VERY Scared Mouse

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VERY Scared Mouse

Post by Stina on Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:19 pm

I have two mice, Fiffi and Vivvi, who I have had for about 5 months. So, they're very settled in and overall seem comfortable in their environment. Fiffi is pretty social with me, and never really seems scared or uncomfortable when interacting with me, or with me picking her up, moving her, or being outside of her cage. Vivvi, on the other hand, is not very comfortable with me, I have rarely been able to pick her up, and is very uncomfortable being outside of her cage.
I don't want to push her too far outside of her comfort zone, so I am not concerned with making her absolutely comfortable with me, but this has become a big problem when it comes time to clean their cage. I can easily scoop Fiffi up, but it takes me hours to coax Vivvi out where I can move her, and I often get tired and give up and have to push cleaning off to the next day because she is so stubborn
.
They live in a two-level bin cage, with tubes that go through from the top bin to the bottom, so my only easy access (without having to pull the whole thing apart and freak Vivvi out even more) is through the lid of the top bin. I usually end up emptying out the top bin except for a few things that Vivvi may try to hide in, that I can then pick up and transport her inside, but the waiting game is just ridiculous. And I think she's figured it out and is less willing to even come up if she senses me lurking with the lid open. I've chased her down on a couple of occasions, but when it comes down to this it's just too stressful for the both of us.
As I made the bin cage myself, the only solution I can really come up with is adding a vertical door on the bottom level of the bins so she can approach me at her level instead of intimidating me approaching from above? Although honestly I'm not sure how I would accomplish a hinge and mouse-proof edges to this door (would love some suggestions regarding door engineering if you have them? ). This is probably really a taming issue, but I'm not sure how to solve it if I can't even get to the point of allowing me to interact with her. I have worked with taming her since I've had them, and she will come to me, eat out of my hand, (bot not really be picked up) if I move VERY slowly. I do think that she is very freaked out from being approached from above, which I know is common for mice, but I'm trying to work with the situation that I have for them.
If anyone has any ideas about making my Vivvi more comfortable with letting me clean her house, I would love to hear them!
Thank you!

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Re: VERY Scared Mouse

Post by Blessed on Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:47 am

Hello there, Stina! Mouse Wave Welcome to PMF!
That is just fine--and great, even--that you're so gentle and patient with Vivvi! But sometimes, you gotta' just scoop them up, no matter how scared they are. Still be gentle about it, but I think eventually--possibly soon--she will come to forgive you, and will start to come out of her shell. Even if she stays a shyer mouse her whole life, I'd expect her to eventually open up a little and be comfortable enough with you to grab and hold her sometimes--even if she doesn't seem to exactly like it, or come to you. Smile
With an exception of maybe one brave little girl, all the mice I've gotten always start out shy and skittish. I always just handled them anyways, and to be honest, it may have worked, as my current two mice are super friendly to this day. Most mice are always probably going to run from you sometimes, though, no matter how much they may like you, as it's just a mouse thing (as I'm sure you know/have heard, they're not the tamest little critters around). But most domestic mice are actually fairly trusting!
More members can probably help you better than I am, but that's just my experience. Though I understand if you don't want to take my advice.

In any case, I hope taming goes well.

Sincerely,
Blessed

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Re: VERY Scared Mouse

Post by chiroptera on Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:34 am

In regards to the door, 2 of my homemade bin cages have doors!

The first one, I just used a door from a wire cage. I had one on hand so it wasn't an issue of finding one, but if you don't have one, it could be more expensive. Check online on places like Craigslist or thrift stores for cheaper options! And since you only need the door, it doesn't have to be an actually-suitable mouse house. But basically, you just remove the door with wire cutters, cut open the bin for the entrance way, and drill holes for zip ties around the opening, then zip tie the door to the bin tightly.

My newer bin cage has a sliding screen door, which I honestly love. I'm on mobile so I can't grab the link right now, but there's a YouTube tutorial by Curtis Lasane on how to make it. Essentially you just buy an adjustable window screen ($5 at Walmart) and hot glue or drill the screen to the bin. Super simple, and allows easy access. However if your bin's on the floor and you have other animals or small children that have access, I'd hesitate to use this method, as it's easy to open from the outside. (Or you could modify it! I've been wanting to add a latch just in case). The other concern with this method is that it is possible to chew through the mesh. I haven't had any problems with it and my girls, but I had to remove the screen from Pumpkin's bin (replaced it with a regular wire mesh window) because a wild mouse chewed its way through. Feel free to ask if you have questions!

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Re: VERY Scared Mouse

Post by CallaLily on Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:45 pm

My Eulyn doesn’t like to climb on me or be held even after having her for a year. Some mice just never come around I guess. Out of 12 so far, she’s only the second mouse to not come around fully. Though Bacon was a little more tolerant at play time.

Anyway, what I do for her is I just offer her a tube or box to climb into instead of my hand. Sometimes I have to be a little patient but she always climbs in eventually. Then I move her to the play bin in that. In the play bin she’s a little more comfortable approaching my hand but still won’t climb in it. So after all this time I just respect that she’s not comfortable being held and use the same method to transfer her back home. I hope this will work for you too.  It also helps to use a tube or box that smells familiar.  Never chase them around or grab them. This will not help in building trust.  Wink  (except in the event their life is in danger, like an escapee for example.  In that case their well being is more important)

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