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Taming a one-eyed mouse?

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Taming a one-eyed mouse?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:37 am

The one-eyed mouse I adopted, now named Jack, is a little difficult to tame I'm finding. When I put my hand in, I wait for him to come up to it and sniff me, but he can't see it so he never does. For some reason his side with no eye is always facing my hand, so he just totally passes my hand and doesn't see me. I try to slowly move my hand into his field of view, but as soon as he sees it he freaks out because it startles him, no matter how slow I move. How should I approach him? Should I just scoop him up into something and take him somewhere or would that be startling too? Confused

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Re: Taming a one-eyed mouse?

Post by CallaLily on Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:25 am

I'm not sure missing an eye is the problem. I mean, he should be able to smell you and sense you with his whiskers? Even mice with both eyes depend more on those senses than sight. So I would think he should know you're there, bad side or not. Is he missing whiskers? Does he seem stuffy?

I always feel moving a mouse to a neutral play area works best for tamimg anyway. With new mice I use a tube or box to transfer them over. Just keep at it, slow movements. He should come around.

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Re: Taming a one-eyed mouse?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:53 pm

@CallaLily wrote:I'm not sure missing an eye is the problem. I mean, he should be able to smell you and sense you with his whiskers?  Even mice with both eyes depend more on those senses than sight.   So I would think he should know you're there, bad side or not. Is he missing whiskers?  Does he seem stuffy?

I always feel moving a mouse to a neutral play area works best for tamimg anyway. With new mice I use a tube or box to transfer them over. Just keep at it, slow movements. He should come around.
Huh, I haven't noticed, but maybe he is. I'll check when I get home. I'm leaving for a day and my parents are caring for the mice tomorrow, so I'll work on taming again when I can. He does seem to notice when I open the cage lid, he stops what he's doing and looks around, but just doesn't react to my hand being in the cage for some reason.

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Re: Taming a one-eyed mouse?

Post by Rodents rock! on Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:21 pm

I agree with CallaLily about taming sessions outside of the tank working better. Let us know how it goes Very Happy
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Re: Taming a one-eyed mouse?

Post by CallaLily on Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:37 pm

Maybe he's just being a little booger and ignoring your hand or being extra shy? Let us know if it goes any differently out of his home.

If not, you might want to try "tube rides." It's what I have done for the extra scaredy mice I've had. Take them out into a neutral play area, choose one tube to be the tube (so they can choose it). Then whenever they go into that tube, lift it up and hold it so they have to walk across your hand to get back into the play area. It may take a bit, but eventually they've come to learn that my hand isn't scary. Maybe something like that could work for him to be brave enough to check out your hand....or stop ignoring it. Whichever it is. Unless he ignores the tube too. Laughing

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Re: Taming a one-eyed mouse?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner Yesterday at 6:03 pm

Haha, I think he was being a little booger! Now he's definitely acknowledging my presence. When he sees me now, he gets in that classic "ready to tail rattle" pose. I know that pose because Scout does it to me every time my hand goes in the cage. So little Jack is not happy with me, we'll have to work on that!

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Re: Taming a one-eyed mouse?

Post by Rodents rock! Yesterday at 6:50 pm

I think little Jack will come around Very Happy
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Re: Taming a one-eyed mouse?

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop Yesterday at 7:35 pm

Thinking through the mind of a vision-limited mouse...

Little Jack is already programmed through the millions of years of mouse evolution to watch out for prey coming at him from above and from the sides (hence the positioning of mouse eyes), and to be ready for "flight", not "fight".  Distance vision in mice is not very good in the first place, but close up, when they see something moving that is bigger than they are, they have to be ready to move fast or be something's snack.

Jack's reduced field of vision, as you have noted, means he is very jumpy when you suddenly appear, so gigantic and close, with no apparent warning.  Since he cannot rely on recognizing your approach by sight, you will have to help him to recognize you by his other senses.

Remember, also, that although Jack has one eye, we do not know how good his vision is through that eye.

If he is in a tank, the sides may muffle sounds so he cannot hear you as well as you might think. Suddenly, there's a hand in his house and something is making noises at him from above! Eek! Speak to him whenever you are around, and especially as you are approaching, from above the level of the tank sides, so he knows you are nearby even if he cannot see you.

To get him accustomed to you, try to get your scent on little torn paper towel pieces and place them around in his enclosure for him to use for nesting.  If you see him using them, you can start trying to hand them to him, approaching him slowly from outside his "construction zone", while he's in the middle of nest building.  He will associate your scent with being warm and comfortable in his little bed, and with your assisting him in his important project.

Jack might be more willing to explore the unknown if it seems he has better control of the situation.  For example, if you use the cardboard tube method of bringing him out of his enclosure for playtime, just set up a little trail of tiny treats ahead of time (like millet or sesame seeds, or crumbs of mouse chow) for him to follow around starting at either end, or both, of the tube, and make sure you are nearby the whole time so he can smell you, but don't reach for him.  Let him decide if he wants to approach you.  Let him build his own confidence as he learns that you are not a threat.

When he has more confidence about wandering around in your presence, you could try building him a ramp or ladder to climb out of his enclosure on his own, with you waiting patiently outside for his arrival.  Again, a trail of tiny treats might encourage him to explore.

Have patience.  Let Jack be Jack.

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