Can Pet Mice Swim? Do They Like Water?

Although pet mice can swim, this should not be considered as a beneficial activity for them. There are plenty of other ways for them to exercise and getting wet is not good for them at all. In the wild, they swim if it is absolutely necessary.

However, they don’t do it because they particularly like to. Mice have developed in a way so that they have incredibly effective survival skills. They can climb, jump, swim and survive in some of the most adverse conditions.

There are countless predators lurking out in the wild and they had to find ways to stay alive and reproduce. By paddling with their paws while keeping their heads above water, they can easily navigate and get wherever they want to through water.

If you consider how lightweight mice actually are and the thickness of their fur, it turns out that swimming is pretty easy for them. Pet mice don’t like water for sure but they could swim for many hours straight if absolutely necessary.

For wild mice, swimming and diving underwater is one of the ways they can get away from predators.

Can Pet Mouse Drown in Water?

As we mentioned, pet mice can swim for hours. But what if they run out of energy? In deep water, they would eventually drown if there is no land to reach in sight. The fact that pet mice can swim for hours is already quite impressive.

Another thing that is impressive is that they can hold their breath for up to 3 minutes if they want to. This gives them the option to disappear underwater if there are any predators that try to catch them. They are pretty good at hiding and finding ways to get away from predators in general.

Mice are no different from most other mammals in this regard, as they can drown in water in an unlucky situation.

Will a Mouse Die if Gets Wet?

Keeping your pet mouse dry at all times is actually more important than you might think. They can quickly develop health problems if you leave them wet and cold. After bathing your mouse, it is very important to wipe them thoroughly with a towel.

Using a hair dryer on the lowest settings after wiping is also a great idea. It should be at least 15 centimeters away from your pet and if he is used to you handling him, it will be fine. Being in contact with water is also a stressful experience for mice.

If you absolutely have to clean him, you need to ease this stress. By gentle handling and using a toothbrush or a sponge, you can make your pet feel comfortable. It is also essential to use warm water in the process and to make sure your pet mouse has fully dried afterward.

Water getting into the eyes and ears of your pet can cause irritation and will eventually lead to health problems.

Should You Bath Your Pet Mouse?

Since pet mice clean themselves like cats, they don’t need to be bathed at all. If your mouse is healthy, he is probably going to clean himself every day so there is no need to worry about that. However, things can get a bit out of hand sometimes and your mouse can get to places where he ends up being very dirty.

In those cases, bathing should be done in a proper way. You will only need to thoroughly wipe your mouse with a wet towel. You can use a toothbrush in the process as well. Thus, we can barely even call it bathing. The point is not to immerse your pet mouse into water and use as little water as possible instead, combining it with puppy shampoo.

The water you dampen the tower with also has to be warm. Cold water should be avoided at all costs. After this bathing, you need to wipe him with a dry towel and then either blow-dry or use a heater of some sorts. Don’t put your mouse back in the cage until he is completely dry.

How do Mice Get Clean?

Pet mice care a lot about themselves being as clean as possible. Except when they are depressed or sick, of course, when they might not feel like it. If your mouse is not trying to be clean, you can already suspect that there is a problem with his health.

The same applies if you sense your mouse being smelly, which can’t be the case if he cleans himself every day. Just like cats, they are usually not smelly at all and it only indicates a health problem. However, it is worth to note that smelliness can also be a sign that you should clean the cage.

Do Pet Mice Need a Sand Bath?

Again, one of the main habits of pet mice is to clean their own fur every day. Their fur is not smelly nor greasy, so there is no need to add a sand bath to their cage. This is only required for pets that want to get rid of the grease that stuck to their fur.

The reason behind this is that their fur is rather coarse. Rodents or other animals with fine fur get greasy more easier. Although a sand bath is not required, you can add it so that your mouse can have fun. After all, bathing in sand won’t hurt them.


Now, as you have learned more about the behaviors of mice, you can see it for yourself that they are amazing rodents. Their survival skills and intelligence overall are why pet owners appreciate them so much. They are good at many things and one of them is definitely swimming.

But this doesn’t mean that swimming should be included in their activities as a means of exercise. They don’t like water at all and it is also dangerous to leave them wet. Only bathe them if it’s inevitable and make sure to use as little water as possible.

Then, don’t let your pet go until he is completely dry.

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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