What do mice usually eat?

Pet Mice and Kids - Make Mice Mice Make Good Pets 2021 - Others - Nc to do

Pet mouse in hand. Getty Images / Plougmann

Many children want pets, but parents can be careful. Parents, not children, understand the time invested in cleaning and feeding a pet and the costs involved, while the children don't even think about it. But parents first want to make sure that the type of pet their children want will be a good pet for them. Pet mice are cute, small, inexpensive, and very popular with children, largely because of their exposure to them in a wide variety of animated films and television shows.

Mice as pets for children

If the kids (and you) want something to start out with and play with, pets may not be the best as they are small, quick (so difficult to handle for young hands), and can sip pretty hard when scared to get. But if your kids are calm and patient, it could potentially work. Pet mice can be handled, but they need a gentle touch and sometimes a lot of patience if they are not very tame. So if you're looking for something to snuggle up to, mice might not be best for younger kids, but every kid is different.

However, if your family is looking for a pet rather than watching it (and is not a pet), a pair or group of female mice may be good choices. Animal mice are fun and not too difficult for a child to watch, although most of the responsibilities of caring for them fall on the parents.

Mice are very intelligent and don't take up a lot of space.

Children like to watch them walk on wheels, hold treats in their hands and explore their living spaces. They are calm pets, but they also have a short life span (1-2 years) that can be difficult for a young child.

How Many Mice Should You Have?

Mice tend to be happiest around other mice, so it is recommended that you get more than one (especially for women as men can fight).

A pair or group of females usually get along well, but to avoid the difficulty of introducing mice who don't know each other, try to get some from the same litter (or at least those that have already lived together). Male mice (from the same litter) can get along, but sometimes fight and may need to be separated. Between this and the tendency of intact male mice to smell more than the girls, women are better choices for children. Obviously, keeping a male and female mouse will result in many offspring, so this should also be avoided.

Mouse Safety

As with any pet, your children should understand that they need to wash their hands after using a mouse, their food, or anything in their cage. And of course, the adults in the family must be willing to assist or supervise the proper feeding, cleaning, and care of the mice. Adults should never be 100% dependent on a child to care for a pet.

Mice can chew through wood, paper, and even plastic, so it is of the utmost importance to ensure that there are no holes in your mouse cage made by your mouse. Mice can squeeze through very small spaces and are lost and potentially injured if they can escape. Always make sure the cages are securely closed after your child has played with the mouse.

Children who handle mice should always sit on the floor. Mice can jump or fall from your child's hands, and if your child is standing or the mouse is on a table, the mouse may not survive the fall.

Edited by Adrienne Kruzer, RVT