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Trouble bonding with new mice

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Trouble bonding with new mice Empty Trouble bonding with new mice

Post by Molly_mouse Wed 02 Dec 2020, 2:41 am

Hello! I recently got two new mice to put with one of my others, and at the beginning everything was going great. They were curious, they would climb on my hand and even let me pick them up, and it seemed like I had bonded with them very quickly. This was in their temporary cage that I used to have them meet my other girl, and had much less bedding and a few less toys than their normal cage would. However, as soon as I moved them to the normal cage with more stuff and more bedding, they won’t even come out of the lid is off. I can sit with my hand in the cage for them to explore for an hour and no one will even peak their nose out. I don’t know why this is, I make sure to not force them to interact with me, I rarely ever touch their hiding spots and when I do it’s either because I need them to come out for cleaning or it’s because I’m spot cleaning it. I’m not sure what to do. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

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Post by disastervibe Wed 02 Dec 2020, 2:59 am

I've noticed sometimes backing up a step or two has helped with my two mice. They were also very bold and curious with me the day I brought them home and shortly after, but as the initial excitement wore off they got much more reserved, and I had to slowly build up their trust.

Putting my hand in the cage resulted in them hiding completely away from me at that time, as well. So instead I would just sit by the cage (all the doors closed), quietly at first, when they were comfortable enough just going about their business with me around I started to hold treats up (outside the cage) so they could see them and then drop the treats in through the cage bars and move away a little bit. When they were comfortable with this I stopped backing away, and once they were comfortable with that I worked on getting them to take the treats from my pinched fingertips through the cage bars. I didn't move back to placing my hand in the cage until a day or so after they were confidently taking treats from my fingers through the cage bars. At that point, while they still initially hid, they were brave enough to come out and look around my hand, and eventually realising that I would always leave treats where my hand had been, they got bolder. It took a couple of days of that before they would actually come close enough to touch their noses to me and sniff me, and a few more days after that for them to step into my hands to get treats, but it's progress, and so far so good.

It takes so much patience, and ocassionally if I overstay my welcome, one of them (Dandelion) will tail rattle at me (and then have nerve to come up and ask for treats moments later). I try to respect their boundaries and move at their pace, while also being persistent every day and showing them my presence is just part of life now. If I think I've frightened them in some way, I always back off for a bit and go back to their comfort zone so I can re-earn their trust.

Good luck!

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Post by River Wed 02 Dec 2020, 1:25 pm

Maybe you could try moving them into a playpen for bonding time, as well? I've always had success with this, but of course, you have to get them into the pen first. I would also try while they're already awake and running around, and second everything disaster said. Smile

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*Neutered male group. Do not house intact males together.*

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