Best Food for Fancy Mouse – What do Pet Mice Eat?

You have probably seen a few cartoons where mice are obsessed with eating cheese. Well, that is not really what it looks like in real life. Your mouse would live quite a sad life eating only cheese. These little rodents are, in fact, omnivores.

They need a diverse diet that provides them with enough protein and vitamins. Not to mention that they love to eat foods that they can distinguish as treats.

You can give them occasional breadcrumbs or sugar-free cereal for example to keep them happy.

In this article, we are going to talk about how the optimal mouse diet looks like.

Best Food for Pet Mice

If you walk into a pet store, you can typically see a lot of foods specifically made for mice, hamsters, gerbils and rats.

These can be bought in pellet or cube form and your little fella at home can easily consume them. It is best to look for commercial foods specifically made for mice.

However, you don’t have to buy all the mouse food in the store. You can prepare a pretty good diet for them with ingredients that you can find at home.

You just need to know which foods are actually good for them and which are the ones that should be avoided.

Below you can find a list of recommended mouse foods. By combining them, you can ensure a healthy and nutritious diet for your pet. Let’s see what we have here:

1. Mouse Pellets

As we mentioned above, you can find plenty of different pellets at the pet store distributed by various brands.

Turn the pack over each time you find a new food product and check if it contains the necessary amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals.

You can easily find pellets that contain all the nutrition that mice need. So, why not feed it to them all the time?

Well, because mice love to eat and they are happy if you surprise them with a bit of variety. It would be kind of boring for them to eat the same food over and over again.

As long as these pellets make up 40 or 50 percent of their diet, it is going to be fine.

2. Fruits

There is a long list of different fruits you can give to your mouse. Based on their behaviors after you give them each fruit, you can find out which one he likes the most.

The fruits that owners commonly give to their mice are bananas, apples, berries and plums.

The rule of thumb is to just give them any crunchy fruit that you can find at home. Fruits are essential for keeping your mouse healthy as they contain plenty of vitamins.

Not to mention that chewing crunchy stuff is good for their teeth as well.

There are some tropical fruits that you should rather avoid such as grapefruits, oranges and lemons.

3. Vegetables

There are many crunchy vegetables you can give to your little pet. Just make sure to wash the vegetables properly before feeding.

It is best to give them fresh vegetables instead of stale ones. Since mice are not picky, there are numerous vegetables you can give them.

If you can find some carrots, parsley, cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes or any Asian greens at home, feel free to slice them up and feed your mouse.

Vegetables should be supplementary to their regular meal. Although you don’t have to use crunchy vegetables, mice definitely enjoy to eat those more.

4. Grains and Seeds

Although mice are omnivores, they are predominantly herbivores. They love to eat plant material so they definitely want some seeds or grains to nibble on. When it comes to grains, they mostly prefer rolled grains instead whole ones.

The best grains to give them are oats, rye, barley, wheat and millet. The seeds they prefer eating are sunflower, flax and pumpkin seeds. These all come with numerous benefits. They contain high amounts of fiber, vitamins, gluten and omega 3 oils.

By mixing them together, you end up with some truly nutritious mouse food that you can give him every day. Don’t feed too much of this mix to your mouse because he can quickly become overweight and diabetic.

How to Feed Your Pet Mouse?

The key thing to focus on here is to make feeding fun for your mouse. While living out in the wild, mice got used to searching for food. Make it an exciting moment for them when they find their food. Since they love to eat, it should be an activity that arouses their interest instead of making them bored.

The way you should do this is by picking random spots in the cage and scattering the food there. Your mouse will need to sniff around and collect all the bits of food. The reason why you need to do this is because it quickly gets boring if you just fill their food bowl every day.

Another way to do it is to put the food into a paper container or something that can be flipped over. Make your mouse work for that meal and you will be surprised how excited he will get.

Food to Avoid Feeding Your Mouse

Although mice are not picky at all, there are some foods you should really avoid feeding to them. First off, don’t give them anything that is unhealthy for us humans in general.

Although we like sweets such as chocolate and candies, those are among the worst things you can give to your mouse.

Also avoid feeding them sugary cereals and spicy or salty chips. Foods that can be not only bad but also poisonous for mice are grapes, onions, walnuts, raisins and raw beans.

Although they might seem harmless at first glance, mice really have a hard time digesting them.

Anything that is spicy or hot should be kept far away from mice. Those foods can really take a toll on their belly. However, pretty much everything else that doesn’t fall into the abovementioned categories can be fed to a pet mouse.

Is Overfeeding Bad for Mice?

Feeding a pet mouse properly is easy. You just give him the same amount of food every day, twice a day. Of course, mouse can be overfed and they can become obese and diabetic. When this happens, there is a high risk they are going to develop some health problems.

Heart disease and breathing difficulties are the two most common problems. This is why you need to put your mouse on a scale every now and then to see if its weight changed. If you want your little pet to be healthy, then don’t allow its weight to change more than 5 percent.

By gently running your finger through your mouse’s spine you can find out whether he is obese or not. If it all feels smooth and you can’t feel the vertebrae under the skin, then your mouse is overweight. In this case, your mouse will need a weight loss plan.

The reason why mice become obese is because they lose sense of how much they should eat. This happens if they constantly have an abundance of food in front of them. They simply don’t know how to stop.

How to Feed Your Pet Mice on Vacation?

Mice are low-maintenance pets, which also means that it is going to be easy to keep them fed while you enjoy your vacation. The best way to do it is to ask one of your friends or relatives to check on the mouse every other day.

Before you go, show your friend the different type of foods you give to your mouse and how things should be done. This includes rinsing the bowls before refilling them, removing solid waste and so on. These instructions are important so it’s a good idea to write them down on a piece of paper.

If you leave for only a couple of days, then you won’t even need a temporary caregiver. Besides filling the water bowl, leave some extra water there in another bowl or container.

This way, you can ensure that your mouse will be hydrated for those two days. You should do the same with the food, just leave enough of it there for an extra day and your pet should be fine.


Now you know what your mouse should and shouldn’t eat in order to live a healthy life. All the different foods we mentioned in this article should be supplemented with fresh and clean water. This is something your mouse should have constant access to.

As long as your little pet’s regular diet includes enough proteins, fibers, vitamins and omega 3, there is really nothing to worry about.

Just keep in mind that the foods you should avoid are just as important as the healthy ones that we recommended. Many people forget those or don’t even know about them.

They feed them to their mice as treats, only realizing that there is a problem when it already took an effect on their pets. Just follow the rules and everything is going to be fine.

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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