Can Baby Mice Survive Without Their Mother?

A baby mouse is pretty much helpless if you consider that they can’t even use their eyes and ears right away. Their paws also need time to develop, not to mention that they don’t have any teeth at the beginning. One thing that can help them orient themselves is the feeling of their mother’s warmth.

Baby mice start to grow through some huge changes after the one-week-old mark. Their eyes open, their fur starts to grow out, while their ears and paws become more defined. It takes about two weeks for pet mice to start growing their upper and lower incisor teeth.

A mouse that is four weeks old has fully developed teeth, fur, whiskers, and everything is functioning well. Before that, they greatly rely on the help of their mother. A baby mouse would surely die if left alone at the early developmental stage.

Orphan Baby Mice Care

For a baby mouse, growing up in a warm environment is essential. They also need to be fed in every two hours and you need to keep them in a well-cleaned cage. For newborn mice, the first week is when they are highly vulnerable.

Since they don’t have any fur, they will need your help to keep them warm. You need to set up a nest using some old clothes or even stuffed animals. The simplest thing that can keep them warm is if you feel a water bottle with hot water.

Although you can’t really buy mouse milk, you can still buy some puppy milk replacement. You can fill a small syringe with it and feed the baby mice every two hours.

Prevent Mice from Killing Their Pups

When mice eat their little babies, it is often out of frustration. They are either hungry or suffering from a lot of environmental stress. Things that can be potential stressors are background noises and people frequently going near the cage for example.

You also need to provide your mice with plenty of living space and a comfortable cage to live in. On top of that, keeping them on healthy food and feeding them more frequently also helps. You basically need to cancel every second thought that would lead them to eat their babies.

Mice are usually caring parents but still, there are mouse strains with genetics that can dictate their behavior. Mothers from those strains are more prone to eat their own children.

Why Female Mouse Lose Litter Behavior?

It mostly depends on the behavior of the female mouse whether her litter are going to survive or not. The warmth that surrounds them and the milk they need for their development both need to be provided by their mother.

This is especially true in the first 2-3 weeks when the puppie’s fur is still growing. It is the parent’s job to get all the material required to build a nest too. Although you can provide everything that mice need in the most basic mouse cage, they can still consider you as a potential predator.

While you are cleaning the cage and handling all the mice in it, all they see is a predator that got too close. An interesting study has found out that baby mice have a much higher chance of survival in well-furnished housings compared to barren ones.

It turns out that they feel much safer and more comfortable in a well-furnished environment.

What do Baby Mice Eat?

No matter what you give baby mice to eat, it has to be moistened. This will help them a lot especially at the beginning when they don’t have any teeth. You can do this using commercial hamster food, kitten food or kitten formula. Immerse the food until it is soft and then you can feed it to baby mice.

Goat milk and puppy milk replacement are both great alternatives. If you can prepare some peeled cooked peas or soft vegetables such as squash, then those little guys will be more than eager to eat it. Don’t give them solid food before they reach the 4-week-old mark because that is when they teeth fully grow out.


We can conclude that baby mice can hardly survive without their mother. However, you can still substitute their mother by providing warmth, a clean cage and plenty of food. Once everything is prepared, your only responsibility will be to feed them in every two hours.

Baby mice are pretty helpless but you can definitely help them if you have some at home. In fact, if you are afraid that their mother is going to eat them, then you can decide to raise them by yourself. We only recommend you to do it if you know exactly how to or have experience with it.

If you want to entrust their mother with this responsibility, then follow our tips above to minimize the chances of her eating the babies.

avatar Jane
Jane is an experienced animal care specialist with a focus on rodents and small mammals, with over 10 years of experience in the pet industry. Her articles provide practical guidance on choosing the right pet and managing common health issues. Jane is an advocate for animal welfare and supports organizations dedicated to protecting wildlife. read more...

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