Do Mice Make Good Pets? 15 Things to Consider Before Buying a Mouse

Are you considering getting a pet mouse, but you don’t know if it is for you? Here, we’ll present everything you need to know about pet mice and whether they make a good choice for you.

Mouse can be great pets to have. They are more intelligent than you might think, and they like to be social. The common perception of mice is that they are considered as a pest. But it could be nothing further from truth than that.

Mice can be tamed, and if you can make them feel at home, they make great pets. But they’re also very slippery, and they produce quite a lot of waste. Plus, the males tend to be more aggressive, so that’s one thing to keep in mind. Mice are great, but not for everyone.

Here’s 15 things to consider before you buy yourself a pet mouse.

15 Things to Consider Before Buying a Mouse

Everything you need to know, collected in one place. Here we go.

1. Mice Have a Short Lifespan

Don’t expect to have your pet mouse with you forever. In fact, the lifespan of mice is one of the shortest among the rodents we tend to keep at home. The average life expectancy of pet mice is 2 years, although in some cases, they can last more. The record holder clocked just over 5 years.

2. Pet Mice Are Small and Very Fragile

Mice are small rodents, and you’ll need to be careful how you handle and treat them. They are sensitive and can get stressed easily. Don’t handle them too much, and be gentle with them.

If they don’t like your company or if they’re scared of you, they’ll start to hide and bite you. Special care is needed for the mice, and no extra stress.

3. Pet Mice Are Intelligent

Pet mice are more intelligent than people might think. Yes, they are small animals, which led people to believe they are not smart. But the reality is something completely different; they are tricky animals, and once they escape your cage, they’ll be extremely hard to get a hold of.

Additionally, you might be even able to teach your mouse some tricks, just with some persistence and training.

4. Pet Mice Are Very Active Animals

Pet mice are generally nocturnal animals, meaning that they’ll do most of their activities at night. During the day, they like to rest and conserve energy, although you’ll be able to stimulate them to cooperate with you even during the day.

But expect them to be active at night, when they’ll produce quite a lot of noise as they play around the cage.

5. They Can Be Noisy

Yes, they can produce a lot of noise, especially at night. That’s one thing to consider; if you don’t want to experience the noise at night, then place the cage somewhere else than your room. You can expect the mice to play around and maybe spin at the wheel if you put it inside the cage.

Or, they’ll spend their time running around and playing with their toys. In any case, expect noisy nights with pet mice.

6. They Can Smell

One thing you’ll have to consider is that pet mice can smell. The odors will be a product of the waste and feces that the mice will leave around the cage. It’s up to you to fix the smells as much as possible, which means cleaning the cage often, and changing the bedding a lot.

In more extreme cases, putting some baking soda under the bedding can do the trick. And you won’t do yourself harm if you bought an air purifier, as well.

7. Pet Mice Can Develop Various Health Issues

Mice are not immune to diseases, and you can expect them to be sick from time to time. That is especially the case after a year or so, when the mouse gets older and starts getting ill more often.

If the disease is too serious, the mouse can quickly succumb to death. The hantavirus is a well-known disease, as well as leptospirosis, LCMV, Tularemia and salmonella.

8. They Need Special Bedding

For the pet mice, not just any type of bedding will do. Instead, you can buy them the bedding that’s better for their needs, such as corn cob bedding, aspen shavings, or shreds. These are some of the best bedding types for mice, especially because they soak up the wastage much better than some other types of bedding.

9. Pet Mice Can Get Overweight

Yes, even your pet mice can get overweight if you feed them too much. They won’t pick when it comes to food, and will eat almost everything you put in the cage for them. The result is obesity, which can lead to health problems, difficulty in moving around, and other problems. Be careful with the diet, and make sure you don’t overfeed. Underfeeding is a problem, as well.

10. Can’t Leave Them Alone for Long

Mice are social animals, and they need your presence most of the time. Don’t leave them alone for too long, and consider getting some mates for them.

Female mice can do well together, although you should consider not keeping males together. If you leave them alone for too long, they won’t get the food and water, and they also require attention from you.

11. You Can’t Keep Males Together

When you’re choosing the mice, try not to choose two or more males to put in the same cage. Male mice don’t get along well, and can become very aggressive with each other. This can result in constant fights, injuries, or even death. If you must own two or more males, keep them in separate cages.

12. Pet Mice Are Very Social

Mice are social creatures. They like to be around other mice, and they will like your company once they get used to you.

They might not seem social, as they will hide away from you from the start. But they like to be around other mice, especially the females. The ideal thing is to keep two or three females together, but avoid keeping males together.

13. They Need a Decent-Sized Cage

Mice need quite a lot of space, despite the fact they are small creatures. And they are also sneaky, as they can squeeze right through the tightest gaps in the cage. For a pair of mice, you’d need a cage of 45x30cm, which is a decent size for a cage.

14. Pet Mice Produce a Lot of Waste

Be prepared to clean a lot of waste and feces, as mice are known for this. You’ll need to clean the cage often, and make sure that it doesn’t stink too much. If you leave it unattended, then the stench will become more and more potent.

15. Pet Mice Can Escape Easily

Mice are sneaky animals. They are very quick to escape when they have the opportunity, and then they’ll be very hard to get hold of. You’ll need some tools to catch them again and a lot of patience. It’s better to not let them escape in the first place.


To conclude, mice are great pets to have. You need to consider these things before you decide for it, as mice are not for everyone in the end.

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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