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I messed up and now my mouse is terrified of me!

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I messed up and now my mouse is terrified of me! Empty I messed up and now my mouse is terrified of me!

Post by emma la cheese Sat 07 Aug 2021, 11:36 am

So I signed up to this site because of this issue. I had just become a mouse parent, and I didn’t know much. I had done my research, but I was so excited to have a mouse that I made a huge mistake. The day after I got my new mouse (Misty) I took her into my bathtub and let her play around with me. After that, since she had crawled alll over me, I started taking her our more and more. She is still really new to our household and looking at it now I’m pretty sure it freaked her out. And now, ever time I come into my bedroom (where her tank is) she hides. And every time I go near her while she’s walking around in her cage, she hides and burrows. And I can’t even raise my hands while I’m in my room or she’ll freak out or think I am gonna take her out again. She is terrified of me, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to redeem myself after I freaked her out. And she is still new to the house, and now she is just even more scared then she ever would have been if I just left her alone!

I’m looking to get another female mouse so she can have a friend, so she won’t be lonely. I have no idea what to do!

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Post by Crabby Sun 08 Aug 2021, 6:05 am

When young mice are handled for the first time, for example by pet traders, new owners, they seem to be tame and don't try much to escape. But this is not a sign of trust or tameness, its just cautiousness, because very fast or wrong movement could trigger a predator to catch them.

After the mouse has established in the new territory and know where to hide, where to find food and water, she will return to her normal, untamed mouse behavior.

I sold many young mice that where skittish and not easy to catch in their enclosure, but after I put them in a Fauna Box until the customer arrives, they where acting just normal and I could handle them very easy. Its a normal behavior for a fancy mice to act more cautions then skittish, if brought to a new space.

Your new mouse is just not tamed. I would not recommend to to take her out of the cage, she needs first to establish a friendship with you. Sit in front of the cage in the night when shes active, just let her watch and smell you, don't do fast movements, don't  speak loud.
Try to give her something she does not get with regular food, like a toasted piece of toasbread or a cooked noodle. Don't let her take the whole treat, she has to nibble on it, she should stay near you.

Most mice learn after 2-3 days that you are giving them treats regularly and will then be ready for the next step, taking the treat off your hand. If the mouse knows your hand, you can try to let her walk on you, but always give her the option to go back to her enclosure.

Unlike rats, mice will eventually not return to their cage if you letting them roaming free around the house, this can be a big problem, because mice who build nests in the house, will normally turn wild, untamed again and you have to use a trap to get her back.

When you are keeping female mice, it should be at least 3 females, this helps them to establish a better hierarchy. 2 females can go, but often it doesn't.

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Post by Dee67 Sun 08 Aug 2021, 5:29 pm

@emma la cheese Crabby has perfect advice. You must basically start again and go very very slow, it may take days, weeks or months, be persistent and gentle and calm. Once she feels comfortable on your hands, eating a treat, you can then walk her around the house a bit if it is not noisy. Then, when you put her back in her pen give her a real nice treat, a small piece of pecan for example, to reward her.

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Post by SarahAdams Mon 09 Aug 2021, 12:16 pm

All great advice and yes, baby animals often seem totally tame but it's just cluelessness about what they should fear as prey animals.

Another helpful tip might be to rub a tissue all over your hands, tear it up, and put it in her tank to let her use it for nesting material while getting used to your smell. Patience is the key.

It will take time for her to learn that you are a harmless giver of good things!

Since she is a female alone that might increase her fear as female mice are social.

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