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Critter Trails to bin cages - will they ever be happy?

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Critter Trails to bin cages - will they ever be happy? Empty Critter Trails to bin cages - will they ever be happy?

Post by SarahAdams on Tue 13 Oct 2020, 6:33 pm

These 3 boys I've had since late August came rather suddenly. No stores in my area have decent cages for mice - bars are usually too far apart - and would have had to be ordered. My niece grabbed 3 little Crittertrail cages on her way to pick up the mice at the humane society and then brought all to my house.

The cages are each 20" x 12" x11" high and surprisingly had 7" wheels. The good part is that each has an "atrium" at the top, accessed by exterior tubes. As soon as the cages were set up and mice put into them, they immediately found their way up to their atriums and promptly curled up in the bedding I'd added and went to sleep. They all just love these atrium bedrooms and slept nowhere else.

Anyway, after reading on this forum I felt they needed more room so last week completed 3 large bin cages with mesh tops and fronts. I put the mice into them every day for a few hours in the morning and again at night. They loved their new 8.5" Comfort wheels but were always anxious to get back into their little cages where they would run up to their atriums and conk out. This morning I put them permanently in the bins, with lots of the familiar stuff - hides and toys - from their former cages. Yet, they seem very agitated.

Are they ever going to like their new homes? Am I worrying too much about them? I thought having had rats that mice would be simliar but they so not.

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Post by AmyLynn on Wed 14 Oct 2020, 12:01 pm

Every mouse is different. It is great that you are offering them extra space. I would give the move a week for them to adjust unless they seem overly distressed. They can have panic attacks and if that seems to be the case put them back to thier previous home. It's ok if they decide they don't like it. I had a little boy who scared easily and didn't like open space and was only happy is a smaller cage where he felt safe and enclosed. He never bar chewed and was content. We slowly added extensions to that house at a pace he was comfortable with.

As far as the bin cages you can try adding more places to hide in your bin cage. tolliet paper and paper towels rolls going from place to place are helpful. The plastic tubes from the critters trailer can be put in there too. Little boxes from tea or papper Berry Baskets or other small items that can be used of hiding can be added. What ever you have. Remember that mice are prey animals and often times it is scary for them to be in an unfamiliar open space. Reduce the open space.

It that doesn't work and you place them back in thier previous homes you can introduce the bin slowly. Use it as a fun play area for short durations of time with you playing with them and giving them lots of attention and treats. Over time they may become more familiar with the area and may be able to be move at a later date. When moving to the new house put the toys and hideouts into the new cage unwashed and sprinkles some of the old bedding on top. The familiar smell will help.

Ultimately, do what is best for your mice and what makes them happy. Some are happy in bin cages, some are happy in bar cages, and some like aquariums. There were times where I had to try more than one cage to see what worked best. They all have a personality and different preferences.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.


Last edited by AmyLynn on Wed 14 Oct 2020, 12:06 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : Typos)

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My Current Mouse Family
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Does:                             Bucks:                    
Ruby                            Pepper
Princess Fluffles       Stuart
Bianca                         Chestnut
Dottie                          Tiny
                                   Mogwai
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Post by SarahAdams on Wed 14 Oct 2020, 5:40 pm

Thanks for all the advice! So I put more junk - tubes and hides and rope bird perches - into their bins, plus I got each a small Sputnik to hang, which they like a lot. I removed their little atriums from the old cages, got some velcro, and attached them on tops of the new wooden hides I got them. They seemed incredibly happy and excited about this - getting their old sleeping lofts back.Very Happy

I admit I was surprised to see that these 3 siblings have such different personalities, as you say.
I'm really grateful for this forum. Not many people care about mice so it's nice to see some who do. Thanks again!

Back in the loft: (so cute)
Critter Trails to bin cages - will they ever be happy? DEojZiN

Exploring their new birdhouses:
Critter Trails to bin cages - will they ever be happy? DkmhYJo

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Post by AmyLynn on Thu 15 Oct 2020, 7:54 am

They look so very happy. I am so glad. Thanks for sharing the very cute pictures of your mice in their new home.

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Amy Lynn
(a loving Heart mouse mom)


My Current Mouse Family
         Group Hug
Does:                             Bucks:                    
Ruby                            Pepper
Princess Fluffles       Stuart
Bianca                         Chestnut
Dottie                          Tiny
                                   Mogwai
                                   Ninja
                                   
AmyLynn
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Post by SarahAdams on Thu 15 Oct 2020, 7:48 pm

They do seem quite happy, thanks to all on this forum who informed me about their needs, re: food, housing, and getting them big wheels. To be honest, I never wanted mice, but I guess now that they are here I just want to give them everything they didn't have in their months at the animal shelter.

If you want a good wooden hide that isn't 20$+ for a few pieces of unfinished pine/plywood stuck together: These birdhouses are from the dollar store. I just enlarged the 1" hole a little with a dremel tool and turned them on their sides. Great mouse house for 2$.

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