I have a pet mouse and he nibbles/bites (new owner)

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Post by Hermes on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 1:18 am

Hello everyone! I recently got a male albino mouse and he is pretty fine in his cage. Is it okay for male mice to not have a companion?

Since he is alone, I would play with him, pet him, and give him treats. My only problem is that he nibbles/bites my finger which freaks me out lol Sad I really want to spend time with him but I'm always scared that he'd bite me. I don't want him to feel lonely. Worry How would I make him not bite me?

And also, how would I make him use his wheel? He has a wheel in his cage, but he just walk past through it.

Do you have any tips on how will I bond with him and not make him feel scared? Friends

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Post by Nijimi にじみ on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 10:29 am

It's not good to give a mouse treats right away is what I've learned. By doing that he will recognize you as a treat dispenser. You should spend time with him outside of his cage/tank in an enclosed space. Some mice are friendly and some are not. Just blow on him a little and you'll be fine. I do recommend getting a mouse from the same enclosure that you got him from because it will give him a companion and a teacher. Male mice are more likely to fight but if you do that it's less likely that they will since they'd be okay with each other. Or you could try teaching him yourself if you don't want to risk fighting. Some pet stores can refund pets.

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Post by Hermes on Thu 21 Jun 2018, 1:23 am

Thank you so much! I also want to know how to handle or hold him the correct way. How should I do it?

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Post by Nijimi にじみ on Thu 21 Jun 2018, 12:04 pm

To bring him to an enclosure so you can bond, I would recommend the cup method for now because it seems like he's not used to your hand. Or try letting him walk onto your hand but blow on him slightly if he bites.
Sit in your bathtub(or any closed space) and let him walk around. Talk to him and such. He needs to get used to your presence. Be sure that you keep a voice not too loud so that he hears you but doesn't get scared. You can start bringing food into this when he completely recognizes that you are his friend.
Animal bonding takes time and all animals have different personalities. So this might not work but it is the most common way. There are a couple other posts that also have this information so be sure to check them out too! Smile

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Post by Selk on Sat 23 Jun 2018, 11:49 pm

Blow gently on his bum when he bites. Make sure your hand smells like his bedding (scrunch some up in your hand). A little bit of nibbling is to be expected because they're testing out what your skin tastes like. That's gentle nibbling. Anything worse than that and I'd recommend trying to keep him in your hands or on your lap for ten minute stretches (wear gloves and have a blanket on your lap if you need to). Pick him up with a scooping motion using both hands, don't chase him all around the cage, just scoop. If he's jumpy, pick him up using a cup and transport him to a bathtub or similar enclosure he can't climb out of.

Let him explore your body, wear an old sweater you don't mind him chewing, and just spend some time with the little buddy. Shouldn't be away from water longer than half an hour, but the idea is to immerse them (it's a rat training technique I picked up on another forum). An animal can only be in a panicked state for so long before they, basically, tire themselves out. The trick is to have them experience being with you and not being in a panicked state. I found my mice calmed right down after a few sessions of this.

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Post by CallaLily on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 10:51 am

There are a bunch of links here with mouse care tips, including taming advice. Yes, male mice do just fine housed alone with lots of attention from you. In fact, once mature most intact male mice become far too territorial and will fight, often leading to serious injury or even death. There’s a link on this in that thread too. Some do get their bucks neutered so that they can be housed with a group of females. There are risks and it depends on how experienced with mice the vets are in your area. Most feel the risks outweigh the benefits. More on that in the link too.

My boy Daryl was pretty nibbley when I first adopted him. I just kept interacting with him and whenever he’d try to nibble my fingers I’d gently curl them away and say “no bites.” He caught on very very quickly. I also do not recommend hand feeding treats until after your mice are tame. Instead hide them around his cage for him to find after bonding sessions. And yes, I find taking them out of their home for these sessions works best. If he won’t climb into your hand willingly yet, you can use a box or tube to move him over to whatever safe play space you decide on. How long each session should go on depends on him. If he’s a very nervous mouse start off with shorter sessions and work your way up to longer ones over time. Offer water in the play area if you can so there’s no need to worry about that.

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Post by Artistwolf on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 1:56 pm

Please don’t get another mouse “friend” for him—as CallaLily stated, that could and probably would be incredibly dangerous to both mice, especially given that the two would have been apart for a while. Male mice are very territorial.

Also, another thought to consider is that if every time he nibbles/bites you, you leave, it’s teaching him that it’s was your to get rid of the big scary hand. Definitely try the neutral territory thing, and if he’s not drawing blood, try not to be too concerned. My cat chews on my fingers all the time, but for some reason people don’t seem to find that so scary, lol. Anywho, if you stop feeding treats and stop being scared away by his bites, and take him out of his cage (to, say, an empty bathtub—good neutral territory that they can’t escape from), this ussye should hopefully easily be resolved Smile
And if not, feel free to ask for more help!

Oh, and don’t worry about the wheel. Some mice just aren’t so into it. What kind of wheel is it and how big? It could be that it is too small.
Actually, while we’re on the subject, what are you keeping him in? Here, we generally recommend a ten gallon tank with a screen lid, like what you would use for reptiles. Most cages available in the US have too large gaps between the bars and/or are too small (as is the case with the Crittertrail cages).

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