Why do mice close their eyes?

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Why do mice close their eyes?

Post by prips on Fri 08 Jun 2018, 3:34 pm

I've always wondered about this and can't find any answers. Anytime I put my hand inside their habitat and my mice come smell my fingers, they close their eyes. Why is that? They don't run away, in fact, they eventually climb on my hand. Sometimes they nibble my fingers and nails too. Could they be imagining I'm bringing them treats or something?

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Re: Why do mice close their eyes?

Post by Daydream on Sat 09 Jun 2018, 4:47 am

My mice close their eyes when sniffing my fingertips too. Mice close their eyes when they are relaxed, but I think they might close their eyes to focus on the scent (like how people sometimes close their eyes when focusing on sounds/tastes/scents/etc). Mice don't have very good eyesight in the first place, however.

If you have hand-fed your mice treats before they might be checking for food. If not, they are just curious creatures who like to test-nibble on everything. It could be a sign of affection or maybe they just enjoy the taste/texture of your hand. To me, it sounds like your mice are rather comfortable with you and will become nice and tame.

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Re: Why do mice close their eyes?

Post by CallaLily on Sun 10 Jun 2018, 7:09 pm

Squinting their eyes at you — Maybe I’ve always misinterpreted it, but I’ve always viewed it as a slightly nervous behavior because I’ve mostly seen it with new and untamed mice.  Pardon

Nibbling could be just tasting or testing your hand. If you feed them treats by hand, it tends to encourage this behavior - though some mice just do this from the get go regardless. But either way you want to nip that behavior in the bud. No more hand treating, if that’s something you do. At least not until they’re very tame, though if they’re just naturally nibbley you may not ever want to offer treats that way. I’ve had success teaching mice nibbling was unacceptable just by gently curling my fingers away and saying “no.”  They usually catch on quickly. More aggressive mice may require a different approach but this worked for me.

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