A pet mouse is lively and easily tame by gentle handling and is inexpensive to keep. However, mice are more active at night and do remember that male mice smell.

A pet mouse needs

  • Companionship - to be with other mice and people
  • A balanced diet of mixed grains and a small amount of fresh fruit, vegetables and bread.
  • A salt/mineral lick
  • To have a constant supply of fresh drinking water from a drip-feed bottle with a metal spout
  • A piece of hard wood to gnaw
  • A cage - 45 x 30 x25 cm high (suitable for three mice)
  • Shredded white paper or fresh meadow hay in its cage, with a clean layer of sawdust of woodshaving underneath
  • A cage with hiding places and a nestbox with a little fresh meadow hay or paper bedding
  • A clean cage - cleanliness is important. The bedding must be changed weekly
  • Plenty of exercise. The cage should be fitted with a solid exercise wheel and ropes and ladders for the mouse to climb on.
  • To be kept indoors at an even temperature away from direct sunlight
  • Careful and sensitive handling
  • To be taken to a veterinary surgeon straight away when it is unwell
  • To be looked after at holiday times
  • Your time and interest for the rest of its life

Fact Sheet

Average 2-3 years

Sexually mature
6 weeks

In season (When female mouse is fertile and can be made pregnant)
Every 4-5 days

Gestation (Length of pregnancy)
19-21 days

Litter size
6-14 average (7-8)

Always handle a mouse gently. Lift it up by the base of the tail whilst supporting the body with the other hand. Hold it on your flat hand and keep it close to the ground or over a flat surface. Do not squeeze or the mouse may bite in panic

Mice need companionship, so it is kinder to keep more than one. It is better to keep female mice in groups. Male mice can fight each other, unless the are litter mates. Introduce new mice into a neutral cage first. Females can be territorial.

Health Problems

Abscesses and ulcers

Bathe skin wounds with a mild antiseptic


Very common in mice. Seek veterinary advice straight away

Loss of fur of sore skin

This can be caused by parasites and ringworm (a disease of the skin caused by fungus). Seek veterinary advice

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis

A serious disease of mice which can be passed on to humans. The mouse will look very ill. Seek veterinary advice straight away

Overgrown teeth

Teeth continue to grow and can become overgrown if there are not enough raw vegetables, wood or hard pellets to gnaw on


This can be caused by injury or by a virus. Seek veterinary advice straight away

Respiratory disease

Very common in mice. The mouse will lose its appetite, develop a nasal discharge and breathe unevenly, making a 'rattling' noise. Keep the mouse warm and seek veterinary advice straight away

Remember if your pet is showing unusual symptoms bring it to your local vet.