New to Mice

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New to Mice

Post by MouseNovice19 on Mon 16 Jul 2018, 8:52 pm

Hello there! So I am new to having mice. I've had cats dogs and a Guinea pig but never mice. I read up on them before I bought one but I feel like I am doing something wrong. I bought one female mouse a few days ago. I let her be for a day or so to get used to her new home. When I went to put a bit more food in her bowl she jumped out (surprised me) and I kinda had to catch her quick. I scooped her up as quickly and gently as I could. I let her be for another day since I'm sure that stressed her out tremendously. Today I went to go and try putting my hand in the cage with a bit of food on my hand so she would come up and smell my hand. She did come up and smell it and didn't take any food which is fine. I know it is going to take time for her to trust me. What worries me is that she went into the corner and started shaking her tail quickly. I knew it wasn't a good thing so I looked it up and found out it was a sign of aggression. I did my research beforehand and this took me by surprise. Does anyone have any tips that I can do to try and help her feel a bit more comfortable with me? I'm afraid that I might have messed up my chance by her jumping out of the cage land me having to catch her. Please don't be too mean if I did. Like I said I'm new to mice and did my best to read up on care and taking before I bought her.

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Re: New to Mice

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Tue 17 Jul 2018, 8:08 am

I could have a lot to write about being a human companion to a lone female mouse, because I was just that to my little April for 22½ wonderful months. But I will refrain, because conventional wisdom in the rodents-as-pets universe says it is better to keep female mice in small groups - at least two, but three is better. Even four.

So I will confine my comments to some essentials based on your post. First, it may take a few weeks for little mousie girl to get used to her new place with you. Be patient. By shaking her tail at you, or even nipping at you, she's just trying to assert some authority over this strange place she finds herself in, and over the strange and giant creature you look like to her. Let her dictate some of the terms of your interactions -- when she feels like it, what she feels like doing, and for how long -- so she will realize that you are not running a total dictatorship. Also try to make time to spend with her, or at least to spend awake and around her, at night if she is more active then (and she probably is).

Remember that if she has no mousie girlfriends, YOU could possibly be her EVERYTHING when it comes to contact with another living being. You have to work very hard at that, or it isn't fair to her.

Second, avoid serving food on your hand or fingers. Especially with a new mouse, this can lead to a biting problem, or the expectation that interaction with you should always have a food reward. You can, however, put a treat in for her and have your hand nearby for exploration or just to have the smell of you nearby. Just don't move your hand around a lot. It can be very scary from a mousie's point of view.

Finally, remember that the sense of smell is VERY important to a mouse. So is hearing. And their eyes are highly sensitive to bright light. Be kind to little mousie by keeping the light level gentle in the room where she lives, and by avoiding loud noises or having electronic equipment nearby. Electronics, some even when they're turned off, make noise that humans may not even be able to hear, but which is extremely loud and disturbing to pets. And put things that have your scent into the mousehouse, so your smell is omnipresent -- rub bedding in your hands before putting it into the enclosure; tear up tissues and offer the bits to her, one piece at a time, and see if she will take them from you to build her nest; sew a fleece pocket the right size for her to climb into and hide or sleep, but wear it like a mitten for a while before putting it into the house.

And be careful not to come at her from above, without warning. That is how predators come at their prey, and she is wired to panic in such a situation. Speak softly to announce your presence when you are around and as you approach the mousehouse. Move slowly and calmly when reaching in for anything. Don't grab at her or anything near her. Just try to see the world as it must look through her eyes, and treat her as you would hope a giant human would treat you!

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I loved you so / I still do / I always will / 'Twas Heaven here with you.
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Re: New to Mice

Post by MouseNovice19 on Tue 17 Jul 2018, 9:55 am

Getting multiple females is something that never crossed my mind or is something that I read on. I wish I had read something about that beforehand. I could only imagine being taken out of a place without any of your friends or someone there with you.

She does hide whenever I walk into the room but my apartment is very quiet during the day since it is just her and I. I e taken to just sitting next to her and talking with her at night so she's getting used to seeing me and hopefully not as a threat.

I started putting a piece of fabric in the cage with her so she can be used to my smell. I might make that fleece pocket that you mentioned. I'll also stop trying to hand feed her. The bedding and tissue idea is great.

Thank you for the advice and ideas. I might take a look into a girlfriend for her once I figure this out a bit more. I don't want to shock her too much. I didn't know that it would take a couple of weeks to about a month for her to be comfortable with me but I sort of freaked out when she did the tail shaking thing because I had not hear of that happening to anyone else. I know reading and research is going to be different then actual experience so thank you for the advice. I really do appreciate it Smile

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Re: New to Mice

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Tue 17 Jul 2018, 6:49 pm

Even during this getting-acquainted period, you can still hand-feed your new little friend -- by holding the piece of food in your fingertips and offering it for mousie to take, either with her teeth or her little paws.  Just don't offer it on your open hand to try to lure mousie on board, and have your nice, chewy, food-smelling hand lying about in Mousieville.  What smells of food could TASTE of food ... >!chomp!<

Once you two figure out your new "togetherness" dynamic, you'll be able to relax a lot of the formalities and just go with the flow.  Oh!  Cheerios-type cereal makes good finger-feeding treat food.  Plain flavor -- not honey nut, peanut butter, etc.  It's a good size to keep just that little bit of extra distance between mousie and the big scary hand!  And then mousie looks like it's eating a steering wheel while it crunches away.

At two weeks after I brought April "home", she was still hiding out in her sleep box with insane amounts of bedding stuffed around her and piled over the box to protect her from the unknown.  The following week, she was running up my sleeves, riding around the office on my shoulders, squeaking out her own orders and commentaries into my ears in her little mousie voice (to train me, I'm certain!), snoozing inside my shirt (while I was wearing it) -- thoroughly at home, and acting like she was my equal partner.


That's the little princess looking out the top of my black velour shirt. Always stylish.

Just always try to be pleasant around your new little roomie, and be patient.  And enjoy all the time you have together, no matter what mood she's in.

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♥️ Zephyr ♥️ Coco ♥️ Bobby ♥️ Noche ♥️ Paiva ♥️ April ♥️
I loved you so / I still do / I always will / 'Twas Heaven here with you.
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