maybe two or three that were extremely bonded with me. Though most of my mice have been girls, and girls usually don't bond with you quite as much as a boy would.


I'm planning on getting a single male (because that's all my Petsmart carries, and my Petco only carries PEWs which I won't be able to tell apart) and a 10 gallon tank, and lots of toys. I've been collecting toilet paper rolls and other things I think might be fun. I still haven't determined what type of bedding will be best. Any other tips will be so much appreciated. Any unscented paper bedding is nice. Popular paper beddings for mice include Carefresh, Kaytee Clean and Cozy, and I've heard Oxbow Pure Comfort is an okay bedding too.

One last thing: I live in a very small space. How bad is the smell really? Honestly, it all depends on the mouse. Female mice I don't smell at all, unless I am purposely sticking my head in the tank, trying to smell it lol. My sweet boy,
Rocky, smells a little, though it isn't very bad. I only smell it when standing near the tank. My territorial boy, Scout, however, stinks up the whole room sometimes. This is because he is marking his territory, making himself smell strong, so no one invades his space. Personally I don't think it's a terrible smell, but others in my household really don't like it and say they smell it just walking near the room, so unfortunately I can't get anymore male mice in the future because of this.


And the really last thing: I think I remember reading that I won't be able to burn any candles at all. True or false, or does it depend on the strength of the scent? I have asthma and am sensitive to chemical scents, so the candles that I burn are usually very mild and naturally scented. Would that be okay? It isn't the best thing for them. Their little noses are very sensitive and the candles would smell very strong to them, even if they don't smell too strong to you.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write out such a detailed response! The really small dog aspect is part of what makes rats appeal to me so much, but it's good that mice are still pretty smart. I wouldn't probably try to free range any type of small pet anyway, just because I have so many interesting and chewable things (like books!)

That makes sense that every mouse would be different. Even out of my two dogs, the one is glued to my leg wherever I go, and the other one enjoys attention but makes sure we're clear that she doesn't really need me. I guess I'll just make sure when I pick mine out that I handle him and that he's at least a tiny bit interested in me and not aggressive or overly scared.

Which of those beddings do you most recommend? I've been able to find information about which beddings are okay and which ones aren't, but it's hard to narrow it down and figure out which would be best.

Yikes! I guess I'll have to be prepared for the possibility of a very stinky mouse. Hopefully I won't end up with one that's super territorial. I kind of wish I could get a group of girls, but it's not looking very possible.

Thanks again for all of your help! And I'll make sure not to burn any candles.
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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 5:22 pm

@Quirkyvictorian wrote:

Thank you so much for taking the time to write out such a detailed response! The really small dog aspect is part of what makes rats appeal to me so much, but it's good that mice are still pretty smart. I wouldn't probably try to free range any type of small pet anyway, just because I have so many interesting and chewable things (like books!)

That makes sense that every mouse would be different. Even out of my two dogs, the one is glued to my leg wherever I go, and the other one enjoys attention but makes sure we're clear that she doesn't really need me. I guess I'll just make sure when I pick mine out that I handle him and that he's at least a tiny bit interested in me and not aggressive or overly scared.

Which of those beddings do you most recommend? I've been able to find information about which beddings are okay and which ones aren't, but it's hard to narrow it down and figure out which would be best.

Yikes! I guess I'll have to be prepared for the possibility of a very stinky mouse. Hopefully I won't end up with one that's super territorial. I kind of wish I could get a group of girls, but it's not looking very possible.

Thanks again for all of your help! And I'll make sure not to burn any candles.

I personally would recommend Carefresh. Though Kaytee Clean and Cozy is a little cheaper, I find that Carefresh absorbs odor and pee better. Carefresh is also available in fun colors, which I like Smile I have tried both of these beddings, and they both have pros and cons. I just find that Carefresh keeps their cage more clean and smelling better, though it isn't as soft and fluffy as Kaytee. Sometimes I use Carefresh as the main bedding, then add a little Kaytee Clean and Cozy to their hides so that their nesting areas are soft and warm.

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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by stephlisa on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 5:27 pm

@Quirkyvictorian wrote:May I ask, do you know how old your boy was when you got him from the pet store? Does that make a difference?

Colin was a couple of months old, not 'old' but very much a fully fledged adult. He hadn't been handled much but was surprisingly easy to tame. It often depends on the mouse. My current boys are moving on fast in the taming process, but I know they were handled from quite young at the shelter.

I'm not sure age makes a massive difference to be honest.

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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by Quirkyvictorian on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 5:36 pm

@AnonymousMouseOwner wrote:
@Quirkyvictorian wrote:

Thank you so much for taking the time to write out such a detailed response! The really small dog aspect is part of what makes rats appeal to me so much, but it's good that mice are still pretty smart. I wouldn't probably try to free range any type of small pet anyway, just because I have so many interesting and chewable things (like books!)

That makes sense that every mouse would be different. Even out of my two dogs, the one is glued to my leg wherever I go, and the other one enjoys attention but makes sure we're clear that she doesn't really need me. I guess I'll just make sure when I pick mine out that I handle him and that he's at least a tiny bit interested in me and not aggressive or overly scared.

Which of those beddings do you most recommend? I've been able to find information about which beddings are okay and which ones aren't, but it's hard to narrow it down and figure out which would be best.

Yikes! I guess I'll have to be prepared for the possibility of a very stinky mouse. Hopefully I won't end up with one that's super territorial. I kind of wish I could get a group of girls, but it's not looking very possible.

Thanks again for all of your help! And I'll make sure not to burn any candles.

I personally would recommend Carefresh. Though Kaytee Clean and Cozy is a little cheaper, I find that Carefresh absorbs odor and pee better. Carefresh is also available in fun colors, which I like Smile I have tried both of these beddings, and they both have pros and cons. I just find that Carefresh keeps their cage more clean and smelling better, though it isn't as soft and fluffy as Kaytee. Sometimes I use Carefresh as the main bedding, then add a little Kaytee Clean and Cozy to their hides so that their nesting areas are soft and warm.

Absorbs odor and comes in fun colours? I'm sold! Smile That's a great idea to use the Clean and Cozy for nesting areas. Thank you so much!
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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by Quirkyvictorian on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 5:38 pm

@stephlisa wrote:
@Quirkyvictorian wrote:May I ask, do you know how old your boy was when you got him from the pet store? Does that make a difference?

Colin was a couple of months old, not 'old' but very much a fully fledged adult.  He hadn't been handled much but was surprisingly easy to tame.  It often depends on the mouse.  My current boys are moving on fast in the taming process, but I know they were handled from quite young at the shelter.

I'm not sure age makes a massive difference to be honest.

Thank you so much for the help! Petsmart always seems to have like three different boys (in separate enclosures, which is great), so I guess what I'll do is just handle them and see which one I think would be easier to tame. Good to know that age doesn't make much of a difference; I don't know where I got it from, but somehow I got the idea that you have to start taming young for it to even be a possibility.
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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by Winter Moose on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 6:49 pm

@Quirkyvictorian wrote:
@stephlisa wrote:
@Quirkyvictorian wrote:May I ask, do you know how old your boy was when you got him from the pet store? Does that make a difference?

Colin was a couple of months old, not 'old' but very much a fully fledged adult.  He hadn't been handled much but was surprisingly easy to tame.  It often depends on the mouse.  My current boys are moving on fast in the taming process, but I know they were handled from quite young at the shelter.

I'm not sure age makes a massive difference to be honest.

Thank you so much for the help! Petsmart always seems to have like three different boys (in separate enclosures, which is great), so I guess what I'll do is just handle them and see which one I think would be easier to tame. Good to know that age doesn't make much of a difference; I don't know where I got it from, but somehow I got the idea that you have to start taming young for it to even be a possibility.

Remember, when choosing a mouse, choose one that seems interested in you. They may be very shy at the store because they're not take yet, so don't leave out the nippy mice. I got a male mouse a little under a week ago from Petsmart, and he came up to the glass and sparked when he saw me. For the past few days, he was sort of nippy and disinterested except for tasting, but with time, he allows me to have him on my hand and arm. Hers really a sweetie, but didn't seem like it at first. Also, some male mice will be nippy inside their cage until they are tame. Sometimes they will always nip in the cage, it depends on the mouse.

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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by Quirkyvictorian on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 7:52 pm

@Winter Moose wrote:
@Quirkyvictorian wrote:
@stephlisa wrote:
@Quirkyvictorian wrote:May I ask, do you know how old your boy was when you got him from the pet store? Does that make a difference?

Colin was a couple of months old, not 'old' but very much a fully fledged adult.  He hadn't been handled much but was surprisingly easy to tame.  It often depends on the mouse.  My current boys are moving on fast in the taming process, but I know they were handled from quite young at the shelter.

I'm not sure age makes a massive difference to be honest.

Thank you so much for the help! Petsmart always seems to have like three different boys (in separate enclosures, which is great), so I guess what I'll do is just handle them and see which one I think would be easier to tame. Good to know that age doesn't make much of a difference; I don't know where I got it from, but somehow I got the idea that you have to start taming young for it to even be a possibility.

Remember, when choosing a mouse, choose one that seems interested in you. They may be very shy at the store because they're not take yet, so don't leave out the nippy mice. I got a male mouse a little under a week ago from Petsmart, and he came up to the glass and sparked when he saw me. For the past few days, he was sort of nippy and disinterested except for tasting, but with time, he allows me to have him on my hand and arm. Hers really a sweetie, but didn't seem like it at first. Also, some male mice will be nippy inside their cage until they are tame. Sometimes they will always nip in the cage, it depends on the mouse.

That's excellent advice, thank you. That's so cute that he sparked when he first saw you! Being a beginner, if a mouse nipped me I would probably rule that one out as a possibility, so that's good to know. One question, though: when you talk about nipping, that's not breaking the skin or particularly painful, right? Because as long as no skin is broken, that's not a problem for me.
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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 8:21 pm

@Quirkyvictorian wrote:

That's excellent advice, thank you. That's so cute that he sparked when he first saw you! Being a beginner, if a mouse nipped me I would probably rule that one out as a possibility, so that's good to know. One question, though: when you talk about nipping, that's not breaking the skin or particularly painful, right? Because as long as no skin is broken, that's not a problem for me.
Sorry, I know I'm not the person you were asking, but I can answer your question Razz

Yes, nipping is less powerful version of a bite. Their teeth touch you, and use a little force, but you never bleed, it doesn't break the skin at all. It's more of a warning sign, saying "If you come near me or invade my space again, I'll bite you!", or they could also nip simply out of curiosity, wondering what your hand tastes like, thinking that it might be food. Biting is more of a defense, when they bite it breaks the skin and hurts. Biting is usually only done if they are really scared or nervous, territorial and defending their territory, or if they mistake your hand for food.

Even my sweet boy nips me sometimes, usually warning me to get out of his territory. Many male mice do this to protect what they consider their territory.

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Re: Brand New to Mice: What Can I Expect?

Post by Quirkyvictorian on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 8:29 pm

@AnonymousMouseOwner wrote:
@Quirkyvictorian wrote:

That's excellent advice, thank you. That's so cute that he sparked when he first saw you! Being a beginner, if a mouse nipped me I would probably rule that one out as a possibility, so that's good to know. One question, though: when you talk about nipping, that's not breaking the skin or particularly painful, right? Because as long as no skin is broken, that's not a problem for me.
Sorry, I know I'm not the person you were asking, but I can answer your question Razz

Yes, nipping is less powerful version of a bite. Their teeth touch you, and use a little force, but you never bleed, it doesn't break the skin at all. It's more of a warning sign, saying "If you come near me or invade my space again, I'll bite you!", or they could also nip simply out of curiosity, wondering what your hand tastes like, thinking that it might be food. Biting is more of a defense, when they bite it breaks the skin and hurts. Biting is usually only done if they are really scared or nervous, territorial and defending their territory, or if they mistake your hand for food.

Even my sweet boy nips me sometimes, usually warning me to get out of his territory. Many male mice do this to protect what they consider their territory.

Thank you so much for answering my question! That's what I figured it had to be, because I've seen several people talk about males that nip whenever you reach into their cage, and I thought surely all these people wouldn't be okay with being severely bitten on a regular basis like that! But what you're describing wouldn't be a problem for me. Smile
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