How to Clean a Mouse Cage? Step by Step Guide
If you want your mouse to live a happy and healthy life, then the key thing you should do is to keep his cage clean. The bedding can get soiled, the water and food bottles can get dirty, not to mention the waste that gets accumulated over time.
Simply put, the cage will be full of bacteria if you don’t clean it frequently. It really doesn’t require much time and effort to clean up the whole thing.
Dealing with ailments, however, is much more difficult and you probably don’t want to spend that much money on the veterinarian either.
Also Read: Best Cage for Your Pet Mouse
In this article, we are going to talk about everything you need to know about cleaning a mouse cage.
Daily Mouse Cage Maintenance
These are the things that need to be done every day. Your mouse eats, drinks and basically lives on the bedding you put into the cage.
You need to keep these three things clear in order to ensure proper hygiene for your little pet.
– Clean Food Bowl
It is best to use antibacterial soap for cleaning the food bowl. Take the bowl out of the cage and rinse it out with hot water. Then grab the soap and use a few drops of it for cleaning the bowl.
You can use a toothbrush or any other small brush for this step.
Wash it thoroughly and then grab a towel to wipe it dry. There shouldn’t be any leftover soap in the bowl. Eating from a clean bowl every day means a lot when it comes to the well-being of your little mouse.
– Clean Water Bottle
Since you need soap and water for this one too, you can wash them one after another. Take out the water bottle and, as part of this daily routine, and prepare the soup and the brush for it.
Washing the outside of the bottle is just as important as washing the inside.
After all, the point is to get rid of all the contamination and bacteria. Once you are done, grab a fresh and clean towel and wipe it dry.
Some shavings or other particles can get into the water while it is being used. You should rinse those out as well.
Filling the bottle immediately is a great way to test whether there is any leftover soap in it. If there is, rinse it out again.
– Change Soiled Bedding
Soiled bedding is another thing that can cause a lot of different diseases. After you are done with cleaning the food and water bowl, make sure to check the bedding. Remove bedding that is smelly, wet or has any waste or contamination in it.
You can use a pair of rubber gloves or any other tool to pick up the bedding and bring it to the trash can.
After all, it is would not be pleasant for you either if the smelly bedding stays there. And this is only a daily routine so you don’t need to replace the whole bedding, only the dirty portion.
It is not even recommended to completely change the bedding. Your mouse marks the territory he lives on if it is not already marked.
Therefore, if you change the whole bedding, he will urinate all over it because you have removed the scent.
Weekly Mouse Cage Maintenance
The abovementioned methods were all part of the daily cleaning routine. However, there is also a weekly routine that you need to follow.
There is some deep cleaning that has to be done in order to keep your mouse healthy.
– Rehouse Your Mouse
First off, your mouse needs to be moved to a temporary container while you are busy cleaning up the main one. Use a deeper container made of plastic, glass or metal so that your mouse can’t escape in the meanwhile.
It can be a plastic bucket of any sort, an aquarium or some kind of a box made of metal. It doesn’t really matter because you are going to put the mouse back soon anyway.
If you are using a shoebox or some similar cardboard container, then keep it close while cleaning so that you can see your mouse.
– Dissemble Mouse Cage
You start by taking the cage apart. If it is a metal cage specifically made for mice, then it’s usually very easy to take the cage off of the bottom part.
This way, you gain access to all the accessories inside including the food bowl, water bowl, the hiding place, the tunnels and other toys.
Then take everything apart that can be further disassembled. Every little thing in the cage should be washed properly.
– Throw Out Old Bedding
Throw out all the shavings or other material that you use for bedding. You can use rubber gloves or tongs for this just like you do every day.
The only difference is that now you need to throw the whole bedding into the trash can.
If there is any additional soil left in the bottom part, then make sure to remove that as well. Food or other waste can all make it to the bottom throughout the week.
Another way to do it is to grab the whole bottom part and pour everything into the trash can.
– Clean Mouse Cage
A simple way to clean the cage is to use baby wipes. This is ideal for the accessories as well. However, you should use scentless wipes because scented ones can cause allergic reactions.
Make sure to go through all the exterior and interior parts of the cage.
You can consider this done after you have cleaned everything from the cage to the smallest toy. If you have tunnels, then your mouse probably uses it every day.
Therefore, the insides of those tunnel parts should be cleaned too.
Bacteria can settle on the metal wires so what you should do is to wipe through each and every wire. And at last but not least, wash the water and food bottle and rinse them out just like you do every day. You might not be able to clean up everything using only baby wipes.
There might be stubborn spots that you will need to clean up using a half-water half-vinegar mix. You can also create a half-water half-bleach solution but the ratio has to be 30 to 1. A lot of water and very little vinegar.
Then just wait until every single part is completely dry.
– Add New Bedding
Fill the bottom of the cage with new, dry bedding. Depending on what type of bedding you use, you might need to smooth it out with your palm. When it comes to beddings, you should use the ones that are healthy for mice.
For example, wood, hay, hemp, paper and corn cob are completely harmless and ideal for them. Materials that you should rather avoid are cotton and cat litter.
– Reassemble Mouse Cage
Now you can put the whole cage together with all of its accessories. Make sure everything is fixed and connected the right way. For example, a loose running wheel or tunnel can be dangerous for your pet so make sure to double-check that.
And the last step is to pick your mouse up from the temporary container and put him back to his home. Pour some food into the bowl, fill the water bottle and you are done.
How to Keep Mouse Cage from Smelling?
If you stick to the daily and weekly maintenance plans that we talk about, then the cage shouldn’t be particularly smelly. In case it’s smelly anyway, then there is a couple of things you can do.
First off, if the cage is small, then you might need to fully clean it twice a week instead of once.
After all, you can’t fit a huge amount of bedding into a small cage. Therefore, it quickly gets smelly.
In such case, you might need to change your daily routine as well and get rid of the smelly bedding twice. You can get rid of the smell altogether by placing baking soda next to the cage.
Baking soda is great for absorbing odors. Just don’t put it into the cage. Substitutes for baking soda are zeolite and activated carbon.
How Often Should You Clean Mouse Cage?
It depends on the size of the cage. If you have a 10-gallon tank or bigger for a single mouse, then it is enough to fully clean it once a week. In case it is smaller, then you should probably clean it twice a week. When it comes to the bedding, food bowl and water bottle, those should be washed every day.
But again, if you have a small tank, then you might need to do this daily routine twice a day. For both the daily and weekly routine, you should follow the methods we talked about above.
Why do You Need to Clean Mouse Cage Often?
You need to clean the cage often if you want your mouse to stay healthy. There are many types of bacteria that can get accumulated in a mouse cage.
These can cause various ailments and some of them are even fatal.
Living in dirt and fecal matter can cause a wide range of diseases. The bedding gets too used, full of waste and smelly. The water bottle and food bowl will be full of bacteria.
The toys get dirty. So, if you don’t want your mouse to get sick, you better keep the cage clean.
It is important to be well-informed about how to properly clean a cage as a mouse owner. If you have a mouse at home and want him to be healthy, then stick just stick to the routines we talked about and he is going to be fine.
It takes little time and effort for you, yet it can guarantee a long and happy life for your little pet.