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Mouse Care Questions

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Post by mquse Wed 24 Nov 2021, 2:32 am

Hello Everyone!

I'm new to the forum, and I decided to join to ask a few basic questions about owning mice!

1. Would a 20g long be suitable for a male mouse or 2 female mice?
2. Difference in smell between the two. Are males extremely smelly like i've read about? Any ways to combat this?
3. What are your recommendations for bedding? Type and how many inches?
4. Do pet store mice tend to have really poor genetics/behaviors?
5. I'm having a hard time deciding between getting a male or multiple females. I've read that males tend to bond more with you, is this true? I know that each individual is unique but I am just wondering in general. I'd love to have a male for the bonding aspect but I am worried about the smell. Either way I just want to give a mouse/some mice a great home!
6. Any other information you think I should know?

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to this, I appreciate it!

mquse
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Post by Buggirl13 Wed 24 Nov 2021, 8:27 am

1. No, the minimum is around 40 gallons, though I would suggest something bigger
2. I personally have never had a male mouse, so I can't really answer this. 
3. I use dust-free paper bedding. It's safe as long as you don't get the scented kind.
4. Yes, I would recommend getting mice from a breeder. Pet store mice come from rodent mills, which are very cruel towards the mice they breed there. 
5. I personally have females and wouldn't want to have a male, but that's your decision to make!
6. I would recommend watching Emiology's youtube channel. She gives lots of great info on mouse care.

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Post by Peachy Wed 24 Nov 2021, 9:17 pm

1. There isn’t really any widely accepted “minimum,” regarding cage size, it comes down to you and your mice. I would personally say 20 gallons is fine for one male or 3 females (if you get females, you want 3 not 2). These threads touch on many concepts to think about when making a decision about housing and ways to make the most of your space. https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t5320-mouse-husbandry-things-to-consider
https://www.petmousefanciers.com/portal

2. Males have a stronger smell but whether it’s a bad smell or something to get used to depends on your nose. Many owners think they smell like popcorn or corn chips. Keeping mouse homes clean is important, full cleans once a week and spot cleaning in between. Wheels tend to collect urine and get smelly. Males DO tend to grow out of the stinky phase as they get older.

3. Paper, aspen, or kiln dried pine are all common bedding types that are fine to use. I like aspen, personally.

4. Pet store mice are not bred for health or longevity so there’s an increased chance that you’ll get some bad genetics… as someone who’s owned mice for over a decade and gotten many of them from a pet store, if you can’t find a breeder near you, pet store mice are just as deserving of a happy home.

5. I’ve had some amazing bonds with my males. They definitely NEED your attention daily, unlike females who have each other. This is a great thread to read over! https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t23-let-s-hear-it-for-the-boys
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Post by Salvsop27 Wed 24 Nov 2021, 10:33 pm

1. I have a 20 gallon for my two females, but I would recommend getting something bigger, like a 40 gallon. They are starting to get bored in it and I want to upgrade them. I would recommend the ikea detolf. I don’t have it for my mice, but I have one for my hamster.
2. I personally don’t own males and don’t plan on owning them, bc my friend had one and he was EXTREMELY smelly. My females don’t smell much though.
3. Kaytee clean and cozy is a great option, or another paper based bedding. Most people don’t give their much bedding, but I’ve found that my mice love to burrow, so I would probably give a minimum of 4-5 inches.
4. I would get mice from a reputable breeder or a rescue if I were you. I made the mistake of getting mine from a pet shop, and they are not tame whatsoever. Also, they come from really terrible rodent mills.
5. I don’t own a male, so idk.

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Post by Mel Mon 29 Nov 2021, 12:36 pm

@mquse wrote:Hello Everyone!

I'm new to the forum, and I decided to join to ask a few basic questions about owning mice!

1. Would a 20g long be suitable for a male mouse or 2 female mice? I think they need much more space to truly thrive and be kept busy. I think that a 40 gallon is plenty. I'd recommend at least 600 square inches of floor space.
2. Difference in smell between the two. Are males extremely smelly like i've read about? Any ways to combat this? I've never owned females but i've owned 3 males (at different times of course). My first mouse was kind of smelly. if kind of depends on the individual mouse but it shouldn't be too bad. males will have a definite smell but it shouldn't be too overpowering. you can make sure not to overclean the cage for male mice scent mark and will mark more if their things don't smell enough like them. but yes they do smell.
3. What are your recommendations for bedding? Type and how many inches? I think that paper mixed with aspen or hemp is good. you can add hay for more burrow stability. Toilet paper can make a good nesting material for them, too. If you are on a budget you can use kiln dried, dust extracted pine however you should monitor closely because some might cough or sneeze in which case you must remove it. I have used pine because I don't think it's acceptable to spend $30 every month on bedding and my mouse hasn't displayed any signs of illness. I recommend at least 7 inches of bedding to burrow. my mice have done great with 8-12 inches across the cage.
4. Do pet store mice tend to have really poor genetics/behaviors? yes. also it's not good to support pet mills by purchasing those mill animals. I have bought rodents from pet stores before and they died soon or had neurological complications. I got my mouse from the SPCA. You can search for breeders or shelters however it might take some time and effort.
5. I'm having a hard time deciding between getting a male or multiple females. I've read that males tend to bond more with you, is this true? I know that each individual is unique but I am just wondering in general. I'd love to have a male for the bonding aspect but I am worried about the smell. Either way I just want to give a mouse/some mice a great home! Male mice definitely build a strong bond with their owners. my one male wanted to come out every time he saw me and would sit on my shoulder and sit on my bed with me while I watched netflix lol. he was very affectionate and would lick me a lot. My other male was also very affectionate and wanted to interact with me constantly. my current male I've only had for a couple weeks but he is already climbing onto me when I'm around. However males are territorial and may get angry when you touch too many things in their cage. They also require a lot of attention because if they aren't neutered they have to live alone. Females are fun to watch and can be fun to own and are a little more hands off than males. if you're looking for a companion I would recommend a male. if you are looking for entertainment and are okay with them not being that affectionate, I recommend females.
6. Any other information you think I should know? Yes. Mice are like tiny dogs and need a lot of attention and care. they can also be costly and smelly lol. it takes a lot of time and patience to tame and build a trusting relationship with a mouse. even if they are closely bonded to you, they are still skittish and delicate rodents that are easily frightened. also, sudden death can be common and if you do not deal with loss well, then it'll be hard to own them. however overall, they make wonderful pets for anyone that has a little bit of time and a lot of love. also, if you want a dog but don't have enough time or money, a mouse is a great alternative however they do still require their own unique needs and a considerable amount of time. they are very enjoyable to own.

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to this, I appreciate it!

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