Can Pet Mice Feel Pain? Do They Suffer?

Mice do feel pain and they are also sensitive to the pain of other mice around them. They are little delicate rodents, which is also why you can kill wild mouse only using simple traps. Most of these traps, however, cause them to suffer a lot before they die.

If you want to get rid of wild mice in your house yet you don’t want to hear them suffering, there are humane methods as well. For example, you can lay down live traps that cause no harm. You can find them in these traps later and simply remove them from the house.

Pet mice can feel pain and can also suffer from various diseases. They can be addictive and depressed as well, which is obvious when you measure their dopamine levels. In a way, their ability to feel pain and express how they feel are the things that make them great subjects for various researches.

How do I Know if My Pet Mouse is in Pain?

Pet mice produce lots of squeaking noises when they feel intense pain. The more intense the pain, the more frequent the squeaking noises are going to be. Mice are really good at communicating emotions and their current state of mind.

They are even able to signal their discomfort through facial expressions just like us, humans. Your pet mouse being sick doesn’t necessarily mean that he is in pain. If you notice your pet being especially quiet, you can consider it as a sign that he may be sick.

Their squeak more frequently when they are happy and their dopamine levels are high. When they don’t feel well, on the other hand, they are mostly going to stay quiet.

Do Mice Feel Each Other’s Pain?

According to research, it turns out that mice are quite sophisticated emotionally. They are actually pretty good at sensing another mouse’s pain if they share the same cage. The worse one of them feels, the more the pain sensitivity of other mice in the cage increases.

This only shows that mice feel empathy toward each other. However, they only feel this empathy if they are cage-mates. In case two mice have just met and one of them is suffering from a stomach ache, the other mouse is not going to care.

They distinguish between mates and strangers and are only affected by the situation their mates are in. For mice, it takes 2-3 weeks to become true tank mates. It is enough that one of them suffers from some discomfort and it will cause the others to become sensitized.

Do Wild Mice Feel Pain When Trapped?

It depends on the type of trap you are using. If you use so-called live traps, then those are not going to hurt the mouse. Those are designed to keep the catch alive. However, you still need to check them, otherwise, the rodent can die of starvation after lots of suffering.

There are other ways to catch wild mice that are considered inhumane. One of them is laying down sticky glue boards. Mice get stuck in that glue and it’s impossible for them to get out and sometimes their head gets stuck in the glue as well. After hours of suffering, they end up dying on the spot.

Another popular one is the poison which is also a slow method when it comes to killing wild mice. They not only suffer a lot before they die but the poison itself is dangerous to children and other pets in the house.

The last one is the string trap which, although is designed to instantly kill mice, it usually doesn’t. It turns out that the chance of the trap hitting the mouse’s head is quite low. Mice usually get stuck in it and suffer until they die.

It is only considered a humane method in those rare cases when it hits the mouse’s head.

Do Pet Mice Have Feelings?

It turns out that different facial expressions can reveal a lot about the current emotional state of your pet mouse. For example, their face changes depending on whether they eat something bitter or sweet. It is also easy to notice when they are anxious.

Mice are intelligent rodents. They are able to distinguish between pleasure, pain, nausea, disgust and fear and express these feelings accordingly. Not only that but the intensity of these feelings can also be measured on their faces.

Is Poison Painful for Wild Mice?

The main problem with poison is that it makes wild mice suffer a lot before they die. When a mouse eats the poison that you have laid down in your house, you will be able to hear it squeaking before it dies. Unfortunately, the typical mouse poison is rather slow.

It certainly can’t kill those rodents in a blink of an eye, which would be good because at least they wouldn’t suffer. Wild mice produce loud squeaking whenever they feel intense pain. If you don’t want those mice to suffer, then you can lay down live traps instead.

The thing with live traps is that they have to be checked frequently so that the mouse doesn’t stay there for too long after being trapped. Then you can release the mouse elsewhere or contact a veterinarian for a humane alternative to kill it.

Wrapping Up

We can conclude that mice can certainly feel pain just like us, humans. Not only that, but they are also capable of expressing different feelings using facial expressions. The more we use mice in research, the more obvious it becomes that mice are highly sophisticated rodents.

They can be happy, depressed, satisfied, scared, nauseous and you can see it all on their faces. This also makes it a lot of fun to keep a pet mouse at home. Once you get used to it, it will be straightforward to tell what your mouse feels at the moment.

This gives you the opportunity to satisfy that particular need and make your little pet happy while also keeping him in good health.

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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