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Taming a Terrified Mouse

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Post by tjb13c Thu 16 Jan 2020, 7:51 pm

Hi friends!

I'm new to this forum, but I'm assuming there are plenty of posts related to this. I'm having such a hard time taming and bonding to my mouse, Jaq. He is a very energetic guy, but he is terrified of me! I've had him for two months now and I just can't seem to get through to him. I think he is still terrified of me!

He is my second pet mouse. My first once, Gus, I had for a year and a half, and it only took a couple weeks to bond with him. I was able to hold him, and he would just get finicky and try to walk out of my hands. But with Jaq, I cannot touch him at all.

-I do tub time every day, but he is so adverse to crawling on my skin. With some time, he will crawl on me if I'm wearing pants or a blanket, but never my actual skin.
-I have tried wearing a sock or tissue in my shirt and then leaving it in his cage.
-I always make him take a seed from my hand, which sometimes he will barely do if he has to walk across my fingers to get to the palm of my hand.
-When I put my finger in between the bars of his cage, he will nibble on me lightly. This is the only thing that has gotten slightly better.
-The most I can get him to crawl into my hands is when I put peanut butter on my wrist, but right after that he refuses to touch me again.

Literally, every time my hands come near him, or if I accidentally touch him, he freaks out and is terrified! I don't want the poor little guy to be so scared of me all of the time. I'm just nervous because if an emergency comes up, I will have to handle him and I obviously don't want him resisting like that. I prefer not to grab him by the tail, because I feel like that would make them so uncomfortable.

Tl;dr - My mouse of 2 months does not like contact with my skin. I'm using the same hand soap I used with my previous mouse so I don't know if he hates the smell of my skin or he just is that terrified of humans. I'm trying very hard to tame him, but I think I am failing.

Any help and advice would be much appreciated!! I just want to help this little guy feel more relaxed and comfortable around me. Mice can be so loving and I want to spoil him with cuddles, but above all, make sure he isn't living so much in fear.

Thank you Smile

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Post by Stuart.the.albino.mouse Sat 01 Feb 2020, 12:50 am

Was Jaq a feeder? You seem to be doing all the right methods for hand taming but sadly some mice wont ever want to be touched. If he isnt already put him in a quiet room and make sure to talk or make a sound so he'll recognize you. Also make sure his cage is full of hides so he dosent feel out in the open. Lastly don't chase him
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Post by AmyLynn Sat 01 Feb 2020, 10:46 pm

I know that this is in a post somewhere and I just could not find the original. But...some people suggested taking an old sock or peice of material and wear it or put it in your pocket. Then cut it up and give it to the mouse as nice soft nesting material. It will smell like you and they will then relate that smell overtime with safety and comfort. It may help. Just be cautious that you don't use a strong laundry soap or a woven material that your mouse can get their little toes caught in.

Amy Lynn
(a loving Heart mouse mom)

My Current Mouse Family
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Does:                             Bucks:                    
Ruby                            Pepper
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Post by Lucille Tue 08 Sep 2020, 11:19 pm

I know this post is a couple months old but I thought Id reply with another idea about what’s going on. Is it possible that a skin care product you use causes him discomfort? Ive got MCS and have to avoid many, many other human friends because the soaps, lotions, laundry detergents, perfumes they use cause my eyes, throat, lungs to burn. I get headaches that last for days or weeks afterwards, get nauseous and sometimes even break out into a rash - just from being in the same room as someone wearing fragrances or who used a fragranced laundry detergent - even if we sat far apart

I always wonder if my medical condition causes me to experience human products the way animals do. Humans underestimate what ‘smells’ can really do.

If im exposed to a smell - even ones that dont make me sick - it basically feels like im eating or drinking or drowning in whatever it is. Scents most other humans dont even notice or experience as ‘faint’ or ‘mild’ are SUPER STRONG to me

If someone washes their hands with a scented soap and we shake hands, the scent will transfer and its like im walking around drinking the soap they just used for hours after the encounter

Your mouse may be going through something similar

I would suggest switching all of your personal care products to unscented and see if that might help

Of course, it may just be that its gross to him that we dont have fur lol
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