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Mice as pets?

elitys

Sprinting down the street
Joined
4/29/20
Messages
371
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OR, USA
Real Name
Elise
Alright I've decided that if I end up getting mice, I will probably get a pair or 3 females, and I will most likely build my own bin cage :) they can be a much cheaper option and you can customize it how you want, and provide ample space for the mice. I will probably get females because they are less smelly than males, and they socialize with each other. I will definitely still handle them, but I would worry with a male mouse that it would get lonely. Thanks for the advice and help everyone! Will probably post if I get mice but it may not be until early next year if it happens. :D If you have any more advice or if there's something you think I need to know, please let me know! The last thing I want is to make any mistakes
Great idea on the bin cage. Do look into colony dynamics. I think I have heard that pairs can pick on each other and they do better in 3's or more? Not sure though.

I didn't mention scent in my post. My hamster had a cage over 1000sq inches that I thoroughly cleaned once every 4-6 weeks. Never smelled like anything other than paper and wood shavings, except in his bathroom spot which I would spot clean once a week.

Male mice are smelly, I learned that much from my pet store job. For mice in general, it helps to mix wood pellet cat litter (with no additives) into their bedding to help manage scent. Mice are less clean than hamsters and tend to pee all over whereas hamsters will choose one or two bathroom spots, so the wood pellet litter helps combat their bathroom tendencies.

The most important thing for managing scent is having a large cage, I cannot stress this enough. Any animal kept in a home too small is going to dirty it quickly and be very stinky (not to mention the emotional effects of small housing). Get/make a very large cage that can hold lots of bedding. You will clean it less, it will smell less as a result, and the animals will thank you for it.
 

Kile

Meeting neighbors
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11/30/20
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63
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Kile
Great idea on the bin cage. Do look into colony dynamics. I think I have heard that pairs can pick on each other and they do better in 3's or more? Not sure though.

I didn't mention scent in my post. My hamster had a cage over 1000sq inches that I thoroughly cleaned once every 4-6 weeks. Never smelled like anything other than paper and wood shavings, except in his bathroom spot which I would spot clean once a week.

Male mice are smelly, I learned that much from my pet store job. For mice in general, it helps to mix wood pellet cat litter (with no additives) into their bedding to help manage scent. Mice are less clean than hamsters and tend to pee all over whereas hamsters will choose one or two bathroom spots, so the wood pellet litter helps combat their bathroom tendencies.

The most important thing for managing scent is having a large cage, I cannot stress this enough. Any animal kept in a home too small is going to dirty it quickly and be very stinky (not to mention the emotional effects of small housing). Get/make a very large cage that can hold lots of bedding. You will clean it less, it will smell less as a result, and the animals will thank you for it.
Thank you very much!! I love all this advice I'm getting :lol: sometimes I find personal experience and advice from people to be better than looking for answers on google... I keep finding really small cages when I search for things :sigh:How large of an enclosure would you suggest for a guinea pig in case I randomly change my mind and decide on something like that? Would a bin cage (maybe with a built in extra level?) work for a guinea pig? Once when I was in grade school our classroom had a guinea pig in what I think I remember was a hamster cage... god that poor creature... no wonder I don't remember it living very long... It was so long ago but I swear the teacher had a classmate's family take care of it when she went on vacation and maybe then was when it died. I feel terrible keeping animals in cages too small.
 

Blueberry

Sprinting down the street
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Lulu
Just thoughts on the catch and release traps - if you take them a few miles away to release they shouldn’t come back

I had hamsters growing up and loved them!
 

Kile

Meeting neighbors
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11/30/20
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Kile
Just thoughts on the catch and release traps - if you take them a few miles away to release they shouldn’t come back

I had hamsters growing up and loved them!
Thanks!! Might try driving a mile or two down the road if I can get a couple in the humane traps :)
 

elitys

Sprinting down the street
Joined
4/29/20
Messages
371
Location
OR, USA
Real Name
Elise
Thank you very much!! I love all this advice I'm getting :lol: sometimes I find personal experience and advice from people to be better than looking for answers on google... I keep finding really small cages when I search for things :sigh:How large of an enclosure would you suggest for a guinea pig in case I randomly change my mind and decide on something like that? Would a bin cage (maybe with a built in extra level?) work for a guinea pig? Once when I was in grade school our classroom had a guinea pig in what I think I remember was a hamster cage... god that poor creature... no wonder I don't remember it living very long... It was so long ago but I swear the teacher had a classmate's family take care of it when she went on vacation and maybe then was when it died. I feel terrible keeping animals in cages too small.
No, I think you'd have a really hard time finding a bin that would make a cage big enough for a guinea pig.

Guinea pigs are very different from hamsters and mice. They can live up to 8 years with proper care instead of a mouse or hamster's 2 year lifespan. They are grazers rather than foragers and require a variety of fresh vegetables daily (hamsters and mice benefit from this, but for pigs it is a necessity). Guinea pigs are herd animals, and you cannot ethically keep a lone guinea pig. Even the males must be housed with other males in large enclosures, or neutered and housed with females. They are naturally skittish and I've found that taming guineas can take a long time. But if they feel safe around you, they are lovely, calm animals that like to sit in your lap and be pet.

Guinea pigs are unable to run on wheels to get exercise (their spines don't curve that way). So, at a bare minimum, 2 guinea pigs need 8 sq feet of floorspace in their enclosure to have room for activity, and I would say this is too small still. Guinea pigs also have very poor depth perception and will literally walk right off ledges, so it is recommended to have a wide, single level cage rather than a cage with many levels that a mouse may like. (Hamsters also prefer wide single level cages as they are not very nimble climbers; they prefer deep bedding bases to build burrows.)

All of these animals are very different. I would recommend doing research into each of them individually before you decide. You can find good info from ethical breeders (Cheeks and Squeaks Hamsters website), small animal rescues (Munchie's Place for Homeless Pets on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube), or YouTube channels (Erin's Animals, Emiology). There are also forums out there specifically for each of these species.

Many of the sources I recommended are focused on hamsters and mice because I had hamsters and those are the resources I used. But there are good resources for piggies too, so if you're seriously considering getting a few, please seek them out for yourself.

Feel free to ask me more questions if you have them, but I always encourage researching on your own. It's a good habit to have when you own pets; a lot changes as we learn more about the species we keep. :)
 
Last edited:

AussieBird

Rollerblading along the road
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7/23/20
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Call me AB
If you like watching youtube for research Little Adventures is a good piggy channel
 

Kile

Meeting neighbors
Joined
11/30/20
Messages
63
Real Name
Kile
No, I think you'd have a really hard time finding a bin that would make a cage big enough for a guinea pig.

Guinea pigs are very different from hamsters and mice. They can live up to 8 years with proper care instead of a mouse or hamster's 2 year lifespan. They are grazers rather than foragers and require a variety of fresh vegetables daily (hamsters and mice benefit from this, but for pigs it is a necessity). Guinea pigs are herd animals, and you cannot ethically keep a lone guinea pig. Even the males must be housed with other males in large enclosures, or neutered and housed with females. They are naturally skittish and I've found that taming guineas can take a long time. But if they feel safe around you, they are lovely, calm animals that like to sit in your lap and be pet.

Guinea pigs are unable to run on wheels to get exercise (their spines don't curve that way). So, at a bare minimum, 2 guinea pigs need 8 sq feet of floorspace in their enclosure to have room for activity, and I would say this is too small still. Guinea pigs also have very poor depth perception and will literally walk right off ledges, so it is recommended to have a wide, single level cage rather than a cage with many levels that a mouse may like. (Hamsters also prefer wide single level cages as they are not very nimble climbers; they prefer deep bedding bases to build burrows.)

All of these animals are very different. I would recommend doing research into each of them individually before you decide. You can find good info from ethical breeders (Cheeks and Squeaks Hamsters website), small animal rescues (Munchie's Place for Homeless Pets on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube), or YouTube channels (Erin's Animals, Emiology). There are also forums out there specifically for each of these species.

Many of the sources I recommended are focused on hamsters and mice because I had hamsters and those are the resources I used. But there are good resources for piggies too, so if you're seriously considering getting a few, please seek them out for yourself.

Feel free to ask me more questions if you have them, but I always encourage researching on your own. It's a good habit to have when you own pets; a lot changes as we learn more about the species we keep. :)
Thanks for the helpful info :) sounds like guinea pigs probably aren’t for me then- I probably would not have enough space and definitely don’t want to keep one in too small of a space. There must be a lot of misinformation about guinea pigs because I didn’t know about half the stuff you mentioned!
 

elitys

Sprinting down the street
Joined
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371
Location
OR, USA
Real Name
Elise
There must be a lot of misinformation about guinea pigs because I didn’t know about half the stuff you mentioned!
There's a lot of misinformation about any pet, really. Largely due to the perpetuation of outdated care standards by major pet supply chains. It's easier to stock small cages, and easier to sell animals when companies underespresent their care needs. So just be careful about bias when you're researching.
 

brownie17

Checking out the neighborhood
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Chris Roberts
I've never heard of mice being pets. Only rats or hamsters..
 
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