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How to make sure female adult mouse is happy

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Post by Ashlyn Sat 22 May 2021, 12:31 pm

Hi! I'm in a bit of a pickle. I got two mice from the pet store thinking they were female but it turned out one was male. Hamlet is the male and Cecil is the female. I didn't realize until I noticed Cecil developing a pregnant tummy. I believe she had a failed pregnancy because there were no sign of pinkies, poor dear. I separated them immediately when I noticed and since Hamlets fur was off I took him to the vet to confirm his gender health and also get some advice. The vet said to just keep them apart and it would be fine. He also said that Cecil would be fine without more females and not to risk ending up with another accidental male 😅. But I'm worried about her as mice are social creatures and I did research on how females can get depressed. She's about a year old now. I have her in a 650 square foot 200 qart bin cage with lots of toys but I'm wondering if that's really enough. Hamlet is sweet and loves being picked up but Cecil since I got her from the pet store has genuinely been petrified of hands. She just hates them so I have to put a tissue or cover my hands when handling her to make her a little more relaxed. I'm working on warming her up to being picked up more and I'm open to any tips. I also feel I should note that I live in NS and there isn't many places to get fancy mice, lit alone knowing their gender or that they are in good health. We are also in lockdown from the pandemic Which makes it even harder. I'm not sure how my landlord would feel if I asked her to let me have another female for Cecil. It was difficult getting permission for the two I have as they are considered exotics. Please let me know what you guys think on this! I don't want her to get depressed 😔 is getting more females somehow the only/best option?
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Post by Peachy Sat 22 May 2021, 1:55 pm

That is a pickle! More females for Cecil would be the best option for her, but I wouldn’t say it’s your only option, especially given her age.

The first thing to think about is whether you want to keep more females in the future. Often females get you into a never ending cycle of finding and introducing new friends when one passes. I females are hard to find or you’re not comfortable sexing them, and you’re ok with only having males in the future, I’d let her be alone. I will link a thread with sexing information.

If you choose to not get friends for Cecil, plenty of space and toys and time with you should be ok. Moving her into a large tub or sitting on the bed with her will help with taming. I’ll link a thread with more information about that too.

Shelters and rescues are good places to look out for mice too.

Sexing — https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t45-sexing-mice
Handling and Taming — https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t8-handling-and-taming
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Post by Dee67 Sat 22 May 2021, 10:43 pm

@Ashlyn Hello flow NS'er!! Where you at? I'm around Windsor, NS. This lockdown sucks, eh!!

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Post by Ashlyn Sun 23 May 2021, 3:13 pm

@Peachy

Thank you so much for your help!! Will definitely look into the links you sent and think what I will do Smile
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Post by Ashlyn Sun 23 May 2021, 3:20 pm

@Dee67

Hey NS'er!! I'm currently in Halifax (the heat of all the cases 😅).

Yeah it's not that great by. Also I'm actually a newfie but I've been here for school the past couple of years but I'm likely here to stay a while I like it here in the mainland XD

Where did you get your mice if they weren't form a pet store? If they were then no worries. I can't drive so whenever I travel it's by taxi/bus but it would be nice to know if there's some good breeders nearby!
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Post by Ashlyn Sun 23 May 2021, 7:38 pm

==UPDATE===

I tried some more methods to make Cecil comfortable with me but now I'm worried that she has some kind of neurological problem. I heard of hamsters being dropped and then excessively chewing but I'm not sure about mice. Cecil will readily climb up my arms now (even jumping on them excitedly) and climb up on my shoulder and back. Such a fast improvement compared to a couple days ago!! She even likes it to the point that it's hard putting her back because she keeps jumping and crawling back on me. The problem is that I'm wearing gloves which she bites like crazy and when she climbs up on me she bites my ears and neck. I was sure not to have the sent of food on me. At first I thought maybe she's in pain and that's why but she doesn't act I'll or in pain. She is always running around and jumps up and down kind of like a flea. My mouse Hamlet doesn't jump nearly as much as Cecil. She jumps more when she gets excited (about ten inches in the air). And like climbing on the top of her cage with the wire mesh I put there. I'm just not sure why she is still biting. I will keep trying what  Peachy posted earlier along with some other things and hopefully she will begin to get better with time and adjustment. I'm not sure what to do for her. She seems like she wants attention and seems happy so why the biting behavior?
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Post by Peachy Sun 23 May 2021, 8:28 pm

That sounds like good progress... I’m giggling at your description of her! ¬†Haha What you describe strikes me as typical of a mouse who’s starting to become confident around her human. Does she bite hard? It could be curiosity.
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Post by Dee67 Mon 24 May 2021, 1:50 am

Hi @Ashlyn , sounds like you just have a normal, excited, and a bit nippy, mouse on your hands (and shoulders, and neck 😆). Just handle her lots and lots and she will probably grow used to you and stop. When she bites, just give a yell, then she'll know she's hurting you. When things go well, give her a nice treat before putting her back in her cage, not when you first take her out. The jumping, hopping like a flea is basically "popcorning", what mice do when young and excited. You're doing really well with her. I got my Figgus from a girl in Kentville, she hand raises all her mice so they are pretty outgoing and friendly. You can also check online with the shelters, they sometimes have mice, and check Kijiji as sometimes people have them on there, just make sure they are selling them as pets, not feeders, as they will likely be more handled mice. I haven't been to Halifax in a year, too scary, but I do miss it. All my best
PS I went to NFLD for 3 weeks awhile back and fell in love!

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Post by Ashlyn Mon 24 May 2021, 8:31 pm

@peachy and @Dee67

Thank you for all your help and support!! Cecil bites hard, leaving red marks or even drawing blood. I think I may wear a scarf for a bit with the gloves until she gets better at being handled and understands not to bite. Today when I handled her I tried playing a game similar to a link peachy sent at the top. I held her in one glove, she would crawl across my arm them jump onto the next hand and so forth. But I think she knows it hurts when she bites. I tried putting her back today, and when she realized I was putting her back she got upset and bit hard on my exposed skin she found. I then closed up the inclosure and she squeaked at me upset crawling about the bars wanting more time with me. I'd handle her for longer periods but she's alot to handle and I have to watch out. She also seems to grind her teeth alot more than Hamlet does which is interesting. I've given her a sea of different chews though. I feel bad seeing her like this. I tried making a I'm in pain noise when she bit but she seemed to only bite harder. Although it might be more effective with multiple tries she may have just been startled. I will continue to try my best and correct these behavior problems. At least she seems excited now though whenever I'm near. Thanks again and will be sure to keep you updated on her progress! Also popcorn phase is such an adorable name for it. I like it it's the perfect way to describe her energy 🤣

PS Yay I'm glad you liked! We have this thing where you kiss a cod and become an honorary Newfoundlander and drink screech. I've been here before Covid hit but I'm really liking NS it has alot of charm. Looking forward to seeing the rock again though.

PSS Cecil has a giant mound where she gathered large quantities of her bedding and put a small tunnel in where she sleeps. She topped it off with a half an egg carton.
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Post by Ashlyn Thu 27 May 2021, 9:25 pm

==Update==

Cecil is getting way more well behaved! I'm seeing alot of improvement from her. She didn't even try biting my glove today and when she nipped my neck it was light and she stopped when I said owe. She also eats near me. She used to take her food to her hide but she's starting to like the idea of eating outside and will sit near me as she can. I'm so proud and excited!! If all goes well I'll try taking off the gloves soon. She still jumps up and down alot from excitement but she no longer gets upset when playtime is over. It also helps that I giver her a treat at the end. I think also just talking to her and saying what's on my mind got her better familiar with me being close by. Thank you again for all your help!!
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Post by Ashlyn Tue 01 Jun 2021, 9:52 am

== serious update ==

Okay so my mouse Cecil was making progress and loved being on my gloves so I tried taking off one glove. She dismissed the hand at first staying away from it. But then she went on top and began biting it. I tried saying owe and she continued so I tried blowing on her because I know mice hate that. Neither of those two methods worked and she made my hand bloody. I don't know what to try anymore. She completely hates human skin and I feel like giving up 😭😭😭😭
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