Why do Pet Mice Poop So Much? It This Normal?

If you are a proud mice owner, you are probably very aware of the necessity of cleaning their cage often. Such tiny creatures can produce a nice quantity of poop on a daily basis, and today we are answering the logical question: why do pet mice poop so much? Well, there are actually several answers to that.

First of all, mice really do eat a lot. To humans, such quantities of food probably seem ridiculous. However, we need to keep in mind that mice are extremely small but also active animals. Therefore, they need more food per gram of their body weight if compared to larger animals.

Another reason why mice poop so much is that they are omnivorous, which makes them feed on a combination of grain and meat and greens. Eating greens instead of meat only brings to more pooping, too.

On top of that, as opposed to most animals who urinate when marking their territory, mice like using their poop to do that, too.

All these reasons make adult and healthy mice to produce up to a gram of poop per day. Real poopers, aren’t they?

Can Mouse Poop Make You Sick?

Generally, all pet poops can make you sick if you do not clean their habitats often and properly.

However, mouse poop can particularly be carrying salmonella or hantavirus, which is very typical for all types of rodents. This means that, if you are not careful enough, such hantavirus particles can be inhaled by you or your family members. This can often bring to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which can lead to serious health complications if not treated early enough.

The best way to avoid such an unpleasant situation is amazingly simple, actually: clean, clean, and clean. Not only your mice habitat, but also all surfaces around it. And, additionally, all surfaces where your mice like to walk around.

Even if they do not poop while being outside, your mice can easily carry poop particles on their feet, and these can then be transferred onto tables, couches and similar.

Last but not least, when you are done playing with your pet mice, please always remember to avoid touching your face until you wash your hands.

How Does Healthy Mouse Poop Look Like?

In order to make sure that your mice are healthy, one of the simplest indicators is checking how their poop droppings look.

Healthy mice produce poop droppings terribly similar to rice grains. They should be blackish or dark brown, depending on the food you feed them with. Additionally, they should have pointed ends and should be soft and malleable when fresh.

An adult and healthy mouse can produce up to seventy pellets each day. How remarkable is that?

Does Mouse Poop Smell?

To humans, not really. Mouse poop can mostly only be seen by us, but other rodents or some larger animals will surely be able to smell it.

On the other side, what does have a distinctively recognizable smell to humans is mouse urine.

Do Pet Mice Pee?

As just answered in the previous sentence, yes, mice do pee.

Their urine does also has a distinctive and strong smell, due to the high concentration of ammonia in it. If you own mice several times already, you might even see that their plastic cage bottom is “worn out” at those points where they frequently pee.

On top of that, it is important to know that mice urine can carry just as many hantavirus particles as their poop. That is why cleaning your pet cages is extremely important for all people who live in the vicinity of mice. And never ever do it without wearing protective gloves.

How to Potty Train Your Mouse?

Mice are extremely clean pets, as long as their humans clean their habitats regularly. You might even notice that your mouse chooses one side of the cage and always poops and pees on that side. They are as smart and as responsible as that.

However, if you want them to use a different part of the cage to litter, or if you want to place an outside litter for them to use, you might want to know some basic rules for potty training.

First of all, it is important not to use the same base for the litter as you use it for their bedding. The most common bedding choices for mice are wood shavings, so paper bases for litter make an excellent decision. Also, paper will make sure that urine gets absorbed in it and it is also super simple to clean.

The second step is finding an appropriate litter box. Here you can both use the pet shop’s litter box, or you can create your own. It is important for the box to be shallow enough for your tiny mouse pet.

Place it at the point where you wish to keep it all the time. If you are placing the litter box inside the cage, it is suggestable to use one of those spots where your mice are already frequently littering.

The next and particularly important thing to do is to take some bedding already infused with urine and poop and place it along with the new litter bedding. Recognizing their own smell can help them understand what the new box is for.

These simple steps should help with training your mouse to potty train. And of course, if you happen to see them while littering in the appropriate litter box, make sure to reward them with a treat!

Wrapping Up

Owning a mouse pet may seem like an easy task to anyone. And it is, if you do just a bit of basic research and make sure to implement some simple rules to your relationship (one of them being cleaning after your mice).

Today’s article helped to get a clearer answer to the frequently asked question: why do pet mice poop so much? And we have not stopped there but have also tried to help you with potty training your mice friends and with providing them (and your family) a safe and healthy environment.

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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